224 Melville to Evatt and Chifley

Cablegram Financial 25 BRETTON WOODS, 15 July 1944, 12 noon


Following from Melville for Minister for External Affairs and Treasurer.

Employment Resolution 1. The Australian resolution on employment (telegram 15 [1]) has been discussed in committee and referred to a drafting committee.

The proposal had some support, chiefly by the United Kingdom and New Zealand and by several Latin Americans. The latter wished however, to have some resolution merged with others recommending an international, commercial and commodity conference. We succeeded in having the subject considered separately.

2. In subsequent discussions there has been fairly general opposition to a specific proposal that the countries be invited to sign an agreement concurrently with the monetary agreement.

Generally, objections are on the grounds that while relationship between the employment and monetary policy is recognised, any resolution implying that acceptance of the monetary fund should be contingent on the employment agreement goes beyond the terms of reference of the Conference.

3. This is the expressed view of the United States and Canada.

[But there is no doubt that,] [2] as at Philadelphia the United States objection is on political grounds. [3] Already the weakening of the fund's control of exchange rates is thought likely to intensify public hostility towards employment [4], and the United States are unlikely to risk further provocation in [intended] document.

4. We are to meet the American group shortly and will report further. It is our present belief however, that the United States will not agree to anything more than a resolution drawing attention to the general significance of employment levels. We shall, of course, not concur in such a resolution.

1 See Document 221, note 3.

2 Words in square brackets have been inserted from the Bretton Woods copy on file AA:CP10/1, bundle 1, [file 1].

3 See Document 129.

4 A sign here indicated 'mutilated'. The Bretton Woods copy (on the file cited in note 2) read 'towards the plan'.

[AA:A989, 44/735/56/10, i]