38 Eggleston to Evatt

Cablegram 172 WASHINGTON, 17 February 1945, 4.13 p.m.

IMMEDIATE PERSONAL SECRET

Further to my 149. [1] Employment Conference.

Yesterday with Halifax and Berendsen I presented our case to Grew.

I concentrated on the importance of the subject and on our request that it should be fully considered at the highest levels, stating that while the more technical details of economic collaboration [a]re each part of a general programme the maintenance of high employment was predominant.

Grew asked Halifax quite pointedly how his Government regarded the proposal and Halifax re-stated our central points with concise emphasis leaving no doubt as to the United Kingdom position.

Berendsen gave vigorous support to our common position.

Grew then read short notes stating how the probable reply was taking shape. These notes said that there were many subjects to be discussed, among them in the economic field being trade commodities and cartels. They said it might be unwise to deal with employment policy before tying up trade policies but that a conference on both trade and employment might be appropriate. Grew then said that these ideas were not crystallised but would be reconsidered in the light of the present discussion and of our oral representations.

In reply I again urged the importance of such consideration at the highest level and suggested that if, because of important conferences pending, it might be difficult to get that consideration immediately, it might suit Grew to take more time before replying. I suggested also that the programme for conferences might need to be considered generally in the light of recent development and that another discussion on our proposal would perhaps become appropriate before a decision had to be made.

To this he assented but without making any promise.

The general effect was friendly although Grew made no comments of his own. Department's reaction to include employment with commercial policy marks some advance and the way is left open.

There was a press statement that we discussed the unemployment problem with Grew. We did our best to keep the press off and this must have come from the Department.

1 Dispatched 12 February. On file AA:A1066, ER45/2/3/2.

[AA:A1066, ER45/2/3/2]