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Historical documents

374 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 335 [1] CANBERRA, 15 December 1944


Your 338. [2] Employment Conference.

We are very glad to receive your offer to support us in our
attempts to have concluded a United Nations Agreement on
employment policies. We were pleased to see that in the Preamble
of the United Kingdom White Paper on employment it was stated 'A
country dependent on exports needs prosperity in its oversea
markets'. We have been interested to see Beveridge's [3]
subsequent comments on international aspects of employment and his
emphasis on full employment at home as the first of three
conditions necessary to successful international economic
collaboration. As you know we have studied this subject carefully,
not only from an Australian and Empire point of view but from the
point of view of successful world collaboration. We declared our
policy almost two years ago. [4] We feel sure that the conclusion
that we have reached which has now been confirmed by the studies
of many leading English economists is a right conclusion and an
essential contribution to planning for international economic

2. We have almost completed a statement on the significance of
employment levels in international economic relations; the means
by which specific international welfare planning can contribute to
rising standards of living and high levels of employment; and the
terms of an international employment agreement. It is our
intention to publish this and circulate it to members of the
United Nations at an appropriate time. We shall send you a copy as
soon as possible.

3. We suggest that the United Kingdom, Australian and New Zealand
Governments should make a joint approach to the United States
Government to ask whether the United States Government would join
in calling an employment conference or at least attend such a
conference if called.

4. With reference to your suggestion for a conference of
officials, we consider this might be discussed after we know the
attitude of the United States. If the United States is prepared to
join us in calling a conference, then they should discuss with us
the, agenda, scope and purposes of the conference.

5. If this suggestion is agreeable to you, we will immediately
instruct our Minister at Washington to arrange with his United
Kingdom and New Zealand colleagues, a joint approach to the
Secretary of State. We would hope that the conference could be
held in February or as early as possible thereafter.

6. We have communicated with the Government of New Zealand [5]
whose policy on employment conference has been parallel to that of
Australia. They will no doubt be addressing you separately.

1 Repeated to the Legation in Washington as no. 2053.

2 Document 361.

3 Sir William Beveridge, author of Social insurance and allied
services: report, Cmd. 6404-5, and Full Employment in a Free
Society, George Allen & Unwin, London, 1944.

4 Presumably the statement quoted in Documents on Australian
Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VI, Document 141.

5 See External Affairs Dept cablegrams 249 and 250 of 5 December
and no. 254 of 14 December; and Fraser's cablegrams 214 and 219 of
30 November and in December, respectively. On file AA:A989,

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