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361 Cranborne to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 338 [1] LONDON, 24 November 1944, 9.38 p.m.


Reference Commonwealth telegram No. 300, New Zealand No. 299. [2]

Employment Conference.

1. We think there has been some misapprehension on this question.

It was in no way our intention to express doubt on the
desirability of the conclusion of an employment agreement on the
lines agreed on at the meeting of officials in March, 1944. [3]
Our telegram was directed to the practical question of how the
conclusion of an employment agreement can best be secured having
regard to the need for carrying the United States and other
Governments with us. We are still of the opinion that quick
progress is most likely if this question is treated as part of the
Article VII discussions but that need not preclude a separate

2. Since the Australian and New Zealand Governments, who have
taken a leading part in this matter, attach the highest importance
to the idea of a conference on this question being called as soon
as possible, we will gladly give them our full support. It will
evidently be necessary in view of the international Labour
Organisation resolution [4] passed at Philadelphia to associate
the governing body of the International Labour Organisation with
the proposed, conference, the governing body at their meeting in
London in January will, in any case, be considering the action to
be taken on the various resolutions adopted at the Philadelphia
conference and this matter will certainly come up then.

3. Would the Australian and New Zealand Governments desire us, in
the first instance, to sound the United States Government
unofficially? If so, we are ready to take an early opportunity to
do this. We suggest that, before any document is sent to the
Americans, there should be a further exchange of views between us
as to the possible scope, objective and agenda of any such
conference. We are looking forward to receiving the draft document
to which you refer and hope shortly to send you some suggestions
which have occurred to us on our side.

4. There remains, of course, the question of consultation with
other Commonwealth and Empire Governments. While the subject was
carried to a certain stage in the talks between Commonwealth
officials in London in March last, it would, in our view be
desirable if possible that a further similar meeting on the
official level should take place before the International
conference is arranged in order to clarify more precisely the
scope and objectives of the conference. This need not, of course,
delay the preliminary soundings of the United States Government
suggested in paragraph 3 above. We should be glad to have your
views as to this. In the meantime, we are deferring communicating
with Canada and South Africa.

1 Addressed to the N.Z. Govt as no. 276.

2 Document 345.

3 Document 87.

4 See Document 117, note 3, and Document 145.

[AA:A989, 44/735/58/7]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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