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Historical documents

325 Evatt to Dixon

Cablegram 1345 CANBERRA, 4 November 1943

1. The following will indicate the point of view the Australian
Delegation should adopt on several aspects of the Relief
Organisation. It is desirable that some suitable arrangements be
made so that reports and instructions can be sent between Atlantic
City [1] and Canberra with the least possible delay.

2. Position of Big Four. My 1278/81 [2] quoting a statement made
in the House will indicate our point of view with regard to the
Central Committee. In the drafting of rules and regulations the
executive functions of this body should be restricted so far as
possible. It should be made clear that we are dissatisfied with
exclusion of Australia from Central Committee.

3. As in the case of the Food and Agricultural Organisation you
should strongly urge using the existing facilities of the I.L.O.

[3] wherever possible. It is desired that you urge at the Council
Meeting that the I.L.O. and League be brought into the
deliberations of the Council at a convenient stage. You will be
aware that there is a League High Commissioner for refugees and
advantage should be taken of the experience of these
organisations. We look with apprehension at duplication of any
existing machinery which is satisfactory.

4. Reports by Administration. Article III (3) stipulates that
members will receive minutes of meetings of Central Committee. [4]
We desire to receive also regular and full reports of activities
of Administration itself.

5. Supply position. Our ability to contribute supplies cannot be
foreseen. Our resources are not adequate for the heavy and
increasing demands being made upon us by our own and American
forces and United Kingdom demands. You should try and kill idea
that we can be looked to for considerable supplies.

6. Committees. As stated in my 1278/81 it is most important that
we have representation at least on both Committees of Supply and
Far Eastern Region. We must guard against supplies for war
purposes, including foodstuffs at present coming to Pacific
theatres from outside, being diverted from the Pacific while the
war lasts. As pointed out in paragraph 5 above the supply
situation here is already precarious.

7. Relation of Relief to Post-war Trade. The trade relations of a
country in the post-war reconstruction period should not be
prejudiced by having undue calls made on its export commodities
for relief purposes. It may be said broadly that we prefer to make
special contributions for relief purposes deciding for ourselves
the precise object of our bounty. In short we are not enthusiastic
and we do not want you to give any other impression.

8. We have been advised that United States Government proposes at
Council to suggest provisional membership including right to vote
for Governments attaching reservations at signature of Agreement.

We are replying to the American Minister that we shall be giving
instructions to our representatives. Our general view is that our
agreement with proposal is dependent upon nature of reservations,
that is we agree provided that reservations are related to
constitutional difficulties associated with ratification, and not
with substance of Agreement, or any obligations which result from
it or follow from the conference.

9. My immediately following telegram [5] answers questions raised
in paragraphs 1 to 3 of your 1240. [6]

1 See Document 304, note 2.

2 Document 304.

3 International Labor Organisation.

4 See the draft of the UNRRA Agreement dated 20 September on file
AA:A1608, C23/3/2, i.

5 See cablegram 1346 of 4 November on file AA:A989, 43/735/751/5.

6 Dispatched 28 October. On file AA:A989, 43/735/751/5. It
requested detailed information on food supplies which Australia
might make available for relief.

[AA:A989, 43/735/751/5]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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