The Chargé in Belgium (Millard) to the Secretary of State
Ref: Dept’s Telegrams 518, Oct 15 and 525 Oct 16, and Embassy Telegrams 536 Oct 17 and 631 Nov 5, 1951.
Subject: Foreign Office note re Belgian dollar import restrictions.
In accordance with the Department’s telegram No. 525 dated October 16, the Embassy presented to the Foreign Office the memorandum of October 17 (enclosure No. 1) based on the text of the Department’s telegram No. 518 dated October 15, 1951. The representations made in Brussels and at the GATT Conference in Geneva were, therefore, closely coordinated.
The Foreign Office replied to this memorandum by a note dated October 31, 1951 (received in the Embassy November 5, 1951), the text of which is given in enclosure No. 2. The substance of this reply was communicated to the Department in Embassy telegram No. 631 dated November 5. It will be noted that the Belgian Government considered the recommendations made by the Council of OEEC on July 6, 1951, as concurring in its view that all measures at its disposal should be adopted to redress its position in the EPU (obviously one of the means which would contribute to this objective is the restriction of dollar imports). The Belgian Government considers that this measure qualifies for waiver of the non-discriminatory obligations under the GATT by a broad interpretation of Article XV. The only statement in the note which has not been made before by the Belgian Government is the assurance that the Belgian and Luxembourg Governments “count on reducing the term of application (of the restrictive measures in question) to the strictly indispensable minimum.” The suggestion made [Page 1504]in the Embassy memorandum that “a substantial contribution by Belgium to other NATO countries” be considered as an element in the solution of the EPU problem is only answered by the statement that “Belgium is already fulfilling, at the present time, all of its obligations in the framework of NATO.”
The Embassy finds the attitudes expressed in this note entirely consistent with the position taken by responsible Belgian Government officials in all discussions since the measure was first announced.