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332 McDougall to Bruce

Letter (extract) ATLANTIC CITY, 21 November 1943

The delegations all came down here in a special train on Nov 10th
and since then we have been hard at it. [1] The U.S. team is
headed by Acheson who has done well especially in speaking in a
large committee, a good parliamentary style-otherwise they are

The U.K. lot are not as impressive as at Hot Springs. The subject
is difficult from their standpoint and it would probably be
unreasonable to have expected anything like leadership. Llewellin
has neither covered himself with glory nor created a bad
impression. Rather it's been one of concentrate upon short term
interests. The Canadians are in strong force and quite good. Our
crowd: Dixon, Brigden, McCarthy, Stirling [2], and myself Dixon
does well. In private he expresses the most violent anti-American
views but in Committee he is patient and his skill as a
draughtsman has been recognised. We had a cable of instructions
which was most difficult i.e. get all possible prestige and give
nothing or as little as possible. [3]

In our show Brigden and McCarthy have been acting closely with
Dixon on the two major political issues, i.e. the scope of
U.N.R.R.A., and financial contributions, Stirling has been acting
for him on U.N.R.R.A. relations with Governments while I have had
the job of representing Australia on agriculture, health and
generally the operative side of U.N.R.R.A. in which Dixon has not
shown any marked interest. He is charming in many ways, meticulous
and more closely tied by his instructions than I should have
expected. Since there are four main committees and some fifteen
sub-committees plus 'working parties', drafting committees etc. we
have been going hard.

The major difficulties have been on the scope of U.N.R.R.A. where
Lehman took a rather positive line in opposition to a French aided
by U.K. attempt to tie his hands over the allocation of supplies.

The compromise reached represents a gain for Lehman who had the
sympathy of most delegations. The financial contribution issue is
probably settled. Our instructions there were most hampering [4]
but Dixon picked up a suggestion of mine about the special
position of countries which would find themselves used as a base
for the United Nations during the continuance of the war (in
Pacific by inference) and in getting this accepted. [5] It is very
clear that the 1% of national income formula was adopted by the
U.S. in order to ensure that the American contribution would be

They felt that this formula would be one they could get accepted
by Congress. I have put in a lot of time on the Food and
Agriculture Committee and I think our report will be sound. It
will in effect modify the over-insistence of Article XII of Hot
Springs on the need for cereals production in Europe. I suggested
that U.N.R.R.A. should concentrate attention on the first crop
years following liberation and this will I think be adopted.

My impression is that in a couple of days the committees will have
finished their reports and there will then be less pressure and
some opportunity for discussing wider issues with some of the
members of delegations here. It is expected that the Conference
will be finished on Nov 29th. There has been far too much to do
here to make it possible to have any meetings of the committees of
the Interim Commission here. The two main jobs to be tackled as
soon as this Conference is over is to reach decisions on our
report to Governments about the functions and constitution of the
Permanent Organization. I expect we should get solidly down to
these issues as soon as we return to Washington.

Boudreau [6] is here acting as a personal adviser to Lehman with
special reference to U.N.R.R.A. personnel. He indicated that my
name was down with a pretty high priority but I told him that the
relief issue did not interest me very much.

I suppose you will have had all the information about the outcome
of the U.S.-U.K. economic talks. I have gathered from both sides
that J.M.K. [7] was extremely arrogant.

Today I heard from a U.K. friend who turned up here for one day
and who participated in the talks that the need for an over-all
Economic body to correlate all the specialist bodies was fully
accepted during the talks. As soon as I get back to Washington
I'll get hold of Pasvolsky who is more a key figure than ever
since Sumner Welles' departure. I had a friendly note from Welles
just before I left Washington and hope to see him shortly.

There seems little doubt that on these economic and social issues
Washington will be the centre so long as the war lasts.

[matter omitted]


1 See Document 304, note 2.

2 See Document 304, paragraph 3.

3 See Document 325.

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

The instruction read: 'The proposal that each nation should make a
financial contribution of a fixed per cent. of its national income
is open to very serious objection. It does not take account of the
relative size of each nation's international financial reserves.

Moreover, it also ignores the varying financial burdens imposed by
the prosecution of the war. Very few of the United and associated
nations are contributing anything to the common war effort, a few
countries are doing all the fighting.'
5 The conference agreed that nations whose home territory had not
been occupied by the enemy should contribute approximately 1 per
cent of their national income. However this was qualified by a
rider which read: 'The Council recognises that there are cases in
which the recommendations above may conflict with particular
demands arising from the continuance of the war or may be
excessively burdensome because of peculiar situation [sic], and
therefore recognises that the amount and character of contribution
recommended is subject to such conditions.' See Dixon's cablegram
AC5 of 22 November on the file cited in note 4.

6 See Document 22, note 3.

7 i.e. Lord Keynes.

[AA:M104, 11 (4)]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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