56 Chifley to Cripps

Message [CANBERRA], 4 November 1949

TOP SECRET In your message of 24th October, you asked me to let you have a forecast of Australia's dollar balances of payments for 1949/50 and for the calendar year 1950 and in my reply on 25th October I undertook to supply as soon as possible the best estimates we could provide.

[matter omitted]

The adjustment of exchange rates which took place in September [1] has, of course, complicated the picture still further. These changes are of such recent date that it is still much too early for us to be able to make any real assessment of their effects either on the demand for dollar imports or on our dollar export receipts.

Nevertheless, I fully appreciate that in the present situation you regard it as of the utmost importance to make some forward projection of the dollar balance of payments of the Sterling Area as a whole and I have therefore had the figures set out in Attachment A put together and am sending them to you as representing the best forecast we are able at this stage to provide of the main items in Australia's dollar balance sheet for the last half of 1949 and for each half of 1950. The estimates cover transactions with Canada as well as with the United States and the other American Account countries.

[matter omitted] [2]

Drawings From the International Monetary Fund These are not shown in the attached Table. However, as you know, we have already purchased $20 m. from the Fund [3] and have foreshadowed seeking a further drawing of $20 m. during the current financial year.

Attachment

MAIN ITEMS IN AUSTRALIA'S DOLLAR BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

(U.S.$m) Estimates

Second Half First Half Second Half 1949 1950 1950 Exports f.o.b. 52 64 42 Imports from the Dollar Area f.o.b.

(other than oil) -85 -66 -60 Oil imports from the Dollar Area f.o.b. -8 -8 -8 Net invisibles 34 -32 -32 4th November, 1949

1 See Document 52.

2 The omitted matter comprises notes on the figures in the attachment.

3 See Document 55.

[AA: A462/19, 551/17]