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237 Hodgson to McFarlane

Memorandum CANBERRA, 24 [July] 1944

I desire to refer to the Treasurer's memorandum of the 10th July, 1944 [1], concerning a proposal for the setting up of an organisation for post hostilities planning in international affairs and in which he stated that-

'There are matters, of course, which are wholly within the province of your Department and as such your Department is most competent to deal with them.' 2. The question of handling post war matters which fall under the administrative arrangements of this Department have previously been deferred pending consideration of the general proposals for a post hostilities planning organisation. The position has, however, now been reached when certain additions to the Departmental staff and consequent re-organisation within the Department must be made to handle post war questions which fall within the functions of the Department.

3. Through the past year extra duties have been placed on the Department in respect of such questions as- (a) The close examination of proposals exchanged between the United Nations and between members of the British Commonwealth regarding armistices, civil affairs, provision of administration after the armistices, and particularly the papers received from the United Kingdom post hostilities planning staff, the Foreign Office and other research bodies;

(b) The work of the European Advisory Commission;

(c) The discussion of particular questions relating to the peace settlements such as the future of France, Italy, Germany and Japan, a security system, the future world organisation and colonial trusteeship;

(d) The discussion of matters of international economic collaboration, including discussions at the expert level and the preparation of documents on these matters for the Cabinet Sub- Committee on International Economic Planning;

(e) The work of U.N.R.R.A. and the Australian Council for U.N.R.R.A.;

(f) Food and Agriculture organisation;

(g) United Nations Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes and the Webb Commission in Australia;

(h) Inter-governmental Committee on Refugees;

(i) International discussion on civil aviation, oil, rubber, shipping and related matters;

(j) The post war international aspects of the lend-lease and reverse lend-lease system including the future use and disposal of wartime installations;

(k) Refugees;

(l) Proposals for a United Nations organisation for educational and intellectual co-operation.

In addition the necessity for a continuing study of numerous aspects of Australia's interest in the peace settlement is of paramount importance and there is likely to be an increasing call for the preparation of documentation for such conferences as the Prime Ministers' meeting in London held last May and the Pacific Conference which it is hoped will be arranged in the future. The Department is also carrying out an important function in coordinating the work of other departments or experts on particular phases of international post war collaboration and of obtaining material from abroad indispensable for planning bodies in Australia.

4. In view of the comments made by the Treasurer, the Minister for External Affairs has revised the original scheme [2] transmitted by him to the Treasurer and has now approved of the organisation of a Post Hostilities Division within the Department of External Affairs for the handling of such subjects as those enumerated in paragraph 3 above. In this connection he desires to emphasise that the new organisation has been planned with due regard to the necessity to enlist the co-operation and assistance of other departments.

5. To staff the new organisation it will be necessary to provide for additional staff and proposals have been submitted to the Public Service Board involving further expenditure on salaries at the rate of approximately 3,600 per annum. In addition, general expenses, including furniture, will necessitate expenditure amounting to approximately 300 or 400.

6. Provision for these amounts is included on the draft 1944/45 estimates and I should be glad if the approval of the Treasurer may be given for this additional expenditure in order that arrangements may Proceed. [3]


1 Document 217.

2 See Document 173.

3 In the event Chifley approved provision of 3000 for the Post Hostilities Division in the 1944-45 Estimates. See A. C. Joyce's (Assistant Secretary, Treasury Department) minute to Chifley of 22 August, on file AA:A571, [45/244]. The Division became operational on 1 September under the headship of Paul Hasluck.

[AA:A571, [45/244]]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History