Cablegram 322  [PHILADELPHIA], 25 April 1944, 5.48 a.m.
International Labour Organization. Report 5.
1. As previously indicated , the United States Delegate hinted
at an employment agreement. After my remarks we were approached by
their officials and it was indicated quite clearly that they
welcomed our statement  except in so far as it deferred until
another Conference, agreement on the employment agreement.
2. It is difficult to understand why these United States
representatives who are drawn mainly from the Department of Labour
are so enthusiastic about an employment agreement, particularly
after Keynes stated in London that America could not be asked to
sign such an agreement. There seems to be either a change in
policy or an instruction to present delegates which has been given
within [sic] the knowledge of the previous Article 7
conversations. Am trying to ascertain through Washington what is
3. We have informally pointed out reasons why we do not wish this
Conference to attempt to come to any finality on the terms of an
agreement and American delegates wished to oppose our suggestion
openly and push for a Government agreement at this Conference.
Again quite informally we have indicated that if the Americans
wished to insist on pressing for an agreement arising out of this
Conference we might be able to support them, provided that they
made it quite clear, publicly, what procedure they would follow;
that is if they failed to reach agreement at this Conference or if
ratification did not take place within a limited period of say two
months, they would call a Conference as we have suggested.
Burton is seeing them again tomorrow and he will adopt the line
that we have put our proposals forward and if the Americans wish
to push on now, we will not stand in their way. It is our belief
that they will not be able to obtain agreement and will be forced
eventually to accept our proposition particularly as no one on the
United Kingdom delegation is aware of any Article 7 discussions
nor are those from the American administration who have dealt with
Article 7 discussions apparently aware of this American
delegation's proposal. In other words we are trying to prevent
them publicly opposing us and suggesting that we are avoiding the
I.L.O. and at the same time we are taking advantage of the
Conference to put forward the idea, letting America take
responsibility of failure. I am keeping clearly in mind that we
want implementation of an employment agreement and not the
agreement as a pre-condition of other agreements. We are in no
hurry for agreement. They are in complete agreement with us that
the I.L.O. as at present staffed is inadequate.
4. I suggest that you immediately communicate with Washington and
London, pointing out these developments and suggesting that the
American and the British Delegations be instructed to support the
idea of a specific Conference rather than attempt to come to
agreement at this moment. We know your mind generally and I know
you will leave it to me to do what best I can in the existing
circumstances but I should be glad to have any comments at the
earliest possible moment. I suggest also that you view the
proposed Article 7 discussions in the light of this Conference and
press for employment Conference of Members of the United,
associated and neutral nations at which all United Kingdom and
United States proposals are revealed.