14. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State0
London, March 25, 1958, 7 p.m.
5650. Paris pass USRO; Luxembourg for Butterworth. Reference: CA-8151,1CA-8152, CA-8153.2
- Embassy in general agreement with Department analysis of FTA negotiating position. However,
following comments may be helpful.
- While true British not prepared include agriculture in free trade some indications they prepared negotiate some sort of arrangement [Page 25] including perhaps contracts in order obtain European support. British believe, presumably based on fact that EEC itself fails to establish true Common Market in agriculture, that agriculture will not prove insuperable obstacle. British also seem prepared make some concessions concerning harmonization external and internal policies though have been vague as to meaning of former in absence common outside tariff.
- Reference paragraph II—F first reference, while British still stress importance agreement this year, are placing less stress than formerly on July as deadline for agreement in substance. Key officials privately acknowledge January 1 not essential as effective date if agreement in substance reached before then. British also appear to be thinking of some special regime for the French involving either a postponement of French participation or temporary exemption of French from obligations under FTA. Department will presumably wish consider likely position in case these suggestions become more explicit.
- British appear firmly opposed sector approach or any arrangement requiring later negotiation and unanimous agreement for continuation of FTA treatment individual items or sectors.
- Reference paragraph III-D believe UK says will be happy to deal with 6 through Commission but unable to do so until Commission is in position speak for 6.
- Reference second reference, Department summary French proposals omits reference to proposal, mentioned in all reports received here, of some form extension of Commonwealth preferences to 6. Assume Department would be as opposed to this as to sector approach unless preferential rates extended to all countries entitled MFN under GATT. British not explicit concerning their own attitude, but say Commonwealth would never agree extension preferences without quid pro quo.
- In light British informal suggestion US put pressure on French through Adenauer (see Embassy telegram 5622 March 24)3 Embassy will act on instruction in paragraph III-D first reference and will inform HMG of US position along lines part III paragraphs A, B, and D of first reference and substance of second and third references.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 440.002/3–2558. Confidential. Repeated to Paris, Luxembourg, Rome, Brussels, The Hague, Bern, Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.↩
- Document 12.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 12.↩
- In telegram 5622 from London, Whitney reported that such a suggestion had been made informally to an Embassy official by a mid-level British Treasury official. He recommended that no action be taken without a more authoritative approach. (Department of State, Central Files, 440.002/3–2458)↩