UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION
In May, 1943, a conference of officials representing the
Governments of the United Nations met at Hot Springs, Virginia,
U.S.A. to discuss problems associated with Food and Agriculture.
2. This conference of officials recommended to Governments the
setting up of an Interim Commission to survey the work to be done
and to draw up a Constitution for a permanent United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization.
3. The Australian Government was represented on the Interim
Commission by Mr. F. L. McDougall, Economic Adviser to the
Australian High Commissioner at London. He has taken an active,
and in fact a leading part in the work of the Commission in
accordance with the Australian policy that the organization of
agriculture, and steps taken to increase levels of food
consumption and nutrition throughout the world, are of vital
importance to the future of Australia, and the well-being of all
peoples of the world.
4. The Interim Commission has now completed its work, and
accompanying this Agendum is a copy of the Report of the Interim
Commission and the Constitution , and a copy of the letter of
the Chairman of the Commission  in which he refers these to
Governments for their consideration. The Constitution becomes
operative on the receipt of twenty acceptances.
5. The purpose of the Organization, in the terms of the Preamble,
is to promote the common welfare by furthering separate and
collective action by member nations to raise levels of nutrition
and standards of living; to secure improvements in the efficiency
of the production and distribution of all food and agricultural
products; to better the conditions of rural populations; and thus
to contribute towards an expanding world economy. These functions
extend to fisheries, forestry, fibres and other non-food
6. The methods the Organization proposes to employ include:
research; dissemination of knowledge on nutrition, food and
agriculture; advice to member Governments; work and other
organizations such as the International Labour Organization and
the proposed International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development; assistance in the formulation of commodity
arrangements between Governments; and generally the stimulation of
research by establishing research institutes and fellowships, and
by prompting Governments to take suitable action to increase the
level of the food consumption and nutrition.
7. In general the power of the Organization on matters of policy
is limited to the making of recommendations to Governments, and
before a recommendation can be made a two-thirds majority approval
of the Conference is required.
8. The Organization will consist of a Conference representing all
Member Governments, an Executive Committee elected by the
Conference, consisting of between nine and fifteen members,
standing and advisory committees, a Director-General and his
staff. There will also be regional and liaison officers in various
parts of the world.
9. Notice of withdrawal cannot be given until four years after the
acceptance of the Constitution (Article XIX). The particular
obligations to be undertaken by Member Nations are:
(a) to make specified reports to the Organization; (Article XI)
(b) to contribute to the expenses of the Organization; (Article
(c) to accord appropriate diplomatic privileges to the
Organization and members of its staff, (Article VIII)
(d) to respect the international character of the responsibilities
of the Organization's staff-, (Article VIII).
10. With regard to expenses, the budget for the first year has
been estimated as 2,500,000 dollars. A provisional basis for
allocation has been agreed upon and is attached to the
Constitution as Annex II. It will be seen that Australia's
contribution for the first financial year will be 3.33 per cent.
of the budget, or 26,000. It has been pointed out by the Interim
Commission that in making the allocations, a temporary reduction
of their financial obligations has been given to those countries
occupied by the enemy. It is anticipated that shortly after the
war allocations will be readjusted so as to place a greater burden
on these countries, and perhaps to include countries which are not
at present eligible for membership. In this way Australia's
contribution should be reduced considerably. On the other hand,
the total budget might increase after a few years when the
Organization has developed.
11. This Organization is likely to be as valuable to Australia as
any of the proposed United Nations Organizations. Australia is
greatly affected by world standards of consumption and the
organization of agricultural products. Moreover, support of this
Organization is in harmony with Australian international economic
policy. The Australian employment approach is designed primarily
to bring about increased consumption and increased living
standards. The success of a direct attempt to increase nutrition
levels and to increase consumption of food will probably depend
upon the maintenance of high levels of employment, but in any case
should be supported strongly by Australia.
12. The Constitution of the Organization and the Report of the
Interim Commission have been considered by the Departments of
Commerce and Agriculture, Health, Post-war Reconstruction,
Treasury and External Affairs, and the Ministers responsible are
associated with my present recommendation which is that
(i) A Bill be presented to Parliament providing for suitable
appropriation, and for the approval of the Constitution as drawn
up by the Interim Commission.
(ii) The Chairman of the Interim Commission be informed of the
action taken. 
H. V. EVATT