121 Evatt to Beasley (in Philadelphia)

Cablegram 582 [1] CANBERRA, 29 April 1944


For Mr. Beasley from Dr. Evatt.

I.L.O. Report 10. [2]

The following are my comments on the United States draft- 1. The undertaking does not include a governmental pledge to maintain full employment which should be made at the earliest possible moment as an earnest of the agreed peace objective of freedom from want. There is too much stress on individual rights and freedoms as distinct from governmental responsibilities and duties.

2. Full employment is ranked equally with child welfare etc., which although important, will cause the employment responsibility to be obscured under the concept of general social welfare.

3. The full employment undertaking should be treated separately both in the specific I.L.O. resolution and in a subsequent government treaty. It is too important to be associated with other topics however significant. The I.L.O. is primarily concerned with labour and employment conditions.

4. The employment undertaking should be in a form acceptable to Russia and on that count also may have to be separated from questions of employer-employee relations.

5. If the I.L.O. fails to act satisfactorily the Australian Government will have to take independent initiative on the matter as a vital preliminary to all post-war economic collaborations. In this connection you may be able to get support for the suggestion of a special full employment conference in Australia or New Zealand.

6. The employment agreement requires continuous machinery to supervise its carrying out. A body should have power to call conferences at short notice as soon as unemployment in any country became significant. There should also be a permanent Governing Body in connection with the agreement. It is here that the I.L.O.

could do its greatest work in post-war years. But apparently capitalist controlled Governments and others prefer it to sink back into inferior status.

1 Sent through the Legation in Washington.

2 Cablegram 339, dispatched 27 April. On file AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3. It conveyed the text of the U.S. draft employment agreement.

[AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3]