394.31/9–1853: Telegram

The Acting Consul General at Geneva (Oakley) to the Department of State


99. Eyes only from Waugh. Personal to the Secretary. We have been informed that at this late date Karl Loos, Solicitor, Department of Agriculture is objecting to proposal that tariff commitments agreed to by US now be extended for additional period of year or 18 months pending review of policies by US and other countries.

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In my judgment failure of Eisenhower administration place itself squarely on record in support standstill arrangements on tariffs will (a) Completely destroy confidence of other countries in good faith of administration in entering upon genuine study of economic policy through our economic policy commission. (b) Remove real prospect we now have of general international agreement at this meeting on tariff truce. (c) Nullify influence US delegation on other major issues this Conference especially admission Japanese to GATT.

And such position by US would be particularly embarrassing in view President’s message to CPs and statement that you saw which I will be making to CPs in an hour.1

This matter comes up in the conference on Monday, September 21. It is of the utmost importance that the US delegation be instructed immediately to support the extension of firm tariff commitments for period of study ahead.

Urgently recommend you take this matter up with Secretary of Agriculture2 and with President if necessary.3

  1. Assistant Secretary Waugh’s address before the Contracting Parties, which conveyed President Eisenhower’s message to the session, is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, Oct. 5, 1953, pp. 447–449.
  2. Ezra Taft Benson.
  3. The Department responded in telegram Gatt 16 to the Consulate at Geneva, dated Sept. 19, 1953, that as a result of consultation with the White House, the U.S. Delegation would be authorized to announce U.S. support both of Japanese accession to the GATT and the extension of tariff concessions under Article XXVIII if the delegation felt that further delay in announcing these positions would prejudice the success of the negotiations. (394.31/9–1953)