174 Australian Delegation, Economic & Social Council, to Australian Government

Cablegram ESC7 GENEVA, 3 August 1948, 11.25 a.m.


Following is summary of address of Dr Evatt to Economic and Social Council on 30/7 on E.C.A.F.E. Full text by air. Begins:

Dr Evatt stressed important role of ECOSOC contemplated in Article 65 of charter. Outlined Australian ties with Far East and paid tribute to work of regional bodies. Report of ECAFE should meet with general approval but work was still in planning stage. Main work for which commission was established-raising of standards of human welfare still to be tackled. It was impossible to exaggerate immensity of this task. It was important that next session of Commission should have before it a real programme of work expressed not just in generalities to which nations could assent without commitment but with figures representing actual estimates and needs of specified goods. Main work of preparing these figures will fan on undeveloped centres of Asia but at next meeting a greater share of work will fall on the more industrialised centres who will have responsibility of examining figures and indicating to what extent and under what conditions they can fulfil the needs. Australian Government was already examining its own position. Necessary for Commission to indicate priorities. Dr Evatt then discussed agricultural production, welcomed close link with FAO [1] and said that other specialised agencies such as International Bank should be associated to a greater extent with task of development. Outlined Australian contribution of food to Asia. In planning economic reconstruction of Asia major gap caused by uncertainty as to future of Japan. Australia wished to see Japan maintain industries enabling her in due course to take place in Far Eastern region as peaceful and democratic contributor towards raising human standards. But equally Australia placed greatest emphasis on ensuring security.

aggression could not be ignored and Japan's nearest neighbours have most cause to fear resurgence of Japanese aggression. Those further afield sometimes appeared to us to give insufficient weight to this end. Quoted Australian attitude on FEC on levels of Japanese industry to show that Australia did not desire to limit Japanese peaceful productive capacity. Paid tribute to occupation authorities in Japan and heavy financial burden borne by USA during the occupation. British Commonwealth had also borne its responsibilities by providing occupation troops. Reparations from Japan had remained unsettled. Volume and usefulness of reparations should not be exaggerated but properly used could contribute to restoration of Asia. USA and Australia had shown way by voluntarily offering to forego part of their just claims so that reparations could be given to countries whose needs were greater.

Peace settlement urgently needed in which all participants in war had full voice. Concluded with reference to historical changes now taking place in Far East.

[AA:A1838/2, 856/20, iii]

1 Food and Agriculture Oganization.

2 A symbol here indicates' group mutilated'.

[...] [2] controls must be maintained. Japan's past record of