Volume #13 - 605.|
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND CONFERENCES
INTER-AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL SECURITY
Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Chargé d'Affaires in Brazil
September 19, 1947|
I have the honour to refer to my telegram of September 15th,† requesting the attendance of Mr. Rogers17 as Canadian Representative at the Second Session of the Inter-American Conference on Social Security to be held at Rio de Janeiro, November 10th-22nd.
2. The Inter-American Committee on Social Security, which is sponsored by the I.L.O., extended the invitation to this Conference through the Department of Labour and suggested a Tripartite Delegation consisting of Government, Employers' and Employees' representatives. However, after consultation with the Department of Labour, we agreed to ask Mr. Rogers to attend as Canadian Representative. Mr. S.H. McLaren, Executive Director of the Unemployment Insurance Commission and National Employment Service, will accompany Mr. Rogers for the purpose of gaining an insight into what the United States and Latin American countries are doing in this field.
3. The agenda of the Conference will consist of the following items:
(a) Report of the Secretariat.
The Department of Labour have submitted a brief for item (c), and Canadian representatives attended the meeting referred to in item (d) which was held at Washington in January of this year.
4. The Brazilian Government has appointed an organizing Committee for this meeting, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Oscar Saraiva, Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Labour, comprising leading persons in the field of social insurance in Brazil. No decision has yet been reached as to the building in which the Conference will be held.
5. A resolution for the establishment of an Inter-American Committee to forward Social Security was adopted at a meeting of representatives of 10 American countries held in Lima, December 1940, under the joint sponsorship of the Peruvian Minister of Health, Labour and Social Welfare, and the Director of the International Labour Office. The I.L.O. offered to provide the Secretariat and to request the support of other countries in this hemisphere. On August 14, 1941, the Prime Minister authorized the Minister of Labour to inform the Director of the I.L.O. that the Canadian Government would be pleased to nominate a representative to the Committee.
6. The First Conference on Social Security was held at Santiago, Chile, September 1942, and Canada was represented by the Canadian Minister to Argentina and Chile, Mr. Turgeon, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner in Santiago, Mr. Vechsler. This Conference decided to establish the Inter-American Conference on Social Security as a permanent agency, to act in concert with the I.L.O. and to be governed by a statute agreed to at the Conference.
7. The Statute outlined the purposes, membership qualifications and established a permanent Inter-American Committee on Social Security, to consist of one regular and alternate member from each country represented at the Conference. Although Canada is a member of the Conference no steps have yet been taken towards appointing a regular and substitute member to the Committee, because of our qualified relations with the Inter-American System as a whole.
8. The first meeting of the above committee was held at Mexico City from the 23rd to 28th of July, 1945. Dr. Keenleyside and Mr. Eberts18 were nominated as Canadian representatives and instructed not to take a prominent part in the proceedings, in particular to avoid having Canada elected to the Executive body or being asked to act as host nation for the next conference.
9. Our representatives were also instructed to support the draft scale of budgetary assessment for the support of the committee which was based on Pan American Union scales. However, the Committee decided to use the I.L.O. scale, and Mr. Eberts abstained from voting as it meant a larger contribution from Canada. In the end the Canadian Government paid a share based on the I.L.O. scale and amounting to U.S. $4,411.77, although still of the opinion that this scale bears unfairly upon Canada.
10. In view of the fact that a decision with regard to our relationship with the Pan American Union is still in abeyance you should avoid the election of Canada to the Executive body, and sidestep the question of our appointing a regular and alternate member to the permanent committee, or the suggestion that Canada should act as host of the next Conference. Although the I.L.O. sponsors and supports this organization it has no connection with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
11. We have had no indication that the 1947-48 budget will be discussed at this Conference but will forward additional instructions if the question is to be considered.
12. I shall forward, at a later date, the reports of the Canadian delegates to the previous meetings in 1942, and 1945, as well as any additional information which we may receive.
I haver etc.
17E. Benjamin Rogers.