Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Thorp) to the Secretary of State


Subject: Discussion with Schuman regarding Czechoslovak item on agenda for General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Meeting

I understand that there is some question as to whether this item should be raised with Schuman.1

Since the briefing memorandum was prepared for your consideration (Tab A),2 there have been further developments which indicate even more conclusively the necessity for raising this matter with Schuman. We must obtain sixteen votes and are assured of only nine. Representations in Paris indicate clearly that the present French decision not to support us is firm and can only be reversed by Schuman. A vote against us by the French or their abstention on this critical issue will undoubtedly affect the attitude of other European countries, most of which are still undecided whether to abstain or vote for the waiver.

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If we should not get the sixteen votes, it would be a sharp victory for the Soviet bloc. We are bound by Congressional mandate to withdraw agreement benefits from Czechoslovakia. If we do not get approval of the Contracting Parties, we shall have to act in violation of our international commitments.

I most strongly urge that you raise this problem with Mr. Schuman.

  1. Apparently no discussion on this matter occurred between the Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Schuman in the San Francisco setting.
  2. This refers to a position paper on the Czechoslovak matter which was prepared for the Secretary’s information for the tripartite ministerial conference scheduled to meet in Washington on September 12, Doc. WFM T–17, dated August 27, 1951, not printed (394.31/9–551).