Dear Mr. WILGRESS,
RE: 36TH INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE, GENEVA, JUNE 4 TO 27, 1953
At the 121st session of the Governing Body this spring a recommendation was submitted by the Director General that there should be placed before the 1953 Conference for consideration a proposed amendment to the International Labour Organization Constitution to increase the number of members of the Governing Body from 32 to 40 members as follows:
(a) increase membership of states selected on basis of industrial importance from 8 to 10;
(b) increase number of states elected to the Governing Body from 8 to 10;
(c) increase number of employer representatives from 8 to 10; and increase number of worker representatives from 8 to 10.
The reasons advanced in support of the proposal were:
(1) The number of states who are members of the ILO has increased to a new high of 66 and the size of present Governing Body was fixed at 32 when the membership was much smaller;
(2) due to taking Germany and Japan back into membership, some of the states now holding membership in the Governing Body as being one of eight states of chief industrial importance will be displaced when the selection of a new Governing Body takes place in 1954 unless the Governing Body is enlarged by change in the Constitution effected at the 1953 conference and ratified before June 1954 meeting of the Governing Body; Canada is in sixth place among the states of chief industrial importance;
(3) due to current scope of ILO activities, an enlarged Governing Body is considered advisable in order to provide adequate Governing Body representation at the various regional conferences and committee meetings;
(4) it is anticipated that if the Governing Body is enlarged it will be possible to reduce the number of alternate members appointed and this will in part offset increased cost otherwise involved.
This proposal was approved by the Governing Body: Canada, United States, India and Australia abstained because they had no instructions from their governments.
I believe that Canada has nothing to lose by going along with this proposal, which will probably be approved by a large majority at the Conference. I would suggest that Canada support this item when it is voted upon, if you concur.
May I hear from you as soon as possible on this please?
Yours very truly,