362 Makin to Burton

Cablegram 831 WASHINGTON, 9 September 1949, 1.39 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

F.E.C. 119.

Your 499.

We have been considering how to bring this question to a vote as instructed in paragraph 4 of your 485 of 6th September [1] in view of time factor if the United States as seems most likely, proceeds with the issuance of directive to S.C.A.P. on 16th September.

2. The only approach that occurs to us would be to introduce a resolution that the directive be not issued. This would give rise to procedural disputation viz. paragraph 111(1) of F.E.C. terms of reference. We would maintain that this directive could not be issued as a result of a specific F.E.C. policy decision and the United States would argue that the directive was in implementation of F.E.C. basic post surrender policy and would obstruct by every possible means. Whether we could force the issue to a vote is doubtful. We might move a motion that a vote be taken at once but some other delegation might move for postponement. Second motion would be voted on first and if approved support the United States.

In any event it appears most unlikely that other Governments would have given or would have wished to give instructions to their representatives on this issue.

3. It does not seem possible to prevent the United States from issuing directive although directive can of course be reviewed by F.E.C. after it is issued. However, from past experience, it would appear that such action would result ultimately in fruitless discussion and a decision unfavourable to us because of the United States veto. Moreover, we would be forced into a position from which we could only with difficulty retreat and would possibly impair our friendly relations with the United States Government.

4. We feel that the United States arguments in rebuttal of our statement yesterday will be predicated on legal issues and, as yet, we do not have sufficient factual information about the earmarking of the gold to argue with confidence. Any views that you might have on legal aspects would be most helpful.

5. You are aware of the United States general attitude towards F.E.C. and its disinclination to work through it. The whole issue should be considered in this context.

1 Document 359.

[AA:A1838, 451/3/1/2]