McDougall to Burton

Letter WASHINGTON, 24 February 1945

Many thanks for your letter of February 3rd which reached me a couple of days ago.

In the second paragraph you commented on the situation which has arisen as a result of Clayton’s unsympathetic reception of the first move on an unemployment conference. [1] I understand that the second stage in this matter was somewhat more successful. [2]

I don’t understand what you mean when you say that the failure of the U.K. to inform Australia of the absence of the Secretary of State and the President ‘was something bordering on sabotage’. I should have thought that this was a subject on which the Australian Legation at Washington would have been the appropriate source of information. My own impression is that the U.K. has very substantial interests in seeing the United States committed to policies of full employment. London must realize the importance to the United Kingdom of high purchasing power in the United States.

Here, the situation has been complicated by the violent Congressional reaction to Henry Wallace’s statement and to the intense controversy over his appointment as Secretary of Commerce.

[3] it looks as though that ought to be all cleared up in the first week of March. My own guess is that the State Department and the Executive Branch of the Government here may come to take a rather more sympathetic attitude towards putting employment policies into the agenda of an international economic conference if one is called to deal with those aspects of international economic co-operation which have not already been dealt with at Hot Springs or at Bretton Woods.

I am as convinced as you are that the welfare approach is quite essential to any success in international economic cooperation. I think the welfare approach should be envisaged as consisting of three aspects:

(a) policies directed towards rising standards of living, (b) the maintenance of high and stable levels of employment in the more advanced countries, (c) development in underdeveloped countries.

On the last point I think I sent you a note of my own, but I enclose another copy of it.

I am also enclosing a copy of a table on populations in southeastern Asia which you may not have seen.



1 See Document 18.

2 See Document 38.

3 See Document 40, note 2.


[AA:A1066, ER45/2/3/2]