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III. Economic and Social Questions A. WORLD ECONOMIC SITUATION At its fifteenth session, held at United Nations Headquarters from 31 March to 28 April, the Economic and Social Council made its annual review of the world economic situation, in accord- ance with the recommendation of the General Assembly in resolution 118(II). 1. Reports before the Economic and Social Council at its Fifteenth Session The Council's discussion was based primarily on the Secretary-General's report on world economic conditions, entitled World Economic Report 1951-52 (E/2353/Rev.1), 1 supplemented by a Review of Economic Conditions in the Middle East 1951-52 (E/2353/Add.1 & Corr.1). 2 Also before the Council were: (1) a report entitled Aspects of Economic Development in Africa (E/- 2377 & Corr.1); and (2) the Review of Inter- national Commodity Problems, 1952 (E/2354). 3 World production, as calculated from official government data, rose to a new high level in 1952, stated the World Economic Report. But the rate of expansion, particularly of industrial production —which had been rapid since 1949—slowed down considerably. From 1950-51 to 1951-52, production of food rose only 1 per cent, thus barely keeping pace with the population growth. International trade, measured at constant prices, was slightly lower in the first three quarters of 1952 than in the cor- responding period of 1951. However, there appeared to have been an upturn in both trade and industrial production in a number of coun- tries towards the end of 1952. In the economically developed private enter- prise economies, production rose, on the average, by some 2 per cent from 1951 to 1952. The decline in the rate of increase in production was due chiefly to a marked fall in the rate of accumulation of inventories. While the demand for capital goods was sustained at or near the level of the growing productive capacity, the demand for articles of consumption other than food, especially textiles, from mid-1951 to mid- 1952, was less than that required to keep the industries producing them working at capacity. Despite the substantial increase in resources devoted to arms production, there was a general rise in civilian supplies—and hence real con- sumption and real wages. The centrally planned economies continued to devote a high proportion of national income to capital formation, in accordance with their policy of rapid industrial expansion, simultaneously with their heavy military expenditures. High per- centage increases in industrial production were reported; agricultural output, however, developed rather slowly. In some countries, increases in the supply of consumer goods were sufficient to per- mit a rise in real wages, but in others the food supply position deteriorated. Generally speaking, industrial production in under-developed countries increased during 1951 and 1952. The high rate of expansion of inven- tories of imported manufactures characteristic of 1950-51 was reduced in 1951-52. The fall in external demand for exportable raw materials, material inventories. In most cases, the major fac- tor in determining the trend in consumption was the level of food supply. In some countries the inadequacy of food supplies tended to generate or sustain upward spirals of wages and prices. In a number of countries in Asia, however, food sup- plies were adequate to enable consumption to be maintained or increased. Towards the end of 1950 and early in 1951, international trade expanded sharply under the impact of a general rise in economic activity and, in particular, of an accumulation of inventories in both industrialized and under-developed econo- mies. In 1952, on the other hand, the levelling off in economic activity and the decline in the rate of accumulation of inventories was associated in 1 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.C. 2 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.C.1. 3 cussion of commodity problems see below, under International Commodity Arrangements. however, was reflected in a piling up of many raw U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.D.1. For a further dis-

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III. Economic and Social Questions


At its fifteenth session, held at United NationsHeadquarters from 31 March to 28 April, theEconomic and Social Council made its annualreview of the world economic situation, in accord-ance with the recommendation of the GeneralAssembly in resolution 118(II).

1. Reports before the Economicand Social Council at its

Fifteenth Session

The Council's discussion was based primarily onthe Secretary-General's report on world economicconditions, entitled World Economic Report1951-52 (E/2353/Rev.1),1 supplemented by aReview of Economic Conditions in the MiddleEast 1951-52 (E/2353/Add.1 & Corr.1).2 Alsobefore the Council were: (1) a report entitledAspects of Economic Development in Africa (E/-2377 & Corr.1); and (2) the Review of Inter-national Commodity Problems, 1952 (E/2354).3

World production, as calculated from officialgovernment data, rose to a new high level in 1952,stated the World Economic Report. But the rateof expansion, particularly of industrial production—which had been rapid since 1949—sloweddown considerably.

From 1950-51 to 1951-52, production of foodrose only 1 per cent, thus barely keeping pacewith the population growth. International trade,measured at constant prices, was slightly lower inthe first three quarters of 1952 than in the cor-responding period of 1951. However, thereappeared to have been an upturn in both tradeand industrial production in a number of coun-tries towards the end of 1952.

In the economically developed private enter-prise economies, production rose, on the average,by some 2 per cent from 1951 to 1952. Thedecline in the rate of increase in production wasdue chiefly to a marked fall in the rate ofaccumulation of inventories. While the demandfor capital goods was sustained at or near thelevel of the growing productive capacity, thedemand for articles of consumption other than

food, especially textiles, from mid-1951 to mid-1952, was less than that required to keep theindustries producing them working at capacity.Despite the substantial increase in resourcesdevoted to arms production, there was a generalrise in civilian supplies—and hence real con-sumption and real wages.

The centrally planned economies continued todevote a high proportion of national income tocapital formation, in accordance with their policyof rapid industrial expansion, simultaneously withtheir heavy military expenditures. High per-centage increases in industrial production werereported; agricultural output, however, developedrather slowly. In some countries, increases in thesupply of consumer goods were sufficient to per-mit a rise in real wages, but in others the foodsupply position deteriorated.

Generally speaking, industrial production inunder-developed countries increased during 1951and 1952. The high rate of expansion of inven-tories of imported manufactures characteristic of1950-51 was reduced in 1951-52. The fall inexternal demand for exportable raw materials,

material inventories. In most cases, the major fac-tor in determining the trend in consumption wasthe level of food supply. In some countries theinadequacy of food supplies tended to generateor sustain upward spirals of wages and prices. Ina number of countries in Asia, however, food sup-plies were adequate to enable consumption to bemaintained or increased.

Towards the end of 1950 and early in 1951,international trade expanded sharply under theimpact of a general rise in economic activity and,in particular, of an accumulation of inventories inboth industrialized and under-developed econo-mies. In 1952, on the other hand, the levelling offin economic activity and the decline in the rateof accumulation of inventories was associated in

1 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.C.

2 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.C.1.3

cussion of commodity problems see below, underInternational Commodity Arrangements.

however, was reflected in a piling up of many raw

U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.D.1. For a further dis-

286 Yearbook of the United Nations

many cases with a fall in the demand for imports.Moreover, a number of countries which hadencountered balance-of-payments difficulties in1951 were compelled in 1952 to reduce theirimports either through the use of disinflationaryfiscal and credit policies or import restrictions, orboth.

Those developments were accompanied by sig-nificant fluctuations, not only in the quantum butalso in the terms of trade. Both factors wereinvolved in the fluctuations in the balance of pay-ments between industrialized and primary produc-ing countries from 1950 to 1952. Changes inbalances among the industrialized countries, how-ever, were associated primarily with differences inthe timing of the expansion and subsequent con-traction of their imports.

The World Economic Report further stated thatwhile trade between the centrally planned econ-omies and the rest of the world had declined sincepre-war years, the quantum of trade within bothgroups of countries had expanded substantiallyowing to an intensification of trade among thecountries of each group.

Significant economic progress had been madesince the early post-war years, the Report recorded.But there were still three areas of continuing eco-nomic difficulty: the maintenance of economicstability, the persistent disequilibrium in inter-national payments and the relatively slow develop-ment of the under-developed countries. As tostability, the Report stated that by the beginningof 1953 inflationary pressures had subsided inmost countries. Although the possibility of defla-tionary developments could not be excluded fromconsideration, there were many elements in thecurrent situation in support of demand. Expe-rience from 1950 to 1952, however, illustratedthe sensitivity of balances of international pay-ments to even moderate fluctuations in internaldemand. The elaboration of measures to mitigatethe international impact of domestic instabilitycontinued, therefore, to call for international dis-cussion.

As to international economic disequilibrium, theReport noted a reduction in dollar deficits in thecourse of 1952, but the improvement was pre-carious. Further adjustments in the pattern ofinternational trade would be required for dollaraccounts to be balanced without economic aid.

Fluctuations in the prices of many primary com-modities, such as had occurred in recent years, theReport also stated, led to abnormal fluctuationsin real income in under-developed countries,tended to subject their economies to periodic dis-

tortion and made it extremely difficult for themto budget for an orderly programme of economicgrowth. Attempts to diversify the productivecapacities of these countries had encountered greatobstacles, of which the lack of elasticity in thesupply of food was among the most important.The tempo of economic development could besubstantially accelerated with the aid of resourcesborrowed from industrialized countries. Anexpanded flow of capital to under-developed coun-tries could, in fact, advance progress towards thesolution of all three types of basic problems con-fronting the world.

The Review of Economic Conditions in theMiddle East 1951-52 pointed out that develop-ment made only slow progress in the region asa whole during 1951 and 1952. but with widedifferences in this respect among the various coun-tries. While the region's terms of trade had pre-viously improved, following the rise in prices ofraw materials in international markets, thereversal of this trend towards the end of 1951 andthe beginning of 1952 tended to remove thestimulus to economic activity provided by higherexport prices. In some countries internal factorstended to intensify the effects of these inter-national trends while in others such factors exertedan offsetting influence. The region's productionof crude petroleum rose by 10 per cent in 1951and 8 per cent in 1952, while the production ofrefined products dropped by approximately 17.5per cent in 1951 because of the cessation of oilexports from Iran. The benefits derived by themajor oil-producing countries in the Middle Eastshowed a considerable increase; several new profit-sharing agreements were concluded between oilcompanies and individual governments.

The first part of the report entitled Aspects ofEconomic Development in Africa dealt with theexpansion of the exchange economy in tropicalAfrica and analysed the relationship between sub-sistence production and cash earning activities.From the point of view of economic development,it noted, the most characteristic feature of vir-tually the whole of tropical Africa was the factthat the indigenous inhabitants were in process oftransition from almost complete dependence onsubsistence activities to participation in variousforms of cash earning. Although cash income hadbecome for most indigenous inhabitants of tropicalAfrica a necessary support to established standardsof living, their basic means of livelihood was sup-plied, as a rule, by subsistence agriculture.

Major developments in African trade and pro-duction were summarized in the second part ofthis report, which also described official economic

Economic and Social Questions 287

plans in the Belgian Congo and the British andFrench territories. During 1951, it observed,expenditures on development plans in the depend-ent territories were generally at a higher level thanin 1950, partly as a result of higher prices andpartly because of the increasing number of pro-jects under way.

The Review of International Commodity Prob-lems, 1952, prepared by the Interim Co-ordinat-ing Committee for International CommodityArrangements, noted the change during the pre-vious five years in opinion about the purpose ofcommodity agreements. Increased attention wasbeing given currently to the general problem ofavoiding instability in the prices of primary com-modities and less to the particular problem ofdealing with burdensome surpluses. The Reviewalso drew attention to the consideration of com-modity problems at the fourteenth session of theCouncil on the basis of the report entitled Meas-ures for International Economic Stability (E/-2156). This debate, according to the Committee,was the first major international discussion ofgeneral commodity problems since the draftingof the Havana Charter for an International TradeOrganization.

2. Consideration by the Economicand Social Council at its

Fifteenth Session

The Economic and Social Council discussed theworld economic situation specifically at its 688thto 694th and 697th to 698th plenary meetings,from 16 to 21 and on 23 April 1953.

In discussing the world economic situation inthe light of developments in their own countries,many representatives stressed that concertedworld-wide action was required to solve the majoreconomic problems, since the world economy con-stituted an indivisible whole.

The economic period under review was de-scribed by the representatives of Australia, Bel-gium, the United Kingdom and the United States,among others, as one of reaction to the 1950-51boom, with inflationary pressures generally incheck.

There was general agreement with the obser-vation of the French representative that rearma-ment had not had as adverse an effect on theeconomic situation as originally expected, sincecountries carrying the major burden of rearma-ment had been able to increase the supply of con-sumer goods and the output of capital equipmentfor export to less developed countries. Though

the boom had not been followed by a depression,the situation did, however, call for concertedaction for maintaining world demand, theSwedish representative, for instance, stressed. Therepresentatives of some countries, including Aus-tralia and Belgium, stated that consumer goodsindustries had already felt the decline in demand,but that production during 1952 had been highin industries benefiting directly or indirectly fromrearmament, and that, in general, unemploymenthad remained low. The United States representa-tive, however, reported that the period had beenone of balanced growth in all branches of theeconomy in his country.

The slower rate of increase in industrial pro-duction was not regarded by the United Kingdomand United States representatives as a cause foralarm, provided it proved to be only a temporaryadjustment from the 1950-51 boom. But repre-sentatives of developed countries — the UnitedKingdom, for example — believed it to be a majortask of governments to watch the trend of de-mand so that measures could be taken if thereappeared to be a serious danger of the growth ofunemployment. In this connexion, the Swedishrepresentative made mention of the study re-quested by the Council at its fourteenth sessionon the means of promoting and maintaining fullemployment while avoiding inflation.4

Some representatives of the developed coun-tries, including the representatives of France,Sweden and the United Kingdom, emphasizedthat the maintenance of economic stability in theUnited States and other creditor countries was in-dispensable, as even moderate fluctuations in theirdomestic economic activity might well have pro-found repercussions on the world economy.

The Swedish representative was concerned be-cause world income was currently more unevenlydistributed than in the pre-war period and thegap between the industrialized and the under-developed countries was growing wider as worldincome increased. The representatives of France,the United Kingdom and the United States wereamong those who pointed out that food produc-tion was a cause for anxiety because it continuedto lag behind the growth in industrial productionand had not kept pace with the increase in theworld's population. The representative of theUnited Kingdom said that the primary producingcountries, which had at first benefited from theincreased demand for primary commodities, werenow suffering from the instability in prices of

4 See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 403; see also below, under

Full Employment.

288 Yearbook of the United Nations

these goods which had adversely affected theircapacity to import. Steps should be taken to avoidexcessive fluctuations in the supply of and demandfor primary products, he said, reaffirming hisGovernment's support of international commodityagreements. Representatives of developed coun-tries, including those of Australia, Belgium, Swed-en, the United Kingdom, and the United States,continued to uphold the need for expediting thedevelopment of the under-developed countries.While some progress had been made in encour-aging the flow of capital to those countries, theirprogressive industrialization required furtherefforts. The point, however, was also made — bythe United States representative — that respon-sibility rested with the under-developed countriesthemselves to establish a climate favourable toforeign investment.

The economic period under review, it was alsonoted by the Belgian and United Kingdom repre-sentatives, had been marked by a continuing dis-equilibrium in international trade and payments.Since these difficulties persisted in spite of thegrowth in production and world trade and of thesubsiding inflationary pressures, the Belgian,French and Swedish representatives felt, problemsof the structure of economies were involved. Inthis connexion, the Belgian and French represen-tatives stressed the need for a triangular system ofinternational trade in which, among other things,Western Europe would gain a larger share in themarkets of under-developed countries, while thelatter countries would receive dollar surplusesboth from their exports of merchandise to thedollar area and from an inflow of dollar capital.The Yugoslav representative, however, consideredthat the problem of international balance couldnot be solved by an effort to dictate a reorganiza-tion or reorientation of trade. It could only besolved through a fundamental change in thesphere of production, involving a more rapideconomic development of under-developed coun-tries.

The United Kingdom representative consideredthat gold and dollar reserves were inadequate toabsorb the effects of the violent swings in balancesof payments which had recently been experienced,so that many countries had had to resort to im-port restrictions. Full co-operation in achievingequilibrium in world trade was urged by the rep-resentatives of Belgium, France. Sweden and theUnited Kingdom, among others. Points which theystressed in this regard included the following: ahigh level of domestic activity should be encour-aged; domestic inflation should be avoided; andinternational trade in goods and services should

not be impeded by excessive tariffs or protectionistpractices, especially in leading creditor countries.

The unfavourable effects of recent economictrends on the development of under-developedeconomies were described by the representativesof Cuba, Egypt, the Philippines and Venezuela,among others. The prices of most primary com-modities exported from under-developed countrieshad fallen sharply, they observed, while prices ofmanufactured imports had remained relativelyhigh, or else levelled off more slowly. As a result,the terms of trade of such countries had deteri-orated sharply, and their external deficits hadgrown. It was pointed out by the representativesof Argentina, Cuba, the Philippines and Venezuelathat fluctuations in external demand and in termsof trade caused very considerable economic diffi-culties in those under-developed countries whichdepended on the production and export of a fewraw materials.

The under-developed countries were very muchat the mercy of the forces governing internationaltrade; during the period of sharp increases in ex-ternal demand and prices for raw materials in1950 and the first half of 1951, intense inflationarypressures had been encountered. Subsequently,primary products had been the first to be hit whendemand had begun to waver and prices had fallenin mid-1951. Within a few months some countrieshad passed from relative prosperity to a situationof great difficulty. Many of these countries hadhad to tighten import restrictions and reduce in-ternal demand, so that standards of living haddeclined.

The representatives of India and Venezuela feltthat the problem of world food production de-served the most urgent attention and that theCouncil should recognize the need for studying itclosely in the future. The Argentine representativepointed out, however, that those under-developedcountries which were also food-producing coun-tries should not be expected to specialize in thatactivity to the extent of neglecting their integratedeconomic development.

The need for diversifying and industrializingthe economies of under-developed countries wasalso stressed by the representatives of Argentina,Cuba, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. Butthey also emphasized, as did the representativesof the Philippines and Turkey, that, without aidfrom abroad, national efforts would not suffice tonarrow the gap in living standards between de-veloped and under-developed countries. A continu-ing problem, in their view and in the view of theEgyptian, Indian, Philippine and Turkish repre-sentatives, was that of maintaining a substantial

Economic and Social Questions 289

flow of capital from developed countries forfinancing economic development in under-devel-oped countries. The Cuban representative pointedout that private investors in the industrializedcountries still tended to place their capital princi-pally in extractive industries, while public invest-ment, though rising, remained inadequate forgeneral development needs. The Philippine repre-sentative was among those who expressed thehope that, if the world political situation con-tinued to improve, the Council, at its sixteenthsession, might consider recommendations forsetting up a special fund for grants-in-aid andlow-interest, long-term loans to help speed theeconomic development of under-developed coun-tries.5

The Indian and Uruguayan representativesmaintained that better opportunities to enableunder-developed countries to market their prod-ucts and to increase their exports were a prerequi-site to the economic development of these coun-tries. There was a great need for more flexibleimport regulations and general trade policies onthe part of the great importing countries and forthe development of a truly multilateral system oftrade. For some under-developed countries thelack of convertibility of currencies remained aproblem, and the Uruguayan representative pointedout that the Economic Commission for LatinAmerica (ECLA) was considering the possibilityof the participation of Latin American countriesin a payments union.

The representative of Egypt made the furtherpoint that inflationary pressures associated withrearmament in the developed countries had haddisturbing effects on under-developed economies.The latter, said the Philippine representative,could best develop in an atmosphere of lastingpeace.

Hopes for a possible expansion of East-Westtrade were voiced by the representatives of India,France and Sweden, who also hoped for a greaterflow of consumer and capital goods towards theunder-developed countries.

The representatives of Czechoslovakia, Polandand the USSR, which have centrally plannedeconomies, contended that large-scale rearmamentin North America and Western Europe had ag-gravated the economic situation in those regions,raising the cost of living and increasing taxeswithout a matching rise in wages, thus reducingthe real per capita income and lowering the stand-ards of living of the working classes, while at thesame time large corporations and industrial mo-nopolies made enormous profits. They stated thatlowered production for the civilian market in

developed countries was directly attributable tothe drive for production of armaments, with aresulting rise in unemployment and fall in con-sumption, an increased imbalance in internationaltrade and a contraction of markets. Western Eur-ope was being forced out of its traditional mark-ets, competition on the capitalist market had beenintensified by the economic expansion of WesternGermany and Japan, and there had also been anincrease in the disequilibrium of trade betweenthe developed and under-developed countries. Thelag in food production was attributed by theserepresentatives to the economic and social con-ditions in capitalist countries, especially thosewhich were rearming. The conditions underlyingthe present economic situation could not properlybe regarded as transitory but were due to theeconomic preponderance of the United States,whose protectionist policy, they said, added to thedifficulties of countries wishing to export theirgoods to that country.

In their own countries, stated these representa-tives, production of both capital and consumergoods had increased. Per capita purchasing powerand consumption had also increased considerablyand great progress had been made in raising cul-tural standards. There was no unemployment. Theeconomies of these countries were immune todepressions and ensured a steadily rising standardof living for the people.

International trade, in the opinion of the rep-resentatives of Czechoslovakia, Poland and theUSSR, was passing through a critical period, asituation made worse by the disruption of tradebetween the capitalist world and the centrallyplanned economies. The intensified commerciallinks among the centrally planned economies didnot mean that these countries were unwilling tomaintain commercial relationships with the capi-talist countries. It was necessary to develop inter-national co-operation in the economic field basedon respect for equal rights and national sov-ereignty, regardless of the economic system.

The representative of the International Confed-eration of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) notedthat, in spite of rearmament, real consumptionand real wages had risen in free enterprise coun-tries as a whole, but recommended that govern-ments give close consideration to the problem ofreconversion to the production of consumer goodsand services in order to avoid a recession. Therepresentative also urged governments to resistthe temptation to fight inflationary pressures byunduly restrictive measures which would have

5 See below, under Economic Development of Under-Developed Areas.

290 Yearbook of the United Nations

serious adverse effects on living standards. ICFTUrecommended consideration of a special fund forthe development of economically under-developedcountries, and maintained that under-developedcountries should be assured of steady markets andsteady foreign exchange earnings. ICFTU alsosupported the European Coal and Steel Com-munity and international commodity agreements.

According to the representative of the WorldFederation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the mostserious problem for the worker was unemploy-ment. This, he said, had increased in the capitalistworld while food production and consumptionlagged and the cost of living had risen, thus caus-ing a decline in the standard of living. Thesedifficulties were the result of the rearmamentdrive. This representative also noted a slackeningin industrial production in the capitalist countries,in marked contrast to trends in the centrallyplanned economies. However, WFTU was glad tonote evidence of growing trade between somecapitalist and socialist countries during this period.

The representative of the International Federa-tion of Christian Trade Unions (IFCTU) askedthe Council to consider steps to equalize thedistribution of national income, and expressedthe hope that some of the recommendations of theUnited Nations and the Food and AgricultureOrganization of the United Nations (FAO) forincreasing production of foodstuffs might be putinto practice on a large scale without delay.IFCTU commended technical assistance and thesteps taken toward economic integration in vari-ous parts of the world and expressed the hope thatthe Council's work would lead to positive meas-ures to avert an economic recession.

At the conclusion of the debate, the Councilhad before it two draft resolutions proposed byUruguay. In the first (E/L.497), Uruguay pro-posed that the Council, bearing in mind the inci-dence of fluctuations of marine and war freightand insurance rates on the ceiling prices ofprimary commodities purchased by the industrialcountries, should recommend that ceiling prices,when established, be based on values f.o.b. port ofshipment. Uruguay withdrew this proposal afterthe Council had agreed to request the Secretary-General to refer the draft resolution together withthe records of the discussion to the Group of Ex-perts established under General Assembly reso-lution 623(VII).

The second Uruguayan draft (E/L.496), re-submitted as a joint proposal by Argentina,Uruguay and Venezuela (E/L.499), was adoptedby the Council by 9 votes to none, with 9 ab-

stentions, at the 698th plenary meeting on 23April.

In this resolution (460(XV)), the Council,taking into account the World Economic Report1951-52, and considering that it was desirableand necessary to make comparative studies of theeconomies of the various areas involved, asked theSecretary-General "to include in future economicand statistical reports index numbers relating tothe absolute value, quantum and unit value ofmarine freight rates, Conference and non-Confer-ence, distinguishing between traffic from indus-trial countries to primary producing countriesand vice versa."

3. Annual Report of the InternationalMonetary Fund

The Council during its fifteenth session, at its682nd and 683rd plenary meetings on 13 April,considered the annual report of the InternationalMonetary Fund for the fiscal year ending 30 April1952, together with a supplement covering theperiod from 1 May 1952 to 20 February 1953(E/2351 & Add.1).

In a statement to the Council, the ManagingDirector of the Fund declared that, in a "normal"world, the Fund's role would be to relieve tempo-rary pressures on the balance of payments ofcountries which found themselves in difficulties.When the Fund was established in 1946, manyhad assumed that the most serious risk againstwhich insurance was needed was that of a world-wide depression, but the chief problem of thepost-war period had, in fact, been inflation. Whilethe Fund would not forget the risks of a recession,the fight against inflation remained its immediateconcern.

During the period of extraordinary aid suppliedto certain governments by the United States, ithad been the policy that Member Governmentsparticipating in the aid programme should requestthe purchase of United States dollars from theFund only in exceptional and unforeseen circum-stances. As the period of extraordinary aid drewnear its close, the Fund had been engaged in de-veloping procedures designed to facilitate a moreextensive use of its resources by its Members as asecondary line of reserves. Under the proceduredeveloped, a Member country expecting to runinto temporary balance-of-payments difficultiesmight, upon request, have an account establishedon a standby basis upon which it might draw incase of need.

Economic and Social Questions 291

Noting that proposals had at times been madefor a revision of some of the Fund's Articles ofAgreement, the Managing Director stated thatinterpretations of the Articles had been foundpossible which would permit a reasonable degreeof flexibility in practice. The activities of theFund were therefore not being hampered by theterms of its Articles of Agreement.

Commenting on the Fund's activities during thepast year, the Managing Director pointed out thatits transactions had begun to show an increase.Consultations on the retention of exchange con-trols had been initiated, and technical advice hadbeen given by Fund representatives to severalMembers. He also referred to the Fund's reportsand publications.

The adequacy of the existing resources of theFund, the Managing Director stated, depended inpart on the view taken of the adequacy of theother resources of its Members and on the meas-ures which Members themselves took to restorebalance in their economies. He emphasized thatthe Fund's efforts would be frustrated if Membersfailed to adopt and maintain domestic policieswhich diminished the risk of serious disturbancesin their international economic relations. Inflation,he said, was not the only problem standing in theway of the emergence of a properly balanced pat-tern of world trade. The development of the pro-ductive capacity of under-developed countrieswould imply radical shifts in the customary flowof trade. An increased willingness on the part ofthe major importing countries to liberalize theircommercial policies was also an essential conditionof adjustment, as were policies to promote a moreadequate flow of international capital. The Fundstood ready to co-operate as far as possible in solv-ing the whole of the world's payments problem.

In the subsequent debate in the Council, em-phasis was placed on the role of the Fund inrelation to the prevailing international disequilib-rium. The representative of the United Kingdomstated that it might prove necessary in the comingyears to re-examine the validity of the assumptionswhich had guided the negotiations at BrettonWoods and to consider whether the regulation ofinternational payments could remain divorcedfrom the rules governing international tradewhich the payments reflected.

Several representatives, including those ofSweden and the United Kingdom, drew attentionto the recent tendency for inflationary pressure tobecome weaker and less general and to the ap-pearance of deflationary trends. While acceptingthe importance of combating inflation, they em-phasized the necessity of dealing with factors of a

structural nature which appeared to be at the rootof international payments difficulties. In this con-nexion, the United Kingdom representativestressed the need for creditor nations to open theirdomestic markets to foreign imports and fordebtor nations to avoid inflation and develop com-petitive production.

The representatives of Egypt, India and theUnited Kingdom, among others, commended theFund for its adoption of more flexible policiesconcerning the use of its resources. Hope was alsoexpressed that, pending the elimination of thelong-range structural causes of international dis-equilibrium, the Fund would continue to developsuch policies.

Some representatives, in particular, those ofFrance and Sweden, while maintaining that thesolution of the international payments problemmust aim at general convertibility, expressed theview that existing conditions required that thisgoal be approached by a partial and graduallyextended transferability of currencies. In this con-nexion, the Fund was urged to contribute to thesupport of regional efforts toward convertibility,as exemplified by the European Payments Union.The representative of Yugoslavia, on the otherhand, felt that free convertibility was impracti-cable for a country in process of development;Yugoslavia, he said, could not for the time beingparticipate in the movement for the liberalizationof exchange undertaken under the Fund's auspices.

The representative of India declared that theclaims of prudence as advocated by the Fund hadto be weighed against the need for rapid economicdevelopment in the countries of Asia and inother under-developed regions. These countries,lacking domestic resources, required foreign capi-tal as a means of neutralizing inflationary tenden-cies. He urged an adequate flow of internationalinvestment as essential for domestic as well asinternational equilibrium. Other representatives,however, including those of Belgium and Sweden,pointed out that long-term action designed tochange the flow of capital went beyond the Fund'scompetence.

The representatives of India and the UnitedStates, among others, praised the Fund for theconsultations on exchange restrictions conductedby it in 1952. The representatives of the UnitedKingdom, the United States and Yugoslavia alsocommended the Fund's activities in renderingtechnical assistance to its Members.

The Council at its 683rd plenary meeting, by16 votes to none, with 2 abstentions, adoptedresolution 467(XV) taking note of the report ofthe Fund.


