394.31/8–3151: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Luxembourg


31. 1. US attaches great importance Luxembourg support Czech waiver discussed Depcirtel 199. Failure obtain positive Lux vote as predicted Embdesp 221 imperils chances US obtain neces majority which requires at least 16 countries to vote in favor US proposal. On basis present count, US has no more than 14 reasonably dependable [Page 1407] votes. Secretary expected discuss matter with Schuman. Other highlevel approaches in progress. Asst Sec Thorp going to Geneva for express purpose handling this issue. Request you approach FonOff highest level making fol points:

2. US deeply disturbed Lux feeling their relations with Czecho prejudiced by support of waiver. Believe this indicates incomplete understanding proposed presentation US case.

3. Fact is Czecho has singled out US as main target for hostile actions and applied especially severe pressure against US as compared other countries free world. In circumstances, no real means communication exists between US and Czech govts. Accordingly, basis on which to conduct mutually advantageous econom relations has been destroyed and possibility of adherence to GATT provisions by either party no longer exists. Hence we seek dissolution obligations as only solution our dilemma and means of putting end to strained interpretations of GATT which weaken its structure to ultimate disadvantage all parties.

4. However US intends present matter in GATT in such way as avoid implication CP’s attempting discuss or vote on merits polit dispute between US and Czecho. Vote wld not be on pol issue since basis for action requested wld be that, irrespective of merits, gravity of dispute is so great that fulfillment trade commitments impossible and they shld therefore be dissolved. Vote wld simply recognize existence of situation prejudicial GATT future without placing blame on either party.

5. Note proposed waiver text shows we ask nothing more than what Czechs wld get, since waiver wld operate reciprocally.

6. Lux shld consider possible serious consequences voting with Czechs and realize they likely to be alone that position. Lux shld also consider whether abstention called for in view nature US request.2

  1. Luxembourg despatch 22, August 31, not printed.
  2. On September 14 the Legation reported the Luxembourg response: Although Luxembourg believed the United States position “in reality” to be political despite economic considerations, Luxembourg position “would in any case parallel Belgian and agree instruct Luxembourg Minister in Brussels to indicate Luxembourg, sympathy for US position.” (394.31/9–1451).