443 Dunk to Minter

Letter CANBERRA, 11 December 1945

I have the honour to refer to your communication of 22nd September, 1945, and subsequent verbal exchanges concerning the signing of articles of agreement of the International Monetary Fund and the articles of agreement of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, contained in Annex 'A' and Annex 'B' respectively of the final act of the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference signed at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, on 22nd July, 1944.

I have the honour to inform you in reply to your inquiry that when my Government considered the proposals last year it decided to defer any final decision on them until both the Congress of the United States and the Parliament of the United Kingdom had considered them. It felt that without the acceptance of these two countries there was no chance of the plans succeeding. Our position has, of course, been made known to you verbally on many occasions.

Owing to the protraction of the recent negotiations between officials of the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom on financial and commercial matters of vital concern to the successful working of the monetary proposals, only a very brief time remains before the closing date for original membership of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, on 31st December, 1945.

In view of the fact that the Australian Parliament is now in recess and will not sit again until 1946, it will be impossible for it to consider the proposals before 31st December, 1945. It is probable moreover that some other countries will be in a similar position. My Government understood that because of the situation likely to confront these countries the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom had been considering some extension of the time limit. My Government suggests therefore that it would be most desirable if the time limit for acceptance as an original member were extended for a period of six months, until 30th June, 1946.

(for the Acting Minister of State) W. E. DUNK Secretary

[AA : A1067, ER46/12/2, i]