131. Telegram From the Department of State to the Consulate General at Geneva0

Totan 2. Understand from various sources that Wyndham White distressed by resolution on trade agreed at OECD Ministerial Meeting, [Page 270] July 22–23.1 One reliable source alleges he made following points in private conversation: (a) Creation of OECD Trade Committee made it appear as if North Atlantic trade problems would be excluded from GATT, (b) In view of these developments, he questioned usefulness continuing efforts strengthen GATT for example through creation of Council, (c) He intends make full statement his views this subject to CP’s at coming GATT Session. We also have indication Wyndham White feels obliged precipitate discussion at September 19–23 Council meeting to obtain clearer understanding division of labor OECD and GATT.

Department believes would be serious mistake attempt at this time in GATT to seek establish lines of responsibility and scope activities GATT and OECD Trade Committee. While useful purpose could be served by moderate Wyndham White statement on OECD functions in trade field which keeps pressure on OEEC countries to limit trade functions, injudicious or intemperate comments could be counterproductive.

No copy Wyndham White statement in Paris to Working Party on trade early July available in Department, but if it defends ability GATT deal problems QRs, export subsidies, etc., submission such comments to Council could have salutory effects and support efforts U.S., Canada, and France deal trade problems in GATT.

You requested see Wyndham White soonest in effort dissuade him from presenting alarmist view of OECD operations in trade field. You might indicate our view that July Ministerial Meeting reflected that OECD functions in trade field would not be as extensive as some OEEC countries desired; certainly not as far reaching as existing OEEC functions. In this respect agreement to abolish Part I of Code of Liberalization which pertains merchandise trade eliminates major threat to GATT. You might seek reassure Wyndham White by noting (a) United States will resist efforts to deal in OECD with trade problems which belong in GATT; (b) many problems previously discussed in OEEC will move to GATT forum, e.g. French proposal re subsidies; and (c) it is United States policy place more rather than less emphasis on GATT and we continuing study ways strengthen GATT.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 394.41/9–260. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Ryss and John Renner, Office of European Regional Affairs; cleared by Adair and with Hadraba; and initialed for the Acting Secretary by Martin. Repeated to Paris and to Quito for Leddy.
  2. The Conference on the Reorganization of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation met in Paris July 22–23.
  3. Tanto 7 from Geneva, September 7, reported that Wyndham White intended to make an objective statement before the Council with no interpretative remarks. He had stressed, however, that he was “very concerned” and that the “moderation of his presentation and remarks did not reflect his deep and continuing concern.” (Department of State, Central Files, 394.41/9–760)