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187 Beasley to Evatt

Cablegram 127 (extracts) [1] [TORONTO] [2], 8 June 1944, 4.46 p.m.


For Evatt from Beasley.

1. Have made close enquiries at this end regarding the Monetary Conference and find that the purpose is to keep the discussions on a technical level. [3] As far as I can ascertain representation will be confined to officials as this course will enable the Government to review the Conference decisions impartially.

The United States Treasury had arranged for preliminary discussions to commence on June 15th, but the United Kingdom could not attend on account of the invasion and these discussions were consequently postponed until June 24th. It is still uncertain whether the United Kingdom will be present.

Apparently the United States Treasury wish to have the main theories canvassed before the actual Conference begins and further, to try and confine representation to technical advisers.

As far as I can judge there appears to be a doubt whether either of the two large countries intend to reach firm decisions. Frankly the report [4] forwarded savours of a form of preliminary window dressing for the big event in the United States at the end of the year.

Having regard to all the circumstances as I see them here, I feel it would be very unwise to be represented on the Ministerial level as it appears that no other Country intends to do so. I really think we should allow the technical experts to continue their discussions or if at a later stage this approach is thought unnecessary, an observer could be sent along. Two points appear to concern us.

(a) The quota in the exchange pool.

(b) The margin to be provided in special circumstances beyond the quota.

These two issues I understand have been discussed in London [5] but no finality has been reached and I am doubtful if London is any further advanced. In the light of all the information here I feel I should continue with my plan to reach home about the middle of July as I will then be able to assist you with the referendum campaign.

[matter omitted]

3. Will be in Ottawa tomorrow. Best wishes, all well.


1 Sent through the High Commissioner in Ottawa.

2 Beasley was apparently in Toronto. See F. A. McLaughlin's (Curtin's Private Secretary) note of 7 June, on file AA:A5954, box 658.

3 On 31 May, Full Cabinet had considered the U.S. Govt's invitation to the Conference (Document 166) and had agreed that:

'1. Australia should accept the invitation to be represented at the Conference, the personnel of the Delegation (other than the Minister) to be determined later.

2. Mr. Beasley be asked to remain in America to attend the Conference, and 3. The standing Cabinet Sub-Committee [of International Economic Collaboration]... consider details of the scheme and report to Cabinet on 12th June, 1944.' See the memorandum on agendum 669 of 10 June in AA:A2700, vol. II.

4 It is unclear which report is being referred to.

5 See Document 113.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History