394.31/8–1051: Telegram

The Consul General at Geneva (Ward) to the Secretary of State


129. For Leddy from Weiss.1 Saw Wyndham White briefly at USDel party. He stated Tauber, Czech Minister Switz and del ECOSOC approached him to inquire what he knew about US action against Czechs. In reply WW handed Tauber copy US statement on matter. In response query whether US action did not constitute violation GATT, WW pointed out US had not yet acted and that US statement was merely presenting problem CP’s. Tauber asked under what provision GATT US might take contemplated action against Czecho; WW referred Articles XXIII and XXV as possibilities. He also asked whether WW thought US wld get such support in light Czech actions against US and its nationals. Tauber also inquired whether US was pressuring other countries take same action it was contemplating against Czechs. WW indicated he did not know.

As regards alternative courses action available US against Czechs, WW believes US shld seek CP approval before acting. He also inclined favor use Article XXIII rather than XXV. While he recognizes difficulty making nullification and impairment argument against Czechs in view US export restrictions,2 he thinks such case might nonetheless be made out. In this connection he used arguments similar those we advanced in our European talks3 in building up article XXV analogy, namely GATT premised on friendly relations between states and benefits which might be expected from GATT not possible develop without existence such relations. He suggested we might argue our export restrictions were reaction nullification and impairment measures by Czechs. He also suggested we shld check what extent US export restrictions being applied items on which Czechs gave US concessions, it possibly being feasible make effective nullification argument with respect those concession items on which US not applying export restrictions to Czechs. [Weiss.]

  1. Leonard Weiss, Assistant Chief, Commercial Policy Staff. Weiss had accompanied Leddy on the tour of five West European capitals and was presently in Geneva to attend the session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) then sitting.
  2. For documentation on the United States restrictions on East-West trade, see pp. 993 if.
  3. This refers to the Leddy GATT tour described in footnote 1, p. 1385.