394.31/3–1751: Telegram

The Acting Chairman of the United States Delegation to the Torquay Conference (Corse) to the Secretary of State


563. USTAC. For Brannan1 and Rossiter2 from Schwenger.3

1. As reported Deltel 552 TAC members recommend meeting heads of agencies connection crisis Canada negots affecting entire conference.

2. In summary Canadians feel no agreement possible (or limited agreement of little value except as window dressing and containing no agric items of importance) unless we somewhat expand offers to give some substantial benefits to areas of interest in Canada not now covered. This wld probably mean no agreements or only limited one with other Commonwealth countries and therefore no significant reduction preferences. On other hand, if we add offers few key items Canada will give substantial concessions making agreement we judge valuable and will help get other preferences reduced.

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3. TAC therefore recommended that there be considered interdepartmentally at the highest level granting certain key concessions on which one or more TAC members now dissent. The dissent items are aluminum, plywood, canned salmon and cheddar cheese.

4. In spite great difficulties involved in cheese concession, I and other agric members del recommend you give most favorable possible consideration going along with reduction cheddar cheese duty to 3 cents not less than 15 percent in connection with agreement heads other interested agencies go along with reduction other items involved. Fol paras contain some particular points you will wish consider.

5. Agreement recommended reftel will include fol concessions on US agric products Canada imports of which in 1949 amounted over 11 million dols: reductions in preferences on raisins, currants, canned peaches, and hog casings as far as other Dominions permit with Canada helping obtain their concurrence in our requests (the del will not give Canada the additional offers requested in reftel unless these requests are substantially met); salt pork and beef in barrels, free entry; apples free entry May 20 to July 1, ½ cent Per lb Aug 1 to May 19; poultry and game NOP, 12½ percent; frozen vegetables I7½ cents lb; grapefruit juice 10 percent, canned poultry and game NOP, 15 percent; canned pork 25 percent; condensed and evaporated milk, 3 cents lb; dried whey 3½ cents per lb; powdered milk, NOP, 4 cents lb; milk foods NOP, I7½ percent; soybean flour 17½ percent; cut tobacco 65 cents lb; grape juice 20 cents gal; wool free; and number of others; Canada will join US in positive effort get other Dominions release other preferences now given by Canada where US has interest; Canada will make no objection to reductions in preferences by other Dominions on list US request items even though Canada has interest.

6. On US side, agreement will include fol items, imports of which into US from Canada 1949 were valued under 4 million dols: cheese as above; sheep and lambs; 75 cents head; frozen or prepared blue berries 8¾ percent; cream 15 cents per gal within present quota; tallow ⅛cent per lb plus ¾ cent IRC tax, mustard seed ⅞ cent per lb; beets (not sugar), 5 percent; grape juice, 45 cents per gal; flax tow, ¼ cent per lb; flax straw, 75 cents per lb; hybrid seed corn, 12½ cents per lb; grape seed, 2½ cents per lb IRC tax (no duty) mixed feeds, 2½ percent; onion sets, 1¼ cents per lb; and some other items.

7. Canada will join with US in getting reduction Brit preference cheddar cheese from 15 percent to 10 percent. This preference item specifically understood by Canada as part of package on basis of which agreement wld be completed.

8. Cattle will not be in Torquay agreement. Canada originally asked concession on feeders and we were prepared agree. Canada feels on balance wiser encourage feeding to heavier weights in Canada. Withdrew request.

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9. Potatoes will not be in Torquay agreement. Canada pushed hard for concession, considers this key item but now accepts our statement no concession possible.

10. Canada anxious bargain increase periods her prohibitive in-season duties on vegetables for decrease her low off-season rates. This now dropped. No concessions by Canada on fresh vegetables.

11. Preference situation complicated. If Canadian agreement fails, probably impossible obtain adequate concessions UK and other Dominions warrant grant authorized concessions wool, whiskey, cotton and woolen textiles, china, earthenware, and others. With good Canadian agreement may break through on preferences and force good agreements all around. Our recommendation based assumption satisfactory solution preference question plus good agreement Canada, taken together, desirable for Agric’s interest looked at broadly. Without good Canadian agreement, Torquay contribution solution preference question improbable.

12. Agric has taken strong position favor aluminum concession. [Schwenger.]

  1. Charles F. Brannan, Secretary of Agriculture.
  2. Fred J. Rossiter, Associate Chief, Bureau of Foreign Agricultural Relations, Department of Agriculture.
  3. Robert B. Schwenger, Department of Agriculture member on TAC at Torquay.