Skip to main content

Historical documents

52 Australian Government to Posts [1]

CANBERRA, 19 September 1949, 11 a.m.

The following is the text of an announcement made by the Prime
Minister this morning.

'The United Kingdom Government has announced that the exchange
rate between the United States dollar and the pound sterling will
be two dollars eighty (2.80) to pound (S1).

The Australian Government has carefully considered the
implications for Australia of the movement in the sterling-dollar
rate. [2]

The Government has decided that the rate of 125 Australian to
100 Sterling shall remain unchanged.

Accordingly, the Australian pound will be devalued as against the
United States dollar in the same proportion as sterling. The new
par rate is two dollars twenty-four cents (2.24) to the pound
Australian. This will operate as from the commencement of business

The International Monetary Fund has been consulted and has agreed.

The Governor of the Commonwealth Bank (Dr. Coombs) will make a
statement over the air immediately for the guidance of the banks
and the public generally. Banks will be open for business as usual

1 Although the cited copy is addressed to the Australian Mission,
Tokyo, inspection of the register of outward cablegrams shows that
the message was sent to all posts.

2 In cablegram 532, dispatched 17 September 1949, Chifley told
McFarlane that the basis of the decision was that 'it would be
economically unwise in the light of current and prospective
conditions for Australia to appreciate against sterling'.

[AA: A1838, 708/12/1A]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top