140 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 109 [1] CANBERRA, 10 May 1944

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your 107, paragraph 4. [2] I.L.O. Conference.

1. The Australian Government delegate is seeking from the Conference a recommendation which will contain the text of a draft Employment Agreement along lines which we have previously discussed with you.

2. It is hoped that a joint United States of America - Australian resolution incorporating the important clauses of the draft circulated by Australia [3] can be arrived at for presentation to the Committee.

3. Our delegate advises that there are prospects of United States acceptance of our clauses if the United Kingdom Government delegation gives support, about which we understand there is some doubt .4 We understand there is some reluctance on the part of the United Kingdom Government delegation to support a proposal involving recommendations from the International Labour Office to Governments on high policy matters.

4. It is possible that any such objection held by your Government representative [5] refers in particular to the proposal that the Governing Body of the I.L.O. should be responsible for calling a special conference, when serious unemployment is threatening, for the purpose of recommending measures to prevent its spread. In our view this provision for an emergency conference is a fundamental requirement in the agreement. We believe that it is desirable to reach an Employment Agreement at the earliest possible date and that the International Labour Organisation is therefore the most suitable body which is readily available to act as an instrumentality to be associated with the agreement. It is our view that the International Labour Organisation would require strengthening. We believe, moreover, that the nature of the machinery associated with the agreement would be open for future consideration with regard to any wider machinery which may subsequently be established for international collaboration, into which machinery it is assumed that the I.L.O. will in any case be fitted.

5. We are therefore hopeful that your Government representatives will be empowered to give every support to the Australian proposals and to co-operate fully with the Australian Government delegates.

1 Repeated to Beasley through the Legation in Washington as no.

661.

2 Document 136.

3 Document 87. See also Document 117, note 3.

4 See Beasley's cablegrams 404 and 407 dispatched 7 and 8 May respectively. On file AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3.

5 Presumably either George Tomlinson (M.P., Joint Parliamentary Secretary, U.K. Ministry of Labour and National Service) or Sir Frederick Leggett (Deputy Secretary, U.K. Ministry of Labour and National Service), who were both U.K. Govt Delegates.

[AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3]