240 Australian Delegation, Economic and Social Council, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 136 (extract), GENEVA, 9 August 1949, 10.55 a.m.

IMMEDIATE RESTRICTED

Unemployment.

The French, while disliking reference to the General Assembly, are prepared to accept it in order to get Australian joint sponsorship but only if the United States agree. United Kingdom position is somewhat similar to the French. The United States is firmly opposed to mention of Assembly on the ground that it might create panic. They believe that the normal course is to act through the Council and that reference of the matter to the Assembly should be regarded as abnormal action justified by an emergency. In their view such emergency does not exist. United States convinced that recession in America is now under control and this will be the theme of the Thorp[1] speech. Reference by Council to the Assembly might in Thorp's words 'frighten the broody hen off the egg'. United States and United Kingdom will now go ahead with the resolution without Australia.

2. So far most countries will not commit themselves on our view. Latin American countries want the Second Committee of the Assembly to concentrate on technical assistance and economic development and are therefore not anxious to divert it to unemployment, but Santa Cruz is nibbling at your proposal. At present we can be fairly sure of support from three Soviet States and India, and are of course continuing to press your views.[2]

[1] Willard L. Thorp, US representative.

[2] The delegation failed to get the joint draft resolution amended. Instead it put forward a separate draft resolution recommending to the General Assembly that it include the question of promoting full employment on the agenda of its fourth session. The Council adopted both resolutions on 11 August 1949.

[AA : A3195, I.11758]