One of the main questions which will arise at the forthcoming
Meeting of U.N.R.R.A. Council in Geneva opening on 6th August,
1946, will be that of displaced persons. It seems desirable
therefore that you should nominate a representative from your
Department to attend the Meeting, and I should be glad if you
would give this matter careful consideration.
All the documents concerning the activities of U.N.R.R.A. in
regard to displaced persons have been forwarded to your Department
as received from time to time. The problem which will be presented
to the Council Meeting will be that of dealing with the hard core
of the 6-700,000 European refugees who will never return to their
native lands, in face of the termination of U.N.R.R.A.'s
I attach a letter just received from Mr. La Guardia, Deputy
Director of U.N.R.R.A. on the subject, together with notes of an
interview with Commander Jackson, the Senior Deputy Director-
General, during his recent flying visit to Canberra. I should be
glad if you would consider what reply might be given to Mr. La
Guardia and advise me accordingly.
It would seem that the Australian Government will need to decide
what policy to adopt when the proposition is advanced that we
should absorb a proportionate share of displaced persons, provided
other countries do the same. When you have considered the matter,
it would seem appropriate that we should make a joint submission
to Cabinet on the subject, so that our representatives at the
U.N.R.R.A. Council Meeting, and at subsequent International
Meetings on the subject, may be suitably instructed.
Commander Jackson also stated, incidentally, that agents from
certain other countries, especially South American, were already
active among displaced persons with a view to selecting the most
suitable immigrants for their purposes, in anticipation of the
resettlement of the remaining displaced persons in new countries.
Whatever plans are adopted for dealing with displaced persons,
however, implementation of those plans will take some time.
U.N.R.R.A. is scheduled to cease operations in Europe on 31st
December, 1946, and in the Far East on 31st March, 1947. Some
organisation for carrying out displaced persons operations will,
however, be required beyond those dates.
The Economic and Social Council has recommended the establishment
of a displaced persons organisation to commence operations on 1st
January, 1947.  It may not be possible, however, to have this
organisation functioning effectively by the proposed date, and the
matter will be further discussed at the meeting of the United
Nations General Assembly to be held in September next.
Australia has given support to the formation of a displaced
persons organisation which would operate as a subsidiary organ of
the United Nations or, failing that, which would operate as a
specialised agency linked as closely as possible with the Economic
and Social Council.
As pointed out above, it may not be possible to establish an
effective organisation before the expiration of U.N.R.R.A.'s
present term, and the forthcoming U.N.R.R.A. Council Meeting will,
therefore, consider the question of extending the period of
U.N.R.R.A.'s responsibilities in the displaced persons field. If
you are agreeable, I would suggest that our delegates to this
Meeting should support extension of U.N.R.R.A.'s displaced persons
responsibilities until such time as an effective displaced persons
organisation is established.
It would be appreciated if you would inform me fully of your views
on the questions raised above at the earliest possible date.