1. Financing of Economic Development

The fundamental position of the United Na-tions with respect to the financing of economicdevelopment of under-developed countries was setforth in resolution 400(V) of the General As-sembly. In this resolution the Assembly hadrecognized that, although the economic develop-ment of under-developed countries depended pri-marily upon the efforts of the people of thosecountries, the necessary acceleration of that de-velopment, on the basis of their own plans andprogrammes, required not only technical but alsofinancial assistance from abroad, and particularlyfrom the more developed countries. The GeneralAssembly had also considered that the domesticfinancial resources of the under-developed coun-tries, together with the international flow of capi-ta] for investment, had not been sufficient to assurethe desired rate of economic development, andthat the accelerated economic development ofunder-developed countries required a more effec-tive and sustained mobilization of domestic sav-ings and an expanded and more stable flow offoreign capital investment. The General Assemblyhad further expressed the conviction that the vol-ume of private capital currently flowing intounder-developed countries could not meet thefinancial needs of the economic development ofunder-developed countries, and that those needscould not be met without an increased flow ofinternational public funds.

Since the fifth session of the General Assembly,and on the basis of the principles set forth above,the Assembly and the Council7 have considered anumber of studies of methods whereby an en-larged and more stable flow of international fi-nance for the economic development of under-developed countries might best be secured.


(1) Report of the Committee on a SpecialUnited Nations Fund

As provided by Council resolution 416 A(XIV),8 the Secretary-General appointed a com-mittee of nine members to prepare a detailed planfor a special fund in accordance with the terms ofAssembly resolution 520 A (VI). The Committee,which held a seven-week session beginning 21January 1953, prepared, in accordance with itsterms of reference, a detailed plan for the estab-lishment (when circumstances permit), operation,

management and control of a special fund forgrants-in-aid and low-interest, long-term loans tounder-developed countries for the acceleration oftheir economic development. The Committee'sreport, entitled Report on a Special United Na-tions Fund for Economic Development (E/-2381),9 presented the unanimous recommenda-tions of its authors, who acted in their personalcapacities and put forward their recommendationson their own responsibility.

The detailed plan drawn up by the Committeedealt, in turn, with the income, the operations andthe disbursements of the special fund. It also con-tained recommendations on the structure — con-trol and management — and concluded with ashort account of how the special fund might work.The Committee did not advise on whether or nota fund should be established nor did it expressany views as to when circumstances might permitthe fund to be set up. It considered that thesematters were not within its competence.

Concerning income, the Committee recom-mended that the fund should depend on voluntarycontributions paid regularly in the currencies ofthe contributors, the amounts to be assessed bygovernments themselves according to their eco-nomic strength and resources. While not estimat-ing the ultimate size of the fund, it recommendedthat it should not be established until the equiv-alent of $250 million had been pledged by atleast 30 governments. The Committee also advo-cated the advance pledging of contributions cov-ering a period of at least one further year.

Under "Operations", the Committee dealt withthe principles and policies which it consideredshould govern the fund's relations with its mem-ber countries. These, it emphasized, "will largelyturn upon the creation and maintenance of mu-tual confidence and a sense of partnership directedtowards the promotion of the assisted countrieseconomic development". The Committee alsorecommended that governments receiving assist-ance should, within the framework of their gen-eral economic policies, develop fiscal and monetarypolicies adequate for their needs and shouldendeavour to keep inflationary pressures under

For discussion of the question of fiscal incentives toincrease the international flow of private capital, seepp. 355-57.


. 363-78.8


U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.B.1. For the Committee'smembership, see Appendix III.

292 Yearbook of the United Nations

See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 376-91 and Y.U.N., 1952,pp

See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 369-70.99


Economic and Social Questions 293

control; governments should seek the maximummobilization of their domestic resources since thefund's assistance should be supplementary; gov-ernments should, as a matter of economic policy,move towards the formulation of integrated eco-nomic development policies. Finally, assistancefrom the fund should be directed to the welfareof the population as a whole.

On the other hand, it was stressed, the fundshould observe certain fundamental principles inits dealings with the under-developed countries.One such principle was that the fund must beconcerned with the insufficiency of the total re-sources at the disposal of countries requestingassistance. Thus, while non-self-liquidating proj-ects might constitute a significant part of thefund's total operations, the fund should not belimited to that type of financing only. Althoughassistance from the fund would be given to govern-ments only, the Committee felt that this shouldnot restrict applications to projects in the publicsector. The fund, as a United Nations institution,should not serve as a means of foreign economicand political interference in the internal affairsof assisted countries.

The implementation of these principles wouldrequire a framework of formal relations betweenthe fund and governments requesting assistance.These relations were formulated by the Committeein terms of the policies affecting governments andthose regulating the operations of the fund. Inpresenting these policies the Committee stressedthe great importance of ensuring the prudent andeffective use of the assistance granted and recom-mended safeguards which it judged were essentialto protect the interests of all members of thefund.

With regard to disbursement of resources fromthe fund, the Committee decided against both themethod of predetermined country allocations andthe case-by-case approach of dealing with individ-ual country applications on their merits. It recom-mended a method combining some of the advan-tages of both systems, and set forth guidingconsiderations for the allocation of resources inthe early phase of the fund's operations.

Basically, the Committee concluded, in a furtherrecommendation regarding distribution of re-sources, that loans by the special fund were "actsof assistance" to under-developed countries andwere distinguishable from grants-in-aid only inthat it might be found possible and convenient torecover wholly or in part the sums involved. Itrecommended that the fund should not attemptto recover principal or ask for interest, where thiswould jeopardize the applicant country's economic

development. However, each case should be de-termined individually and administrative flexi-bility should be left to the fund in deciding bothon the distribution of its resources between loansand grants and on the terms of loans granted.

With regard to membership of the fund, theCommittee recommended that it should be opento any government which: (1) is prepared tosubscribe to the fund's principles and policies;(2) is a Member of the United Nations or anyspecialized agency; and (3) is willing to pledgea contribution to the operational budget, and payits share of the administrative budget. Any othergovernment which is not a Member of the UnitedNations or any specialized agency might also join,provided that the "General Council of the Fund"accepted its membership and that the governmentwas prepared to subscribe to the conditions ofmembership.

The Committee recommended that membersshould meet annually to pledge their contributions,to lay down all major policy matters, to approvethe fund's administrative budget and to receivereports on the fund's activities. This annual meet-ing would be known as the "General Council ofthe Fund". To provide immediate control, itrecommended the election by the General Councilof an Executive Board of eight to twelve members.

While recognizing that there would be manypractical advantages if the fund were integratedwith an existing United Nations institution, theCommittee nevertheless felt obliged to recom-mend the establishment of a new institution. TheCommittee also made specific recommendationsconcerning liaison and co-ordination between thefund and other financial agencies of the UnitedNations and the agencies participating in theExpanded Programme of Technical Assistance.

(2) Consideration by the Economic and

Social Council at its Sixteenth Session

The Council considered the report during itsdiscussion of the agenda item "Economic devel-opment of under-developed countries" at the138th to 140th meetings of its Economic Com-mittee, on 21 and 31 July and 3 August, and at its725th to 731st and 749th plenary meetings, on15 to 18 July and 4 August 1953.

There was a substantial measure of agreementin the Council on the need both for increasedfinancial assistance to accelerate economic devel-opment and for an international fund to makegrants to under-developed countries. Almost allrepresentatives expressed their high regard forthe Committee's constructive report.

294 Yearbook of the United Nations

The representatives of the more-developedcountries stated that it was the settled policy oftheir governments and their peoples to aid theefforts of the peoples of under-developed areas todevelop their resources and improve their work-ing conditions. Several of these representatives,among them those of Australia, France and theUnited Kingdom, reviewed the substantial pro-grammes of international aid that their govern-ments were currently undertaking. The UnitedStates representative referred to the increasingscale of such aid, in spite of the fact that hiscountry had been compelled to join other freenations in repelling aggression, and pointed outthat the citizens of his country, both as privateindividuals and through the government, weremaking large investments to this end. He regrettedthat circumstances, over which his country had nocontrol, had limited the scale of the assistanceprovided.

The representatives of under-developed coun-tries warmly commended the Committee's find-ings. The representatives of Egypt, the Philip-pines and Turkey instanced, in particular, thefollowing features of the report as commendable:

(1) that the Committee had recognized that theeconomic development of under-developed countriesmust primarily be the concern of such countries them-selves;

(2) that it had taken as a "fundamental premise"the need for non-commercial capital in the form ofgrants-in-aid or long-term, low-interest loans;

(3) that it had viewed realistically the strain on theeconomies of developed countries in suggesting themodest initial requirement of $250,000,000;

(4) that in suggesting the minimum of 30 con-tributors it had endorsed the view that the fund'sstrength would reside, initially, not in its absolutesize but in its widespread support by the UnitedNations; and

(5) that the Committee had appreciated the currentsituation in recommending that contributions, apartfrom those to the administrative budget, might bemade in local currency and that governments mightreserve the right to restrict the export of goods regardedas essential to their domestic economies.

The USSR representative stated that the pro-posals made by the Committee had envisaged afund designed to stimulate the flow of foreigncapital to the under-developed countries. But ex-perience had shown that foreign investments wereusually made in the under-developed countries onsuch terms that they served to worsen the alreadybad economic situation of those countries andresulted, contrary to United Nations principles,in interference in their domestic affairs. It wastherefore impossible, he said, to accept the viewthat foreign capital should constitute the principalmethod of promoting the economic development

of the under-developed countries. It could playsome part in that development (though only anauxiliary part) provided it was made available onconditions which were not detrimental to thenational interests of the under-developed coun-tries and without interference in their domesticaffairs. The representative of Poland, supportingthis statement, expressed the view that the estab-lishment of a special fund (or international fi-nance corporation) would not be beneficial in thecurrent political situation.

The representatives of India and Uruguay feltthat it was incumbent on the Council, in the lightof General Assembly resolution 520 A (VI)which had requested the Council to submit a de-tailed plan, to study the report and to expressviews on the merits of the Committee's proposals.However, among others, the representatives ofChina, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom andthe United States felt that to debate the preciseorganization of the proposed fund and even thebroader issues raised in the report would be pre-mature since the circumstances which would pre-vail at the time the fund was established werestill unknown. At the Assembly's sixth session ithad been recognized that the time was not yetripe for the establishment of the proposed fundand circumstances had not changed since then

The Swedish representative suggested that itmight be more desirable to expand existing insti-tutions. The representative of Yugoslavia heldthat the ultimate decision was up to the Assem-bly, not the Council. He therefore proposed(E/L.522 & Corr.1) that the Council transmitthe Special Committee's report to the Assembly,recommending that the fund be established assoon as possible on the basis of the report.

The representative of Chile, however, speakingas an observer, referred to the threatened worsen-ing of the world situation which made the needfor such a fund more urgent and he argued thatin advising a small initial minimum contributionand in assuming the absence of free convertibilityof currencies in the fund, the Committee had, byimplication, advised that the fund should be setup sooner rather than later.

Further discussion in the Council tended awayfrom detailed examination of the Committee'srecommendations. Discussion was mainly con-cerned with the questions of the adequacy of theresources presently available for economic devel-opment and a proposal that savings from dis-armament be devoted to economic developmentthrough an international fund.

The insufficiency of the resources available formore rapid economic development was stressed

Economic and Social Questions 295

by representatives of under-developed countries.While fully accepting the position that the moreenergetic mobilization and utilization of domesticresources must be the basis for accelerated eco-nomic development, they felt that renewed em-phasis on this proposition, which was self-evidentand generally agreed, was out of place, and theyconsidered that it would be more useful to stressthe severely limited extent to which investmentcould, in practice, be financed from domesticresources.

The representative of the International Con-federation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) em-phasized the need for self-help in the under-developed countries and supported the proposalfor the establishment of a special fund.

Several representatives, among them those ofBelgium, Sweden and Venezuela, referred to thethe substantial part which had been, and mustcontinue to be, played by the import of privatecapital by under-developed countries. Some, in-cluding the Yugoslav representative, emphasizedthe serious limitations of this form of finance asan instrument of economic development. Theyfeared that the growing burden of interest andamortization, which in periods when the rate ofnew investment fell off could easily exceed newinvestment and result in a net export of capitalfrom the under-developed countries, might placesuch a heavy burden on these economies as tojeopardize their development. A further limitationon the usefulness of private external capital wasthat, since it moved in response to the profitmotive, its flow was reduced in times of depressionand it was therefore a destabilizing factor. Further-more, it was naturally invested in the most profit-able forms of investment from the point of viewof the investor, such as the production of primarycommodities for export, which were not neces-sarily forms of investment which contributed mostto the economic development of the territories inquestion. The Argentine representative stressedthat private capital should not be the main driv-ing force behind economic progress. The repre-sentatives of Poland and the USSR consideredthat the colonial or semi-colonial character of theeconomies of under-developed countries was re-flected in their excessive dependence on the ex-port of raw materials and their lack of industryas opposed to agriculture and mining; this dis-tortion, they said, was attributable to the behaviourof private international investment.

The representative of the World Federation ofTrade Unions (WFTU) stated that foreign in-vestment had not benefited the under-developedcountries since it had led to their excessive de-

pendence on the export of primary commoditiesand on the decisions of foreign monopolies.

The representative of the International Cham-ber of Commerce (ICC) pleaded for a restorationof a favourable atmosphere for a resumption ofa freer flow of international investment whichwould make it possible gradually to restore multi-lateral world trade. He stated that it was the viewof his organization that public capital could notreplace private capital which brought with itvaluable "know-how". Care should be taken not tomake public loans at artificially low rates of in-terest in such a way as to encourage waste.

The representative of the Food and AgricultureOrganization of the United Nations (FAO) em-phasized the tremendous gap between the fundsrequired and those available for investment. FAOhad offered its help to governments in the prep-aration of applications to the International Bankfor Reconstruction and Development for schemesof agricultural development, in the light of thedifficulty experienced by the Bank as a result ofthe lack of specific and well-documented loanapplications.

A number of representatives pointed out thatexports of primary commodities by under-devel-oped countries constituted a more importantsource of foreign exchange than foreign invest-ment. In this connexion, the representatives ofEgypt, Poland and Venezuela stressed the diffi-culties for under-developed countries resultingfrom the fact that the markets for the primarycommodities which such countries export aresubject to very considerable instability. Represen-tatives of the under-developed countries empha-sized the importance of achieving stability incommodity prices as a condition of economic de-velopment. The Argentine representative, in ad-dition, considered that commodity price stabiliza-tion would succeed only if it were undertaken ona comprehensive basis. An equitable level ofprices for primary commodities in relation tothose of manufactured goods was required. Therepresentative of Indonesia, speaking as an observ-er, stated that the provision of foreign finance asa supplement to domestic savings would affordonly limited support to the development plans ofunder-developed countries unless the markets fortheir exports were stabilized.

The USSR representative felt that the mosteffective method of assisting the under-developedcountries would be the elimination of the ab-normal restrictions on trade with other countriesimposed by certain major Powers. Such restrictionscontributed to the deterioration in terms of tradeof the under-developed countries, as a result of

296 Yearbook of the United Nations

which foreign monopolies bought raw materialsand foodstuffs cheaply and sold their own goodsat high prices. The development of normal traderelations would create conditions in which for-eign capital would be attracted to the under-developed countries on terms compatible bothwith the interests of those countries and with thecommercial interests of foreign capital itself.Under the current policy of trade restrictions,foreign capital was given an opportunity of im-posing conditions disadvantageous to the under-developed countries.

Others, including the representatives of thePhilippines and Yugoslavia, urged that obstaclesto multilateral trade, such as import restrictions,exchange control and inconvertibility of curren-cies, were preventing the expansion of worldproduction. There was an obvious interdependencebetween the constantly diminishing volume ofinternational private investment and the exist-ence of such obstacles to trade. Nevertheless, in-creasingly severe restrictions were currently beingplaced by many countries on the flow of trade andthis was a major impediment to economic de-velopment.

The representative of the World Federation ofUnited Nations Associations (WFUNA) urgedthe need for finding some financial means ofspeeding up economic and social development,over and above the technical assistance pro-gramme, and urged that, if a special fund wereestablished, Territories under United NationsTrusteeship should benefit fully from its op-erations.

While the majority were in agreement concern-ing the need to expand the volume of internation-al assistance for the economic development ofunder-developed countries at the earliest possibledate, representatives of the more developed coun-tries which would be the major potential contrib-utors to the proposed fund stated that their coun-tries were unable to assume, at present, anyadditional financial burdens.

However, in the course of the discussion theUnited States representative reminded the Councilthat the President of the United States had recent-ly declared, after outlining the ways in whichinternational tension could be relieved and theburden of armaments reduced, that his Govern-ment was ready to ask the American people tojoin with all nations in devoting a substantialpercentage of the savings which would be achievedby such disarmament to a fund for world aid andreconstruction. The representative of the UnitedStates repeated that pledge on behalf of his Gov-ernment.

The fund envisaged by the President of theUnited States would, he said, be an internationalfund with a broad membership, designed to facili-tate the fulfilment of the United Nations missionof building a better world. The precise formwhich such a fund might take could not at presentbe foreseen. It might serve as an instrument formaking loans and grants, or it might be largelyconcerned with technical assistance. It might beused to promote social as well as economic prog-ress, and might even develop novel proceduresfor associating private and public initiative. Therepresentative of the United States expressed thehope that all countries would find it possible tojoin in making a pledge such as that proposed byPresident Eisenhower, and his delegation had ac-cordingly included in Part A of its draft resolutionon the economic development of under-developedcountries (E/L.536 & Corr.1) an equivalentdeclaration in which Members of the UnitedNations pledged themselves to ask their peoples,when genuine progress had been made towardsinternationally supervised world-wide disarma-ment, to devote a portion of the savings, achievedthrough such disarmament, to an internationalfund for development and reconstruction.

Part B of the United States draft resolutionwould have the Council express the opinion thatfurther refinement of a scheme, such as proposedby the Special Committee, would be premature,and would transmit the report to the Assemblyfor its information.

Many representatives warmly welcomed theinitiative taken by the United States representativein placing such a draft declaration before theCouncil, and associated themselves with the gen-eral purposes of that declaration. Council membersrecognized the pledge made by the President ofthe United States as marking an important stepforward in the approach of the major industriallyadvanced countries to the problem of financial aidto the under-developed countries.

The representative of Belgium stressed thatsuch a fund could not be a substitute for eitherloans or trade, and presented an amendment(E/L.540/Rev.1) to alter the proposed declara-tion to that effect.

A number of representatives, including those ofArgentina, Egypt, India and Yugoslavia, consid-ered that the expansion of financial aid to theunder-developed countries should not be entirelycontingent upon disarmament, even though itmight well be recognized that many countriesmight not be in a position to make a maximumcontribution to such an expansion until the burdenof armaments expenditures had been somewhat

Economic and Social Questions 297

eased. It was pointed out by the Philippine repre-sentative that the Assembly, in its resolution520(VI), had requested the Council to prepareits recommendations in this field "keeping inmind the desirability of universal participationand the utilization of any savings that may accruefrom any programme of disarmament, as one ofthe sources of contributions". The Assembly hadthus envisaged disarmament as providing an addi-tional source of funds, but had not implied thatthe establishment of an international fund de-pended upon disarmament.

At the 138th meeting of the Economic Com-mittee on 21 July, the representatives of Argen-tina, Egypt, India, the Philippines, Uruguay andYugoslavia presented a joint amendment (E/-AC.6/L.75)10 to the United States draft resolution(E/L.536). In presenting it, the Indian repre-sentative explained, inter alia, that its purposewas to:

(1) provide that the proposed fund be supplied byindependent contributions and not exclusively from sav-ings resulting from disarmament and that it be withinthe framework of the United Nations;

(2) emphasize that the Council had considered, notmerely received, the Special Committee's report andrecommend it as a basis for the Assembly's considerationof further preparatory steps for the establishment of aspecial United Nations fund; and

(3) provide that the fund be for the exclusive bene-fit of under-developed countries.

Following informal discussions, a joint draftresolution (E/AC.6/L.76), superseding all otherdraft resolutions and amendments, was presentedby Australia, Cuba, Egypt, India, the Philippines,the United States and Yugoslavia at the EconomicCommittee's 139th meeting on 31 July.

It was adopted, without further discussion, bythe Committee (E/2505 I) by 15 votes to none,with 2 abstentions, and by the Council at its 749thplenary meeting on 4 August, by the same vote,as resolution 482 A (XVI). It read:


I"The Economic and Social Council,"Having taken into consideration the document en-

titled Report on a Special United Nations Fund forEconomic Development, prepared by a committee ap-pointed by the Secretary-General pursuant to Councilresolution 416 A (XIV),

"Having in mind General Assembly resolutions 520A (VI) and 622 A (VII) requesting the Council tosubmit to the General Assembly a detailed plan forestablishing, as soon as circumstances permit, a UnitedNations fund for the financing of the economic develop-ment of under-developed countries,

"1. Expresses its great appreciation to the Commit-tee for its work;

"2. Transmits the report of the Committee to theGeneral Assembly, together with the pertinent recordsof the sixteenth session of the Council;

"3. Recommends that the General Assembly con-sider, in the light of the report of the Committee andthe records of the sixteenth session of the Council, whatother preparatory steps might usefully be taken towardsthe establishment, when circumstances permit, of aninternational fund designed to assist development andreconstruction of the under-developed countries."


"The Economic and Social Council,

"Desirous of strengthening the United Nations in itsmission of guarding the peace and security of allpeoples and of making the United Nations a moreeffective institution for the promotion of higher stand-ards of living and of conditions of economic and socialprogress and development in under-developed countries,

"Looking forward to the time when sufficient progressin internationally supervised world-wide disarmamentwill make it propitious to devote additional resourcesto assist development and reconstruction, particularly inthe under-developed countries,

"Recommends that governments consider joining, atthe eighth session of the General Assembly, in thefollowing draft declaration:

'We, the governments of the States Members ofthe United Nations, in order to promote higher stan-dards of living and conditions of economic and socialprogress and development, stand ready to ask ourpeoples, when sufficient progress has been made ininternationally supervised worldwide disarmament, todevote a portion of the savings achieved throughsuch disarmament to an international fund, withinthe framework of the United Nations, to assistdevelopment and reconstruction in under-developedcountries.'"

(3) Consideration by the General Assembly

at its Eighth Session

The General Assembly considered the questionof establishing a special fund for grants-in-aidand for low-interest, long-term loans, during itsdiscussion of the question of economic develop-ment of under-developed areas at the 257th to282nd meetings of its Second Committee, from12 October to 1 December, and at its 468thplenary meeting on 7 December 1953. The Com-mittee had before it, inter alia, the report of theEconomic and Social Council (A/2430) and amemorandum by the Secretary-General (A/2447& Corr.1) providing a summary of the backgroundmaterial on questions relating to economic de-velopment.

10 As a result of the consolidated joint amendment,amendments by India (E/L.537) and the Philippines(E/L.539) to the United States proposal and an Egyptianamendment (E/L.538) to the Indian amendment werewithdrawn, as well as the Yugoslav draft resolution(E/L.522 & Corr.1).

298 Yearbook of the United Nations

During the extensive debate, the views ex-pressed were primarily those put forward in thediscussions in the Council. The representatives ofthe more developed, capital-exporting countries,while recognizing the need to accelerate economicdevelopment, emphasized that their governmentswere not in a position at this time to make addi-tional contributions to an international develop-ment fund, primarily because of rearmament ex-penses. It would be both unwise and a sham, intheir opinion, to create such a fund without suffi-cient funds for its effective operation. Currentefforts should concentrate on making more effec-tive use of existing programmes and sources offinancing, they considered.

Among the views expressed by the less-devel-oped countries was that the creation of such afund should not depend on disarmament and thatsavings from disarmament should only be viewedas an additional source of finance. In their opinion,the speeding up of economic development —which would be accomplished by such a fund —would help secure world peace and put an end tothe internal threats and political unrest whichendangered that peace. The acceleration of eco-nomic development, they stressed, must not bepostponed indefinitely nor put off pending world-wide disarmament.

Other representatives, including those of theByelorussian SSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, theUkrainian SSR and the USSR, emphasized thatthe fundamental factor in economic developmentwas industrialization and considered that the bestway to help under-developed countries obtainfunds was to develop non-discriminatory inter-national trade relations. Foreign financial aidshould only be used to supplement domestic re-sources and earnings from foreign trade. Theydoubted that much would be achieved by theestablishment of the special fund, although theywould not oppose its creation. However, they con-sidered that it must not be linked to the Inter-national Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-ment which, they alleged, was under the influenceof United States capitalist monopolies.

The representative of Canada pointed out thatthe debate showed that the differences in viewsrelated more to matters of time and method thanto objectives and that it should be possible to workout a solution acceptable to all.

The Second Committee had before it three draftresolutions on the establishment of a special fund.

(1) A draft resolution by the United States (A/-C.2/L.204), by which the Assembly would adopt the"declaration" recommended by the Economic and SocialCouncil, on the proposal of the United States repre-sentative.

Egypt submitted an amendment (A/C.2/L.208) tothis draft to specify that the additional resources result-ing from disarmament be devoted to a special fundrather than merely to assist development and reconstruc-tion. He later withdrew that amendment on the assur-ance that the adoption of the resolution would notpreclude the possibility of establishing a special fundbefore world disarmament under international controlwas effected.

(2) A draft resolution by Greece, Haiti and Paki-stan (A/C.2/L.205), by which the Assembly wouldrefer to the Expert's Report on a Special United NationsFund for Economic Development, state its opinion thatthe establishment of the fund need not be dependentonly on internationally supervised world-wide disarma-ment and express its confidence that favourable con-ditions necessary for the establishment of the fundwould be created in the near future. It would:

(a) request the Secretary-General to transmit theExpert's Report to Member Governments for theirdetailed comments on the creation of the fund andon the extent to which they were in a position tocontribute to its establishment;

(b) request the Council to study these commentsand submit to the Assembly's ninth session recom-

be taken to set up the fund as soon as circumstancespermitted; and

(c) recommend, meanwhile, that all countries shouldgive special consideration to the views expressed by theAssembly with a view to the creation of the fund assoon as circumstances permitted.

(3) A draft resolution by Afghanistan, Bolivia,Brazil, Burma, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba,Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, thePhilippines, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen andYugoslavia (A/C.2/L.206/Rev.1). The operative panof the draft resolution, as revised would have theAssembly, inter alia, invite comments from governmentsand specialized agencies on the Expert's Report andon the degree of moral and material support andadherence which might be expected from them. Itwould also provide for the appointment of a smallcontact group of persons of high standing to considerthe comments and to consult with governments, ifnecessary by personal visits, and to report to theAssembly's ninth session.

As revised, this draft resolution took into ac-count a Netherlands amendment (A/C.2/L.207)the purpose of which, the Netherlands representa-tive stated, was to stress that economic and socialadvancement of the under-developed countriescould also contribute towards the maintenance ofinternational peace and security and that theestablishment of the fund should be seen in thatcontext. The Netherlands representative expressedthe view that, while it was generally accepted thatdevelopment was closely tied to disarmament, thecreation of SUNFED might be considered as anexception since the sum required to start it wasinsignificant in comparison with the amount spenton disarmament.

The Committee, at its 270th meeting on 2 No-vember, agreed to establish a working group which

mendations concerning the practical steps that could

Economic and Social Questions 299

would have as a primary reference the three-Power draft resolution (A/C.2/L.205), the 20-Power revised draft resolution (A/C.2/L.206/-Rev.1) and the Netherlands amendments (A/-C.2/L.207) to the original text, with the under-standing that if, in the course of its work, thegroup should find it had to deal also with theUnited States draft resolution (A/C.2/L.204)and the Egyptian amendment thereto (A/C.2/-L.208), it should do so.

The working group held ten meetings between3 and 19 November and submitted a compromisedraft resolution (A/C.2/L.212 & Corr.1). As aresult, the 20-Power draft resolution (A/C.2/-L206/Rev.1), the amendments by the Nether-lands (A/C.2/L.207) and the three-Power draftresolution (A/C.2/L.205) were withdrawn bytheir sponsors.

The Committee discussed the compromise draftresolution and the United States draft resolutionat its 275th to 277th meetings, from 23 to 25November. The majority supported both resolu-tions in general. The representatives of Argentina,Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Guatemala, amongethers, regretted that the working group had notbeen able to recommend more positive steps, butagreed that the compromise draft was a step for-ward and, at least, kept the idea of a fund alive.A number of representatives, including those ofColombia, Egypt, Honduras, Iraq and Venezuela,indicated their support of the United States pro-posal, on the understanding that the establishmentof a fund was not made conditional on world-wide disarmament.

The Egyptian amendment having been with-drawn, the draft resolution proposed by the UnitedStates (A/C.2/L.204) was adopted by the Com-mittee (A/2590 A) at its 277th meeting on25 November by 41 votes to none, with 13abstentions.

It was adopted by the General Assembly at its468th plenary meeting on 7 December, withoutdiscussion, by 44 votes to none, with 6 abstentions,as resolution 724 A (VIII). (For text, see below.)

During the discussion of the draft resolution(A/C.2/L.212 & Corr.1) recommended by theworking group, considerable debate arose overparagraph 4 of the preamble which would havethe Assembly express confidence that an expandedflow of capital to under-developed countries wouldcontribute to the solution of the basic economicproblems of our time, both for under-developedand developed countries. The representative ofCzechoslovakia stated that he could not supportthe draft resolution unless it were explicitly statedin that paragraph that foreign investments should

not be made conditional on any demands foreconomic, political or military privileges; he sub-mitted an amendment (A/C.2/L.214) to thiseffect.

The amendment was supported by the repre-sentatives of the Byelorussian SSR, Guatemala,Honduras, Poland, the Ukrainian SSR and theUSSR. The majority, however, while agreeingwith the question of principle involved, opposedthe amendment on the grounds that it was out ofplace in this particular resolution and served nouseful purpose. The resolution, they held, wasconcerned with the establishment of a fund withinthe framework of the United Nations and there-fore there could be no question of such an insti-tution's seeking to exploit the countries to whichit granted financial aid.

