68 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 803 LONDON, 4 February 1946, 11 p.m.


1. Assembly 57.

A resolution re an international conference on trade and employment is being presented to the Economic and Social Council by the United States Delegation. [1] After recounting steps already taken for the establishment of international machinery for economic co-operation, the resolution states that it is essential that these might be supplemented by further measures dealing directly with trade barriers and discriminations which stand in the way of an expansion of multilateral trade and by an undertaking on the part of nations to seek full employment, and continues-

'Paragraph 4. The Government of the United States has proposed that the United Nations should call such a conference in 1946 and has published a set of proposals [2] for the expansion of world trade and employment for consideration by the peoples of the world and [to] serve as a basis for discussion in an international conference in the belief that previous international conferences in the field of commercial policy have but limited results because they were [3] for the most part confined to policies in the abstract and not closely enough integrated with arrangements for concrete action, the United States Government has further invited a number of Governments to meet together for the negotiation of reduction of specific trade barriers and discriminations in advance of the general international conference. Similar negotiations are to be proposed to all other countries of like mind as rapidly as possible. [4]

Paragraph 5. These initiatives have been welcomed by a number of delegates in the opening debate of the General Assembly.

Paragraph 6. The Economic and Social Council has been authorised in general by Article 62 of the Charter of the United Nations to call International Conferences on matters falling within its competence, and specifically by supplementary Rule T of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly to call a conference on international trade and employment. The Economic and Social Council therefore- (a) Agrees in conformity with supplementary Rule T, to sponsor the convening in the latter part of 1946, of an international conference on trade and employment for the purposes of promoting the expansion of the production, exchange and consumption of goods.

(b) Proposes that the major chapters of the agenda of this conference be as follows- (i) International agreement relating to the achievement and maintenance of high and stable levels of employment and economic activity. (ii) International agreement relating to regulations, restrictions and discriminations affecting international trade.

(iii) International agreement [relating] to restrictive business practices.

(iv) International agreement relating to inter-governmental commodity arrangements.

(v) Establishment of an international trade organisation, to be a specialised agency of the United Nations, having responsibilities in the fields of (ii), (iii) and (iv) above.

(c) Hereby constitutes a Preparatory Committee of the Economic and Social Council to elaborate an annotated draft agenda including a draft convention for consideration by the conference, taking into account suggestions which may be submitted to it by the Economic and Social Council or directly by members of the United Nations.

The members of this Committee shall consist of representatives designated by the Government of the countries referred to in paragraph 4 above, and of two other countries, members of the Economic and Social Council designated by the Council. A representative of the Secretary of the Council shall participate without the right to vote in the meetings of the Committee.

(d) Requests the President of the Economic and Social Council to confer with members of the Council and with the Secretary-General with a view to reporting to a subsequent session of the Council recommendations as to what states, if any, not members of the United Nations, should be invited to the Conference on trade and employment.' 2. A footnote lists Australia among the countries referred to in paragraph 4. [5]

1 The U.S. draft resolution was circulated as Economic and Social Council Document E/4.

2 Proposals for Expansion of World Trade and Employment, U.S.

Department of State, 6 December 1945.

3 Words between 'basis' and 'for the most pan' were handwritten.

4 The U.S. Govt's invitation to Australia to participate is published in Volume VIII, Document 444.

5 A redrafted version was adopted by the Economic and Social Council on 18 February as Resolution 1/13. it appointed as members of the Preparatory Committee representatives of the United States and the governments invited to participate in the negotiations for the reduction of trade barriers described in paragraph 4:

Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. Chile, Lebanon and Norway were added to the Preparatory Committee by the Council.

[AA:A1067, UN46/ESC/6]