226 Evatt to Dixon

Cablegram 1050 [1] CANBERRA, 18 July 1944


The International Monetary Conference.

The invitation conveyed to me as Minister for External Affairs from the United States Government on 26th May [2] made it clear that no proceedings of the then proposed International Monetary Conference would be binding upon Governments but would in due course be submitted to the Governments for approval or rejection.

On the basis of this we sent experts [3] to discuss all the matters at the official level, instructing them to report to the Government after the conference but so that the Government would retain unfettered discretion to approve or reject. [4] We now find that the procedure desired proposed is to obtain signatures of officials or an intimation that the officials who sign are recommending the adoption by all Governments of the proposals to which they attach their signatures. [5] This procedure was not followed at the Hot Springs Conference on food and agriculture and is embarrassing. We would, therefore, suggest that you take up with United States Government the advisability of not asking any delegate to the conference to sign any document. Embarrassment necessarily arises because some of the expert advisers are being asked to recommend proposals when they are or may be opposed to either the inclusion or the omission of certain matters. Further, any Government whose experts sign under these conditions may be placed in the position of publicly rejecting an apparent recommendation from their experts when such a recommendation does not truly express their opinions.

For your information I may add that on the short wave last night it was reported that Morgenthau had stated that 44 Nations had agreed to the Monetary Plan. It is this sort of statement which creates embarrassment here because before any final decision is made Parliament must be consulted.

It is desired that you make it perfectly clear that the Government has not yet formulated any judgment upon the draft proposals. [6] All it now desires to establish is the principle [that] the proceedings should come up for consideration by the Governments and Parliaments entirely free from the fetters of a recommendation by officials. This is in keeping with the methods followed at Hot Springs.

As suggested above please take up with Secretary of State so as to obtain variation of proposed procedure.

1 Repeated to Bruce, the N.Z. Prime Minister and Melville as nos 98, 145 and 7, respectively.

2 Document 166.

3 See Document 211, note 1.

4 See Document 194.

5 See Document 211.

6 See Document 191, note 1.

[AA:A989, 44/735/56/10, i]