Several compromises were suggested. The rep-resentative of Cuba proposed the addition of anew paragraph stating the principle involved. Therepresentatives of Saudi Arabia and India sug-gested deleting the paragraph altogether. Therepresentative of France proposed (A/C.2/L.215)that the problem might be solved by adding beforethe words "would contribute" the words "in con-formity with the principles and purposes of theUnited Nations Charter".

Following a meeting of the working group, theCommittee, at its 277th meeting on 25 November,rejected the following amendments, the othershaving been withdrawn:

(1) By 28 votes to 4, with 23 abstentions, aproposal to delete paragraph 4, originally with-drawn by India and Saudi Arabia and now ver-bally resubmitted by Pakistan.

(2) By a roll-call vote of 26 to 7, with 22 ab-stentions, the Czechoslovak amendment (A/C.2/-L.214).

Paragraph 4 was subsequently adopted by 46votes to none, with 7 abstentions.

The Committee adopted the draft resolution inparagraph-by-paragraph votes, ranging from aunanimous vote to 46 votes to none, with 7 ab-stentions. It adopted (A/2590 B) the resolution,as a whole, by 50 votes to none, with 5 abstentions.The Committee's draft resolution was adopted bythe General Assembly at its 468th plenary meet-ing on 7 December, without discussion, by 46votes to 5, with 5 abstentions, as resolution 724 B(VIII).

Resolution 724 A & B (VIII) read:

A"The General Assembly,"Having noted Economic and Social Council resolu-

tion 482 A (XVI) of 4 August 1953,

300 Yearbook of the United Nations

"Desirous of strengthening the United Nations in itsmission of guarding the peace and security of all peoplesand of promoting higher standards of living and con-ditions of economic and social progress and develop-ment in under-developed countries,

"Looking forward to the time when sufficient progressin internationally supervised world-wide disarmamentwill make it propitious to devote additional resources toassist development and reconstruction, particularly inthe under-developed countries,

"Adopts the following declaration:

'We, the governments of the States Members ofthe United Nations, in order to promote higherstandards of living and conditions of economic andsocial progress and development, stand ready to askour peoples, when sufficient progress has been madein internationally supervised world-wide disarmament,to devote a portion of the savings achieved throughsuch disarmament to an international fund, withinthe framework of the United Nations, to assistdevelopment and reconstruction in under-developedcountries.'"

B"The General Assembly,

"Having considered the Report on a Special UnitedNations Fund for Economic Development prepared bythe Committee of Nine appointed by the Secretary-General, and submitted in pursuance of Economic andSocial Council resolution 416 A (XIV) of 23 June 1952and General Assembly resolution 622 A (VII) of 21December 1952,

"Mindful of the aim expressed in the preamble ofthe Charter "to employ international machinery for thepromotion of the economic and social advancement ofall peoples" and of Articles 55 and 56 of the Charter,

"Believing that, especially in the present state ofworld tension, the social and economic advancementof the under-developed countries can contribute towardsthe achievement of international peace and security,

"Confident that an expanded flow of capital tounder-developed countries would contribute to the solu-tion of the basic economic problems of our time, bothfor under-developed and developed countries,

"Considering that the use of international machineryfor financially assisting the acceleration of the eco-nomic development of the under-developed countriescontributes to the achievement of an expanding andstable world economy,

"Noting that the efforts made and the activities under-taken so far by and under the United Nations for theeconomic development of the under-developed coun-tries have proved beneficial and represent a markedadvance in economic co-operation among nations,

"Bearing in mind the recommendations contained inEconomic and Social Council resolution 482 A (XVI)of 4 August 1953 relating to a special United Nationsfund,

"Considering that the General Assembly should keepunder review the question of the establishment of aspecial fund and, in particular, be attentive to anychanges either in world conditions or in the attitudesof the governments of Member States, which might

be propitious to the establishment of such a fund inthe near future,

"Hopeful that conditions favourable to the establish-ment of an international fund will be created in thenear future and that savings from internationally su-pervised world-wide disarmament will provide addi-tional means for financing the economic developmentof under-developed countries, and will further the aimsand objectives of such a fund,

"1. Expresses its great appreciation of the work ofthe Committee of Nine;

"2. Invites governments of States Members of theUnited Nations and of the specialized agencies in theeconomic and social field to transmit to the Secretary-General their detailed comments both on the recom-mendations contained in the report of the Committeeof Nine and on the degree of moral and material sup-port which may be expected from them for such afund;

"3. Decides to appoint the present President of theEconomic and Social Council, Mr. Raymond Scheyven,to examine, with the assistance of the Secretary-General,the comments of governments submitted in responseto the invitation contained in the preceding paragraph;to collate and where he judges necessary to requestelaboration of such comments, if desirable by directconsultation with governments; and to submit to theEconomic and Social Council at its eighteenth sessionan interim report on his work, and, in any event tosubmit to the General Assembly at its ninth session, afinal report together with his comments, with a viewto assisting it to make such recommendations as itwould find possible which could facilitate the establish-ment of such a fund as soon as circumstances permit;

"4. Requests the Secretary-General to:

"(a) Provide Mr. Scheyven with all necessary as-sistance and facilities;

"(b) Transmit to the governments specified in para-graph 2 above the report of the Committee of Nine,together with the records of the discussion on the sub-ject at the eighth session of the General Assembly;

"c) Circulate as soon as possible to the governmentsspecified in paragraph 2 above (i) the comments sub-mined in response to that paragraph, and (ii) thefinal report of Mr. Scheyven; and submit a summaryof the comments of governments to the General As-sembly at its ninth session;

"(d) Prepare a working paper, for submission tothe Economic and Social Council, on the extent andmethods of co-ordination which may be desirable ornecessary between the activities of such a fund, of theTechnical Assistance Board and of such of the spe-cialized agencies as may be engaged in tasks relatingto the economic development of under-developed coun-tries;

"5. Requests the Economic and Social Council tostudy at its eighteenth session the working paper re-ferred to in paragraph 4 (d) above and to transmitit, together with its views, to the General Assembly atits ninth session;

"6. Decides to include in the provisional agenda ofthe ninth session of the General Assembly a separateitem for the consideration of the results of the stepsprovided for above."

Economic and Social Questions 301


Social Council at its Sixteenth Session

In accordance with resolution 416 C (XIV),11

the Council had before it a report by the Inter-national Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-ment (E/2441) on the results of its furtherexamination of the proposal to establish an inter-national finance corporation designed to promotethe flow of private capital to under-developedcountries.

The Bank reported that informal discussionsbetween Bank officers and Member Governmentson the desirability of setting up such a corporationindicated that, almost without exception, repre-sentatives of the less-developed countries hadsupported the proposal and, in addition, two ofthe more highly-developed countries had indicatedthat their governments supported the proposal.Spokesmen for most of the highly-developedcountries, however, while expressing sympatheticinterest, had reserved judgment on the merits ofthe proposal, and several had stated that theirgovernments were not at present in a position tocontribute to a corporation of that kind.

The report of the Bank stated that " . . . whilemaintaining their interest in the proposal, coun-tries on whom the corporation would necessarilyhave to depend for the greater part of its fundshave not as yet indicated that they are ready tocommit themselves to subscribe to its capital.Because of this, the management of the Bank doesnot believe that any point would be served bygreater formalization of the project at this time.The management intends, however, to continue toexplore the matter with the Bank's Member Gov-ernments and, if and when there appears to be areasonable prospect that sufficient financial partici-pation will be forthcoming, will be prepared topresent concrete proposals to them for consider-ation. The Bank will be glad to inform the Coun-cil promptly of further developments in connexionwith the project."

The Council discussed the report during its dis-cussion of the agenda item "Economic develop-ment of under-developed countries" at the 138thto 140th meetings of its Economic Committee, on21 and 31 July and 3 August and at its 725th to731st and 749th plenary meetings, on 15 to 18July and 4 August 1953.

In the course of a supplementary statement, therepresentative of the Bank stated that the Bankwas still of the opinion that the international

finance corporation would give a modest butworthwhile stimulus to the growth of privateenterprise and thus further the development ofthe Bank's Member countries. For the time being,however, the unwillingness of the more importantMember countries to subscribe to the corporation'scapital made it doubtful whether any useful pur-pose would be served by taking the project a stepfurther at the present time.

During the discussion, a variety of views wereexpressed, ranging from those of the Yugoslavrepresentative, who held that since private capitalwould seek foreign investment opportunities tothe extent that these were more attractive to itand that since an international finance corporationcould not make such opportunities more attractivethe corporation could serve little purpose, to theview of the Argentine representative that the cor-poration should be set up without further delay.The representatives of China, Egypt and Sweden,among others, held that in the light of the Bank'sadvice, and particularly in the light of the un-willingness of potential contributors to commitany funds to this purpose, little more could bedone at this stage than to keep the question underreview and invite the Bank to continue its studieswith a view to preparing a more detailed plan forestablishing a corporation when circumstancespermitted. The representative of the United King-dom, while endorsing the case for equity invest-ment, and considering that there was scope forguaranteed lending, questioned whether an inter-national organ or, indeed, any institution of uni-versal scope was the best means of providing thisservice.

The representative of ICFTU regretted that theprospects of establishing an international financecorporation had changed for the worse during thepast year, but welcomed the willingness of theInternational Bank to make further soundingsand thought that time might be saved if the Bankwere to proceed with working out a draft agree-ment.

The representative of India thought that thecorporation should be established as soon as cir-cumstances permitted and proposed (E/L.534)that the Bank draw up a more detailed plan. Therepresentatives of Australia, Belgium, the UnitedKingdom and the United States considered it bothpremature and undesirable to ask the Bank toundertake to draw up a detailed plan at this time,particularly when there were many importantissues needing further exploration. They thereforeproposed an amendment (E/AC.6/L.73) provid-


See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 367.

302 Yearbook of the United Nations

ing instead that the studies should be directed tothe clarification and analysis of the basic questionsstill outstanding.

Following informal discussions by the repre-sentative of India with those representatives spon-soring the amendment, a revised joint draft reso-lution (E/AC.6/L.77) was presented, sponsoredby the five delegations, at the Economic Com-mittee's 140th meeting on 3 August. It wasadopted by the Committee (E/2505 II) by 11votes to none, with 3 abstentions, and by theCouncil, without discussion, at its 749th plenarymeeting on 4 August by 14 votes to none, with3 abstentions, as resolution 482 B (XVI).

By this resolution, the Council noted that theBank intended to continue to explore the questionof an international finance corporation with itsMember Governments, and commended the Bankfor the useful contribution it had made to thestudy of the question. It invited the Bank to pre-sent, as soon as possible, the results of a furtherstudy with a view to clarifying and analysing thequestions which had been raised and the differentpoints of view that had been expressed, continu-ing at the same time further exploration of thematter with its Member Governments, and in sodoing to take into account the comments on theBank's further report during the sixteenth sessionof the Council. The Council further invited theBank to report on the progress made in theserespects to the Council at its seventeenth session.

(2) Consideration by the General Assembly

at its Eighth Session

The General Assembly considered the proposalfor the establishment of an international financecorporation during its discussion of the questionof economic development of under-developed areasat the 257th to 282nd meetings of its SecondCommittee, from 12 October to 1 December, andat its 468th plenary meeting on 7 December 1953.It had before it, inter alia, the report of the Eco-nomic and Social Council (A/2430) and a memo-randum by the Secretary-General (A/2447 &Corr.1) providing a summary of the backgroundmaterial on questions relating to economic de-velopment.

Representatives of the under-developed coun-tries, generally speaking, stressed the importanceof increasing the flow of private foreign capital,emphasizing that, though domestic capital wasimportant, it needed to be supplemented. The flowof private foreign capital, although considerable,was insufficient and had, moreover, decreasedsince the Second World War. The representativeof Colombia stated that in his country, for ex-

ample, a favourable climate for private investmentexisted, but the flow of private capital still didnot meet the demands. The representatives ofCanada and India thought that many of the fearsof under-developed countries with regard to pri-vate financing were not justified in all cases andwere based on unfortunate incidents. The repre-sentatives of Belgium and Cuba agreed that pri-vate capital would feel more secure with an inter-national finance corporation and that fears of bothprivate creditors and the under-developed coun-tries might thus be allayed. The representative ofSaudi Arabia suggested drafting an internationalcode to govern relations between government bor-rowers and their private creditors. The Chineseand United States representatives supported thisidea.

The Cuban representative thought that theCouncil ought to be asked to draw up detailedplans forthwith for the establishment of the inter-national finance corporation. Among those whospoke in support of the establishment of such acorporation were the representatives of Brazil,Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Haiti, Indo-nesia, Liberia, Pakistan and Panama. The repre-sentative of Costa Rica suggested that the Bankprepare a draft statute for the corporation. Therepresentative of Turkey, among others, felt thatthe Bank ought to continue to explore the ques-tion further with governments.

The Committee had before it a draft resolutionby Costa Rica, Cuba. Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia,Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (A/C.2/L.209)on the status of the proposal to establish an inter-national finance corporation.

According to section I of this draft resolution, theGeneral Assembly would: (1) commend the Interna-tional Bank for its efforts and express its appreciationof the Bank's reports on the proposed internationalfinance corporation; (2) emphasize the beneficial effectsthe proposed corporation would have on the mobiliza-tion of financial resources in developed and under-developed countries in order to ensure additional re-sources for financing economic development in theunder-developed countries; (3) look forward to theestablishment, as soon as circumstances permitted, ofan international finance corporation; (4) request theBank to intensify its activities to seek the participationof public and private financial resources in furnishingthe capital for a corporation as envisaged in theBank's reports, and. with that end in view: (a) toanalyse in detail the views expressed by governmentsand private financing circles concerning the methodsof furnishing the capital for an international financecorporation, its function and operation; (b) to conductits consultations for the establishment of an inter-national finance corporation and for securing its initialcapital in a more intensive manner, and to report to theEconomic and Social Council at its eighteenth session;and (5) request the Council to review at that sessionthe Bank's reports on the proposed international finance

Economic and Social Questions 303

corporation with a view to recommending the draftingof its statute and to report thereon to the Assemblyduring its ninth session.

In section II of the draft resolution, the Assemblywould request that the study, which was being preparedby the Secretary-General pursuant to Assembly resolu-tion 622 C (VII), on the general role of privateexternal capital be examined by the Council during itsseventeenth session with a view to recommendingeffective means through which external private capitalwould be made more readily available to under-developed countries.

In section III, the Assembly would urge MemberStates to create favourable conditions conducive to thedevelopment of more liberal trade relations amongthem, and to adjust as much as was practicable anyexisting disequilibrium in the terms of trade andpayments between the highly developed and under-developed countries, in order to create circumstancesin which sources of additional capital would be moreadequately available to under-developed countries.

The representative of Belgium supported thedraft resolution, but thought that it might givethe impression that the Bank had expressed anopinion regarding the establishment of a corpora-tion which was capable of being constituted im-mediately and the aims, working methods andfinancing of which were known, whereas theBank's report clearly showed that it was still onlya question of a proposal. The draft resolution, heconsidered, also seemed to prejudge the results ofthe studies being made and drew conclusionswhich were perhaps premature in emphasizingthe beneficial effects the proposed corporationwould have on the mobilization of financial re-sources. With regard to section III of the draftresolution, he did not think it advisable in a reso-lution dealing specifically with a financial invest-ment corporation to take up the question of theestablishment of fair and equitable internationalprices for primary commodities. Therefore theBelgian representative, jointly with the represen-tatives of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and theUnited States, submitted an amendment (A/-C.2/L.211) to effect these changes.

The representative of Czechoslovakia, referringto section II of the draft resolution, stated thatthe Council could not recommend means throughwhich external private capital would be mademore readily available to under-developed coun-tries until it had considered the question as awhole and had determined whether such capitalwould benefit the economy of the countries con-cerned. He therefore proposed (A/C.2/L.210)deleting that part of the paragraph which calledon the Council to examine the study on the gen-eral role of private capital "with a view to rec-ommending effective means through which ex-ternal private capital would be made more readilyavailable to under-developed countries."

The representative of France seriously objectedto section III of the draft resolution which heconsidered not only obscure but contradictory.On the one hand, he stated, it asked MemberStates to develop more liberal trade relations,while, on the other hand, it called on them toadjust as much as was practicable the disequilib-rium in the terms of trade and payments be-tween the highly developed and the under-developed countries.

In an attempt to take into account these views,among others, the authors of the joint draft reso-lution submitted a revised text (A/C.2/L.209/-Rev.1) at the Committee's 274th meeting on 16November.

As revised, the resolution would have the Assemblyin section I: (1) express its appreciation of the usefulcontribution the Bank had made to the study of thequestion; (2) emphasize the beneficial effects the pro-posed corporation could have on the mobilization ofadditional domestic resources in the under-developedcountries and on the flow of external capital into thesecountries in order to augment the financial resourcesfor their economic development; (3) look forward tothe establishment, as soon as circumstances permitted,of an international finance corporation; (4) request theBank to: (a) analyse in detail the questions raisedand the views expressed by governments and non-governmental institutions concerning the methods offurnishing the capital for an international financecorporation, its functions and operation, (b) conductits consultations on the question of the creation of aninternational finance corporation and securing its initialcapital in a more intensive manner, (c) report to theCouncil at its eighteenth session on the subjects referredto in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) above; and (5) requestthe Council to review at its eighteenth session theBank's reports on the question of creating an inter-national finance corporation and to report thereon tothe General Assembly during its ninth session.

In section II, the Assembly would request that thestudy being prepared by the Secretary-General on thegeneral role of private external capital be examinedby the Council during its seventeenth session with aview to ensuring the steady flow into under-developedcountries of private capital in adequate amounts, sothat it might effectively contribute to the harmoniousand adequate integration of the economies of thosecountries and to their economic and social development.

In section III, the Assembly would request theCouncil to consider at its seventeenth session the reportto be prepared by the group of experts appointedpursuant to Assembly resolution 623(VII) and, ifpossible, to propose recommendations for considera-tion by the Assembly at its ninth session.

The French representative expressed satisfactionwith the revision of section III. However, the re-presentative of Czechoslovakia did not think thatsection II, as revised, had altered the meaning andhe therefore retained his original amendment(A/C.2/L.210). The United States representativeconsidered that the resolution still implied ac-ceptance in principle of the proposal to establish

304 Yearbook of the United Nations

an international finance corporation and that theonly question was when it should be established.The United States Government, he stated, stillhad the proposal under consideration and thuscould not support that point. Secondly, the draftresolution still prejudged the question whetherthe proposed corporation would in fact havebeneficial effects on the mobilization of additionalresources for investment in under-developedcountries. The joint amendment (A/C.2/L.211)was, therefore, also retained.

A working group was established, which, aftertwo meetings on 19 and 20 November, presenteda draft resolution (A/C.2/L.213) at the Com-mittee's 275th meeting on 23 November. Theeight-Power joint draft resolution (A/C.2/-L.209/Rev.1) and the amendments thereto(A/C.2/L.210 & L.211) were then withdrawn bytheir respective sponsors. Following the acceptanceof a drafting amendment by Indonesia, the Com-mittee at its 279th meeting on 27 Novemberadopted (A/2590 C) the draft resolution in para-graph-by-paragraph votes, ranging from a unani-mous vote to 43 votes to none, with 5 absten-tions. The resolution, as a whole, was adopted by46 votes to none, with 5 abstentions.

The General Assembly at its 468th plenarymeeting on 7 December adopted the preamble ofthe draft resolution by 50 votes to none, with 5abstentions; Part I by 51 votes to none, with 5abstentions; Part II by 49 votes to none, with 5abstentions; and Part III unanimously. The draftresolution, as a whole, was adopted by 51 votesto none, with 5 abstentions, as resolution 724 C(VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,

"Bearing in mind that the general problem of eco-nomic development of the under-developed countriesconcerns both the under-developed and the more de-veloped countries,

"Mindful that the economic development of theunder-developed countries depends primarily on theirown efforts and resources,

"Recognizing, however, that financial resources atpresent available in the under-developed countries areinadequate to finance the desired rate of economicdevelopment,

"Believing that additional external resources, bothprivate and public, made available, as appropriate,within or without the framework of the United Nations,would greatly aid the under-developed countries infinancing their development programmes,


"bearing in mind General Assembly resolution 622 B(VII) of 21 December 1952 and Economic and SocialCouncil resolutions 416 C (XIV) and 482 B (XVI)of 23 June 1952 and 4 August 1953 respectively,

"Having considered the reports of the InternationalBank for Reconstruction and Development on thequestion of creating an international finance corpora-tion,

"Bearing in mind that the consultations and studyrequested below might indicate the practicability ofestablishing such a finance corporation in the nearfuture,

"1. Expresses its appreciation of the useful contri-bution the International Bank for Reconstruction andDevelopment has made to the study of the question;

"2. Emphasizes the beneficial effects the proposedcorporation could have in so far as it would promotethe mobilization of additional domestic resources inthe under-developed countries and the flow of externalcapital into these countries, in order to augment thefinancial resources for their economic development;

"3. Urges governments which have not done so togive early consideration to the merits of establishingan international finance corporation, and to makeknown to the International Bank their views on thepossibility of supporting such a corporation in timefor the Bank to take them into consideration whenpreparing its report for the eighteenth session of theEconomic and Social Council, as foreseen in para-graph 4 below;

"4. Requests the International Bank to:

"(a) Analyse in detail the questions raised and theviews expressed by governments and non-governmentalinstitutions concerning the methods of furnishing thecapital for an international finance corporation, itsfunctions and operations;

"(b) Conduct its consultations in a more intensivemanner on the question of the creation of an interna-tional finance corporation and on the prospects offinancial support for it;

"(c) Report to the Economic and Social Council atits eighteenth session on the subjects referred to it insub-paragraphs (a) and (b) above;

"5. Requests the Economic and Social Council toreview at its eighteenth session the reports of theInternational Bank on the question of creating an in-ternational finance corporation and to report thereonto the General Assembly during its ninth session;


"Recognizing the importance of finding means tostimulate the flow of external private capital to theunder-developed countries in order to accelerate theirdevelopment,

"Mindful of General Assembly resolution 622 C(VII) of 21 December 1952,

"Requests that the study which is being preparedby the Secretary-General, pursuant to General Assemblyresolution 622 C (VII), on the general role of privateexternal capital be examined by the Economic andSocial Council during its seventeenth session, with aview to ascertaining under what conditions the flowinto under-developed countries of private capital caneffectively contribute to the harmonious and adequateintegration of the economies of those countries andto their economic and social development;

Economic and Social Questions 305

"Recognizing the importance of fluctuations in theterms of trade and the effect of these fluctuations onthe financing of the economic development of the under-developed countries,

"Requests the Economic and Social Council to con-sider at its seventeenth session the report preparedby the group of experts appointed pursuant to GeneralAssembly resolution 623(VII) of 21 December 1952and to make such recommendations as it may finddesirable for consideration by the General Assemblyat its ninth session."


The Council, at its 684th and 685th plenarymeetings on 14 April 1953, considered the annualreport of the International Bank for Reconstruc-tion and Development (E/2360) together with asupplement covering the period from 1 July 1952to 28 February 1953 (E/2360/Add.1).

The President of the Bank, in a supplementarystatement to the Council, stated that, during theyear ending 30 June 1952, the Bank had loanedapproximately $300 million and, during the sub-sequent nine months, a further $175 million. Hestated that total disbursements by the Bank thusfar were $1,050 million and during the pasttwelve months had been larger than in any com-parable period since the end of the Bank's lendingfor European reconstruction. Disbursements out-side the United States of funds raised in thatcountry were increasing, and the Bank's lendingin non-dollar currencies had reached a significantlevel. The Bank was continuing to urge Membersother than the United States to release for lendingadditional funds from their subscribed capital andwas meeting with considerable success. Since June1952, the Bank, despite the fact that the cost ofborrowed funds continued to rise, had successfullyfloated a $60 million issue in the United Statesand a 50 million Swiss franc issue in Switzerland.

The President of the Bank stated that the Bankwas devoting more attention to problems of ad-ministrative and financial management in con-nexion with the execution of projects it was fi-nancing and that it was assisting the borrowersin working out effective solutions. In some cases,such factors as inflationary monetary and fiscalpolicies had hampered effective Bank action, butthe Bank had been very active in undertakinginvestigations into the feasibility of providingnew loans or reducing current difficulties of Mem-bers. During the past nine months, more than 40Member countries and dependencies had beenvisited by Bank missions, including general survey

missions. Advice had been given to stimulate themobilization of local capital through the organi-zation of development banks and the marketingof domestic securities.

He noted that in some respects the world eco-nomic situation had almost reversed since the be-ginning of 1951. The accumulated demand forgoods in industrialized countries had largely beenmet, critical shortages had been overcome to agreat extent, inflation had somewhat subsided anda period of adjustment appeared to be setting in.Whatever the turn of events might be, he didnot anticipate any slackening in either the de-mand for or the urgency of economic develop-ment.

During the debate, several representatives,among them those of Argentina, Australia, France,India, the Philippines, Sweden, Turkey, the UnitedKingdom, the United States and Uruguay, expressedtheir satisfaction with the progress of the Bank'slending activities and its technical assistance pro-gramme, including its survey missions. The repre-sentatives of Egypt, India and the Philippinesthought that, although the Bank was now givinggreater attention to under-developed countriesthan in the past, certain geographical areas had,as yet, received an unduly small proportion ofloans. The United States representative expressedapproval of the flexibility of the Bank's operations,which had included for the first time a large directloan to a privately owned manufacturing enter-prise in India, and an increasing amount of loansin non-dollar currencies. The need for balanceddistribution of assistance to development schemesin the under-developed areas in the industrial aswell as the agricultural spheres was emphasizedby the Indian representative. He and the UnitedKingdom representative pointed out that, in ad-dition to its loans, the Bank had contributed to therevival of a somewhat better climate for inter-national investment, which was of particular im-portance at a time when public capital and par-ticularly private risk capital was increasinglyscarce.

Other representatives, including those of Bel-gium and France, noted that economic develop-ment continued to be hampered by the fact thata true multilateral system of payments had notbeen re-established. The former expressed theopinion that the Bank did not seem to have paidsufficient attention in its lending operations tothe objective of currency convertibility, in par-ticular through fostering the expansion of tri-angular trade. This, he urged, would have specialimportance for the export of capital goods byEuropean countries. Even though the Bank had to

306 Yearbook of the United Nations

plan its operations on the assumption that for thetime being certain currencies would remain in-convertible, it would be desirable to make itslending operations more multilateral. He also sug-gested that the Bank might free a country thathad been granted a dollar loan from the obligationof repayment in dollars provided that a non-dollar country where the proceeds of the loanhad been spent assumed the obligation of con-verting the equivalent amount back into dollarswhen the payments became due.

The representatives of Argentina and India ex-pressed concern as to the ability of the Bank tooperate effectively without a sharp drop in itsrate of investment in under-developed countriesin the event of a depression, because of its limitedresources and of its credit system, and hoped thatthe Bank would work out policies for such aneventuality. The Australian representative pointedout that the Bank, which was restricted in theamount and nature of the assistance it could offer,could not alone provide the international capitalrequired for economic development. However, itwas only one of several instruments capable ofpromoting a greater international flow of publicand private capital. The creation of a special fundfor economic development, in the view of somerepresentatives, including those of Turkey andYugoslavia, was an urgent necessity; such a fundand the Bank would then together be able to playan important role in the sphere of world finance.The view was expressed by the Australian repre-sentative that more importance should be attachedto the argument that the foreign financing of acountry's productive development might be apowerful factor in solving the economic and fi-nancial problems that gave rise to difficulties inits international relations.

The representative of WFUNA pointed outthat thus far the Bank had sold its bonds to ex-change agents and brokers who resold them tosuch agencies as insurance companies and banks.He suggested that the Bank make arrangementsfor offering its bonds to individual small saversas well—a method which he felt was economicallyfeasible and which would also have an importantpsychological effect.

Following the debate, the Council, by 16 votesto none, with 2 abstentions, adopted resolution466(XV) taking note of the report of the Bank.

2. Technical Assistance forEconomic Development

The Technical Assistance Administration(TAA)12 set up on 31 July 1950 is responsible

for the operational activities under General As-sembly resolutions 200(III) on technical assistancefor economic development, 418(V) on advisorysocial welfare services, for the operational and sub-stantive aspects of 246(III) on training in publicadministration, and for the United Nations oper-ational activities under the Expanded Programmeof Technical Assistance for Economic Develop-ment of Under-Developed Countries, establishedby the Economic and Social Council under reso-lution 222 A (IX).13 The first three programmesare financed by the regular United Nations budget;the Expanded Programme is financed by voluntarycontributions from governments to a Special Ac-count. However, with the exception of the originof the funds, the United Nations makes no ad-ministrative distinction between the technical as-sistance which it gives under resolutions 200(III) and 246(III) and that which it gives withExpanded Programme funds. This is also true ofthose social welfare services provided under reso-lution 418(V) that pertain directly to economicdevelopment, for example, those in the fields ofhousing and town and country planning, migra-tion and population.

The United Nations and the specialized agen-cies participate jointly in the Expanded Pro-gramme. The Technical Assistance Board (TAB)co-ordinates, integrates and reviews the activitiescarried out by these organizations under this Pro-gramme. The Technical Assistance Committee(TAC), a standing committee of the Councilmakes a critical examination of activities under-taken and results achieved and reports to theCouncil concerning the reports it receives fromTAB.


