394.31/9–2751: Telegram

The Ambassador in Canada (Woodward) to the Secretary of State


53. Ottawa officials handling govt problems seriously disturbed by reports Belg imposing restrictions discriminatory against dollar imports. Initial reaction strongly against approval of GATT waiver. Canadians do not yet know, however, extent to which their trade directly affected. Reports from Canadian sources Geneva and Brussels leave doubt whether restrictions already in effect or contemplated. Canadian officials, emphasize Belg over balance of payments situation excellent and by GATT standards discrimination unjustified. Instructions to Canadian del Geneva probably will be sent after interdepartmental mtg October 2 at DepMin level.

Canadians critical encouragement by ECA of Belg restrictions as reported by Hoffman New York Times Sept 23 page 26. They have in past voiced misgivings repeatedly to ECA and others in Washington that EPU and OEEC wld lead to discriminatory restrictions.

Pls inform Emb by telephone what US position is and whether Hoffman report accurate.

Dept pass Geneva; sent Dept 53, rptd Geneva unnumbered for USDel GATT.