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115 Beasley to Evatt

Cablegram 296 [1] [PHILADELPHIA], 21 April 1944, 5.04 p.m.


Following for Evatt from Beasley.

International Labour Office Report No. 1.

The Conference [2] commenced yesterday and Fraser was invited to speak at the opening. He made generous references to Australia calling attention to the fact that I, a Minister of the Government, was the Government Representative.

Nash elected President of the Conference. Selection Committee which usually comprises members of the Governing Body was appointed. Peru, Czecho-Slovakia, Egypt and Australia were nominated for two vacancies. Egypt and Czecho-Slovakia withdrew in our favour. We were nominated by Goodrich, America and supported by China and many South American States including Argentine. This does not mean that we will be appointed to the Governing Body but puts us in line.

Canadian and American Delegates have been instructed to assist us in relation to the Governing Body and we have presented our case to the Governing Body through Phelan. [3]

It is probable that the appointments Committee will take up today and general discussion will commence on Monday when I should have the opportunity to make a general statement.

All the points mentioned in your telegram 518 [4] are covered in a statement I have already prepared.

I anticipate very good support on the general employment approach, especially among the smaller countries. The attitude towards the International Labour Office is lukewarm, mainly because on the one hand, it is felt to be an ineffective body as at present constituted and, on the other, no one is prepared to take a stand and have it radically changed.

I explained fully our approach to the Australian Press, who seemed to receive it well.

1 Sent through the Legation in Washington.

2 The twenty-sixth conference of the International Labour Organization of the League of Nations was held at Philadelphia from 20 April-13 May. The Australian Delegation, led by J. A.

Beasley (Govt Delegate), also comprised H. C. Barnard (Govt Delegate), Dr J. W. Burton and Dr W. Anstey Wynes (advisers to the Govt Delegates), H. Crawford Condie (Employers' Delegate) and P.

J. Clarey (Workers' Delegate).

3 Edward J. Phelan, Acting Director of the International Labour Office.

4 Dispatched 20 April. On file AA:A989, 43-44/1320/13. Evatt suggested Beasley should initially be non-committal about the relationship of the I.L.O. to the employment agreement, but also advised him to make a closing statement along the lines that, were the conference to confirm Australia's full employment approach to international economic collaboration, 'conversations should be directed towards achieving that end and should be conducted through the International Labour Office...'

[AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History