Volume #15 - 221.|
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL AND SPECIALIZED AGENCIES
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
July 8th, 1949|
CANADIAN MEMBERSHIP ON THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL|
At the Ninth Session of the Economic and Social Council which opened on July 5, there will be considerable electioneering activity on the part of countries which hope to be elected, by the General Assembly in the fall, to the five Council seats which become vacant this year. The Canadian observer at the Ninth Session, Mr. N.F.H. Berlis, will certainly be approached both with requests for support and with inquiries whether Canada wishes to stand for election. Moreover, Dean Rusk of the U.S. State Department, in a recent conversation with Mr. Wrong, suggested that the U.S. would be glad to know whether Canada would accept election.
It is accordingly advisable to reach a decision On this point as soon as possible. I have prepared below brief notes which would perhaps be adequate if you wish to bring the matter up in Cabinet more or less informally. If, however, you prefer to have the material in the regular Cabinet document form, it can be recast.62
1. There are a good many projects initiated or developed in the Economic and Social Council which are of considerable interest to Canada, both from a general point of view and on account of their financial implications. The most important of these at the moment is the programme of technical assistance in economic development.
2. When this programme of technical assistance in economic development and other similar projects are discussed in the Economic and Social Council, it is desirable that "giving" countries such as Canada should be adequately represented, since otherwise the "receiving" countries are likely to call a very ambitious tune without much thought for those who will eventually pay the piper.
3. The membership of both the United States and New Zealand terminates this fall. We have fairly reliable information that New Zealand will not stand again, and it is accordingly desirable that this seat should be filled by a "have" rather than a "have not" country.
4. During its first term of membership (1946-1948) Canada contributed a good deal to the development of a sensible and efficient approach to general budgetary and administrative matters. It is easier to have proposals modified and improved at the beginning, than to have to fight this battle in the General Assembly itself.
5. Canada can also do something to prevent the Council from becoming merely another forum of propaganda to the detriment of its proper functions.
6. The Departments of Finance and National Health and Welfare, which with External Affairs have the greatest interest in the Council's activities and have done a large part of the work entailed by Canadian membership, would both favour Canada's re-election to the Council.
7. From reports made by the Canadian observer to the Eighth Session, it appears that Canada would have a very good prospect of re-election.
8. The cost of sending delegates to the Economic and Social Council on the basis of one session in Geneva and one in New York is, in round figures, about $20,000 a year.
It is recommended:
2. that the Canadian observer at the Ninth Session of the Council be authorized to let it be known in response to inquiries that Canada is a candidate for re-election."
62Note marginale/Marginal note:
63 Note marginale/Marginal note: Agreed. LB P[earson]