394.31/10–1151: Telegram

The United States ( GATT ) Delegation to the Secretary of State


Tagg 75. Leddy and Corbett attended mtg yesterday with Suetens and Janson of Belgian del, Saad and Friedman1 of IMF, Isbister and Reisman of Canadian del. Belgians reported that final agreement on EPU deal almost reached and Belgium wld take six measures including restrictions of dollar imports (see Repto 5093, October 9).2

In accordance with instructions we reiterated our view that most suitable way of handling matter was under Article XII of GATT. We pointed out, however, that if Belgium took position measures fell under Article XIV of Fund it was probable that US wld initiate action for Fund representations under that article. Canadians agreed and argued strongly that Belgium should initiate consultation under Article XII. Saad demurred somewhat, implying preference for Article XIV. Belgians, in remarks during mtg, also expressed preference for Article XIV of IMF. Janson feels criteria of Article XII of [Page 1490] GATT too narrow for Belgian case. Privately Suetens indicated to Leddy his preference for Article XXV of GATT and left impression he wld so recommend to his govt.

Canadians repeated that if Belgium failed to put matter to GATT, they wld raise matter themselves and wld press either under Article XII 4(d) or Article XXIII. Also indicated they wld press issue in Fund if Belgium chose Article XIV of IMF. Net of discussion is matter will receive serious consideration in GATT or Fund or both and no Belgian move can avoid this.

Belgians here continue to imply they have recd approval, tacit or otherwise, from EPU Managing Board and US reps in Paris for dollar import restrictions. We said our info was to contrary and that US rep on Managing Board had made strong statement. It wld be more than helpful if OSR cld put these oral statements in writing for benefit of Belgians.

Canadian del has suggested that, if Belgium proceed under Article XIV of Fund, wld be desirable for Canada and US take joint action raise matter in GATT under Article XII 4(d) or Article XXIII. US del requests authority develop joint approach with Canada along these lines if necessary.

Dept pass Ottawa; sent Dept Tagg 75, repeated info Paris 88 (for OSR), Brussels 13, Ottawa 2.

  1. Irving S. Friedman, Director of the Exchange Restrictions Department, IMF.
  2. Not printed.