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Historical documents

8 McFarlane to Chifley

Cablegram 402 WASHINGTON, 31 March 1948, 6.05 p.m.


1. Your cable of 31st March. [1] Presume reference referred to are
those contained in paragraph 2 of first annexure to cable 61 of
26th February. [2]

2. Annual Drawing Rights of United Kingdom are 81,000,000 of
which 75,000,000 drawn, therefore only 6,000,000 available to
the end of September. When Marshall Aid commences Monetary Fund
will necessarily have regard to aid given European countries and
it is contemplated that drawings of U.S. dollars from the Fund by
those countries should only take place in exceptional
circumstances and that other countries who will benefit indirectly
from Marshall Aid will also have regard to these benefits. The
idea is that resources of the Fund should be conserved as far as
practicable to take up running when aid ends. United Kingdom
therefore cannot count now on further dollar drawings although she
will make application if Marshall Aid is inadequate.

3. Reference to 'how far the other sterling countries will be
willing and able' to draw is just a cautious statement which has
in mind that each country must submit a reasonable case for
drawings. Prospects of repayment later are also taken into
consideration. The recent drawing by India was largely related to
wheat purchases and no difficulty was experienced although I
gather the United Kingdom Authorities thought there might be.

4. I assume the request to Beasley was influenced by the United
Kingdom position and the desirability in the light of cable 61 of
reducing drain on reserves, even by small amount, of Australia's

5. I feel that the request is not unreasonable and if a drawing is
to be sought it would not be wise to delay too long because of the
possibility of a more conservative Fund policy when Marshall Aid
actually begins. Moreover, the date of the first drawing
determines commencement of the drawing year.

6. Australia's drawing quota is 50,000,000 dollars in the period
of 12 months commencing from the date of first purchase. If you
decide to submit application it will be necessary to consider
whether it can be related to the 'present needs for dollars' which
is the requirement of Article V. or to deficit of recent months
because United Kingdom provided dollars. It may also be advisable
to make initial application for part only, say half, but indicate
balance will be required later. Subject to further advice of your
desires, I could take up both points informally with the Chairman
before formal application is submitted. So far I have only
mentioned the matter to the United Kingdom Director.

1 Cablegram 304 in which Chifley enquired about the IMF drawing
rights of the United Kingdom and Australia.

2 Cablegram 61 from Noel-Baker, dispatched 25 February 1948, and
an associated memorandum and annex dispatched in cablegram Saving
5 on 9 March, set out the United Kingdom's dollar position for
1948 and the measures to be taken to counteract the situation

[AA: A1838/283, TS706/1/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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