( 1 ) Consideration by the Economic andSocial Council at its Fifteenth Session

The Council's Technical Assistance Committee(TAC) met (29th to 37th meetings) from 23March to 2 April 1953 and presented two reportsto the Council, at its 687th plenary meeting on15 April 1953. The first (E/2394) was primarilya report to precede the discussions (see below) tobe held at the following session of TAC and atthe Council's sixteenth session. It dealt briefly withpreparatory work to be done before TAC's nextsession: (1) on proposals for improving the pro-cedures for developing co-ordinated technical as-

12 See also Y.U.N., 1952, p. 353.

13 For these resolutions, see Y.U.N., 1948-49. pp.

437-38, 443 and 480; Y.U.N., 1950, p. 596.

Economic and Social Questions 307

sistance programmes at the country level, and (2)on the preparation of a statement of the respon-sibilities of Resident Representatives and the cor-responding responsibilities of the field represen-tatives of the participating agencies. It also re-ferred to the plans for a study of future financ-ing of the Programme and to the need for work-ing out estimates on a basis longer than a one-year period.

The second report (E/2395 & Corr.1) dealt indetail with the question of local costs to be borneby governments. In this connexion, TAC had hadbefore it a report (E/TAC/R.59) by TAB onthe question of the payment by recipient govern-ments of local costs of technical assistance pro-jects. TAC had also had before it reports of itsworking party (E/TAC/4 & Corr.1 & 2) as wellas a resolution of the Executive Board of WHO(E/TAC/5) on the subject. The Committee hadaccepted, with slight changes, the proposals ofits working party and, in an annex, set forth thefinancial implications of these proposals, whichit recommended to the Council.

There was general agreement in the Councilthat the solutions recommended by TAC were inthe nature of a compromise and the representativeof the Philippines praised the remarkable co-operative effort of the delegations concerned. TheFrench representative expressed the hope that re-cipient countries would themselves participate inthe local costs of projects to a greater extent thanthat which was strictly required by the terms ofthe TAC decision. The Australian representativepointed out that the obligations assumed by re-cipient governments were not confined to the liv-ing costs of experts and that, when a governmentdecided to carry out a development plan, it wasfundamentally responsible for the administrationand financing of the plan.

On the basis of TAC's report, the Council, atits 687th plenary meeting on 15 April, by 16votes to none, with 2 abstentions, adopted theresolution (E/2395 B) proposed by TAC.

By this resolution (470(XV)), the Council de-cided that the new method of obtaining paymenttoward the living costs of experts, recommendedby TAC in its resolution of 27 March 1953 (seebelow) should be substituted for the methods con-tained in paragraph 214 of the operative part ofthe resolution of TAC of 17 July 1952 and putinto effect not later than 1 January 1954. It re-commended that payments made by governmentstowards living costs should be accounted for andadministered in the same manner as voluntarycontributions under resolution 222 (IX), provided

that reports on the financial status of the Pro-gramme shall distinguish between voluntary con-tributions and payments made by governmentstoward the living costs of experts. The Councilalso requested the Assembly to authorize the Sec-retary-General to account for and administer pay-ments made by governments towards the livingcosts of experts in accordance with the above-mentioned recommendations of the Council.

The resolution adopted by TAC was annexedto this resolution. It read as follows:

"The Technical Assistance Committee,

"Having reaffirmed the principle that governmentsshould make a substantial contribution to the cost oftechnical assistance in local currency or in kind,

"Noting that the present method of determining thelevel of payments by governments towards the livingcosts of experts has tended to create disparities in therates paid by different recipient governments in respectto such costs; that it has tended to bring about aprogressive deterioration of. the position in respect tothe aggregate amount of government payments towardssuch costs, and that the present methods of paymentof experts' living costs have created certain difficulties,

"Having considered the proposals on local costs tobe borne by governments under the Expanded Pro-gramme of Technical Assistance, contained in annex Iof the report of the Committee,

"1. Adopts the policies and procedures set forththerein;

"2. Decides that, at a date not later than 1 January1954, and without affecting the arrangements for meet-ing other types of local costs, the existing methods ofassessing and paying local living costs of experts shallbe modified to accord with those policies and procedures,to the end that,

"(a) All cash entitlements due to experts will bepaid directly either by the employing organization or byan agent of the Technical Assistance Board, out ofProgramme funds;

"(b) The amount due from each recipient govern-ment in respect of each expert man-day provided to thegovernment under the Programme will be assessed at astandard rate in local currency;

"(c) For purposes of calculation of amounts duefor expert services, the standard rate will be 50 per centof the TAB subsistence rate for the country concerned;

"(d) The amount calculated as due in respect ofthe total expert man-days to be provided in the yearwill be paid in accordance with financial arrangementsto be negotiated between the government, the ExecutiveChairman and the participating organizations con-cerned;

14 Paragraph 2 provided that "requesting governmentsshould not be required to provide the cost of lodgingor travel per diem for experts in respect of such projectsand programmes for the implementation of which ex-tensive staff and other facilities are provided by therequesting governments; in all cases requesting govern-ments should undertake to secure suitable accommoda-tions for the experts".

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"(e) The financial arrangements thus negotiatedwill take into account the option to be exercised bythe recipient government which would elect whether (i)to make its payments towards these costs programmeby programme, or alternatively, (ii) to make suchpayments in respect to all experts employed underall programmes in that country as a lump sum;

"3. Decides that, in cases of extreme hardship,general waivers may be granted by the Executive Chair-man in consultation with the Technical AssistanceBoard to cover all programmes in the recipient countryfor limited periods; waivers may also be granted inexceptional circumstances to cover certain specificprojects;

"4. Requests governments recipients of technicalassistance to take all actions necessary to enable themto make payments in local currency on the abovebasis;

"5. Requests the Executive Chairman of the Tech-nical Assistance Board, in consultation with the par-ticipating organizations, to carry out the necessarynegotiations with the governments concerned and toestablish the necessary administrative procedures, sothat the new arrangements herein approved may be ineffect at a date not later than 1 January 1954, inaccordance with the provisions for implementing themset forth in the report of the Working Party of theTechnical Assistance Committee."

( 2 ) Consideration by the Economic andSocial Council at its Sixteenth Session

TAC met (38th to 53rd meetings) from 22July to 5 August and submitted its report (E/-2497) to the Council at its 751st plenary meet-ing on 5 August 1953. The report was based onthe fifth report of TAB (E/2433), which gavean account of the Programme's development in1952, reviewed its financial aspects and summar-ized activities approved for 1953 and proposedfor 1954. At the request of TAC, the ExecutiveChairman of TAB had also submitted proposalsregarding the future financing of the Programme(E/TAC/10), the establishment of programmesof technical assistance at the country level (E/-TAC/12) and the role of Resident Representatives(E/TAC/13). The Council also had before it aspecial report by the Advisory Committee onCo-ordination (E/2450) on policy issues involvedin the operation of the technical assistance Pro-gramme under the Council's resolutions.

During the debate in TAC, general supportwas expressed for the concept of developing at thecountry level a programme aimed at ensuringthat the projects carried out were closely inte-grated with the recipient governments' own ef-forts and plans of development. In discussing therole of Resident Technical Assistance Represen-tatives, the Executive Chairman of TAB stressedthat inter-agency co-operation had been strength-ened by the appointment of these Representativesin a number of countries. The Polish and USSR

representatives doubted the advisability of suchappointments and thought expenses could be cutconsiderably by eliminating these posts. It wasgenerally agreed, however, that these Represen-tatives should continue to advise governments attheir request on the formulation and implement-ation of requests for technical assistance in theircountries of residence. In addition to the regularduties of Resident Representatives, it was con-sidered that they might take on specific duties asmight be agreed upon between the governmentconcerned and TAB. These functions would to alarge extent be determined in the light of the ex-istence of an effective planning and co-ordinatingmachinery in the country concerned, subject to theoverriding concept envisaged in the developmentof programmes at the country level.

The Executive Chairman and the Board wereasked to make a close examination of the positionin countries where Resident Representatives hadbeen appointed, particularly in those where re-presentatives of specialized agencies were func-tioning simultaneously, with a view to achievingeconomy and maximum efficiency. In this connex-ion, consideration should be given to the possi-bility of broadening the assignments of ResidentRepresentatives to include more than one country.

The Committee adopted a new system of re-ports, as proposed by the Executive Chairman,and stressed that more attention should be givento programme evaluation and appraisal of theresults.

TAC held a detailed discussion on the financialsituation with which the Programme was faced,its future financing and the administrative andfinancial procedures under which it was operated.

While all recognized the need for administra-tive economies, they noted the particular problemsarising from the complexity of the organizationalarrangements for the Expanded Programme. Themajority felt that TAB should closely examinethe question of concentration of activities witha view to ensuring that contributions were usedas effectively as possible. Noting that TAB hadset up a working group to consider improvedmethods of classifying indirect operation costs,the Committee expressed the hope that TABwould carefully scrutinize such costs, as well asadministrative costs, with a view to achievingeconomies.

The Committee stressed the importance ofgovernments paying promptly their pledged con-tributions, and welcomed the decision of the USSRand Poland to contribute financially to the Ex-panded Programme. The desirability of long-term

Economic and Social Questions 309

financing of the Programme was also recognized.The Committee further came to the conclusionthat a review of the current financial proceduresshould be undertaken immediately and appointeda working party to conduct such a review. As amatter of urgency, TAC also requested TAB toreview thoroughly the current financial proced-ures of the Expanded Programme, including thesystem of commitment and obligation and the sizeof the Special Reserve Fund and to report to theworking party.

The Committee also suggested that the As-sembly might wish to request the Advisory Com-mittee on Administrative and Budgetary Ques-tions to review the administrative procedures ofTAB and those of the participating organizations,and their administrative expenditures financedfrom the Special Account. Such advice, it stated,would be welcomed by TAC in considering thepolicies of the Programme.

Following a brief discussion at the Council's751st plenary meeting on 5 August, at which theneed for a reduction in administrative expenseswas again stressed, the two draft resolutions pro-posed by TAC (E/2497) were adopted by theCouncil.

By 16 votes to none, with 2 abstentions, theCouncil (492 C I (XVI)) took note of thememorandum of the Executive Chairman of TABoutlining the measures adopted by the Board forimproving the procedures whereby co-ordinatedcountry technical assistance programmes mightbe developed at the country level. It also requestedTAB to report to TAC on the results obtainedby putting these proposals into effect. It recalled,in that connexion, General Assembly resolution519(VI) which requests the recipient govern-ments to strengthen their internal machinery witha view to rendering more effective the activitiesof the participating organizations and to facili-tate the co-ordination work of TAB and of itsResident Representatives.

The draft resolution concerning financial ar-rangements for 1954 and future financing of theExpanded Programme was adopted in parts: PartB was adopted by 16 votes to none, with 2 ab-stentions; and the preamble and Parts A, C, andD unanimously. The draft resolution, as a whole,was adopted unanimously. This resolution (492C. II (XVI)) read as follows:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Having considered the report of the TechnicalAssistance Committee on the Expanded Programme ofTechnical Assistance, together with the fifth report ofthe Technical Assistance Board, the documents presented

by the Technical Assistance Board, and the specialreport of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordina-tion,

"Reaffirming its conviction that the Programme as apositive force in the economic development of under-developed countries and as a moral force for buildingthe foundations of a peaceful world merits continuationand expansion,


"1. Emphasizes the pressing need that governmentspay their pledged contributions promptly, includingthose already announced;

"2. Urges States participating in the Expanded Pro-gramme of Technical Assistance to continue to give ittheir full support, financial and other, so as to ensure itsessential and natural development and help it to meetthe growing needs of the under-developed countries;

"3. Urges that, in order to permit the ExpandedProgramme of Technical Assistance to progress, gov-ernments contribute for the year 1954 so as to meetto the maximum extent possible the programme needsfor 1954, and in any case so that the funds availableshall be no less than the amount earmarked by theTechnical Assistance Board for the approved 1953 pro-gramme;

"4. Requests that, in order to enable the participat-ing organizations to plan their programmes for 1954in advance of the beginning of that year, the UnitedNations Negotiating Committee for Extra-BudgetaryFunds meet as soon as possible after the close of thesixteenth session of the Council, and that the fourthTechnical Assistance Conference be held as early aspossible during the eighth regular session of the Gen-eral Assembly;


"5. Recommends to the General Assembly to ap-prove at an early date in its eighth regular session thefollowing financial arrangements for the year 1954:

"(a) Seventy-five per cent of total funds avail-able, excluding carry-over, shall be available forallocation to the participating organizations after ap-proval of country programmes by the Technical Assist-ance Board, in accordance with the percentages setforth in paragraph 8 (c) of Council resolution 222(IX)as amended and modified pursuant to paragraph 19 ofthe report of the Technical Assistance Committee tothe thirteenth session of the Council;

"(b) The balance of funds available, includingcarry-over, shall be retained in the Special Account:(i) to cover the necessary minimum expenses of TABand the resident representatives, and (ii) for furtherallocation to the participating organizations, as pro-vided in Council resolution 433(XIV);

"(c) In establishing the level of the necessary ad-ministrative expense in the whole programme, the needfor economy, in view of the present level of operationalexpenditure, shall be fully taken into account;


"6. Takes note of the decision of the TechnicalAssistance Committee to appoint a working party:

"(a) To review the financial procedures underwhich the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistanceoperates;

310 Yearbook of the United Nations

"(b) To consider in due course the system ofallocation of funds to be applied as from 1955, takinginto account the resolutions of TAC concerning thedevelopment of technical assistance programmes at thecountry level;

"7. Requests the Technical Assistance Committeeto submit any recommendations it may wish to makein connexion with sub-paragraph (a) in the precedingparagraph to the resumed session of the Council, tobe held during or shortly after the eighth regular sessionof the General Assembly;


"8. Having considered the feasibility of working outestimates for the Programme on a basis longer than aone-year period, according to the desire expressed by theGeneral Assembly in its resolution 621(VII),

"9. Expresses the view that, for the orderly develop-ment of programmes, it would be useful to have assuredfinancial support for a period longer than a year, evenif the establishment of accurate long-term estimates ofthe requirements of the Programme is not feasible;

"10. Invites, therefore, such participating countriesas may be in a position to do so, to take steps, withintheir constitutional limitations, to ensure the financialsupport of the Programme on a long-term basis."

(3) Consideration by the General Assemblyat its Eighth Session

The General Assembly considered the ExpandedProgramme of Technical Assistance at the 249thto 257th meetings of its Second Committee, from28 September to 12 October, and at its 454thplenary meeting on 23 October. It had before itthe report of the Economic and Social Council(A/2430) and a memorandum by the Secretary-General providing a summary of the backgroundmaterial on questions relating to economic de-velopment.

The Executive Chairman of the Technical As-sistance Board (TAB), in an opening statementto the Committee, pointed out that the crucialquestion was whether or not the Programmewould be provided with the financial resources toproceed, to expand gradually and to fulfil its prom-ise. Although the rate of cash payments had beenbetter in 1953 than in 1952, considerable doubthad arisen concerning the probable payment ofsome contributions. He regretted that the tre-mendous momentum gained by the Expanded Pro-gramme had not been maintained in 1953. Finan-cial limitations and uncertainties had made itnecessary to abandon plans for expansion, manyrequests had been refused, and the hopes of manygovernments had been disappointed. In sharp con-trast to the earlier years, 1953 had been markedby consolidation, disengagement and retrench-ment. It was hoped that the forthcoming pledgingconference would remedy the situation, but as nosignificant carry-over funds from 1953 to 1954

could be expected, governments would have topledge a total of not less than 20 per cent inexcess of the previous pledged total if the Pro-gramme were to be implemented in 1954 on thescale originally planned for 1953.

During the debate, the value of the Programmewas stressed by all speakers. The mutual advan-tages deriving from a world-wide exchange ofskills were stressed, as was also the contributionof the Programme to world peace by helpingpeoples to overcome conditions which breed un-rest, tyranny and war. The Programme had shownthat, despite political differences, the countries ofthe world could unite through the United Nationsin a common endeavour for the general good ofall. It was a practical activity by which manypeople would judge the Organization. Its actualachievements to date warranted the continued sup-port of United Nations Members.

As in the Council, many representatives, indiscussing the operation of the Programme, heldthat administrative costs were too high. Somerepresentatives, among them those of Guatemala,India, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, thought thesalaries of experts appeared excessive. The repre-sentative of India held that the use of ResidentTechnical Assistance Representatives often im-posed a heavy financial burden and suggestedthat there be fewer Representatives and that theybe appointed on a regional basis rather than fora single country. In this connexion, the Indonesianrepresentative agreed that the possibility of somereadjustment of jurisdiction assigned to ResidentRepresentatives might be explored in the interestsof better co-ordination.

A number of representatives announced theirgovernments' continuing support for the Pro-gramme and their intentions—subject to parlia-mentary approval—to increase their pledges forthe coming year. The representative of Czecho-slovakia had also earlier announced, at the 444thplenary meeting on 24 September, that his countrywas ready to contribute to the Programme.

There was some discussion as to the possibilitiesof governments pledging funds for a period ofmore than one year, but it was generally recog-nized that, for constitutional and administrativereasons, it would be impossible for most govern-ments to make such pledges. However, in this con-nexion, the Indonesian representative announcedthat his Government would make a pledge for aperiod of three years. The representative of SaudiArabia suggested that an annual quota system beset up similar to that used in maintaining theregular United Nations budget. The representative

Economic and Social Questions 311

of Argentina also favoured some system of perma-nent contributions.

As a means of raising additional funds, theHaitian representative suggested the sale of aspecial Technical Assistance postage stamp inMember States. The representative of Peru sup-ported the examination of this proposal and sug-gested also the possibility of obtaining funds fromprivate institutions or donors.

The need for greater co-ordination of the Pro-gramme was stressed during the debate. The re-presentatives of Argentina, Belgium and the USSRsupported the idea that programmes conductedby individual agencies in the countries should beintegrated into wider national programmes andthat the specialized agencies should be inducedto give up part of their independence in order topromote the flexible and regular operation of theExpanded Programme. The representative ofFrance suggested that governments be moreclosely associated with the approval of programmesand the allocation of funds for technical aid pro-jects, somewhat along the lines of the proceduresfollowed in other United Nations operations fi-nanced from voluntary contributions by govern-ments, like the United Nations Children's Fundor the programmes for Korea and Palestine refu-gees. He also favoured abolishing the current sys-tem, whereby a certain proportion of the fundsfor the Expanded Programme were automaticallyallocated between the participating organizationsin accordance with an established formula. Severalmembers, including the representatives of Argen-tina, Belgium, Egypt, Israel, Iraq and the Nether-lands, thought these suggestions deserved furtherstudy. The representative of the Netherlands,however, cautioned that the scheme for more di-rect association of governments in the execution ofthe Programme would not fully come up to ex-pectations if it involved the creation of some sortof advisory inter-governmental body of very re-stricted membership.

The Assembly had before it a joint draft reso-lution (A/C.2/L.197) by Belgium, Bolivia, Can-ada, the Dominican Republic, Iraq, the Nether-lands, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Statesand the United Kingdom embodying the substanceof the recommendations by the Council.

The representatives of Israel and Norway pro-posed (A/C.2/L.198) the insertion of a newparagraph which would request "the participatinggovernments and agencies to intensify their effortsto secure wide publicity for the Programme".Among others, the representatives of Egypt, India,Iran and Lebanon objected to this amendment

primarily on the grounds that it was inconsistentwith the needs and recommendations for economy.The sponsors of the amendment agreed to add(A/C.2/L.198/Rev.1) the words "by existingmeans at their disposal" since, they stated, theyhad not intended that additional money be re-quired.

The representative of Greece submitted a pro-posal (A/C.2/L.199/Rev.1) which, following theacceptance of a drafting amendment by Iraq,would invite TAC and TAB, in working out theirrecommendations on the administration, financialprocedures and system of allocation of funds, totake into consideration the relevant views ex-pressed in the Assembly's debates.

The representative of the USSR thought thatthe paragraph in the draft concerning unfulfilledpledges should specify that the governments whichhad not fulfilled such pledges had made them atconferences of participants, and suggested anamendment (A/C.2/L.200) to clarify this point.He accepted a suggestion by Pakistan to refer to"obligations assumed" rather than "pledges", inview of the fact that in the legal sense the major-ity of governments did not assume a binding en-gagement since decisions had to be ratified bytheir legislatures.

The representative of Egypt thought that theresolution ought to conform more closely to Coun-cil resolution 492 C (XVI). The Council, hestated, had reaffirmed that the Programme mustbe dynamic and continually expanding. The As-sembly should take the same approach rather thancondemning the Programme to stagnation by ex-pressions of satisfaction with the current status.He therefore submitted amendments (A/C.2/-L.201) to this effect.

At the Committee's 257th meeting on 8 Oc-tober, a draft resolution was submitted (A/C.2/-L.202) by a working group set up at the previousmeeting. The working group had substituted anew text for the joint amendment submitted byIsrael and Norway and this was subsequentlyadopted by 41 votes to 1, with 10 abstentions (seebelow, paragraph 1).

The USSR representative considered that thepoint of his amendment had not been met. How-ever, he agreed to a text submitted verbally bythe French representative; this text was adoptedby 45 votes to none, with 7 abstentions (see be-low, paragraph 3). The Committee also agreed,as proposed by Poland and the United Kingdom,respectively, to refer in paragraph 4 specificallyto Council resolution 492 C. I & II (XVI), para-graphs 6 and 7 (see above).

312 Yearbook of the United Nations

On the request of the representative of theUSSR, paragraph 6 was voted on separately; itwas adopted by a vote of 45 to none, with 7 ab-stentions.

The draft resolution, as a whole, as amended,was adopted unanimously by the Committee (A/-2519 I), and by the General Assembly at its454th plenary meeting on 23 October 1953. Reso-lution 722(VIII) read:

"The General Assembly,"Believing that the results so far achieved by the

Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance demon-strate the important contribution which the Programmehas made and is capable of making in the economicdevelopment of under-developed countries,

"Desirous that the Expanded Programme shall con-tinue to play an increasingly effective role in theachievement of higher standards of living for the peopleof the under-developed areas,

"1. Recommends that governments and participat-ing agencies pay due regard to making the aims andoperations of the Expanded Programme of TechnicalAssistance more widely known;

"2. Urges that, in order to permit the ExpandedProgramme to progress, governments contribute forthe year 1954 so as to meet to the maximum extent pos-sible the Programme needs for 1954 and, in any case,so that the funds available shall be no less than theamount earmarked by the Technical Assistance Boardfor the approved 1953 programme;

"3. Emphasizes the pressing need that governmentspay promptly their contributions pledged at conferences,with special regard to previous financial periods;

"4. Notes with satisfaction the actions taken by theEconomic and Social Council in paragraphs 1, 2 and3 of section I and in paragraphs 6 and 7 of section II ofresolution 492 C (XVI) of 5 August 1953 designed tostrengthen the organization and administration of theExpanded Programme, so as to assure the most ef-fective use of the contributions made available, andinvites the Technical Assistance Committee and theTechnical Assistance Board, in working out their rec-ommendations on the administration, the financial pro-cedures and the system of allocation of funds of theExpanded Programme of Technical Assistance, to takeinto consideration the relevant views expressed in thedebates during the eighth session of the General As-sembly;

"5. Requests the Advisory Committee on Adminis-trative and Budgetary Questions to review as soon aspossible the administrative procedures of the TechnicalAssistance Board and those of the participating organiza-tions as well as their administrative expenditures so faras those are financed from the Special Account;

"6. Approves the financial arrangements set forthin the annex hereto as recommended by the Economicand Social Council in paragraph 5 of section II ofresolution 492 C (XVI);

"7. Requests the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds, appointed pursuant to General As-sembly resolution 759(VIII) of 5 October 1953, toundertake, in addition to already assigned tasks andas soon as convenient after the closing of the eighteenth

session of the Economic and Social Council, negotia-tions with governments regarding their pledges to theSpecial Account for the year 1955 towards the goal tobe suggested by the Council at the same session;

"8. Notes that the Economic and Social Council,in response to the desire expressed by the GeneralAssembly in resolution 621(VII) of 21 December 1952,has expressed the view that, for the orderly develop-ment of programmes, it would be useful to have assuredfinancial support for a period longer than a year,and invites those participating countries which maybe in a position to do so to take steps within theirconstitutional limitations, to ensure the financial supportof the Expanded Programme on a long-term basis."



(Recommended by the Economic and Social Council inparagraph 5, section II, of resolution 492 C (XVI))

(a) Seventy-five per cent of total funds available,excluding carry-over, shall be available for allocation tothe participating organizations after approval of countryprogrammes by the Technical Assistance Board, in ac-cordance with the percentages set forth in paragraph8 (c)15 of Council resolution 222 A (IX) as amendedand modified pursuant to paragraph 19 of the reportof the Technical Assistance Committee to the thirteenthsession of the Council;

(b) The balance of funds available, including carry-over, shall be retained in the Special Account (i) tocover the necessary minimum expenses of TAB and theresident representatives; and (ii) for further allocationto the participating organizations, as provided in Coun-cil resolution 433(XIV);

(c) In establishing the level of the necessary admin-istrative expense in the whole Programme, the needfor economy, in view of the present level of operationalexpenditure, shall be fully taken into account.

(4) Activities during 195316

During the year, a total of 86 countries andterritories received technical assistance under theExpanded Programme. The total direct projectcosts incurred by all the participating organiza-tions on their projects in these countries andterritories during 1953 amounted to the equivalentof US $17.8 million. Of the total, projects im-plemented in Africa accounted for $1.7 million,Asia and the Far East for $5.5 million, Europefor $1.5 million, Latin America for $4.6 millionand the Middle East for $3.2 million. A sum of$1.3 million was obligated on inter-regional pro-jects which benefited jointly countries in morethan one region.



Expanded and regular programmes, see below. Foractivities of the specialized agencies under the ExpandedProgramme and under their regular programmes, seeunder the respective agencies. For a summary ofadvisory social welfare activities under the Expanded Pro-gramme and under resolution 418(V), see pp. 460-61.

Formerly paragraph 9 (c). For activities of the United Nations under the

Economic and Social Questions 313

To provide for some unforeseen but urgent re-quests from governments, to meet the shortageof financial resources and to utilize more fullysome of the non-convertible currencies, variousadjustments had to be made in the Programmeduring 1953. As a result, 269 projects were com-pleted during the year and, at the end of 1953,a total of 502 were in operation in 68 countriesand territories.

During 1953, as in previous years, the mainforms of assistance continued to be: (1) the pro-vision of the services of experts in various special-ized fields; (2) the award of fellowships andstudy or training grants to nationals of the under-developed countries for observation, study ortraining abroad in the various fields related toeconomic or social development; and (3) theprovision of limited amounts of supplies andequipment not locally available in the countriesassisted and needed for purposes of training anddemonstration in connexion with particular tech-nical assistance projects. The relative importanceof these three forms of assistance in the Pro-gramme as implemented in 1953 can be seen fromthe fact that, of the total amounts obligated for

projects during the year, experts accounted for$13,585,310 (76 per cent), fellowships for $2,-531,582 (14 per cent) and supplies and equip-ment for $1,701,255 (10 per cent).

A total of 1,757 experts of 64 nationalities weresent to 65 countries and territories during 1953,as against 1,626 experts of 64 nationalities sentin 1952 to 62 countries and territories. An im-portant feature of the 1953 operations was thesharp fall in the number of fellowships and schol-arships awarded as a result of the acute financialstringency. Thus, a total of 1,195 scholarships andfellowships were awarded to nationals of 85 coun-tries and territories, compared with the 2,127awards made in 1952 to nationals of 92 countriesand territories, and 67, as compared with 76,countries or territories acted as hosts to fellows.

(5) Contributions to the Expanded Programme

of Technical Assistance

As a result of the Third Technical AssistanceConference in February 1953, 69 governments,by 31 December, had pledged $22,395,687 for theyear 1953, as follows:

Name of Country

1. Afghanistan2. Argentina3. Australia4. Austria

5. Belgium6. Bolivia7. Brazil8. Burma9. Cambodia

10. Canada11. Ceylon

12. Chile13. China14. Colombia13. Costa Rica16. Cuba17. Denmark18. Dominican Republic19. Ecuador20. Egypt21. El Salvador22. Ethiopia23. Finland24. France25. Germany, Fed. Rep. of26. Greece27. Guatemala28. Haiti29. Honduras30. Iceland31. India

Local Currency Amount

Equivalent of US $Argentine pesosEquivalent of US $SchillingsEquivalent of US $BolivianosCruzeirosEquivalent of US $United States $United States $Equivalent in pounds

sterling of US $Chilean pesosUnited States $United States IUnited States $Cuban pesosDanish kronerUnited States $SucresEgyptian poundsUnited States $United States $Equivalent of US $French francsGerman marksEquivalent of US $United States $United States $United States $Equivalent of US $Equivalent of US $












US DollarEquivalents














314 Yearbook of the United Nations

Name of Country

32. Indonesia33. Iran34. Iraq35. Israel36. Italy37. Japan38. Korea39. Laos40. Lebanon41. Liberia42. Libya43. Luxembourg

44. Mexico45. Monaco46. Netherlands47. New Zealand48. Nicaragua49. Norway50. Pakistan51. Panama52. Paraguay53. Peru54. Philippines55. Poland56. Saudi Arabia57. Sweden58. Switzerland59 Syria60. Thailand61. Turkey62. USSR63. United Kingdom64. United States65. Uruguay66. Venezuela67. Vietnam68. Yemen69. Yugoslavia

Local Currency Amount

Equivalent of USEquivalent of USPounds sterlingEquivalent of USEquivalent of USEquivalent of USUnited States $PiastresLebanese poundsUnited States $United States $Equivalent in Belgian

francs of US $Mexican pesosFrench francsNetherlands guildersNew Zealand poundsCordobasNorwegian kronerPakistan rupeesUnited States $United States $United States $United States $ZlotysUnited States $Swedish kronerSwiss francsSyrian poundsBahtTurkish poundsRublesPounds sterlingUnited States $Equivalent of US $Equivalent of US $Equivalent of US $Indian rupeesEquivalent of US $














US DollarEquivalents















* Pledge increased by the equivalent of $3,000, in accordance with letter of 17 September 1953 from AfghanGovernment.

