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138 Beasley to Evatt

Cablegram 401 [1] [PHILADELPHIA], 6 May 1944, 7.49 p.m.


International Labour Office Report 26. Employment Agreement.

Strong pressure has been put on Miss Perkins by the State Department to modify the draft. [2] On Thursday, Burton battled for three hours with seven Americans and retained in the draft all our points, but was presented with a changed draft [3] on Friday.

Paragraph (d) of Article 1 [4] was dropped and left as a direction by this conference to the governing body to call employment conference if unemployment threatened. The State Department would not accept inclusion in the body of the text. He then arranged to see Perkins with Nash, only to find Nash supporting the United States and Goodrich, Hinrichs [5] and the two State Department officials with Perkins. He argued that the agreement was worthless unless the organisation had mandate to call conference.

If the United States would not give the International Labour Office mandate they should confess this to the conference instead of suggesting to the conference that Australia was asking for governmental conference on employment to avoid the International Labour Office. Obviously, the United States wish to avoid [6] preparations [7] to come to a conference. When all else failed, the former difficulties were raised by the State Department about direction to governing body being given by governments outside the conference. I gather from Nash, Burton would not give ground and eventually they agreed to include reference to conference direction to the governing body, thus giving the International Labour Office the function for the present, but leaving the way open to give the function [8] to coordinating body which one day might be set up.

If this is acceptable to the Americans we shall put it forward with them without commitment and leaving the way open for changes at the monetary or some other conference when signature could be obtained.

I have no doubt in my mind that the International Labour Office is the best body though I understand that our departmental advisers are not certain.

We should now see that the International Labour Office is developed. After all, it is the only body in which the voice of labour can be heard to-day when Australia and New Zealand are the only Labour Governments. Am assured that relations of Russia with the International Labour Office will be satisfactory as soon as it is clear that the International Labour Office is not associated with the League, but with some international organisation which they, as one of the United Nations, will have set up.

1 Sent through the Legation in Washington.

2 i.e. the U.S.-Australian delegates' draft employment resolution.

For the text see cablegram 388 of 5 May, on file AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3.

3 Not located.

4 Paragraph (d) of Article 1 read: In the event of severe unemployment or of threat of wide spread unemployment in any country or countries of industrial importance the governing body as may be designated by the United Nations shall call a special conference to recommend appropriate national or international measures to prevent the spread of unemployment and to establish conditions under which high level of employment may be restored.

5 Albert F. Hinrichs, Acting Commissioner for Labor Statistics, U.S. Dept of Labor, and U.S. Govt Adviser at the 26th I.L.O.


6 A sign here indicated 'mutilated'.

7 A sign here indicated 'mutilated'.

8 A sign here indicated 'mutilated'.

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

Category: International relations

Topic: History