325 Evatt to Dixon

Cablegram 1345 CANBERRA, 4 November 1943

Relief 1. The following will indicate the point of view the Australian Delegation should adopt on several aspects of the Relief Organisation. It is desirable that some suitable arrangements be made so that reports and instructions can be sent between Atlantic City [1] and Canberra with the least possible delay.

2. Position of Big Four. My 1278/81 [2] quoting a statement made in the House will indicate our point of view with regard to the Central Committee. In the drafting of rules and regulations the executive functions of this body should be restricted so far as possible. It should be made clear that we are dissatisfied with exclusion of Australia from Central Committee.

3. As in the case of the Food and Agricultural Organisation you should strongly urge using the existing facilities of the I.L.O.

[3] wherever possible. It is desired that you urge at the Council Meeting that the I.L.O. and League be brought into the deliberations of the Council at a convenient stage. You will be aware that there is a League High Commissioner for refugees and advantage should be taken of the experience of these organisations. We look with apprehension at duplication of any existing machinery which is satisfactory.

4. Reports by Administration. Article III (3) stipulates that members will receive minutes of meetings of Central Committee. [4] We desire to receive also regular and full reports of activities of Administration itself.

5. Supply position. Our ability to contribute supplies cannot be foreseen. Our resources are not adequate for the heavy and increasing demands being made upon us by our own and American forces and United Kingdom demands. You should try and kill idea that we can be looked to for considerable supplies.

6. Committees. As stated in my 1278/81 it is most important that we have representation at least on both Committees of Supply and Far Eastern Region. We must guard against supplies for war purposes, including foodstuffs at present coming to Pacific theatres from outside, being diverted from the Pacific while the war lasts. As pointed out in paragraph 5 above the supply situation here is already precarious.

7. Relation of Relief to Post-war Trade. The trade relations of a country in the post-war reconstruction period should not be prejudiced by having undue calls made on its export commodities for relief purposes. It may be said broadly that we prefer to make special contributions for relief purposes deciding for ourselves the precise object of our bounty. In short we are not enthusiastic and we do not want you to give any other impression.

8. We have been advised that United States Government proposes at Council to suggest provisional membership including right to vote for Governments attaching reservations at signature of Agreement.

We are replying to the American Minister that we shall be giving instructions to our representatives. Our general view is that our agreement with proposal is dependent upon nature of reservations, that is we agree provided that reservations are related to constitutional difficulties associated with ratification, and not with substance of Agreement, or any obligations which result from it or follow from the conference.

9. My immediately following telegram [5] answers questions raised in paragraphs 1 to 3 of your 1240. [6]

1 See Document 304, note 2.

2 Document 304.

3 International Labor Organisation.

4 See the draft of the UNRRA Agreement dated 20 September on file AA:A1608, C23/3/2, i.

5 See cablegram 1346 of 4 November on file AA:A989, 43/735/751/5.

6 Dispatched 28 October. On file AA:A989, 43/735/751/5. It requested detailed information on food supplies which Australia might make available for relief.

[AA:A989, 43/735/751/5]