** Pledge announced at the sixteenth session of the Economic and Social Council.*** Pledge announced at the sixteenth session of the Economic and Social Council, but subject to confirmation.

As a result of the Fourth Technical AssistanceConference, in November, 69 governments andthe Holy See, by the end of the year, had pledged$24,204,529 for 1954.


(1) Progress Report of the Secretary-General

The Council, at its 747th plenary meeting on3 August 1953, had before it a report submittedby the Secretary-General (E/2414) describingtechnical assistance rendered to governments bythe United Nations during 1952 and, more briefly,important developments in this field during thefirst three months of 1953.18 The report covered

activities under the Expanded Programme of tech-nical assistance as well as under the three relatedprogrammes concerning economic development,public administration, and advisory social welfareservices established by General Assembly resolu-tions 200(III), 246(III) and 418(V), respect-ively. The report contained a description, by coun-try and project, of action taken to meet requestsfrom 77 governments and territories, as well assome 45 regional and other projects, many ofwhich had been planned or carried out in co-


See also under Advisory Social Welfare Services,pp. 460-61.

18 For details of assistance rendered during 1952 and1953, respectively, see Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 362-63 andthis Yearbook, pp. 317-18.


Economic and Social Questions 315

operation with the secretariats of the regionaleconomic commissions and with other agencies.

The Secretary-General in his report drew theCouncil's attention to the striking increase in thevolume of assistance rendered to governments.The number of experts had, for example, risenfrom 165 in 1951 to 451 in 1952; and whereas,in 1951, 451 fellows and scholars had taken upawards, the comparable figure in 1952 had been729. He reminded the Council, however, that thisencouraging development was offset by the factthat, at the very moment when the technical as-sistance programme was getting into its stride, itsfurther growth had been at any rate temporarilycurtailed by the shortage of funds.

He reported a growing tendency on the partof countries in the process of development to playan active part as givers of technical assistance,either by furnishing host facilities for fellows andscholars or by making available experts to givetechnical advice or to conduct training or demon-stration projects. Particularly in the case of thefellowship programme, periods of study and ob-servation, in the Secretary-General's view, couldoften be more fruitful to the individual concernedif spent in countries where the level of economicdevelopment did not diverge too sharply fromthat in his own country and where a similar socialand cultural pattern obtained. The Secretary-General further stated that careful attention hadbeen paid, in accordance with views frequentlyexpressed in the Council, to the selection of pro-jects in the social field to be financed under theExpanded Programme. Only those projects directlyrelated to economic development would be sofinanced.

On the subject of reporting, the Secretary-General informed the Council that he proposedto continue his current practice of submitting oneannual report to the Council on the activities ofTAA as a whole. He further suggested that, inorder to meet the requirements of General As-sembly resolution 200(III) on technical assistancefor economic development, which asks for thesubmission of a report to each session of theCouncil on measures taken in compliance withthat resolution, a brief information paper on ac-tivities under the resolution might be circulatedat other sessions of the Council during a givenyear. Such a paper had in fact been circulatedduring the Council's fifteenth session (E/2375).

During the discussion, the representatives ofFrance and the United States declared that theywere generally satisfied with the progress re-corded and considered that the programme had

been well directed and conducted during 1952.The representative of the USSR thought that muchgood had been achieved and, although there wereshortcomings, they did not detract from the sig-nificance of the programme. The United Statesrepresentative also expressed the view that thegrowing part played in the implementation of theprogramme by countries in the process of develop-ment was an encouraging sign. He and the Frenchrepresentative expressed particular satisfactionwith the increasingly effective collaboration withthe secretariats of the regional economic commis-sions and with the development of regional ac-tivities in general. However, the representative ofFrance felt that the expenses entailed by the largenumber of seminars and working groups mightbe considered excessive. Satisfaction was also ex-pressed at evidence of smoother co-ordination withother technical assistance programmes and withinthe United Nations Secretariat itself. The USSRrepresentative warned that attempts to achieve co-ordination with bilateral programmes might im-plicate the United Nations programme in mattersalien to the nature and aims of internationaltechnical assistance.

The representatives of the United Kingdomand the United States placed particular emphasison the importance of the follow-up of technicalassistance by recipient governments, both as re-gards the implementation of experts' recommend-ations and as regards the use to which returningfellows and scholars were able to put the trainingthey had received abroad. It was essential, theyheld, that the Council should receive informationon, and an evaluation of, the results of technicalassistance, and future reports by the Secretary-General should cover this question as fully aspossible. On the general subject of reports, it wasagreed that one annual report on the previousyear's activities would meet the Council's needs,and that, in addition, the brief information paperto be circulated at other sessions would serve auseful purpose.

A French draft resolution (E/L.656) wasadopted by the Council by 16 votes to none, with2 abstentions. The Polish representative, explain-ing his abstention, expressed the view that theCouncil should use a uniform phrase in acknowl-edging reports and not "take note" of them insome instances and "express satisfaction" in others.This view was shared by the USSR representative.In resolution 492 A (XVI), the Council notedwith satisfaction the Secretary-General's reportconcerning the Regular United Nations Pro-gramme of Technical Assistance.

316 Yearbook of the United Nations

(2) Technical Assistance in Public Administration


The Council at its 747th and 748th plenarymeetings, on 3 and 4 August, had before it a re-port by the Secretary-General on "Technical As-sistance in Public Administration" (E/2415).The report outlined the history of the programme,pointing out that the emphasis had graduallyshifted from the conception, embodied in GeneralAssembly resolution 246(III), of an internationaltraining centre to the provision of opportunitiesfor national and regional training, and that, atthe request of governments, direct expert assist-ance in public administration was being furnishedon an increasing scale. The Secretary-General de-scribed the elements of the programme as cur-rently carried out and suggested that the Councilmight wish to give its official sanction to theseactivities, which were wider in scope than thoseoriginally conceived by the Council and the Gen-eral Assembly at the inception of the programme.

The discussion of the report revealed that theCouncil was in substantial agreement that theneed existed for a new and more realistic definitionof the terms of reference, aims and methods ofthe programme of technical assistance in publicadministration and that it endorsed, in general,the trends and developments noted by the Sec-retary-General in his report. The principle thateconomic development could only be securelyfounded in countries possessing sound administra-tive structures was reaffirmed, and it was pointedout, by the Argentine representative, that thecountries most in need of United Nations assist-ance in public administration were those in theprocess of development. Several representatives,among them those of Australia, Egypt, France,the USSR and the United States, agreed that theshift in emphasis towards regional and nationaltraining was wise, since there was a special needin the field of public administration for technicalassistance designed and adapted to meet the needsof a particular country. In this connexion, theEgyptian representative urged that emphasisshould be placed on national, rather than onregional, training centres. It was also generallyagreed that future reports on the programmeshould include an assessment of practical resultsachieved.

A number of representatives, among them thoseof Belgium, France and the United Kingdom,noted with satisfaction the collaboration describedin the Secretary-General's report between theUnited Nations and the International Institute of

Administrative Sciences, and urged that themaximum use be made of the expertise of thisand similar institutions, in the interests of bothefficiency and economy. The representative of theUSSR held the view, however, that such co-opera-tion should not entail any allocation of UnitedNations funds to these institutions.

While it was generally considered that the col-lection and dissemination of technical informationwas an important aspect of the programme, theUnited Kingdom representative stressed that themajor effort of the Public Administration Divi-sion of TAA should be directed towards tangibleassistance to governments and that the collec-tion of technical information should be left toexpert bodies. The USSR representative thoughtthat the type of information received was oftensuperfluous and that the United Nations shouldconcentrate on information submitted by govern-ments which would have a direct bearing on theproblems of technical assistance in public admin-istration.

The Council had before it a joint draft resolu-tion (E/L.562) by Argentina, Cuba, Egypt, thePhilippines, Sweden, the United Kingdom andthe United States redefining the functions andaims of the programme of technical assistance inpublic administration along the broad lines sug-gested in the Secretary-General's report.

The Council noted an oral statement by theDirector-General of TAA to the effect that theadoption of the draft resolution would not author-ize the initiation of any new activity and wouldneither increase nor decrease the financial com-mitment of the United Nations. By 15 votes to 2,with 1 abstention, it rejected an oral proposal bythe USSR representative to include in the draftresolution a specific directive that the financialestimates for the programme should be put for-ward within the limits of the previous year'sappropriation. It was agreed, however, that, whilethe Council should not impose such an unprece-dented limitation on the Secretary-General'spowers to suggest increases or decreases in theUnited Nations budgetary estimates, his attentionshould be drawn to the need for ensuring thatthe programme was administered with the utmosteconomy.

The sponsors of the draft resolution accepteda French amendment (E/L.566), which wouldprovide for collaboration with the InternationalInstitute of Administrative Sciences not only withregard to exchange of information but also withregard to collection and analysis of technical infor-mation in the field of public administration. As

Economic and Social Questions 317

suggested by the representative of Cuba, thewords "where appropriate" were inserted. In aseparate vote on this part of the paragraph, it wasadopted by 16 votes to 2, and the remainder ofthe draft resolution was adopted by 16 votes tonone, with 2 abstentions. The draft resolution, asa whole, as amended, was adopted by the Coun-cil at its 748th meeting on 4 August 1953, by 16votes to none, with 2 abstentions.

By resolution 492 B (XVI), the Council tooknote of the Secretary-General's report on the pro-gramme of technical assistance in public admin-istration and of the organizational measures whichhe had taken in that connexion, and recommendedthat the Assembly adopt a resolution approving arevised United Nations programme in publicadministration. (For text as adopted withoutchange by the Assembly, see below.)


The General Assembly considered the item"Technical assistance in public administration" atthe same time as it discussed questions concern-ing the Expanded Programme of technical assist-ance for economic development at the 249th to257th meetings of its Second Committee, from 28September to 12 October, and at its 454th plenarymeeting on 23 October.

During the general debate, a number of rep-resentatives, including those of Belgium, Brazil,Cuba, Iran, the Netherlands and Turkey, stressedthe importance of the public administration pro-gramme. Without an efficient public administra-tion, the representative of Belgium pointed out,the economic and social standard of living couldnot be raised. Since public administration was avery large subject, experts, he stressed, should givetheir advice on specific points and these recom-mendations should be practical and adapted tolocal conditions. The representative of Iran statedthat he would endorse any means to improve pub-lic administration in under-developed countries bymethods more closely adapted to the individualrequirements of such countries and by more directassistance.

The draft resolution, as proposed by the Coun-cil (492 B (XVI)), was adopted unanimouslyby the Second Committee (A/2519 II) at its256th meeting on 9 October, and by the Assem-bly at its 454th plenary meeting on 23 October1953. Resolution 723 (VIII) read:

"The General Assembly,

"Noting that the programme of activities and theorganizational arrangements developed by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Economic and Social

Council in response to General Assembly resolution246(III) of 4 December 1948, and placed on a con-tinuing basis in accordance with General Assemblyresolution 518(VI) of 12 January 1952, are no longeradequately covered by the terms of resolution 246(III),

"Noting further that the aforementioned activitiesnow form an integral part of a wider programme ofassistance to governments in the field of public admin-istration, including aspects other than training,

"Recognizing the increasingly important role of gov-ernmental administration in programmes for the pro-motion of economic development and social welfare,

"1. Approves a revised United Nations programmein public administration comprising:

"(a) The provision, at the request of governments,of technical assistance related to public administration,including training for public service, through:

(i) The advisory services of experts;(ii) Fellowships and scholarships;(iii) Training institutes, seminars, conferences, work-

ing groups and other means;(iv) The provision of technical publications;

"(b) The collection, analysis and exchange of tech-nical information in the field of public administration,in collaboration, where appropriate, with the Inter-national Institute of Administrative Sciences and otherappropriate institutions, and assistance to governmentsto promote, by all suitable means, sound public admin-istration, in relation to economic and social develop-ment;

"2. Authorizes the Secretary-General to continue toinclude in the budgetary estimates of the United Nationsthe funds necessary for carrying out an effective opera-tional programme based on the provision of the aboveservices and, in addition, to finance such activities fromfunds made available from the United Nations Expand-ed Programme of Technical Assistance, provided that, inthe latter case, such assistance is related to the economicdevelopment of under-developed countries;

"3. Reaffirms the principle by which each request-ing government shall continue to be expected to assumeresponsibility, as far as possible, for all or part of theexpenses connected with the services furnished to it;

"4. Requests the Secretary-General to report regu-larly to the Economic and Social Council on activitiescarried on under this programme."

(3) Activities during 195)

In 1953, under the United Nations programmeof technical assistance, 495 experts, recruited from50 countries, gave advice in the fields of social wel-fare, economic development, and public admin-istration in response to requests from 55 govern-ments. The experts were specialists in transportand communications, industrial development,applied economics, statistics, water and mineralresources, monetary and fiscal policy, cottageindustries, electrification, housing and town plan-ning, rehabilitation, population, rural welfare,training of civil servants and social workers, per-sonnel selection and central and local administra-tion.

318 Yearbook of the United Nations

Work has been diversified and has varied fromgeological surveys of almost unmapped territoriesto the revision of statutes of central banks. Expertshave assisted in finding new water supplies fordrought-threatened cities and have aided financeministers in devising new investment programmes.New ports have been developed, new techniquesin industry and in building applied, and newequipment installed.

In addition to providing expert advice, theUnited Nations, in 1953, arranged to send abroad627 fellows and scholars; of these, 273 observedand studied in the field of economic development,100 in the field of public administration, and 254in that of social welfare.

Technical assistance is also supplied by meansof group activities. During 1953, for example,a group of technicians from Asia and the FarEast visited Australia to study the prospecting,mining, and utilization of lignite. Demonstrationshave been held in Israel on the use of stabilizedearth as a building material and preparationswere made for the opening in Pakistan of aregional training centre in railway operations.

In Santiago, Chile, an Economic DevelopmentTraining Programme has continued the workbegun in a previous year. A seminar on the trans-port problems of five Central American countrieshas been part of a larger programme of the eco-nomic integration of their national systems. InEgypt, a Demonstration Centre for the Rehabilita-tion Service of the Blind has been opened underthe guidance of a Canadian expert; the Centrecombines a school, home training facilities anda Braille printing press.

Training schools in Public Administration havebeen established in Brazil, Turkey and Libya, andplans were well advanced by the end of the yearfor a school in Central America. Seminars on pub-lic administration and budget management wereorganized in Istanbul and Mexico City.

Two regional seminars in social welfare wereheld in Latin America. One, on rural welfare,dealt with the problems associated with migra-tion from the countryside to the towns; the otherwas concerned with the prevention of crime andtreatment of offenders. In Europe, Exchange PlanSeminars in social welfare were organized onsimilar lines to those of previous years.


The General Assembly on 1 February 1952(515(VI) ) 1 9 requested the Economic and SocialCouncil to study, in consultation with the Gov-ernment of the United Kingdom of Libya, ways

and means by which the United Nations, with theco-operation of all governments and the com-petent specialized agencies, and upon the requestof the Government of Libya, could furnishadditional assistance to that country with a viewto financing its fundamental and urgent pro-grammes of economic and social development, andto report thereon to the Assembly. At the requestof the Libyan Government (E/2282), the Coun-cil at its fourteenth session in 1952 postponedconsideration of the question until 1953, at whichtime that Government had indicated it expected tobe in a position to furnish the requisite factualinformation on Libya's economic and social devel-opment programmes and on the functioning ofthe related operative organs only just established.

(1 ) Consideration by the Economic and

Social Council at its Sixteenth Session

The Council at its 746th and 747th plenarymeetings, on 3 August 1953, had before it amemorandum (E/2469 & Corr.1) from the Act-ing Prime Minister of Libya setting forth a five-year capital development programme, defining thefinancial assistance needed for projects to be car-ried out with the aid of technical assistance expertsas well as for building up an agricultural creditsfund and a stabilization reserve for emergencyexpenditures in drought years. In introducing thismemorandum to the Council, the observer for theGovernment of Libya further explained his coun-try's vital need for assistance in its development,expressed the gratitude of the Libyan people forthe help received to that end under the UnitedNations Expanded Programme of Technical Assist-ance and under bilateral arrangements for the samepurpose, and emphasized that his Governmentwould welcome additional contributions, com-patible with the country's independence andsovereignty, from States which wished to accordeconomic and financial assistance to Libya.

The Council also had before it a joint draftresolution (E/L.563) by Egypt and Turkey onassistance to Libya, which was subsequentlyadopted (see below). During the discussion, themajority agreed that Libya greatly needed assist-ance in developing its resources and in improv-ing the welfare of the people. They supported thedraft resolution, recognizing that the UnitedNations had a special responsibility towards theState it had helped to create, and commended thedevelopment programme drawn up by the LibyanGovernment. It was clear, they agreed, from thememorandum submitted by that Government that

19 See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 275-76.

Economic and Social Questions 319

substantial financial assistance would have tobe provided if Libya were to overcome the graveand urgent problems with which it was faced.

The representative of the United Kingdomstated that it was incumbent on all governmentsto consider, in the light of their existing resourcesand commitments, whether they could make anincreased or fresh contribution. The representativeof France thought that the extent of the financialaid and technical help that could be given at thepresent time should not be overestimated, buthoped that the adoption of the draft resolutionwould pave the way for more effective help toLibya in the future. The Yugoslav representative,while also supporting the draft resolution, feltthat more should be done by the United Nationsto help strengthen the Libyan economy anddevelop the country as an independent State. Hebelieved that certain questions barely touchedupon in the text as drafted would have to betaken up for consideration when the resolutioncame before the General Assembly.

The representatives of India and the USSR, shar-ing the view that more explicit provision foradditional assistance to Libya through the UnitedNations ought to have been made in the draftresolution, expressed misgivings regarding the"other channels" of assistance referred to therein,a reference which might be construed as implyingapproval by the Council of such bilateral agree-ments as that just concluded for a period of 20years between the United Kingdom and theLibyan Governments. While no objection, in prin-ciple, could be voiced against bilateral arrange-ments for assistance in economic development, theIndian representative stated, such assistance, wherethe bargaining strength of the contracting partieswas very unequal, might in the long run endangerLibya's economic freedom and not be altogetherin its interests. The representative of the USSR,though recognizing that the Government of Libyawas free if it so chose to enter into such anarrangement, stated that the terms of the treatywere not compatible with United Nations prin-ciples as defined in the Charter. On these groundshe also felt unable to support the draft resolutionbut would also not oppose it, wishing Libya toreceive any appropriate help in its development.

The Council, at its 747th plenary meeting on3 August, adopted the joint draft resolution by 15votes to none, with 3 abstentions, as resolution493(XVI).

By this resolution, the Council recalled the partplayed by the United Nations in the creation ofthe independent State of the United Kingdom of

Libya in accordance with General Assembly resolu-tion 289(IV); noted that consultations had beenundertaken with the Libyan Government inaccordance with General Assembly resolution 515(VI); and considered that it was open to govern-ments to assist Libya through any appropriatemechanisms within the United Nations that mightbe available for receiving voluntary contributionsor through other channels acceptable to the LibyanGovernment.

The Council, therefore, recommended that theGeneral Assembly: (1) invite all governmentswhich were in a position to do so to provide, inthe spirit of the United Nations Charter andwithin their possibilities, financial and technicalassistance to Libya in order to assist in Libya'seconomic development; (2) recommend that, ifand when further means became available forassisting in the financing of the development ofunder-developed areas, due consideration shouldbe given to the specific development needs ofLibya; and (3) request the Secretary-General andthe specialized agencies concerned to continueto waive local costs and to give all possible favour-able consideration to the requests of Libya fortechnical assistance, taking into account the specialneeds of Libya and the principles of the technicalassistance programmes of the United Nations andthe specialized agencies.

(2) Consideration by the General Assembly

at its Eighth Session

The question was before the General Assemblyat the 285th to 287th meetings of its Second Com-mittee, on 3 and 4 December, and at its 469thplenary meeting on 8 December 1953. The SecondCommittee had before it, inter alia, a joint draftresolution (A/C.2/L.221/Rev.1) by Egypt, Indo-nesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia,Syria, Turkey and Yemen, based on the previousresolutions adopted by the Council and the Assem-bly concerning aid to Libya.

As in the Council, it was agreed that, if Libyawere to overcome the grave and urgent problemswith which it was faced, it must have substantialfinancial and technical assistance, and that theUnited Nations, having played a part in bring-ing about its independence, should consider whatcould be done to help provide such assistance.Among those speaking in support of the draftresolution were the representatives of Afghanistan,Argentina, Chile, Cuba, India, Peru, the Philip-pines, the United Kingdom and the United States.The representatives of Afghanistan, Chile, Ecua-dor, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mexico and Uruguay sup-ported the draft resolution, but stated that their

320 Yearbook of the United Nations

Governments were not in a position at this timeto make funds available to Libya. The representa-tives of Cuba and Peru stated that they did notregard support of the resolution as a definite com-mitment to contribute to the financing of thefundamental programmes for the development ofLibya. The representative of the Philippines thoughtit should be understood that assistance to Libyawould not continue indefinitely and that the waiv-ing of local costs was intended as an interimmeasure.

As in the Council, the USSR representativecriticized the bilateral agreement between theUnited Kingdom and Libya as containing provi-sions infringing upon Libya's sovereign rights.He stated that he could not support those parts ofthe draft resolution which would make such apolicy possible, although other parts of the draftresolution were acceptable. His delegation wouldtherefore abstain.

At its 287th meeting, following paragraph-by-paragraph votes, ranging from a unanimous voteto 44 votes to none, with 6 abstentions, the Com-mittee adopted the draft resolution, as a whole,by 45 votes to none, with 5 abstentions.

The draft resolution, as proposed by the Com-mittee (A/2612), was adopted at the Assembly's469th plenary meeting on 8 December by 41votes to none, with 5 abstentions, as resolution726(VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,

"Recalling the part played by the United Nationsin the creation of the independent State of the UnitedKingdom of Libya, in accordance with General Assem-bly resolution 289 A (IV) of 21 November 1949recommending that Libya, comprising Cyrenaica, Tripo-litania and the Fezzan should be constituted as anindependent and sovereign State, and that this inde-pendence was achieved on 24 December 1951, in ac-cordance with that resolution,

"Recalling General Assembly resolution 515(VI) of1 February 1952 by which the Assembly requested theEconomic and Social Council to study, in consultationwith the Government of the United Kingdom of Libya,ways and means by which the United Nations, withthe co-operation of all governments and the competentspecialized agencies, and upon the request of the Gov-ernment of Libya, could furnish additional assistanceto the United Kingdom of Libya with a view tofinancing its fundamental and urgent programmes ofeconomic and social development, giving considerationto the possibility of opening a special account ofvoluntary contributions to that end, and to reportthereon to the General Assembly at its seventh session,

"Recalling further its resolution 529(VI) of 29 Jan-uary 1952 on the problem of war damages in Libya,

"Recalling General Assembly resolution 398(V) of17 November 1950 which recognizes the special re-sponsibility assumed by the United Nations for thefuture of Libya,

"Bearing in mind the recommendations submitted bythe Economic and Social Council in its resolution 493(XVI) of 3 August 1953,

"Having heard the statement made by the repre-sentative of the United Kingdom of Libya concerningthe needs of Libya for economic and financial assistance,

"1. Invites all governments willing and in a posi-tion to do so to provide financial assistance to theUnited Kingdom of Libya through the appropriatemechanisms within the United Nations Organizationavailable for receiving voluntary contributions, in or-der to assist Libya in the financing of its fundamentaland urgent programmes of reconstruction and of eco-nomic and social development;

"2. Recommends that, if and when further meansbecome available for assisting in the financing of thedevelopment of under-developed areas, due considera-tion be given by the United Nations and the specializedagencies to the specific development needs of Libya;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General and the special-ized agencies concerned to continue to waive local costsand to give all possible favourable consideration to therequests of Libya for technical assistance, taking intoaccount the special needs of Libya and the principlesof the technical assistance programmes of the UnitedNations and the specialized agencies enumerated inEconomic and Social Council resolution 222(IX) of 15August 1949;

"4. Requests the Secretary-General to bring thepresent resolution to the attention of the governmentsof Members and to take the necessary measures tofacilitate the implementation of paragraph 1 above;

"5. Requests the Secretary-General to make a specialreport on the question of United Nations assistance toLibya in time to be placed on the agenda of the tenthsession of the General Assembly."

3. Methods to Increase WorldProductivity

In resolution 416 E (XIV) of 10 July 1952,the Council requested the Secretary-General, afterconsultation with the specialized agencies con-cerned, to arrange for the continuation of studiesconcerning the problem of raising productivity inunder-developed countries, particularly in suchfields as agriculture, manufacture, mining, trans-port, the construction industries and the distribu-tive trades, and for the preparation of workingpapers on the problem of raising productivity inrelation to programmes for the expansion ofproduction in these fields and on the role oflabour in any programme for increasing produc-tivity.

Accordingly, at its sixteenth session, the Coun-cil had before it two working papers by the Foodand Agriculture Organization of the UnitedNations (FAO) and by the International LabourOffice.

The working paper prepared by FAO (E/-2435) briefly discussed the problems of produc-

Economic and Social Questions 321

tivity, for which FAO has international respon-sibility in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. Specialemphasis was placed on the important differenceswhich distinguish problems of productivity inthese fields from those in industry, mining, trans-port and other forms of secondary or tertiary eco-nomic activities. The report, inter alia, listed sixprincipal means of raising productivity in agri-culture:

(1) transformation of the natural resources of landand water in such a way that they can contribute infull to plant growth;

(2) improving the capacity for growth and produc-tion of the plant and animals domesticated by man;

(3) better nutrition for plants and animals;(4) improvements in technical equipment;(5) prevention of losses in growing crops and live-

stock through pests and diseases and losses from productsin storage and in transit; and

(6) raising skill and understanding in the conserva-tion and use of resources and the care of plants andanimals and the utilization of technical equipment.

The working paper prepared by the Inter-national Labour Office (E/2440) concerned therole of labour in programmes for increasing pro-ductivity. It dealt with measures to enlist theco-operation and safeguard the interests of work-ers in programmes for raising productivity,namely: education and vocational training; meas-ures to stabilize the labour force in particularundertakings; growth of a trade-union movement;explanations and joint consultation; equitabledistribution of the benefits of higher productivity;security against unemployment; and working con-ditions.

During the discussion of the agenda item "Eco-nomic development of under-developed countries"at the Economic Committee's 138th to 140thmeetings, on 21 and 31 July and 3 August, andat the Council's 725th to 731st and 749th plenarymeetings, on 15 to 18 July and 4 August, theInternational Labour Office and FAO were com-plimented on the clarity of their working papers.

There was general agreement among Councilmembers on the need for greater productivity toraise living standards, particularly in view of theconspicuous fact that food production was laggingbehind population growth. Immense naturalresources were not being fully utilized owing toshortage of money and technical skills. Theimportance of carrying out land reforms was alsostressed.

The representative of FAO emphasized thatthe distinctive feature of any attempt to increaseproductivity in agriculture as opposed to industrywas the need to ensure that renewable resources

were improved and not decreased or wasted. Hereferred to the importance, over and above the sixprincipal methods of raising productivity in agri-culture set out in the FAO report, of incentives,of adequate and supervised agricultural credit sys-tems and of adequate and stable prices for primarycommodities.

The representative of Egypt suggested that, inview of the particular importance of the problemof developing arid land, the United Nations shouldset up a special body to co-ordinate the work. Healso felt that attempts to improve productivityin agriculture on the lines suggested by FAOwould prove ineffective unless accompanied bycomprehensive land reform and the organizationof co-operatives, agricultural credits and an inter-national system for the commercial distributionof agricultural produce.

The French representative referred to, amongother things, the intimate relationships betweenproductivity and other problems, such as thoseof employment, restrictive business practices, inter-national trade, integrated economies, non-self-liquidating investment, means of economizing inraw materials, and differences in the taxationand social legislation systems of various countries.These relationships made it doubtful that theCouncil should continue to deal with these mattersindependently of one another.

The representative of the United Nations Edu-cational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) stated that production in under-developed countries depended on millions of illit-erate workers and he referred to the contributionsof UNESCO in the field of science and educa-tion towards economic development.

The representative of ICFTU expressed theconcern of his organization to protect workersagainst any undue demand being made on themas the result of excessive speeding up of work andto secure for the workers their proper share ofany increases in productivity.

At the 749th plenary meeting on 4 August, thePresident, on behalf of the Council, thanked therepresentatives of FAO and the InternationalLabour Office for the working papers they hadsubmitted.

4. Integrated Economic Development

The Council, at its fourteenth session, requested(416 F (XIV))20 the Secretary-General to pre-pare a working paper regarding the concrete pro-posals referred to in General Assembly resolution


See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 391-92.

322 Yearbook of the United Nations

521(VI)21 and relating to a programme of rapidindustrialization of under-developed countries.

