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Historical documents

231 Australian Delegation, Havana, to Cabinet Sub-Committee on Trade and Employment Conference[1]

Cablegram W18, HAVANA, 2 January 1948, 8.24 a.m.


Sub-committee 1 is considering terms of possible resolution on employment which might be adopted by Conference replacing draft resolution adopted by first session of Preparatory Committee in London.[2]

There appears little real opposition to the idea of passing some resolution though some countries (e.g. U.S.A. and U.K.) are lukewarm. We are arguing that resolution is desirable to express vital interest of I.T.O. in full employment to try to hasten preparation of plans for sustaining employment by individual countries and by specialised agencies and to suggest particular types of action which can be stated now.

We have submitted as basis for discussion, draft in terms given in our immediately following cable.[3] We should appreciate your views as soon as possible and particularly comments from Wilson and Melville in the light of their experience on Economic and Employment Commission and Economic Stability Sub-Commission respectively.[4]

[1] The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Trade and Employment Conference was the policy-making body appointed to oversee Australian participation in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment which was presently in session in Havana. (The main task of the Conference at this time was to complete the charter for the International Trade Organisation (ITO). For documents on the charter see under Trade section of this volume.)
[2] On London draft see Volume 10, Documents 162 (second paragraph) and 177.

[3] The Australian draft formed the basis for the resolution which is published here as Document 232.

[4] Melville commented that the immediate problem in most countries was that of reducing inflationary pressures rather than maintenance of effective demand. However, it was possible that changes in international prices for primary commodities could cause a sudden turnabout making more urgent the maintenance of effective demand and employment in countries that were large producers of primary commodities. (Memorandum dated 8 January 1948 from Treasury to Wilson.)

[AA : A1068, ER47/1/33]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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