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Historical documents

138 Beasley to Evatt

Cablegram 401 [1] [PHILADELPHIA], 6 May 1944, 7.49 p.m.


International Labour Office Report 26. Employment Agreement.

Strong pressure has been put on Miss Perkins by the State
Department to modify the draft. [2] On Thursday, Burton battled
for three hours with seven Americans and retained in the draft all
our points, but was presented with a changed draft [3] on Friday.

Paragraph (d) of Article 1 [4] was dropped and left as a direction
by this conference to the governing body to call employment
conference if unemployment threatened. The State Department would
not accept inclusion in the body of the text. He then arranged to
see Perkins with Nash, only to find Nash supporting the United
States and Goodrich, Hinrichs [5] and the two State Department
officials with Perkins. He argued that the agreement was worthless
unless the organisation had mandate to call conference.

If the United States would not give the International Labour
Office mandate they should confess this to the conference instead
of suggesting to the conference that Australia was asking for
governmental conference on employment to avoid the International
Labour Office. Obviously, the United States wish to avoid [6]
preparations [7] to come to a conference. When all else failed,
the former difficulties were raised by the State Department about
direction to governing body being given by governments outside the
conference. I gather from Nash, Burton would not give ground and
eventually they agreed to include reference to conference
direction to the governing body, thus giving the International
Labour Office the function for the present, but leaving the way
open to give the function [8] to coordinating body which one day
might be set up.

If this is acceptable to the Americans we shall put it forward
with them without commitment and leaving the way open for changes
at the monetary or some other conference when signature could be

I have no doubt in my mind that the International Labour Office is
the best body though I understand that our departmental advisers
are not certain.

We should now see that the International Labour Office is
developed. After all, it is the only body in which the voice of
labour can be heard to-day when Australia and New Zealand are the
only Labour Governments. Am assured that relations of Russia with
the International Labour Office will be satisfactory as soon as it
is clear that the International Labour Office is not associated
with the League, but with some international organisation which
they, as one of the United Nations, will have set up.

1 Sent through the Legation in Washington.

2 i.e. the U.S.-Australian delegates' draft employment resolution.

For the text see cablegram 388 of 5 May, on file AA:A989,

3 Not located.

4 Paragraph (d) of Article 1 read: In the event of severe
unemployment or of threat of wide spread unemployment in any
country or countries of industrial importance the governing body
as may be designated by the United Nations shall call a special
conference to recommend appropriate national or international
measures to prevent the spread of unemployment and to establish
conditions under which high level of employment may be restored.

5 Albert F. Hinrichs, Acting Commissioner for Labor Statistics,
U.S. Dept of Labor, and U.S. Govt Adviser at the 26th I.L.O.


6 A sign here indicated 'mutilated'.

7 A sign here indicated 'mutilated'.

8 A sign here indicated 'mutilated'.

[AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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