Accordingly, the Council, at its fifteenth ses-sion, had before it a working paper submitted bythe Secretary-General (E/2384) on certain aspectsof this question. This paper contained a briefreview of the various resolutions by the severalUnited Nations organs and the programme ofstudies in progress or completed by the UnitedNations on subjects such as financing of economicdevelopment, national income, international pricerelations, availability of development goods, landreform, productivity and resource utilization—allof which were based on the recognition not onlyof the importance of the principle of "integratedeconomic development" but also of the fact thatto the furtherance of such development the effortsof both developed and under-developed countrieswere essential. The remainder of the paper dealtwith proposals on two specific topics which hadnot yet been considered by the Council: (1) theproblem of initiating economic development insubsistence societies and the part that enterpriseat the local level might play in this field; and (2 )the development corporation as an instrument forfurthering the process of integrated economicdevelopment.

During the Council's discussions of the subjectit its 694th to 697th plenary meetings, from 21to 23 April, it had before it a joint draft resolu-tion (E/L.500) by Argentina, Cuba, Egypt, India,the Philippines, Uruguay and Yugoslavia. Theoperative part proposed that the Secretary-Gen-eral:

(1) convene a group of experts to prepare a reportfor the Council's eighteenth session on the process andproblems of industrialization of the under-developedcountries, in order to provide a basis for a programmeof rapid industrialization of the under-developed coun-tries, including the economic, social, fiscal, technicaland organizational problems involved, and the role thatboth the industrially advanced and the under-developedcountries have to play in such a programme; and

(2) continue the studies of industrialization as partof the general problem of economic development andsubmit periodical reports to the Council on the progressof his work.

It was generally agreed that the measures to beadopted with regard to integrated economicdevelopment must necessarily vary according toconditions prevailing in each country, but opinionwas divided as to the most effective way of deal-ing with the question through international chan-nels. The representative of the USSR stressed thatthe development of the economies of under-devel-oped countries in their own national interests wasan essential consideration and that the achieve-ment of economic independence by the under-

developed countries would have a beneficial effecton the world as a whole.

Some representatives, among them those ofSweden and the United Kingdom, pointed out thatindustrialization was not the only method ofadvancing economic development. The representa-tives of Uruguay, Yugoslavia and Venezuela,among others, agreed with this view, but thoughtthat efforts to increase agricultural productionshould proceed simultaneously with other develop-ment schemes and that a combination of methodswas needed to advance development. Rapid indus-trialization, the Australian representative stated,was essentially an internal problem and shouldbe attacked at the national and not at the inter-national level. The representative of Argentinapointed out that it was not a matter of choosingbetween agriculture and industrial development,but rather of promoting balanced expansion inall sectors of the economy. He and the represent-ative of Uruguay considered that rapid indus-trialization of under-developed countries wasessential in order to establish equilibrium betweenthe economies of those countries and those of theindustrialized countries.

In the course of the discussion, statements weremade by representatives of the International Cham-ber of Commerce (ICC), the InternationalCo-operative Alliance (ICA) and the WorldFederation of Trade Unions (WFTU). The rep-resentative of ICC presented the views of hisorganization on General Assembly resolution 626(VII) on "Right to exploit freely natural wealthand resources"; the representative of ICA spokeon the role the co-operative movement could playin assisting under-developed countries in theireconomic development programmes; and the rep-resentative of WFTU spoke of industrialization asa major factor in the economic development ofunder-developed countries and a means of achiev-ing economic independence.

Several representatives doubted the advisabilityof establishing a group of experts to undertakea generalized international study of problemsof industrialization. The representative of theUnited Kingdom thought it would have littlepractical value and that the general principleshad been amply debated in the Council at varioustimes. The experts, in his opinion, could hardlydraw up a general programme for all countries.The real need, he held, was for technical assistanceand an exchange of information on the experiencegained by other countries in dealing with similarproblems. The representatives of France and the

21 See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 416.

Economic and Social Questions 323

United States thought that general studies hada limited usefulness, that there was already volu-minous documentation on the general aspects ofthe question and that it would be better to con-centrate on well-defined and specific questionswhich would lead to practical conclusions thatcould be applied immediately. They proposed(E/L.502), therefore, that the Council, instead ofsetting up a group of experts, might invite someof its subsidiary bodies, the regional commissions,several functional commissions and appropriatespecialized agencies to devote special attentionin their work to the United Nations priority pro-grammes concerning "increased production infields other than food", as listed in section B, par-agraph 10, of the annex to resolution 451(XIV).22

The Australian representative, while agreeingthat international studies on the subject shouldbe pursued, expressed doubts as to the advisabilityof establishing the group of experts. He suggestedthat it might be more advantageous if the Sec-retary-General were to continue to expand hisstudies in the field, paying special attention to theproblems which the joint draft resolution wouldhave entrusted to an expert group. The Yugoslavrepresentative suggested that a special study ofthe results of experience acquired in plannedindustrialization and in the modernization of agri-culture might also be useful.

Taking into account the suggestions and com-ments made during the discussion, the sponsorsof the joint draft resolution presented a revisedtext (E/L.503) at the Council's 697th plenarymeeting on 23 April. The representatives of Franceand the United States considered that paragraphs2 and 3 (see below) were still too general andmaintained their amendment (E/L.502). It wasrejected by 11 votes to 5, with 2 abstentions.

The revised text was adopted unanimously, asresolution 461(XV). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Having examined the Secretary-General's report onthe progress of the work undertaken in accordance withCouncil resolution 416 F (XIV),

"Reaffirming the principles set forth in General As-sembly resolution 521(VI) and Council resolution 416F (XIV) with regard to the need for the rapid indus-trialization of under-developed countries,

"1. Notes the Secretary-General's first report on theprogress of the work undertaken in accordance withresolution 416 F (XIV);

"2. Requests the Secretary-General, in continuinghis studies on the question of industrialization as partof the problem of integrated economic development ofunder-developed countries, to submit, after taking intoaccount the discussions in the fifteenth session of theCouncil and not later than the eighteenth session of

the Council, a study on the processes and problems ofindustrialization which may assist the under-developedcountries in preparing practical programmes of rapidindustrialization, the study to deal also with the eco-nomic, social, fiscal, technical and organizational prob-lems involved and with the role which the industriallyadvanced countries can play in order to help furthersuch programmes;

"3. Authorizes the Secretary-General if necessary toconsult with experts for the purposes of the abovestudy;

"4. Invites the Secretary-General to prepare for theseventeenth session of the Council:

"(a) A bibliography of the studies undertaken bythe organs of the United Nations and the specializedagencies on the subject of industrialization of under-developed countries;

"(b) A similar bibliography of important books anddocuments otherwise published on the subject;

"5. Requests the Secretary-General, in the light ofthe above, to prepare and submit a list of subjectsrelating to the industrialization of under-developedcountries which have not so far been dealt with by theUnited Nations or the specialized agencies, with a viewto completing the programme of studies requested inGeneral Assembly resolution 521(VI);

"6. Requests the Secretary-General also to submitfurther details of the functioning of development cor-porations in the countries where they exist."

5. Conservation and Utilization ofNon-Agricultural Resources

The Council, during its fifteenth session, at its689th and 690th plenary meetings, on 16 and 17April, had before it the Secretary-General's thirdreport (E/2367) submitted in accordance withCouncil resolution 345(XII).

Under this resolution, the Secretary-General fur-nishes each session of the Council with a state-ment on specific plans and action taken withrespect to a programme designed to promote thesystematic survey and inventory of non-agricul-tural natural resources and on the results of anyexplorations with respect to the desirability ofholding international conferences on particularresources or resource problems. The Council hadalso requested the Secretary-General to report, notlater than at its fifteenth session, on other activi-ties specified in that resolution, namely, thoserelated to requests from governments for technicalassistance and to his consideration of any inter-national action designed to promote an integratedapproach in this field.

In his report, the Secretary-General informedthe Council that the meeting of the Ad hoc Com-mittee of Experts, established to study and prepare


See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 539.

324 Yearbook of the United Nations

recommendations on standard concepts and ter-minology for use in connexion with surveys andinventories of iron ore resources, had been post-poned to mid-1953 for lack of staff (see below).As a result and because budgetary arrangementsprovided for only one resource meeting a year,it had been necessary also to suspend investigationswith respect to coal and lignite resources. Similaractivities on water resources under Council resolu-tion 417 (XIV)23 had also to be delayed. Thereport contained information on the technicalassistance furnished to Member States by theUnited Nations during 1951 and 1952 in con-nexion with the development of resources, andon the technical conferences and meetings onvarious resources initiated by the regional eco-nomic commissions.

Thirty-three fellowships and scholarships, rel-evant to the development of non-agriculturalresources, had been awarded to nationals of 26countries. No requests for international confer-ences on any particular resources had been receivedfrom Member Governments. However, a meetingof experts, organized jointly by the EconomicCommission for Latin America (ECLA) and theTechnical Assistance Administration (TAA), hadbeen held at Bogota, Colombia, from 13 Octoberto 13 November 1952, to consider basic prob-lems and processes of the iron and steel industryof Latin America.

The importance of international co-operation onquestions of water resources was stressed by themajority of speakers, and it was agreed that workin this respect should be undertaken as soon aspossible. The Council, at its 690th plenary meet-ing on 17 April, therefore, unanimously adopteda joint draft resolution (E/L.495/Rev.1) byArgentina, Australia and France.

By this resolution (463(XV)), the Counciltook note of the Secretary-General's report, andrecommended the effective continuation of theaction provided for by resolution 345(XII) andthat the earliest possible action should be takenunder resolution 417(XIV).

The Secretary-General, in accordance withresolution 345(XII), furnished the Council, at itssixteenth session, with a further statement (E/-2442) of specific plans and action taken in com-pliance with the terms of the resolution. He notedthat the Ad hoc Committee of Experts, which wasestablished to study and prepare recommendationsof standard concepts and terminology for use inconnexion with the survey and inventory of ironore resources, would hold a preliminary sessionin June 1953 at New York and a second and finalsession in March 1954 at Geneva. A regional con-ference on mineral resources development, spon-sored by ECAFE with the participation of TAA,had been held in Tokyo from 20 to 30 April 1953.Preparatory work, he reported, had been startedby the Bureau of Flood Control and WaterResources Development of ECAFE on the con-vening of a regional technical conference on waterresources and development, which was scheduledfor 1954. The Economic Commission for Europe(ECE) was working on the subject of coal clas-sification, and studies were being made of solidfuel utilization and on the substitution possibili-ties between coal and other forms of energy. ECLA,at its fifth session in April 1953, had extendedits activities in the field of non-agriculturalresources. In particular, resolutions had beenadopted and projects had been included in ECLA'swork programme dealing with: iron ore utiliza-tion; the compilation of data on estimated reservesof ores of non-ferrous metals and problems intheir mining and use; and the development and!utilization of energy resources.


The Economic and Social Council at its sixteenthsession considered the question of full employ-ment under the following headings: (1) recon-version after the rearmament period; (2) con-sideration of replies from governments to theannual questionnaire circulated by the Secretary-General concerning full employment objectives,policies and measures; (3) report of the Inter-national Monetary Fund concerning the adequacyof monetary reserves; and (4) report of the Sec-retary-General concerning full employment andinflation.

The question was considered by the Councilat its 720th to 724th, 748th and 749th plenarymeetings, on 10, 11 and 13 July and 4 August,and at the 133rd to 137th meetings of the Eco-nomic Committee, on 14, 16 and 20 July. TheCouncil's discussions opened with a general debateon all four subjects at the 720th to 724th plenarymeetings. Its consideration of these subjects isdealt with below, the first two being groupedtogether.


See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 383-84.

Economic and Social Questions 325

1. Reconversion After the RearmamentPeriod and Replies from Governmentsto the Questionnaire on Full Employment


Regarding the subject of reconversion, the Inter-national Confederation of Free Trade Unions(ICFTU) had presented to the Council at its fif-teenth session a memorandum entitled "Recon-version after the Rearmament Period" (E/2421),In this memorandum, ICFTU argued that anydiscontinuation of rearmament was bound to havea serious impact on economic and social con-ditions, and expressed the view that the Councilshould give a lead to the study of this problem.The Council at the 703rd plenary meeting of itsfifteenth session, on 28 April, decided to includethe item "Reconversion after the RearmamentPeriod", proposed by ICFTU, in the provisionalagenda for the sixteenth session.

Subsequently, ICFTU submitted a furthermemorandum on this subject (E/2474), contain-ing recommendations designed to ensure that fulladvantage was taken by Member Governments ofthe end or falling-off of rearmament so as toswitch resources to production contributingdirectly to human welfare and to forestall anypossible adverse effects of a cessation of armsproduction on employment and living standards.

The recommendations which ICFTU proposedshould be made by the Council to Member Gov-ernments included: research into the probableeffects of the falling-off of arms production; plansfor measures to stimulate private consumption, inparticular through a policy of high wages, im-proved social security schemes and benefits, aswell as reductions of taxes on lower incomes;plans for an increased level of public investment,especially in social housing; and increased publicand private investment by industrial countries ineconomically under-developed areas.

Other recommendations were that the Council,in conjunction with the regional economic com-missions, should work out plans for an inter-national housing fund; that it should try to speedup the establishment of the proposed internationalinstitutions for increased investments in eco-nomically under-developed countries and shouldappeal to Member Governments to contribute tointernational funds for the development of suchcountries; and that it should convene furtherinternational commodity conferences.


The Council also had before it the replies ofgovernments24 to the questionnaire on full em-ployment, the balance of payments and economictrends, objectives and policies in 1952 and 1953,which had been prepared and circulated to gov-ernments by the Secretary-General in accordancewith General Assembly resolution 520 B (VI)and with Council resolutions 221 E (IX), 290(XI) and 371 B (XIII). Further, it had beforeit an analysis (E/2445 & Addenda) by the Sec-retariat of the replies to the questionnaire. Owingto the fact that, at the time of the preparation ofthe analysis, the replies of governments of under-developed countries had not been received insufficient number or detail from all regions, itdid not prove possible to examine the problemsof economic development in under-developedcountries, as provided in Council resolution 371B (XIII). The Secretary-General advised theCouncil (E/2445) that he had under considera-tion measures to secure a more adequate responseto the questions relating to under-developed coun-tries in the future.

The Secretariat's analysis of the replies to thequestionnaire consisted of three parts. The firstpart (E/2445) reviewed domestic full employ-ment policies; the second (E/2445/Add.1) dealtwith balance of payments and related policies; andthe third (E/2445/Add.2) provided a tabularcomparison of certain economic indicators in themore developed and the less developed countries.

The first part indicated that most governmentshad had little to add to previous replies concern-ing their full employment standards, and thatthe general picture of economic activity in 1952emerging from the replies did not differ radicallyfrom that given in the World Economic Report1951-52.25 The analysis therefore concentrated onforecasts of the level of economic activity in 1953.

24 By 11 September 1953, complete or partial replies

(E/2408 & Add.1-12) had been received from:Australia, Austria, Belgium (including statement forNon-Self-Governing Territories), Cambodia, Canada,Ceylon, Chile, China (Taiwan), Costa Rica, Czecho-slovakia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador,Finland, France, Honduras, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy(including statement for Trust Territory), Japan, Laos,Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand (includingstatement for Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories),Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania,Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the Union ofSouth Africa, the USSR, the United Kingdom (includ-ing statement for Dependent Territories), the UnitedStates (including statement for Non-Self-Governing andTrust Territories) and Vietnam.

25 See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 348-49.

326 Yearbook of the United Nations

The replies of six major industrialized countries—Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, theUnited Kingdom and the United States—whichhad arrived in time for analysis, anticipated anaverage increase in the national product of over 3per cent from 1952 to 1953, compared with anactual rise of about 2 per cent from 1951 to 1952.It appeared that average unemployment would beno higher in 1953 than in 1952 in Canada, Nor-way, and the United States, but that some risein unemployment was likely in Sweden.

The second part showed that relatively littleinformation was supplied by governments con-cerning prospects of balance-of-payments trendsand policies for 1953.

The United States reply stated that "withfavourable climatic conditions abroad and con-tinued favourable business conditions in theUnited States, foreign countries should be ableto raise their gold and dollar assets again in 1953,although probably at a slower rate".

However, structural disequilibrium in inter-national trade and payments persisted, and theproblem of rebuilding foreign exchange reservesappeared, in most countries, to be far from solved.A number of countries had introduced fiscal andmonetary measures in their programmes for restor-ing a balance in their external accounts. Therewas also a widespread desire for a general relaxa-tion of exchange and trade restrictions. Structuralchanges in production were likely to be requiredin industrial as well as primary producing coun-tries for the re-establishment of internationalequilibrium.

The third part listed the following twelve eco-nomic series which it stated might reasonably serveas partial indicators of economic development: allagricultural commodities, food, mining, manufac-turing, cotton goods, crude steel, cement, buildingbricks, fertilizers, employment in manufacturing,quantum of exports and ton-kilometres of rail-way traffic. The more developed countries listedwere: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium andLuxembourg, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France,Germany (Fed. Rep. o f ) , Ireland, Italy, Japan, theNetherlands, New Zealand, Norway. Portugal,Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Union of SouthAfrica, the USSR, the United Kingdom and theUnited States. The less developed countries listedwere: Algeria, Brazil, Ceylon, Chile, Colombia,Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Israel, Malaya, Mexi-co, Morocco (French), Pakistan, Peru, the Philip-pines, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey and Yugoslavia.


In the course of the general debate, several rep-resentatives, including those of Australia, China,Cuba, Egypt, France and the Philippines, paidtribute to the initiative of ICFTU in bringing thesubject of reconversion before the Council. It wasobserved that the analysis prepared by the Sec-retariat indicated that most of the leading indus-trialized countries anticipated higher output in1953 than in 1952. Nevertheless, an easing ofinternational tensions was likely to be accom-panied by some relaxation in the pressure of armsproduction, and it was necessary for countries tobe prepared well in advance to take such measuresas might be required to maintain total effectivedemand in the event of any slackening in eco-nomic activity in the armament and relatedindustries.

The representative of Belgium declared that thestabilization of armaments expenditure harbouredthe seeds of deflation, because all economic activi-ties connected with the expansion of arms produc-tion would then lose their point. Stability, he held,was synonymous with depression in a world inwhich 25 per cent of all economic activity wasbased on the production of capital goods. Thathad been clear in 1952 when the prices of rawmaterials had declined at the mere prospect of suchstability.

Certain representatives, in particular those ofBelgium, the United Kingdom and the UnitedStates, pointed to the need for expanding civilianexpenditures to replace any decline in militaryexpenditures. It must not be said, the represent-ative of Belgium emphasized, that armamentswere synonymous with economic prosperity andpeace with economic depression. The UnitedKingdom representative agreed with ICFTU thatany problem created by falling demand in thedefence sector would not be solved almost auto-matically by the freeing of a great, pent-up civiliandemand for both consumer goods and invest-ment, as had been the case in the period imme-diately following the end of the Second WorldWar. At the same time, he maintained, the prob-lem should not be exaggerated and the extent ofreconversion required would be far less than in1945. He and the representative of the UnitedStates pointed out that any reduction in defencespending would provide opportunities for morerapid increases in investment in civilian industryand in standards of living and would free impor-tant resources of labour, materials and machineryfor civilian needs.

Economic and Social Questions 327

Certain representatives, including those ofArgentina, Australia, Belgium and Sweden,stressed the impact on the world economy ofdevelopments in the leading industrial countries,notably the United States. It was observed thateven a comparatively small change in the economicclimate of the United States might have repercus-sions on the world market many times larger thanthose felt in the United States itself, particularlysince the foreign trade of the United States com-prised a far smaller proportion of its general eco-nomic activity than was the case in many othercountries.

The representative of the United States recog-nized the concern of other countries regardingfuture prospects in his country. The United StatesGovernment had pledged itself to do everythingnecessary to maintain a high level of productiveemployment with rising standards of living in theUnited States, as a direct contribution to theimprovement of living standards throughout theworld. There were powerful and sustaining forcesfor economic expansion in the United States,including, for example, the growth in population.In the task of reconversion, the co-operative effortsof all citizens would be reinforced by the deter-mination of the Government to maintain fullemployment. At the same time, the United Statesrepresentative pointed out, the maintenance ofan expanding world economy was a collectiveresponsibility which must be shared by all coun-tries.

Several representatives, including those ofArgentina, Cuba, Egypt, France, the Philippines,Venezuela and Yugoslavia, emphasized the inter-relationship between problems of full employ-ment and of economic development. The rep-resentative of France, for example, declared thatthe industrialized countries could not enjoy last-ing prosperity or solve the problem of full em-ployment until the economic development of thebackward countries had been assured. Conversely,he said, without full employment in the indus-trialized countries there was no solution for theproblem of economic development in the under-developed countries.

The representative of Yugoslavia consideredthat an essential element in any internationalpolicy for full employment would be an expan-sion of financial aid to the under-developed coun-tries, since this would not only contribute to thetask of economic development but would alsostimulate economic activity.

Under-developed countries, it was stated, wereparticularly vulnerable to fluctuations in economic

activity in the industrially advanced countries.In this connexion, several representatives, includ-ing those of Argentina, Cuba, Egypt and thePhilippines, stressed the need for stabilizing thedemand for and prices of primary products. Itwas also observed that an equitable relationshipshould be maintained between the prices of rawmaterials in relation to those of manufacturedgoods, and that the prices negotiated in inter-national commodity agreements should be suchas to assure a fair wage to the workers engagedin producing the commodities concerned.

Certain representatives, in particular those ofBelgium and India, expressed concern at theobstacles and restrictions currently affecting inter-national trade and the difficulties in maintainingfull employment experienced by any country whoseexports were subject to restrictions of variouskinds in external markets. The representative ofBelgium contended that many countries calledupon their neighbours to pursue a policy of fullemployment, but refused to accept either labouror goods from those same countries; the only pos-sible basis for a policy of full employment wasa wide international exchange of goods, manpowerand capital. Normal trading, the representative ofIndia stated, was still far off and, though somerelaxation had taken place in exchange controland quota restrictions in Europe, difficulties attrib-utable to those restrictions still persisted.

The representatives of Poland and the USSRcontended that policies of trade discriminationagainst Eastern European countries and the Peo-ple's Republic of China had been designed tohamper their economic development and weredisrupting world trade, impeding full employ-ment and causing strained international relations.There were signs, however, these representativesbelieved, that attempts at discrimination werefailing and that the consolidation of trade linksbetween East and West was progressing. In theirview, recent increases in unemployment in a num-ber of Western European countries could be attrib-uted to the armaments race. While a growth inarmaments expenditure might absorb additionallabour in the armament industries, its deeper effectwas to distort the economies of the countriesaffected and to reduce consumption and henceemployment in the civilian sectors of their econ-omies. The reduction of armaments expenditure,these representatives argued, could set free finan-cial and material resources which could be usedin order to finance productive investments, publicworks, housing, social security and an increasein the production of consumer goods. Such areduction of armaments expenditure would also

328 Yearbook of the United Nations

reduce inflationary pressure and make it possibleto decrease taxation and increase the purchasingpower of the people. It could also lead to ageneral increase of international trade, greaterstability of raw material prices, and a bettersupply of capital goods to the under-developedcountries, which, in turn, would lead to an increaseof employment in industrialized countries.

The representative of the United Kingdom, onthe other hand, could not agree to the contentionthat the rise in unemployment had been due tothe rearmament programmes of the countriesconcerned, since defence demands in recent yearshad, in his opinion, added to the total pressureof demand on the manpower and other resourcesof those countries.

The representative of the International LabourOrganisation (ILO) said that the Governing Bodyof ILO had recently expressed the view that gov-ernments and employers should try to improvemethods of forecasting changes in economicactivity and employment in order to be betterprepared to anticipate new situations. It wouldbe most important to make a smooth conversionfrom a high level of armaments expenditure tomore normal conditions without causing unem-ployment or inflation. However, some forms ofunemployment were not due to a low level ofeffective demand and could not therefore beremedied by increased spending. ILO had out-lined a comprehensive programme to deal withfrictional unemployment, and its Asian AdvisoryCommittee had made suggestions for dealing withproblems of unemployment in under-developedcountries. Studies had also been made of questionsof productivity.

The representative of the World Federationof Trade Unions (WFTU) considered that re-armament and the systematic restriction of tradebetween two parts of the world were reducingemployment opportunities in both developed andunder-developed countries. WFTU had submittedconstructive proposals for full employment tothe twelfth session of the Council. The Councilshould take steps to promote the industrializationof under-developed countries, to raise livingstandards and purchasing power, to re-establishnormal trading relations between all countriesand to mitigate the effects of rearmament.

The representative of ICFTU expressed theview that it was the Council's duty to persuadeMember Governments to draw up reconversionprogrammes as soon as possible. Immediate re-search into the probable consequences of a reduc-tion in armaments production was required,

together with a programme of action to deal withsuch consequences. ICFTU had recommendedcertain measures to this effect (E/2474, seeabove).

The representative of the International Federa-tion of Christian Trade Unions (IFCTU) recalledthat this Federation had submitted a note to theCouncil (E/C.2/361) containing its views on thepossible extension of technical assistance andthe stimulation of social progress through thereduction of expenditure on armaments. TheCouncil should express its desire that the Dis-armament Commission reach a positive solutionof the problems it was examining and shouldrecommend a study to determine the amount andapplication of funds that could be releasedthrough a reduction in armament expenditure,with special reference to problems of productivity,trade and housing conditions.


Three draft resolutions were placed before theCouncil: (1) by the USSR (E/L.531); (2)jointly by Belgium, India and Sweden (E/L.533);and (3) jointly by France and the United King-dom (E/L.535). The last two draft resolutionswere subsequently replaced by a new draft sub-mitted jointly by the sponsors of the two formerones, namely, Belgium, France, India, Sweden andthe United Kingdom (E/AC.6/L.63).

The USSR draft resolution (E/L.531) wouldcall upon all the Member States of the UnitedNations, with a view to increasing employmentand raising the standard of living of the people,to take the necessary steps to remove obstaclesto the development of normal trade between Statesin conformity with the principle of abolishingthe numerous discriminatory practices currentlyprevailing in international trade, which were doinggreat harm to the economy of many States andwere gravely complicating international relations.

In support of his draft resolution, the USSRrepresentative stressed the need for taking effectivemeasures to reduce unemployment and increase thestandard of living by removing obstacles to thedevelopment of international trade which weredoing harm to the economy of many States. Thejoint draft resolution submitted by Belgium,France, India, Sweden and the United Kingdom,on the other hand, he argued, had no suchpractical objectives in view, but merely recom-mended governments to reduce obstacles to thedevelopment of normal and mutually beneficialtrade. As most governments had already taken

Economic and Social Questions 329

steps to that end, the joint draft resolution, whichmade no reference to the discriminatory practiceswhich the Soviet Union had in mind, did no morethan reflect the existing state of affairs, which itmust therefore tend to perpetuate.

The USSR draft was supported by the repre-sentative of Poland, who also stated that thediscriminatory measures aimed at the Soviet Unionand the peoples' democracies had failed and hadonly created difficulties for countries which hadtaken part in that useless economic blockade.

The representatives of Egypt and Sweden, inparticular, while expressing agreement with someparts of the USSR draft, stated that they could notaccept all its implications. The representative ofSweden as well as the representative of Turkeyexpressed the view that the removal of tradebarriers was only one of a number of ways ofassisting in the maintenance of full employmentand, in any case, not the most important. Therepresentative of Turkey also emphasized that theSoviet draft implied that rearmament was resortedto in order to achieve full employment, whereas,in point of fact, rearmament had always beenresorted to by governments under force of circum-stance and against their will.

The trade discrimination referred to in theSoviet draft, explained the representative of India,was a consequence of political tension. Both heand the representatives of France and the UnitedStates expressed the view that, as long as theinternational tension lasted, States would refuse,on obvious security grounds, to export strategicmaterials. The solution of the political tension,said the representative of India, was of a politicalnature and could not be found by the Economicand Social Council. In the opinion of the repre-sentative of France, there was a close connexionbetween the easing of international political ten-sion and the development of international trade re-lations, it being evident that the maximum devel-opment of trade could come about only when thepolitical atmosphere was free of all tension. Inthe view of the representative of the UnitedStates, the removal of security controls on tradewas deliberately confused in the Soviet draft withmiscellaneous barriers to peaceful trade.

The Council's Economic Committee, at its 135thmeeting on 16 July, rejected the various partsof the Soviet draft in votes ranging from 11 to 3,with 4 abstentions, to 6 to 3, with 9 abstentions.

The joint draft resolution of Belgium, Indiaand Sweden (E/L.533) would have made provi-sion for a committee of experts to study the meas-ures needed to counteract any decline in economic

activity to which a decrease in rearmament mightgive rise, to raise employment rates where theywere low, and, generally, to attain and maintainhigh levels of employment within the frameworkof external and internal economic equilibriumand of liberalization of trade, and to report tothe Council at its eighteenth session.

The joint French-United Kingdom draft resolu-tion (E/L.535), on the other hand, made no pro-vision for a committee of experts, but would haverequested the Secretary-General to invite each Mem-ber Government to submit statements to theCouncil: (1) on the measures considered neces-sary to prevent adverse effects on its own economyor on those of other Members arising from fore-seeable reduction in defence expenditures; and (2)on their experience in dealing with inflationarypressures associated with high levels of economicactivity.

In the joint five-Power draft resolution (E/-AC.6/L.63), replacing these two drafts, section Bdealt with reconversion after the rearmamentperiod and section D with full employment meas-ures. (For the other questions dealt with, seebelow.) According to section B, the Council would,inter alia, request the Secretary-General "to inviteeach Member Government to indicate, before 1December 1953, its views on the measures it mayconsider necessary to prevent adverse effects onits economy or on those of other Members arisingfrom foreseeable reductions in its defence ex-penditures".

