255 Dedman to Chifley, Evatt and Lemmon

Cablegram 127, CAIRO[1], 11 July 1949, 6.17 p.m.


1. Examination with Tange of certain documents relating to the forthcoming meeting of E.C.O.S.O.C. indicates to me that there may be strong reasons why cabinet should deal with the submission on International Economic Development programme as a matter of urgency. If so I would waive my objection to the submission being dealt with in my absence.

2. The matters dealt with in the Cabinet submission will probably come up for discussion at the meeting of ECOSOC on July 21st. They are related to the dollar shortage problem in that the economic development of backward countries would, in time, put them in a position to supply food and raw materials now purchased from dollars sources and would therefore fit in with the long term plan for re-arranging the pattern of trade likely to be examined at the London conference. It might well be desirable that we give emphasis to this in Geneva. Also depending on the course of events in London I may later suggest that I devote one day to attending ECOSOC for the purpose of emphasising the importance of economic development of backward countries as a contribution towards the expansion of world economic activities in general and possible relief from the dollar shortage problem in particular.

3. Very briefly, while approving in principle of your submission to Cabinet, I intended raising three issues:

(1) The necessity for some co-ordinating action at United Nations level with respect to the activities of specialised agencies. The I.T.O., if and when ratified, might play an important part in this since Havana Charter deals specifically with overall economic development of backward areas.

(2) The need for a Cabinet sub-committee comprising the Minister for External Affairs, The Treasurer and the Minister responsible in the domestic field for matters dealt with by the specialised agency in the international field.

(3) (And this is the type of question which the Cabinet sub-committee could appropriately consider) the magnitude of expenditure by the specialised agencies for the purpose of economic development of backward areas should be in the following order rather than as envisaged in column 2 page 3 of the appendix of the submission (1) F.A.O.

(2) U.N.E.S.C.O.

(3) W.H.O.

(4) I.L.O.

(5) I.C.A.O.[2]

[1] Dedman was en route to London for the Commonwealth Finance Ministers' Conference in place of Chifley.

[2] Burton annotated the cablegram with an instruction to Eric Ward to prepare notes for Evatt in Cabinet supporting the proposals.

[AA : A4311, 29/4]