394.31/3–2051: Telegram

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


580. Sir Stephen Holmes and Casdagli called on Corse and Lewis today and in lengthy mtg no progress was made. Holmes had copy of Emb London’s note (London 4999 to Dept) but stated he was “not much impressed by Ambassadors or Fon Mins” and that he was responsible for the tariff negots. They continued to urge we specify exactly what their present offers were worth; we made clear again that their offers wld justify at most US concessions on limited number of items from original US offer list including only few if any items which UK considered important.1 In view this and because of continued lack UK agric and pref concessions questionable whether limited agreement, which wld do no credit to either party, wld be acceptable to either or both US and UK. We continued to urge that they try to obtain pref releases from Commonwealth; in reply they merely made gen refs to the importance of UK-Commonwealth relations. We left no doubt we preferred no agreement to unsatis limited agreement, though we have not closed door entirely to latter. We will consider again what US offers wld be on basis existing UK offers but expect it will be clearly evident agreement such basis not only meaningless but undesirable.

Sent Dept 580; rptd info London 231.

  1. See annex to Casdagli letter to Lewis, March 14, p. 1275.