394.31/8–1151: Telegram

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


134. For Leddy from Weiss. Had fuller discussion Wyndham White, summarizing for him results our GATT trip. Fol are principal points:

1. Reviewed Czech problem again at great length. While seeming appreciate more fully possible advantages US acting unilaterally before CP’s approval, Wyndham White still favors US securing such approval before acting against Czechs. One possible modification this approach suggested by Wyndham White is that while not acting in advance CP consideration US wld come before CP’s sixth session announcing it was going take action against Czechs, CP’s then not approving or disapproving such US action but merely taking note of it. Though somewhat less certain than in our previous discussion, Wyndham White still inclined favor action under article XXIII rather than article XXV.

Wyndham White stated that in talk with Tauber (mytel 129 from Geneva) latter asked if secretariat cld not work out some kind arrangement settling US–Czech problem. At time Wyndham White replied there appeared no basis for compromise since US determined take action. In light our discussion in which I suggested US wld have no objection Czech being relieved contractual obligations toward US so long as US completely free of any contractual commitments toward Czecho, Wyndham White indicated that he might suggest to Tauber matter cld be settled simply without fuss sixth session if Czecho agreeable complete termination of both sides GATT commitments between US and Czecho. Wyndham White feels he is in position make such suggestion since Tauber explicitly asked him for possible solution problem and he wld make clear suggestion in no way attributable US. Reply immed if you see objection Wyndham White suggestion and wish me put in stopper.1

Wyndham White stated Itals (Di Nola) concerned about possible consequences if they should support United States action against Czechoslovakia. They are worried about possible Czech retaliatory actions against Italian assets in Czechoslovakia.

[Here follows discussion of certain matters on the provisional agenda of the impending meeting of the Sixth Session of the Contracting Parties of GATT.]

Sent Dept priority 134, rptd info London 15. [Weiss.]

  1. The Department responded in telegram 125. noon, to Geneva, August 14, that it had “No objection Wyndham White inquiring whether Czechs agreeable complete termination US-Czech GATT commitments, provided made clear not US suggestion.” (394.31/8–1151).