Under section D it would call upon "all gov-ernments, with a view to increasing trade, em-ployment and standards of living, to take altpracticable steps to reduce obstacles to the develop-ment of normal and mutually beneficial tradebetween countries availing themselves, inter alia,of any opportunities which may arise as a con-sequence of an easing of international tensions".

The following amendments and sub-amend-ments were submitted to these sections: a jointamendment by Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Yugo-slavia and Venezuela (E/AC.6/L.64) and aSwedish sub-amendment (E/AC.6/L.70) to it; ajoint amendment by Turkey and the UnitedStates (E/AC.6/L.66); an amendment by Egypt(E/AC.6/L.68); and an amendment by the USSR(E/AC.6/L.69) with a Swedish sub-amendment(E/AC.6/L.74) to substitute a new text.

The purpose of the joint five-Power amendment(E/AC.6/L.64), explained the representative ofArgentina, was to insert in the preamble to sec-tion B of the joint draft resolution a referenceto the importance of accelerated economic de-velopment in the countries being developed.

330 Yearbook of the United Nations

The Swedish sub-amendment (E/AC.6/L.70)to the joint five-Power amendment would have theCouncil recognize that any tendency toward aslackening or a fall in the total effective demandon some sectors of the economy resulting fromany significant reduction in the level of ex-penditure on defence could be counteracted, amongother ways, by a more rapid economic develop-ment of the less economically-developed countries.

The purpose of the joint Turkish-United Statesamendment (E/AC.6/L.66), according to itssponsors, would be: as regards section B, to adda statement in the preamble making it clear thatthe Council considered any significant reductionin arms expenditure to be desirable; and, asregards section D, to introduce a reference in the.operative paragraph to some of the other majorimprovements in world conditions that wouldenable trade barriers to be reduced. The onlyspecific opportunities of reducing trade barriersreferred to in section D of the five-Power draftresolution, it was stated, were those due to aneasing of international tensions. As regards sectionD, the Turkish-United States amendment referred,in addition, to improved balance-of-payments ormonetary reserve positions and the maturing ofnewly-developed industries.

The Egyptian amendment (E/AC.6/L.68)proposed to specify in the preamble to section Bthat a reduction in expenditure on defence couldcause a fall in the level of employment only "inindustrial countries" and to add the word "world"before the word "economy" in order to make clear,said the Egyptian representative, that reconversionmight cause a slackening in effective demand notonly nationally but also internationally.

The amendment further proposed to alter sec-tion D of the draft resolution to have the Councilstate that the removal of obstacles to the "smoothdevelopment of international trade" (rather thanthe "development of normal and mutually benefi-cial trade between countries") would help tostimulate business activity and employment.

The USSR representative declared that the textof section B of the five-Power draft, as it stood,gave the impression that the Council was con-cerned at the prospect of a reduction in the levelof expenditure on defence, although such a reduc-tion was not in itself a cause for concern. Hisamendment (E/AC.6/L.69) to this section, heexplained, accordingly referred to the need foran expansion in civilian production, a rise in thestandard of living, and normal trade relationsbetween States without discrimination. If it wereadopted, he declared, the Council would bereferring to the positive steps required rather than

expressing a misplaced concern at a possiblereduction in the level of defence expenditure.

The Swedish sub-amendment (E/AC.6/L.74)to this USSR amendment proposed to replace thereference to the need for an expansion in civilianproduction, a rise in the standard of living andnormal trade relations between States withoutdiscrimination, as proposed by the USSR, by astatement recognizing that any tendency towarda slackening or a fall in the total effective demandon some sectors of the economy resulting fromany significant reduction in the level of ex-penditure on defence could be counteracted by"measures designed to increase, generally, thedemand for an internal and international trade inproducts coming from the civilian sector of theeconomy". This phrase would be in addition tothe phrase "by a more rapid economic develop-ment of the less economically developed coun-tries", as proposed in the Swedish sub-amendment(E/AC.6/L.70) to the joint five-Power amend-ment (see above).

The USSR amendment relating to section D(E/AC.6/L.69) would substitute a revised textby which the Council would call upon all gov-ernments to take "all practical steps to reduceobstacles" instead of "all steps to remove ob-stacles", with a view to increasing trade, employ-ment and standards of living.

The sponsors of the joint draft resolution on17 July submitted a revised text (E/AC.6/L.71)incorporating all the amendments they hadaccepted. The revised text included all or partsof the Turkish-United States amendment (E/-AC.6/L.66), the Egyptian amendment (E/AC.6/-L.68) and the Swedish sub-amendment (E/-AC.6/L.70) to the joint five-Power amendment.The sponsors of the five-Power amendment agreedto accept the revised text of the joint draftresolution.

The Economic Committee voted on the revisedjoint draft resolution at its 137th meeting on 20July. The Swedish sub-amendment (E/AC.6/-L.74) to the USSR amendment, with certaintextual modifications accepted by the representa-tive of Sweden, was adopted by 16 votes to 2.

The USSR amendment (E/AC.6/L.69) tosection B was rejected by 12 votes to 2, with 4abstentions.

Section B of the revised joint draft resolution,as amended, was adopted by 16 votes to none,with 2 abstentions (for text, see below).

The USSR amendment to section D of thejoint draft resolution was rejected by 12 votes to 2,with 4 abstentions. Section D of the joint draft

Economic and Social Questions 331

resolution was adopted by 15 votes to none, with3 abstentions (for text, see below).

2. The Adequacy of Monetary Reserves


In resolution 427(XIV),26 the Council re-quested the International Monetary Fund tofurnish an analysis of the question of the adequacyof monetary reserves to the Council in 1953. TheFund accordingly submitted a report (E/2454),which formed the basis of the Council's considera-tion of this question.

The report of the Fund stressed three basicconsiderations. In the first place, monetary reserveswere meant to take care of swings in balancesof payments and not to finance a permanentdisequilibrium. Secondly, there was a high degreeof inter-action between the effect of domesticfiscal and monetary policies on the amount ofthe monetary reserves of any country, and theeffect of the amount of such reserves on thedomestic fiscal and monetary policies of thatcountry. Finally, a world-wide distribution ofmonetary reserves in accordance with the apparentneed for them was incompatible with the yetmore fundamental considerations of the distribu-tion of the real resources of each country inaccordance with the highest priority for their use.It was a corollary of the first consideration thatthe subject of reserve adequacy could be discussedmeaningfully only on the assumption that coun-tries adopted policies adequate to balance theiraccounts over a normal economic cycle. On thisassumption, four standards of reserve adequacycould be distinguished; while almost all countriescould qualify for the lowest standard of reserveadequacy specified, few could qualify for thehighest standard.

The report pointed out that the resources ofthe Fund were available for temporary assistanceto Member countries which had achieved a fun-damental payments balance. In the event of adepression, the maintenance of demand woulddepend primarily on positive action at the nationallevel, especially in industrial countries, ratherthan on defensive action such as the supplyingof supplementary reserves to countries in dif-ficulty. Nevertheless, the Fund, recognizing theimportance of defensive measures, considered thatsupplementary reserves should be supplied early,on liberal terms, and in adequate amounts. Inthe event of a severe depression, the Fund wouldconsult with its Members on the desirability of

additions to its resources and would considerpossible changes in its modes of operations tomeet the emergent situation.

In presenting the report to the Council, therepresentative of the Fund, at the 720th plenarymeeting of the Council on 10 July, stated that,although the conditions under which some of thesuggestions made in Council resolution 427(XIV)would be applicable had not yet come about, theFund had applied its rules flexibly and wouldcontinue to do so. It was the core of the Fund'sbusiness to keep under review the question ofMembers' monetary reserves and their relationshipto the levels of trade and payments and therestrictions which governments felt it necessaryto impose in these fields. The report explainedthat no absolute determination of the adequacyof monetary reserves could be given for anyspecific country or area, and that reserves weremerely one term in the equation which govern-ments were continually trying to solve.


Several representatives, including those of Cuba,France, India, the United Kingdom and the UnitedStates, congratulated the Fund upon the analysismade in its report. The representative of theUnited Kingdom, in particular, expressed satisfac-tion that the Fund was disposed to make itsresources more readily available to Members. Therepresentatives of France and the United Kingdom,among others, welcomed the Fund's undertakingto keep under review the question of monetaryreserves and their relationship to restrictions andtrade.

The representatives of China and France notedthat existing monetary reserves, even when sup-plemented by the resources of the Fund, wouldnot be adequate to combat the spread of a severedepression.

The representative of the United Kingdomstated that it was his Government's view thatcurrent reserves were inadequate to finance a freeflow of multilateral trade.

The representative of France observed thatduring the last two years the countries of WesternEurope had so increased their trade that theirreserves were now inadequate to finance theirinternational trade. The currency restrictions whichthose countries were obliged to maintain owingto the burdens on their economy, and the socialpolicy they were obliged to apply in order to

26 See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 401-402.

332 Yearbook of the United Nations

maintain as high a level of employment aspossible, could certainly be relaxed to some extentif reserves were more adequate for the presentvolume of Western European trade. He con-sidered that the Bretton Woods Agreementimplied that drawing rights, to fulfil the require-ments of reserves, should be automatic.

The representative of India suggested that theFund devote more attention to the particularproblems of under-developed countries and therepresentative of Yugoslavia considered that theresources of the Fund should be increased, andthat loans should be granted by the Fund tounder-developed countries for the stabilization oftheir currencies and prices and to ensure fullemployment.

The representative of France expressed certaindoubts as to the reliability of 1938 as the baseyear in determining whether existing monetaryreserves were adequate, and pointed out that inthat year exchange reserves were very low.

At the 134th meeting of the Economic Com-mittee on 14 July, the representative of the Fund,expressing his thanks to the Council, said thatthe Fund had constantly in mind the special prob-lems of the lesser-developed countries, but thatthe requirement that its resources should beemployed in a revolving manner for the benefitof all Members precluded the permanent commit-ment of those resources for the purpose of eco-nomic development in any Member country. Thatwas the responsibility of other internationalagencies, national governments, private firmsand individuals. In the case of under-developedcountries, moreover, the Fund, in assessing acountry's ability to repurchase its currency, tookfull account of the normal long-term capital inflowinto that country, and in that way endeavouredto support its Members' economic developmentto the fullest extent compatible with the natureof the Fund's functions and the character of itsresources as a common reserve. He agreed thatreserves should be adequate, not merely duringthe continuance of American aid, but in a worldof balanced trade, and it was for that reason that,in the Fund's report, reserves had been related tototal imports, including those financed by Ameri-can and other aid. The Fund, he said, would keepthe adequacy of monetary reserves under reviewand, at an appropriate time in 1954, inform theCouncil on this matter.


Section C of the joint five-Power draft resolu-tion (E/AC.6/L.63)27 was concerned with the

question of the adequacy of monetary reserves.The sponsors of the joint draft resolution in-corporated in their revised draft (E/AC.6/L.71)an Egyptian amendment (E/AC.6/L.68) toinclude "consumption" among the constituents ofeconomic stability influenced by the level ofmonetary reserves.

Section C of the revised five-Power draft wasadopted unanimously by the Economic Committeeat its 137th meeting on 20 July.28

3. Full Employment and Inflation


In resolution 426 B (XIV)29 of 9 July 1952,the Council had requested the Secretary-General,after consultation with the appropriate specializedagencies, to prepare, in the light of recent ex-perience in various parts of the world and ofpertinent United Nations and other reports andstudies already available, a report on national andinternational measures designed to reconcile theattainment and maintenance of full employmentwith the avoidance of the harmful effects of in-flation, for presentation to the Council in 1953.

In a note presented to the fifteenth sessionof the Council (E/2404), the Secretary-Generalstated that preliminary research pertinent to thereport requested in resolution 426 B (XIV) hadraised certain problems.

In the first place, it was difficult, in analysingpast experience, to isolate the influence of a highlevel of employment from other factors. Forexample, the periods of inflation accompanied byfull utilization of resources during and afterthe war were characterized by the fact that a muchhigher proportion of the national product thannormal was absorbed in purposes other than theprovision of consumer goods. Thus, potent factorsnot directly related to a high level of employmentwere involved.

Secondly, an analysis of the sort of chronicinflation which might develop under conditions offull employment appeared to lead to the conclusionthat the counter-measures involved decisions inwhich the political aspect was of paramountimportance. Whether, for example, a countrywould wish to enforce wage controls or pricecontrols or both depended upon the particularinstitutions and circumstances in that country, andin any case involved political rather than economicjudgments.



29 See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 403.

See pp. 328ff. See p. 336.

Economic and Social Questions 333

Finally, the problem of preventing inflationin the course of rapid economic development inthe under-developed countries was inextricablylinked with other aspects of economic develop-ment and should, therefore, be made the subjectof separate study.

The Council, at its fifteenth session, discussedthis note in connexion with the consideration ofits provisional agenda for the sixteenth session.The consensus was that, in the first place, theSecretariat should supply a classification of thetypes of inflation associated with high levels ofeconomic activity and a list of relevant recentstudies, especially by international organizations.It was suggested, secondly, that the members ofthe Council which had had experience in dealingwith inflationary pressures associated with highlevels of economic activity might arrange to givethe Council the benefit of their experience.

With respect to the first of these suggestions,the Secretary-General presented a report to theCouncil's sixteenth session (E/2449), giving aclassification of the types of inflation that mightbe associated with a high level of economicactivity and, in an appendix, a list of recentstudies on the subject (with summaries) byinternational organizations and some privateauthors. The types of inflation classified were:

(1) inflation arising as a result of investment, gov-ernment expenditure, or exports being "too high" inrelation to available resources, in the sense that theseexpenditures generate a demand for consumption goodswhich cannot be satisfied at the normal price-wagerelationship; (2) sectional inflation arising even wherethere is no over-all shortage of consumption goods inrelation to demand, when shortages appear in someimportant sectors; (3) inflation arising in the courseof rapid development of under-developed countries;and (4) inflation caused by a rise in wages exceedingthat in productivity.

The second of the above suggestions wasbrought to the attention of members of the Coun-cil in a memorandum from the Secretariat dated26 May 1953. By 23 July 1953, replies had beenreceived from Australia and India which werecirculated (E/2488 & Corr.1).


In the course of the Council's discussion at itssixteenth session, most representatives were agreedon the importance of general policies which would,on the one hand, promote full employment andthe economic development of under-developedcountries and, on the other, avoid the harmfuleffects of inflation. It was pointed out by, amongothers, the representatives of Belgium and China.

that, apart from their undesirable internal effects,inflationary pressures caused strains in balancesof payments and gave rise to the imposition ofabnormal exchange and trade restrictions. Therepresentative of Sweden declared that inflationarytrends hampered the movement of internationalcapital required for the development of under-developed countries. The United States represent-ative expressed the view that inflation was notinevitable during a period of full employment.

Some representatives, in particular those ofFrance and the United Kingdom, considered thateconomic rigidities were of crucial importancein relation to the problem of inflation. The rep-resentative of France observed that, where therewas more or less full employment, there was littleelasticity of supply and general equilibrium wasat the mercy of slight variations in demand. At thesame time, he said, some of the factors governingover-all demand could neither be foreseen norinfluenced. Consumer expenditure and the demandfor private capital equipment were unresponsiveto immediate action by the public authorities.Moreover, there was often a discrepancy betweensupply and demand in respect of the same categoryof products. Inflation, he said, might easily springup in agriculture, where production could notbe increased overnight.

The representative of the United Kingdomsuggested that any measures which could be takenin a free society, either to encourage the move-ment of labour and other resources into sectorsof expanding demand, or to prevent a sudden ex-cessive demand in particular sectors from forcingup the general price-level unduly, would make itpossible to maintain a higher level of total de-mand and employment over the whole economywithout price inflation. Another important lessonof the post-war years, he stated, had been that,to maintain full employment without inflation insuch a society, wage-earners, farmers and othersmust play their part by refraining from takingadvantage of high levels of demand for theirservices to try to increase their real incomesfaster than the rise in the income of the com-munity as a whole would allow.

The question of wage policy in conditions offull employment was, in the view of the represent-ative of the United States, in many respects thekey aspect of the problem of inflation. He sug-gested that ILO, which had recently had thatmatter under discussion, should be requested tocontinue its work thereon and keep the Counciladvised of its findings.

The representative of ILO stated that hisorganization was ready and eager to co-operate

Yearbook of the United Nations

with the Council in research and operationalactivities for full employment without inflation.

The representative of Cuba agreed with theSecretary-General's view that it would be con-trary to the United Nations Charter to eliminateinflation by increasing the amount of unemploy-ment in the world. He was also opposed to thealternative solutions: wage control, which wouldlink wage increases to increases in productivity;or price controls, accompanied by freely fluctuat-ing wages. Parts of the reserve labour force inunder-developed countries, he emphasized, couldbe used for investment projects without reducingthe output of consumer goods, thereby raisingtotal output and real wages without causing in-flation.

The representative of Poland opposed the viewthat full employment might give rise to infla-tionary tendencies and considered that the attemptto link difficulties in balances of payments withfull employment constituted a new sort of escapismin economic theory. The view that wages wereincreasing faster than productivity could be dis-proved by the statistical fact that althoughproductivity had risen during post-war years, realwages in the capitalist countries had actually inmost cases declined. The real reason for thecurrent inflation in the capitalist countries wasthe militarization of their economies and thefinancing of armaments production by additionalcurrency issues, he said. Difficulties in balancesof payments were due to the diminishing capital-ist market, high tariff barriers in the United States,the obstacles to East-West trade and the resistanceof under-developed countries to "colonial" eco-nomic relationships.


Section A of the joint five-Power draft resolu-tion (E/AC.6/L.63)30 dealt with the question offull employment and inflation. It would requestthe Secretary-General to invite Members that havehad experience in dealing with inflationary pres-sures associated with high levels of economicactivity or with the process of economic develop-ment in under-developed countries to submitwritten statements on this subject by 1 December1953. The Secretary-General would be asked toprepare an analysis of these statements, and theCouncil, at its seventeenth session, would considerthe advisibility of requesting the Secretary-Generalto appoint a committee of experts for furtherstudy of this problem.

Amendments were submitted to this section:jointly by Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Yugoslaviaand Venezuela (E/AC.6/L.64); by Venezuela(E/AC.6/L.65); by Egypt (E/AC.6/L.68); bythe USSR (E/AC.6/L.69). Sub-amendments werealso submitted to the joint five-Power amendmentby Egypt (E/AC.6/L.67) and by Sweden (E/-AC.6/L.70).

The purpose of the joint five-Power amendment(E/AC.6/L.64), explained the representative ofArgentina, was to insert in the preamble of thejoint draft resolution a reference to the importanceof accelerated economic development in the coun-tries being developed.

The Egyptian sub-amendment (E/AC.6/L.67)to this joint amendment would add to this para-graph a reference to lasting economic stability.

The Swedish sub-amendment (E/AC.6/L.70)to the joint amendment would have this paragraphrefer in particular to inflation in the industrializedcountries, and the urgent problem of reconcilingthe need for an accelerated economic developmentof the less economically developed countries withthe avoidance of inflation.

The Venezuelan amendment (E/AC.6/L.65)proposed to add a paragraph inviting ILO to con-tinue its review of the wage policies appropriateto different levels of employment, including thequestion of wage policy in relation to the problemof inflation, and to inform the Council from timeto time of the results of its work.

The purpose of the Egyptian amendment (E/-AC6/L.68), the representative of Egypt said,was to mention the two separate problems beforethe Council, namely, inflation brought about bya policy of full employment, and inflation result-ing from a policy of economic development.

The USSR amendment (E/AC.6/L.69) wouldreword the preamble as follows:

"Considering that, although the problem of how toattain and maintain full employment without inflationneeds further consideration, it is nevertheless necessaryto take steps to provide fuller employment."

The USSR representative explained that hisamendment was intended to make it clear that,although the problem might well require furtherconsideration, it was also still necessary to takepositive measures to raise employment levels. TheCouncil, he argued, would become a mere debatingsociety if it contented itself with remarking thatevery problem required further consideration, andmade no reference to practical steps.

The sponsors of the joint five-Power draftresolution on 17 July submitted a revised text


See pp. 328ff.


Economic and Social Questions 335

{E/AC.6/L.71) incorporating all the amendmentsthey had accepted. Section A of the revised textincluded the amendments proposed by Venezuela(E/AC.6/L.65) and Egypt (E/AC.6/L.68), andthe sub-amendment by Sweden (E/AC.6/L.70)to the joint five-Power amendment. The sponsorsof the joint five-Power amendment accepted therevised joint draft resolution and the USSR rep-resentative withdrew his amendment to section A.

A consolidated joint amendment proposed byArgentina, Belgium, France, the Philippines, India,Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United Statesand Venezuela (E/AC.6/L.72 & Corr.1) wassubmitted to the revised joint five-Power draft.It was decided without objection at the 136thmeeting of the Economic Committee on 20 Julythat this consolidated joint amendment would besubstituted for the second paragraph of thepreamble to section A of the revised joint draftresolution (for text, see resolution as adopted,below).

The revised five-Power joint draft resolution(E/AC.6/L.71) was voted upon by the EconomicCommittee at its 137th meeting on 20 July. Thepreamble, the consolidated joint amendment (E/-AC.6/L.72 & Corr.1) to section A, and section A,as amended, were all adopted unanimously.

Sections B, C and D were adopted as indicatedabove, and the revised joint draft resolution, asa whole, and as amended, was adopted by 16votes to none, with 2 abstentions.

4. Resolution Adopted by the

Economic and Social Council

The report of the Economic Committee (E/-2491) was considered by the Council at its 748thand 749th plenary meetings on 4 August. TheCouncil also had before it a USSR draft resolution(E/L531), previously introduced at the 720thplenary meeting on 10 July and resubmitted atthe 748th meeting.

The USSR representative considered that thedraft resolution put forward by the EconomicCommittee failed to suggest concrete measuresto combat unemployment and to raise the standardof living of the workers throughout the world.It merely took note of the existing situation anddid not propose to change it. If the Council wereto adopt this draft resolution, he argued, it wouldbe guilty of a serious dereliction of its importantresponsibilities in the matter. Further, such actionmight be construed as tantamount to the approvalby the Council of the rearmament drive. TheUSSR draft resolution, on the contrary, he sub-

mitted, took the fullest account of the need fortaking specific measures. It laid stress on the needfor normalizing trade relations, and invited Mem-ber States to take measures which would lead toa rise in the level of employment and to animprovement in international relations. Similarviews were expressed by the representative ofPoland.

The representatives of France, the United Statesand Yugoslavia opposed the USSR draft andsupported that proposed by the Economic Com-mittee. The latter draft, in their view, was a fairexpression of a wide consensus and was the resultof an effort to achieve unanimity. The representa-tive of Yugoslavia, while he acknowledged thatthe Committee's draft could be improved in atheoretical sense, thought that it represented asatisfactory step forward, having regard to thecurrent international situation.

The representative of France regretted that theUSSR representative had reopened a wide-rangingdiscussion at so late a stage. By so doing, he hadrefused to recognize the genuine effort made bythe Economic Committee to reach agreement byincluding in its text the essentials of the ac-ceptable points in the USSR draft resolution. Therepresentatives of France and the United Statesmaintained that the operative part of the USSRdraft was open to the general criticism that it wasunrealistic since it purported to be unaware ofthe fact that obstacles to the development ofnormal trade between States were due not onlyto economic difficulties, such as disequilibrium inthe balance of payments, but also to securityconsiderations. To remove security restrictionsbefore the relaxation of the tensions that hadmade the restrictions necessary, would, in theview of the representative of the United States,be the height of folly.

The representative of Egypt observed that inthe Economic Committee his delegation had votedin favour of certain parts of the USSR draft.He considered that the discussions in the EconomicCommittee had justified his delegation's position,since the sponsors of the Committee's draft resolu-tion had endeavoured to improve their text soas to bring it into line with the spirit of theUSSR proposal. In general, Egypt thought thatthe existing tendencies towards a resumption ofnormal political relations might be encouragedby an endeavour to achieve the maximum possibleresumption of normal commercial relations. Ifthe USSR draft did not obtain the necessarymajority, however, he would vote in favour of theEconomic Committee's draft resolution.

336 Yearbook of the United Nations

The USSR draft resolution (E/L.531) wasrejected, in parts, by votes ranging from 12 to 3,with 3 abstentions, to 8 to 3, with 7 abstentions.

The USSR representative then stated that itwas desirable that the Council adopt unanimouslya resolution on full employment, and he accord-ingly proposed amendments to the EconomicCommittee's draft resolution (E/2491) so as toremove what he considered its defects.

The USSR amendments (E/L.568) were thefollowing:

The preamble to section B (for text, see below)would be reworded to read:

"Recognizing that, in order to maintain a normaldemand for products, civilian sectors of industry andnormal trade between countries without discriminationmust be developed and standards of living raised;".

In the first operative paragraph of section B(for text, see below) the words "to preventadverse effects... defence expenditures" wouldbe replaced by:

"for developing the civilian sectors of industry andnormal trade between countries without discriminationand improving standards of living".

In the second operative paragraph of sectionD (for text, see below) the words "all practicablesteps to reduce obstacles" would be replaced bythe words "all steps to remove obstacles."

The USSR amendments were each rejected by14 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions.

The Economic Committee's draft resolution wasthen adopted by 16 votes to none, with 2 absten-tions, at the 749th plenary meeting, as resolution483 (XVI). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Having considered the documentation placed beforeit for its discussion on the question of full employment,including, inter alia, the replies of the governments ofMember States to the questionnaire on full employmentand balance of payments and the analysis of thesereplies presented by the Secretary-General, the reportspresented by the Secretary-General on measures designedto reconcile the attainment and maintenance of fullemployment with the avoidance of the harmful effects ofinflation, and the report of the International MonetaryFund on the adequacy of monetary reserves,


"Having in mind the need for continuing efforts toachieve and maintain high levels of employment,

"Considering that the problems of reconciling theattainment and maintenance of full employment in theindustrialized countries, and the acceleration of theeconomic development of the less economically-devel-oped countries, with the need for avoiding the harmfuleffects of inflation, deserve further consideration,

"1. Requests the Secretary-General:"(a) To suggest to Member States that those gov-

ernments having had experience in dealing with in-flationary pressures associated with high levels ofeconomic activity or with the process of economicdevelopment in under-developed countries should ar-range to give the Council the benefit of their experienceand to submit written statements on this subject by1 December 1953, for circulation to the Council;

"(b) To prepare a summary of these statementsand to circulate it to the Council for consideration atits seventeenth session;

"2. Decides to consider at its seventeenth sessionthe advisability of requesting the Secretary-General toappoint a committee of experts for further study ofthese problems;

"3. Invites the International Labour Organisation tocontinue its study of wage policies, including the ques-tion of wage policy in relation to the problem ofinflation, and to inform the Council from time totime, as appropriate, of the results of its work in thisconnexion;

B"Recognizing that any significant reduction in the

level of expenditure on defence, which would of itselfbe most welcome, could at any time cause a slackeningor a fall in the total effective demand on some sectorsof the world economy,

"Recognizing, in this connexion, that any suchtendency could be counteracted, inter alia, by a morerapid economic development of the less economically-developed countries, as well as by an expansion inthe demand for, and internal and international tradein, products coming from the civilian sector of theeconomy,

"1. Requests the Secretary-General to invite eachMember State to indicate, before 1 December 1953,its views on the measures it may consider necessary toprevent foreseeable adverse effects on its economy oron those of other Member States arising from reduc-tions in its defence expenditures;

"2. Decides to consider at its seventeenth sessionthe possible need for further action with reference tothe above-mentioned problems of reconversion, includ-ing the advisability of requesting the Secretary-Generalto provide for further studies either by the committeeof experts mentioned under section A, paragraph 2,above or in some other appropriate manner;


"Recognizing that the level of the monetary reservesavailable to Member States is an important factorinfluencing the possibility of maintaining internationaleconomic stability at optimum levels of output, con-sumption, trade and employment,

"Requests the International Monetary Fund to con-tinue to keep under review the adequacy of monetaryreserves for the purpose of helping countries to meettemporary disequilibria in their balances of internationalpayments, bearing in mind the objectives referred to inparagraph 6 (a) of Council resolution 427 (XIV), andto inform the Council in 1954 of the results of itswork in this connexion;

D"Considering that the removal of obstacles to the

development of normal and mutually beneficial trade

Economic and Social Questions 337

between countries would help to stimulate businessactivity and employment,

"Calls upon all governments, with a view to increas-ing trade, employment and standards of living, to takeall practicable steps to reduce obstacles to the develop-

ment of normal and mutually beneficial trade betweencountries, availing themselves, inter alia, of any op-portunities which may arise as a consequence of im-proved balance of payments or monetary reserve posi-tions, in maturing of newly-developed industries or aneasing of international tensions."


1. Report of the Ad Hoc Committeeon Restrictive Business Practices

The report of the Ad Hoc Committee onRestrictive Business Practices (E/2380), estab-lished by the Economic and Social Council inresolution 375(XIII)31 of 13 September 1951,was before the Council at its sixteenth session.

In its report, the Committee presented andexplained 20 draft articles of a proposed inter-national agreement, which covered both thesubstantive principles and procedures for an inter-national organization charged with responsibilityfor the prevention and control of restrictivebusiness practices, and the internal structure andprocedures which the Committee considered ap-propriate to the problems which would beencountered by any international agency havingto deal with such practices.

