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116 Bulcock to Department of Commerce and Agriculture

Cablegram 5334 LONDON [1], 13 September 1946, 1.01 p.m.


The F.A.O. Committee will recommend to the Plenary Session that a
Special Commission to examine the World Food Board proposal [2] be
set up with headquarters in Washington consisting of sixteen
member nations plus the Soviet Union and Argentina and appropriate
International Organisations including I.T.O. Preparatory
Commission. These latter will take part in discussion but will
have no vote nor shall they sign the report which will be
transmitted to the Director-General of F.A.O. who shall forward
copies of the report to Governments for consideration and comment
following which a special meeting of F.A.O. will be called and
finally the reports shall be submitted to the Economic and Social
Council and U.N.O. This arrangement was previously discussed by us
with the United Kingdom and other Dominions and agreed to.

We sought and were successful in obtaining a seat on the Food
Commission. [3] We endeavoured to locate the Commission in London
but were not successful. Recommendation to the Plenary Session
will be that all countries elected to the Commission shall have a
representative and an alternate and shall be entitled to send
experts. Countries not on the Commission shall be entitled to send

It is generally considered here that the Commission will have a
colossal task and the Australian Delegation is of opinion that our
interests will have to be very closely watched and safeguarded.

The Commission's work will be of an agricultural and economic
character but in final analysis will be largely political.

In terms of the resolution the Commission shall meet not later
than 15th October. At this juncture I am unable to state what
experts will be required or duration of enquiry but the Commission
will be instructed to proceed expeditiously.

In view of the extraordinary importance of the work of the
Commission to Australia and the obvious necessity of closest
possible attention being given to its work particularly in the
early stages during which I conclude that principles governing the
enquiry will be established I would be pleased to be informed if
it is desired that I should proceed to Washington to take part in
discussions particularly in the early stages. I assume if this
were done Brigden, Garside, Richardson and Munro would be
available for consultation. As I propose to leave London for
Australia, unless otherwise instructed, I would be pleased to
receive a reply as soon as possible. I would suggest that all
appropriate documents likely to be of use in Washington be
forwarded for use of the Australian representative on the
Commission. We have moved for suggested alteration of the
Constitution and in accordance with Dr. Evatt's request are taking
such steps as are possible and constitutional to secure a seat on
the Executive of the F.A.O. [4] It is anticipated that F.A.O.

meeting will conclude on Saturday-we are leaving for London
Sunday. So far no decisions likely to prove embarrassing have been

1 Bulcock was in Copenhagen. The cablegram was dispatched through
the High Commissioner's Office in London.

2 See Document 65, note 1.

3 The appointment of S. M. Bruce as Chairman of the Commission was
announced on 8 October.

4 Bulcock had been instructed in cablegram 599 of 10 September to
seek election to the Executive Committee and, since it would be
impracticable for an Australian representative at the conference
regularly to attend the committee, to seek amendment to Article V
of the constitution for members to be appointed as representatives
of their governments, for provision of alternates and for the
possibility of nominations from persons not attending the
conference. This matter remained unresolved pending the findings
of the Preparatory Commission on the World Food Board.

[AA:A1067, ER46/4/16]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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