218. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Wool Textiles


  • Mr. Ryuji Takeuchi, Ambassador of Japan
  • Mr. Yoshio Ohkawara, Counselor, Japanese Embassy
  • Mr. George W. Ball, Acting Secretary
  • Mr. Claus Ruser, Chief, Fibers and Textiles Division, Economic Affairs
  • Miss Thelma E. Vettel, Special Assistant to the Director for East Asian Affairs

The Ambassador referred to the Acting Secretary’s meeting on April 17 with the recent Japanese Economic Mission to the United States and, in particular, to his discussion with them on the wool textile problem.2 He wondered if there had been any further developments.

The Acting Secretary said there still had been no U.S. policy decision to try to press for an international wool textile agreement. He said we were still exploring the problem and that he did not know if we would have to go ahead to propose such an agreement.

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The Ambassador remarked that many Japanese believed that this problem had something to do with the Presidential election in the U.S. and that therefore the U.S. Government may have to press for an agreement.

The Acting Secretary reiterated that no decision had been made and that he did not know what the decision would be. He said that the problem was under active consideration. He noted that the Government has had very strong representations from the Congress and is working at the situation. He asked that the Ambassador not conclude that we are going ahead since the matter is still very uncertain.

The Ambassador said that he did not think it was necessary to state again the Japanese Government’s strong position against such an agreement. He said opinion in Japan came not only from those concerned in the wool industry itself but also from much wider considerations since it would upset many things upon which Japan bases its policies.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, INCO–WOOL 17 US–JAPAN. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Thelma E. Vettel (FE/EA) on May 21 and approved in U on May 22. The source text is labeled “Part II of III.”
  2. Not further identified.