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Historical documents

252 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 199 CANBERRA, 4 August 1943


Your D.467. [1]

1. We warmly welcome proposal to approach United States Government
with view to obtaining broad U.S.-U.K. agreement on orderly agenda
for the discussion of Article VII.

2. We have always regarded formulation of considered programme for
Article VII discussions as a necessity.

3. We agree that the subjects listed in your proposed approach to
the United States Government should be included in the agenda for
the discussions. But we feel also that the means of working
towards the general objectives of maintenance of production and
full employment to which you refer in paragraph 4 of your D.467
should be placed in the forefront of discussions. We believe that
discussions of means to achieve these objectives should seek
agreement about domestic policy in addition to agreement on the
purposes and mode of operation of international machinery. In our
view, the discussions that have already taken place on various
aspects of international policy emphasise that the achievement of
the objectives for which international machinery is designed will
depend very greatly on the extent to which domestic policy is
directed towards similar objectives. Prior agreement to maintain a
high level of employment will, we feel, hasten the agreement on
international arrangements.

4. We appreciate points made in paragraph 6 of your telegram [2]
and place special emphasis on the view that care must be taken to
leave room for the continuation of the bilateral trade discussions
in Washington should this prove desirable.

5. We would be glad to be kept in closest possible touch with all
developments. [3]

1 Dispatched 29 July. On file AA:A989, 43/735/55/1, i. It advised
that the U.K. Govt had decided not to begin an approach to the
U.S. Govt on commercial policy by delivering the aide-memoire
referred to in Document 241, but instead to suggest a broader
approach covering all aspects of Article VII of the Lend-Lease
Agreement. To this end it was proposed that a strong delegation of
U.K. officials should go to the United States not later than the
middle of September to take part in informal and exploratory talks
on post-war commercial policy, monetary policy, international
investment and the regulation of primary products. The primary
object of the talks would be the drawing up of an orderly agenda
for the discussion of Article VII.

2 Paragraph 6 acknowledged 'that in the case of certain Dominions
negotiation of bilateral agreements with the United States under
the limited powers of the Trade Agreements Act might offer
substantial practical advantages even though on a longer view much
more comprehensive arrangements will be needed', but stressed that
it was 'of the utmost importance to bring home to United States
Government circles at this juncture that a programme of bilateral
agreements will fall far short of the necessities of the case, if
real progress is to be made under Article 7 . . .'
3 In acknowledging this cablegram on 31 August Attlee said: 'We
appreciate importance of considering the positive aspects of
Article 7 and have taken note of your views on this point and also
on the desirability of leaving room for the continuation of
bilateral trade discussions in Washington should these prove
desirable.' See cablegram 244 on the file cited in note 1.

[AA:A989, 43/735/55/1, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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