394.31/3–2051: Telegram

The Acting Chairman of the United States Delegation to the Torquay Conference (Corse) to the Secretary of State


583. Drafting group Working Party Art XIX nearing completion report for consideration full WP Mar 21 p. m.

Report wld list documentation, making reference to TC Tariff Commission procedure and criteria with statement some members question some of interpretations therein, without further comment (Brit worried about statements (1) any serious injury constitutes unforeseen development and (2) loss relative position domestic producers, without actual decline production, evidence of injury). Report lists four criteria under Art XIX, para 1(a), sets forth interpretation that extent and duration withdrawal dependent on necessity preventing injury (Deptel 461 Mar 15), and outlines procedures.

Report summarizes position under these various points, where possible giving unified view WP and indicating divergencies therefrom, which in most cases are either by US or Czech rep. Principal divergence US from neutral members is over meaning unforeseen developments; latter claiming in report Art XIX envisages objective standard that unforeseen developments would be those which reasonable negotiator wld not have foreseen. US will state view that negotiators at Geneva did not foresee, and that this sufficient. Czech view that from background hat body trade and evidence increasing popularity velour styles in 1947, developments should have been foreseen.

On injury, US and neutral members agree on facts concerning decline production 1949 and first half 1950 compared 1948, price difficulties with domestic velours from TC report, and evidence decline employment, both general (TC report) and Danbury, Norfolk (statistics cabled), coupled with special vulnerability felt hat workers to employment decline, resulting from skill, age, geographic concentration.

Neutral members conclude various factors combine to constitute unforeseen developments, and statistics tend show threat injury justifying Art XIX action, though uncertainties (as effect hatlessness) raise questions. Czechs emphasize that at no time since 1947 has production been below 1947 level, and rapid increase US production of velours (TC report), and general vagueness US evidence. Undoubtedly they influenced by production second half 1950, although apparently admitting not relevant question injury.

Conclusions neutral members will express view good faith on part US authorities and inability Czechs to prove not within Art XIX although recognizing individual countries and international organization. [Page 1542] May interpret provisions Art XIX differently in whole or part, and indicating desirability strict construction such a provision. Apparently, elimination this implied censure US action impossible without inclusion in conclusions more specific statements re points of disagreement (particularly on meaning unforeseen developments and irrelevance relative increase imports to injury). Will indicate desirability country invoking XIX specifically article including US in this case, keeping constant watch of situation with view possibility at least partial restoration of concession if changed situation re injury or threat thereof so permits.1

  1. The Intersessional Working Party produced a detailed 18-page “Report”, not printed, on March 27, 1951, to be considered by the Contracting Parties at their Sixth Session scheduled to convene at Geneva, Switzerland, on September 17, 1951.