394.31/9–1451: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Secretary of State


1369. Depcirtel 253, Sept 12. Altho still expressing regret that action required, Leckie states now virtual certainty UK del will support US res re Czecho. Expressed personal opinion all Commonwealth dels except India, Pakistan, Ceylon wld follow Brit lead. Altho he stated neither Southern Rhodesian or South African dels expressed positive favorable views during discussions London this week, they did not indicate any opposition. He described Netherlands as “very doubtful” with possibility Dutch del wld arrive Geneva with instructions which wld preclude any hope persuading them to request change from Hague. France he described as taking very legalistic position but he did not venture an opinion as to final Fr position.

With indicated Commonwealth support favorable vote wld appear certain and Emb now believes Brit del can be relied upon to join with US del at Geneva in attempting secure largest possible majority. Brit del will still wish discuss possibility using gen waiver after arrival Geneva but it is believed unlikely they will desire press this point. They consider it is easiest to argue that Czecho has moved so far away from GATT principles as to provide basis waiver by any other member but they also now understand disadvantage this approach to many govts which do not desire annul concessions granted Czecho but wld be under varying degrees domestic pressure to do so if way legally cleared by gen waiver at Geneva.

Leckie mentioned Brit del and Hartley Shawcross personally very pleased at prospect opportunity have gen exchange views with Thorp and he expressed hope Thorp wld have time for extensive informal discussion with Pres BOT. Desire smooth way for these discussions other points may have influenced BOT indicate advance agreement re Czech resolution.

Sent Dept 1369, rptd info Geneva 21 (for USDel GATT).