394.31/3–1851: Telegram

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


567. UK informed us last week that no further concessions cld be offered, particularly on agric products we consider essential. Team has drawn up list of possible withdrawals for eventuality of limited agreement not containing any difficult US items, but list wld be so extensive that there wld be little advantage in such limited agreement, and we are considering all possible alternatives.

Corse last night saw Holmes and on personal basis informed him details of further concessions we require in return for our total offers. Divided these into “key” items on which concessions essential, secondary items from which substantial concessions expected, and other items. Also indicated items in Australia and New Zealand on which we expect preference releases from UK. Holmes responded with usual arguments against UK making concessions, and usual insistence that US pay twice for preference releases, and at conclusion of long talk gave no indication what action if any UK wld take.

Situation has now reached point where immediate action must be taken to prevent failure of negots. As indicated above limited agreement on basis of present UK offers wld be worthless and do no credit to GATT or TA program. Believe it is still possible persuade UK and Australia make further offers but in case of UK at least we feel only intervention at high levels can break deadlock. Accordingly we have suggested to Emb London that high level approach be made there immediately. We suggested Emb stress need agreement here at this time when cooperation so widely discussed in US and unfortunate consequences of public disagreement obvious. Also, in view UK del’s reference to Batt’s1 Eastbourne speech, implying this indicated our position not consistent with ECA policy, we suggested Batt might also make clear at high level that ECA desire help UK does not remove need UK make its contribution our joint effort.

Have suggested Emb proceed early as possible Monday unless Dept instructs to contrary.2

Sent Department 567; repeated info London 224.

  1. William L. Batt, Chief, ECA Mission in the United Kingdom.
  2. In telegram 474, March 18, 7 p. m., to Torquay, the Department of State endorsed the Delegation’s position described herein and indicated that “prompt consideration” would be given to the proposal for a personal message from the Secretary of State to the British Foreign Secretary (394.31/3–1851).