The Committee did not deal with the organiza-tion to implement the principles and procedureswhich it recommended since, under Councilresolution 375(XIII), this was the Secretary-General's responsibility. The Secretary-General,had been asked to make a report and recom-mendations on the matter in the light of viewsobtained from any appropriate inter-governmentalbodies or agencies. He pointed out (E/2443)that such a report could not be made, becauseone of the most important of these inter-govern-mental bodies, the Contracting Parties to GATT,had had no regular meeting between the date ofthe Committee's report (30 March 1953) andthe convening of the Council's sixteenth session(30 June 1953).

In accordance with the Council's recommenda-tion that the Committee base its proposals onthe principles set forth in chapter V of theHavana Charter for an International Trade Or-ganization, the first draft article of agreementdefined restrictive business practices as thosewhich "restrain competition, limit access tomarkets or foster monopolistic control". Thepractices falling within the scope of the proposedagreement were listed and provision was madefor the possibility of extending the list by a

two-thirds majority of the members of the or-ganization present and voting.

The draft articles also defined the conditionsunder which restrictive business practices mightbe subject to investigation by the organization,i.e., they must be practices affecting internationaltrade and carried on by one or more private orpublic commercial enterprises possessing, indi-vidually or collectively, effective control of tradeamong a number of countries, and they musthave been the subject of a complaint to theorganization.

The obligations of adhering governments weredefined as follows: each member shall take ap-propriate measures and shall co-operate withother members in the organization to prevent, onthe part of private or public commercial enter-prises, business practices affecting internationaltrade which restrain competition, limit access tomarkets, or foster monopolistic control, wheneversuch practices have harmful effects on the ex-pansion of production or trade, in the light ofthe objectives relating to commercial policy, eco-nomic development and related purposes set forthin the preamble to the proposed agreement (seebelow).

Provision was made for a consultation procedureand an investigation procedure applicable toproducts, and for a separate procedure applicableto services such as transportation and telecom-munications. In addition, the draft articles alsoauthorized the organization to make generalstudies of restrictive business practices.

The Committee incorporated in its draft articlesof agreement a preamble inspired by the objec-tives of the Havana Charter. This preamble,to the extent that the objectives expressed in itwere relevant, would serve to provide guidancefor the organization in considering whether ornot a restrictive business practice had harmfuleffects. Furthermore, the draft agreement providedthat any restrictive business practice which was"specifically required" by governmental measuresin all countries in which the practice exists should


See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 427-28.

338 Yearbook of the United Nations

be exempted from the investigation procedure.These changes, together with the incorporationof certain provisions relating to co-operation withintergovernmental bodies and agencies, weredeemed necessary by the Committee so that theprovisions of the Havana Charter relating torestrictive business practices could stand on theirown divorced from the much more comprehensiveresponsibilities of the International Trade Or-ganization contemplated under the HavanaCharter.

The Committee also incorporated in its draftagreement relevant parts of the Havana Charternot contained in chapter V, introduced amend-ments which clarified the language of that chapterand recorded its interpretation of some doubtfulpoints. However, it adopted only one substantiveamendment of chapter V, a less restrictive defini-tion of the restrictive business practice involvedin the suppression and withholding of tech-nology.

As to the internal structure and procedures ofan implementing agency for its proposals, theCommittee recommended the creation of a Rep-resentative Body, consisting of the representativesof all governments adhering to the agreement,having paramount authority and the final powerof decision within the agency. It also envisagedan Executive Board, consisting of a smaller numberof governmental representatives, to which impor-tant powers would be delegated. Members of theBoard would be drawn from countries havingdifferent types of economy and different degreesof economic development, from countries in dif-ferent geographical areas, and from countries ofchief economic importance having regard par-ticularly to their shares in international trade.The Committee's proposals envisaged two groupsof staff functions, to be performed by officials inan executive secretariat and an advisory staff,respectively. The officials in the executive secre-tariat would, among other things, examine com-plaints of restrictive business practices, check theinformation supplied and request member Statesto furnish supplementary information, with a viewto advising the Representative Body whether thecomplaints prima facie satisfied the conditionslaid down in the draft agreement.

The advisory staff would be responsible forthe handling of complaints after a decision hadbeen taken to make an investigation and mem-bers had been informed. There would be threemain stages in its handling of complaints: (1)examining, analysing and setting forth the infor-mation received; (2) deciding whether the practicein question has had, has or is about to have harm-

ful effects within the meaning of the draftagreement; and (3) making recommendations inappropriate cases to member governments as toremedial measures.

The Committee also made proposals concerningthe entry into force, amendment and terminationof the draft agreement, and withdrawal there-from, and made suggestions as to how theadherence of the European Coal and Steel Com-munity to the proposed agreement might befacilitated. The report concluded with a statementof the relationship and inter-action betweenrestrictive business practices and other barriersto international trade. Some Committee membersheld that the proposed agency would commenditself to governments only if it formed part of awider body with comprehensive responsibilitiesin the whole field of international trade. Othersfelt that different types of trade barriers must bedealt with at a different pace and under differentorganizational arrangements.

An appendix to the draft agreement listed thenational share in world trade of individual coun-tries (computed on the basis of import and ex-port figures supplied by the Statistical Office ofthe United Nations).

2. Analysis of Governmental MeasuresRelating to Restrictive Business Practices

In compliance with the fifth paragraph ofCouncil resolution 375(XIII), the Ad Hoc Com-mittee transmitted to the Council a report by theCommittee's Secretary (E/2379 & Add.1) onanalysis of governmental measures relating torestrictive business practices.

In its covering letter of transmittal, the Com-mittee stated that, in accordance with the Coun-cil's resolution, it had, on 3 March 1952, addresseda letter to States that were Members of theUnited Nations or of specialized agencies, askingthem for pertinent documents and informationconcerning restrictive business practices. A similarletter was sent to certain specialized agencies andintergovernmental organizations. Interested non-governmental organizations were also invited tomake available to the Committee such informationas they deemed relevant, either in oral statementsat public meetings of the Committee or in writtenstatements.

Prior to 31 March 1953, seventeen countries32

had forwarded documents to the Committee.32

Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Iran,Iraq, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, thePhilippines, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the Unionof South Africa, the United Kingdom and the UnitedStates.

Economic and Social Questions 339

These documents included the texts of laws orproposed laws, judicial decisions, administrativemeasures and reports.

The Committee decided, in view of the short-age of time and the voluminous material that hadbeen forwarded, to charge its Secretary with thetask of preparing a report giving the informationreceived from governments. It expressed the viewthat information not originally submitted by gov-ernments should, wherever possible, be verifiedsubsequently by correspondence with the govern-ments concerned.

After two introductory chapters setting forththe types of restrictive business practices and theirextent, the report by the Committee's Secretarydealt with governmental measures relating tosuch practices. It covered:

(1) the legal origins of such governmental measures;

(2) the types of legislation involved, e.g., lawsproviding for the surveillance, prevention and control,or adoption of restrictive business practices;

(3) the types of business activities held illegal undernational legislation, e.g., price-fixing, limitation ofproduction;

(4) exemptions from the scope of relevant legisla-tion;

(5) general provisions for the collection of informa-tion;

(6) registration laws and procedures;

(7) investigation procedures;

(8) remedies and penalties; and

(9) the effectiveness of governmental measures inthis field.

One annex to the report contained the textsof the relevant legislation of some 60 countrieson restrictive business practices. Another annexconsisted of case histories showing how variousinternational restrictive arrangements operated inthe past in the following four industries: electriclamps; titanium pigments and related products;aluminium; and heavy nonferrous materials.

3. Consideration by the Economicand Social Council at its

Sixteenth Session

The question of restrictive business practiceswas considered by the Council at its 742nd and744th plenary meetings, on 30 and 31 July 1953.In addition to the above two reports of the AdHoc Committee, the Council had before it a jointdraft resolution by Belgium, Egypt, France, Turkeyand the United Kingdom (E/L.556), and a jointSwedish-Yugoslav amendment (E/L.557) to thejoint draft resolution.

Under the joint draft resolution, the Secretary-General would be requested, inter alia:

to transmit the two reports for examination and com-ment to Members of the United Nations and of spe-cialized agencies in the economic field, the specializedagencies concerned, and interested intergovernmentalorganizations and non-governmental organizations. TheCouncil would resume consideration of the matter notlater than its nineteenth session.

The amendment proposed the addition of anew paragraph, under which the Secretary-Generalwould be requested:

(1) to continue to follow, on the basis of informa-tion obtained from governments, the principal legisla-tive, judicial, executive and administrative developmentsin this field;

(2) to summarize relevant information regardingrestrictive business practices in international trade whichmight be obtained in official government documents;and

(3) to report thereon to the Council before it re-sumed its consideration of this problem.

The Council also had before it a statement bythe Secretary-General of financial implications(E/L.557/Add.1) to the effect that the tasksarising from the joint draft resolution (E/L.556)could be undertaken within existing resources butthat the amendment (E/L.557) would require theassignment of additional personnel, involving acost of $15,800. It was subsequently explained bythe representative of the Secretary-General thatthe additional expenditure could be absorbed inthe budget of the Department of Economic Affairsfor 1953, but that it was not possible to prejudgeany decision that might be taken on the budgetof the Department in respect of 1954.

Most representatives, including those of Aus-tralia, Belgium, Egypt, France, India, Turkey, theUnited Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay,spoke in support of the joint draft resolution.They stated that the documentation submitted tothe Council was substantial and dealt with diffi-cult problems, and they considered that moretime was needed for governments to formulatetheir views on the Ad Hoc Committee's recom-mendations. The absence of a report by the Sec-retary-General on the organization to implementthe proposals and the lack of an opportunity toconsult the Contracting Parties to GATT werefurther reasons for postponing discussion of thesubject. Any delay thereby entailed, they argued,would be rewarded by the ultimate adoption ofconstructive measures.

Some representatives, in particular those ofSweden and Yugoslavia, on the other hand, fa-voured action before the tenth session of theCouncil. In their opinion, efforts should be made

340 Yearbook of the United Nations

to maintain public interest in the abolition ofrestrictive business practices during the interven-ing period. Their amendment therefore proposedthat the Secretary-General should carry out a se-ries of follow-up studies which would keep theSecretariat's information up to date until suchtime as the Council resumed consideration of thematter. Such studies, they thought, might also beuseful to nations wishing to adopt measures toliberalize trade. The representative of Sweden con-sidered it to be the consensus of modern expertopinion that cartels in many cases adversely in-fluenced productivity by fixing prices at the levelof the least efficient member and by obviating theneed for rationalization, and that such practiceshampered economic development, most of all inthe under-developed countries. He also stated thatthe abolition of restrictive business practices wouldredound to the advantage of the balance of pay-ments, the balance of trade, world productivityand the maintenance of full employment.

The representatives of Poland and the USSRtook the position that restrictive business practiceswere not as important as other problems in in-ternational trade, such as discriminatory tradepractices by certain governments. They held thatthe draft agreement was designed to promote theexpansion of United States enterprises abroad andto enable United States firms to establish them-selves as dominant influences in cartels and en-tentes in which they had hitherto had no part.The documents before the Council were criticizedfor failing to take account of the harmful effectsof monopolistic restrictive practices in colonialareas and in the smaller and under-developedcountries.

The United States representative, in reply tothese comments, affirmed the continuing devotionof his Government and people to the principlesof free and fair competition under which hiscountry had prospered and said that his countryhad a long record of action against trade restric-tions. He stated that the trade restrictions whichhad been imposed and to which reference had justbeen made had been taken for security reasons,and not for protectionist and balance of paymentspurposes and his Government would be glad ifconditions would change so that such restrictionscould safely be lifted.

While the Committee's report and documenta-tion supported the view that restrictive businesspractices in many cases had harmful effects, somerepresentatives, in particular the representative ofBelgium, cautioned against the view that this wastrue universally. Cartels and combines, the repre-sentative of Belgium argued, could prove to be

a useful factor through which the current rigideconomic structure could be made more flexible.Agreement between undertakings might make itpossible to regulate economic development, whichmade for stability of employment. It could guidecapital into the most productive channels and re-duce production costs, and therefore prices, byarranging for specialization, standardization andthe pooling of the cost of technical research, ad-vertising and market research. The evil, in hisview, lay not in the mere existence of cartels andcombines, but in the general economic situationto which their formation represented industry'sreaction.

The representatives of Belgium and Sweden,among others, stressed the need for concurrent in-ternational action to prevent and control govern-mental, as well as private, restrictions on trade.The Belgium representative regretted the absencefrom the Committee's report of provisions re-lating to restrictive practices with regard to ser-vices. The representative of Sweden, drawing at-tention to specific cases, pointed out that nationalaction against restrictive business practices in in-ternational trade frequently encountered difficultiesand proved ineffective when it was not supportedby international action.

Few comments were made on the proceduralaspects of the Committee's report. The represen-tative of Uruguay, however, considered that someof the draft articles of agreement gave too muchpower to the advisory staff. Certain articles, hethought, would seem to imply that the Repre-sentative Body would always have to accept thereports of the advisory staff, and if that were soit would be surrendering its own competence.His second criticism was that it would be in-appropriate to establish an executive board witha restricted membership. Although it might havecertain virtues, the establishment of such a boardwould be contrary to the democratic principle thatthe rights of all the States members of the pro-posed organization must be respected. He em-phasized also that the smaller the membership ofthe controlling body, the easier it would be forthe cartels and trusts to bring pressure to bearon it.

The representative of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) proposed that non-governmental organizations in category A be giventhe right to submit suggestions to the proposedorganization. The representative of the Interna-tional Confederation of Free Trade Unions(ICFTU) advanced the view that a bona fidenon-governmental organization, appointed for thepurpose by the members of the new agency, should

Economic and Social Questions 341

also be entitled to submit complaints as a meansof protecting the general interests of the com-munity.

The representative of France suggested that astudy be made of specific phases of restrictivebusiness practices, such as the failure of somegovernments to provide for the compulsory li-censing of patents as a remedial measure againstthe restrictive practice of patent suppression, asthey were obligated to do by their agreementsunder the Paris Union of 1883 (as most recentlyamended in London in 1934). More information,he said, was needed on the effectiveness of legis-lation purporting to restrain cartel abuse, such asthe experience gained under the recent Germanand Japanese anti-cartel ordinances. He also notedthat restrictive arrangements involving agricultu-ral foodstuffs and articles of human consumption,which were more informal and more difficult tocope with than similar arrangements relating toindustrial commodities, required further investi-gation and analysis.

The representative of the World Federation ofTrade Unions (WFTU) considered that the re-port of the Ad Hoc Committee was not likely tolead to effective action against restrictive businesspractices and would not, for example, affect thecontrol he claimed certain monopolies had overthe economic and political life of many under-developed countries. The representative of the In-ternational Chamber of Commerce (ICC) statedthat the views of his organization were set out ina brochure entitled Economic Competition andAgreement. Agreements between firms amountedto monopolies only in exceptional cases; the cri-teria for action should be whether the purposeof an agreement was to restrict production andtrade and whether it gave the parties advantagesdisproportionate to the services they rendered.

At its 744th plenary meeting on 31 July, theCouncil adopted the amendment (E/L.557)33

first in parts and then as a whole. The first andthird parts were adopted by 12 votes to none,with 6 abstentions, and the second part by 10

votes to 1, with 7 abstentions. The joint draftresolution, as a whole, as amended, was adoptedby 16 votes to none, with 2 abstentions (resolu-tion 487(XVI)). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Noting the report of the Ad Hoc Committee onRestrictive Business Practices and the Secretariat'sanalysis of governmental measures relating to restrictivebusiness practices prepared in accordance with Councilresolution 375(XIII),

"Bearing in mind that restrictive business practices ininternational trade may have harmful effects on theattainment of the higher standards of living, full em-ployment and conditions of economic and social progressand development envisaged in Article 55 of the Charterof the United Nations,

"Recognizing the necessity of according sufficient timeto governments to give thorough study to the proposalsof the Ad Hoc Committee, and to the Secretary-Generalto formulate the report and recommendation called forin paragraph 6 of resolution 375(XIII),

"1. Commends the Ad Hoc Committee and the Sec-retariat for the thoroughness and dispatch with whichthe tasks assigned to them have been executed;

"2. Requests the Secretary-General:

"(a) To transmit the Committee's report and theSecretariat's analysis to the States Members of theUnited Nations and of specialized agencies in the eco-nomic field, to the specialized agencies concerned, andto interested intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, for examination and anycomments they may wish to make;

"(b) To circulate to the foregoing such commentsas he may receive, together with such analysis as hedeems appropriate;

"3. Further requests the Secretary-General to pro-ceed to implement paragraph 6 of resolution 375(XIII)when a sufficient number of governments have com-mented on the Committee's report to provide someindication of attitudes towards the report, and to con-tinue to follow, on the basis of information obtainedfrom governments, the principal legislative, judicial,executive and administrative developments in this field,to summarize relevant information regarding restrictivebusiness practices in international trade which may becontained in official government documents, and toreport thereon to the Council before it resumes con-sideration of this problem;

"4. Decides to resume consideration of this matternot later than the nineteenth session of the Council."


At its fifteenth session, the Economic and SocialCouncil discussed the question of convening inter-governmental study groups and commodity con-ferences, at the 127th to 130th meetings of itsEconomic Committee, on 10, 17, and 23 April,and at its 702nd plenary meeting on 27 April1953.

As a basis for this discussion, the Council hadbefore it a report by the Secretary-General re-garding procedures for intergovernmental con-sultation on problems arising in connexion withprimary commodities (E/2039) submitted to its

33 See p. 339.

342 Yearbook of the United Nations

thirteenth session and an addendum (E/2039/-Add.1) bringing the data included in the originalstudy up to date. It also had before it the Reviewof International Commodity Problems, 195234

prepared by the Interim Co-ordinating Committeefor International Commodity Arrangements(ICCICA).

In the course of the Council's discussion, themajority of speakers drew attention to difficultiesarising from fluctuations in prices of primary pro-ducts and to the importance of international ef-forts to reduce such fluctuations. In particular,considerable attention was given to the harmfuleffects of such fluctuations on the economies ofthe less developed countries which depend largelyon the export of primary commodities.

It was generally agreed that it would be in-appropriate at this time to discuss the substanceof the question. Although it was recognized thatcommodity agreements were not the only way ofstabilizing prices, the majority considered that thepresent machinery had proved effective and shouldbe continued. A draft resolution to this effect waspresented by Australia (E/AC.6/L.55).

The representatives of Poland and the USSRheld that no solution could be found in a pro-cedure based on the principles of the HavanaCharter, since it would impose on governments theprocedures of that Charter, which some of themhad never accepted. In this connexion, the Aus-tralian representative pointed out that the draftresolution did not imply acceptance of the pro-visions of the Havana Charter. It was merely aquestion of being generally guided by those prin-ciples.

The representative of Argentina submitted twoamendments (E/AC.6/L.58) to the Australiandraft resolution. The first would recall the para-mount importance of establishing machinery forintergovernmental consultations on primary com-modity agreements, while the second aimed at se-curing more effective means of reaching suchagreements.

The Australian representative stated that hecould not accept the first amendment since it wasa question of substance. However, he agreed toaccept an oral United Kingdom compromise pro-posal to add to the preamble of the draft reso-lution a paragraph noting the study requested inparagraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 623(VII)35. The second Argentine amendment wasadopted at the Economic Committee's 128th meet-ing on 10 April, by 13 votes to none, with 4abstentions (see below, para. 5).

The representative of Australia also accepted,with minor drafting changes, an amendment byUruguay (E/AC.6/L.56), which would increasethe membership of the ICCICA to four, and anoral Indian amendment, to give the ICCICA amore active role by adding a provision that theCommittee assist in intergovernmental consulta-tion and action in respect of international com-modity problems (see below).

The draft resolution, thus amended, was adopted(E/2410A) by 15 votes to 2 at the Committee's128th meeting, following separate votes on thefirst three operative paragraphs ranging from 14votes to 2, with 1 abstention, to 14 votes to none,with 3 abstentions.

It was adopted by the Council at its 702nd plen-ary meeting, on 27 April, by 16 votes to 2, asresolution 462 A (XV). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,"Recognizing the importance to all countries of main-

taining adequate machinery to facilitate internationalconsideration of problems of primary commodities,

"Recalling Council resolution 30(IV), 296(XI) and373(XIII) relating to international commodity arrange-ments,

"Believing that these resolutions continue to consti-tute an effective basis for international consultation andaction,

"Noting the study requested in paragraph 6 ofGeneral Assembly resolution 623(VII),

"1. Reaffirms Council resolution 296(XI) govern-ing the procedures to be followed by the Secretary-General in convening inter-governmental commodityconferences;

"2. Recommends that Members of the United Na-tions continue to accept the principles of chapter VIof the Havana Charter for an International TradeOrganization as a general guide in inter-governmentalconsultation or action with respect to commodity prob-lems;

"3. Recommends that the membership of theInterim Co-ordinating Committee for International Com-modity Arrangements (ICCICA) should be increased tofour, the fourth member to be a person of wideexperience in the problems confronting countries under-going development whose economies are primarilydependent on the production and international market-ing of primary commodities, and authorizes the Sec-retary-General to make this appointment;

"4. Recommends that the ICCICA should continueto review international commodity problems and toassist in inter-governmental consultation and action inrespect of such problems;

"5. Recommends that the group of experts ap-pointed under General Assembly resolution 623(VII)should devote attention to the question of the use ofstudy groups and international commodity conferences."


U.N.P. Sales No.: 1953.II.D.1. See also underWorld Economic Situation.

35 See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 377-78.

Economic and Social Questions 343

The Economic Committee also had before it adraft resolution by Uruguay (E/AC.6/L.57),calling for a study of steel and its principal by-products.

During the discussion, the representatives ofFrance, Sweden and the United States, amongothers, stressed that it was for the ICCICA, notthe Council, to make recommendations concerningspecific commodities. It would therefore, theythought, be sufficient to transmit the summaryrecords of the discussion to the ICCICA. It wasalso open to the Government of Uruguay, theUnited States representative said, to communicatedirectly with the Committee without a formalproposal by the Council. A number of representa-tives, including those of Australia, China, Franceand the United States, pointed out that the workbeing done by the regional economic commis-sions should also be taken into account beforeestablishing such a study group.

The United States representative proposed(E/AC.7/L.59) that the Council invite govern-ments to consider the usefulness and desirabilityof convening a study group on steel and requestthem to transmit their views to the ICCICA.Following a brief discussion, the representative ofUruguay agreed to accept this draft resolution ifit were recorded in the summary records that thebasic problem was not supply but disparity be-tween the income received by the under-developedcountries from the sales of the products they ex-ported and the prices which they had to pay forthe commodities they needed.

However, at the following meeting (130th),the United States withdrew the draft resolutionand, together with India and Uruguay, submitteda joint text (E/AC.6/L.60), which was adoptedby 15 votes to none, with 3 abstentions, both bythe Economic Committee (E/2410B), and by theCouncil at its 702nd plenary meeting on 27 April1953 as resolution 462 B (XV). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council"1. Requests the Interim Co-ordinating Committee

for International Commodity Arrangements (ICCICA)to consult governments on the desirability and useful-ness of convening an inter-governmental study groupon steel, and to transmit to the governments for theirinformation the official records of the discussion of thequestion at the fifteenth session of the Council;

"2. Recommends that the governments consultedshould transmit their views on the question to theICCICA not later than 30 September 1953;

"3. Requests the ICCICA to consider the repliesreceived from governments and to report to the Councilat its seventeenth session on the action taken in thismatter."

In accordance with the Council's resolution, theICCICA prepared a report (E/2537) on the

question of convening a study group on steel forsubmission to the Council's seventeenth session.

During 1953, there was further discussion aboutthe possibility of using commodity agreements tostabilize the relationship between prices of givenprimary commodities and of secondary goodswhich exporting countries need to import. Theeffect of any such arrangements would be tostabilize the prices of the commodities concerned,not in absolute terms but in relation to the pricesof certain other goods. This matter was also con-sidered by the group of experts which preparedthe report Commodity Trade and Economic De-velopment.36

The international wheat agreement of 1949 ex-pired during 1953 and, after intergovernmentaldiscussion, was renewed, with certain changesarising from experience in its operation. The basicprinciples of a multilateral contract were retainedin the 1953 agreement.

In accordance with Council resolution 296(XI),the Secretary-General sought the advice of theICCICA on a request that he had received toconvene an international conference to considerthe conclusion of an international agreement onsugar. The ICCICA reported that a conferencewas desirable and the United Nations Sugar Con-ference was convened in London, from 13 July to24 August 1953. The meeting was attended byover 200 representatives from 50 countries, ofwhich twelve had observer status. At the end ofthe Conference, a Final Act was signed, to whichwas attached the International Sugar Agreementprepared at the Conference.37

The technique adopted in the agreement hasmany new aspects. Market prices are accepted asa guide to the relation between supply and de-mand, and provision made to ensure that adjust-ments to available supplies are made quickly inresponse to changes in price. The first meetingof the new International Sugar Council was heldon 18 December and the general clauses of theAgreement became operative on 1 January 1954.

At its meeting in London in March 1953,the International Tin Study Group considered de-velopments following the adjournment of theUnited Nations Tin Conference in November1950. To give further consideration to this matter,

1954.II.B.1. The Conference agenda, the list of representatives,

the summary records of the plenary meetings, the reso-lutions of the final plenary meeting, the Final Act ofthe Conference and the text of the international agree-ment concluded at the Conference have been publishedin United Nations Sugar Conference, 1953: Summaryof Proceedings. U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.D.3.

See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 377-78. U.N.P. Sales No.:



344 Yearbook of the United Nations

it appointed a working party, which met in Brus-sels in June 1953. The working party prepareda report on its attempts to reconcile differencesof views between producing and consuming coun-tries on various aspects of a proposed agreement.The member governments of the International TinStudy Group were asked to examine this reportand to inform the chairman of the United NationsTin Conference concerning their views as to theusefulness of an early resumption of the confer-ence. To facilitate further discussion regarding theproposed agreement, a drafting committee met inLondon in August 1953 and prepared a draft,based on the work of the 1950 conference and onsubsequent proposals, setting out various sugges-tions which had been made. The replies from gov-ernments were generally favourable to an earlyresumption of the Conference, and the Secretary-

General, acting on the request of the chairmanof the United Nations Tin Conference and in ac-cordance with arrangements made at the time theConference adjourned, convened the second ses-sion of the Conference in Geneva, from 16 No-vember to 9 December 1953. It was attended byrepresentatives from 30 countries; representativesof seven of these countries had observer status.An International Tin Agreement was prepared forsubmission to governments.

At its meeting held in Geneva in December1953, the ICCICA reviewed the changes that hadtaken place during the year in the supply anddemand of various primary commodities and pre-pared a report for the Economic and Social Coun-cil reviewing current problems in internationaltrade in these commodities.


The Council, at its sixteenth session, devotedconsiderable attention to problems of food pro-duction in connexion with its review of the an-nual report (E/2432 & Add.1 & 2) of the Foodand Agricultural Organization of the United Na-tions (FAO).

The report, which contained an assessment ofthe trend of food requirements on the basis ofpopulation estimates worked out with the Popu-lation Division of the United Nations, showedthat for the period 1948-1951 the rate of popula-tion increase for all countries, for which statisticswere available, amounted to 1.4 per cent. Assum-ing that the rate of increase in countries for whichstatistics were not available to the United Nationswas the same, then the annual increase in worldpopulation would be about 30 millions—an ad-ditional 80,000 new mouths daily to be fed. It wasfurther pointed out that food requirements do notsolely depend on the growth of population, sincethey are also affected by the level of food con-sumption per capita and by the quality of the dietsconsumed. In certain countries food productionwas increasing more rapidly than population, andindeed substantial stocks existed in North Ameri-ca. On the other hand, throughout the greaterpart of the under-developed countries and par-ticularly in Asia and the Far East, the quantitiesof food available per capita were still less than inthe immediate pre-war period, when malnutritionwas the common lot of the greater part of theworld's population. FAO, the report pointed out,devotes the greater part of its resources, under

both its regular and its technical assistance pro-grammes, to methods of assisting governments toincrease their food production and to improve dis-tribution; but the budgetary resources at the dis-posal of the organization severely limit the amountof such assistance that can be given.

FAO has established a joint agricultural secre-tariat with each of the regional economic com-missions which is responsible both to the Director-General of FAO and to the Executive Secretariesof the economic commissions. Those joint activi-ties undertaken vary somewhat from year to year,but are directed to methods of increasing produc-tion, improvement of agricultural statistics, betterunderstanding of agricultural economic problems,and problems of land reform.

Co-operation between FAO and other special-ized agencies has been developed progressively,the report stated, in regard to the reform ofagrarian structures, and inter-agency meetings havebeen arranged by FAO in preparation for the re-port38 which the Secretary-General would makeon this subject to the General Assembly in 1954.Close co-operation was continued between FAOand WHO on a number of nutritional problems,special emphasis being placed on questions ofmethods of overcoming protein deficiencies whichhave such serious effects on the health of youngchildren in Africa, the Far East and in under-developed countries in general.

38 Progress in Land Reform, U.N.P., Sales No.: 1954.


Economic and Social Questions 345

At the request of governments, the reportstated, projects implemented under the UnitedNations Expanded Programme of technical assis-tance also contributed to an increase in food pro-duction.

The Council considered the report at its six-teenth session, at its 709th and 710th plenarymeetings, on 2 and 3 July. The representative ofFAO, in presenting the report, said that specialemphasis had been placed on the relationship ofworld food production to world population, whichappeared to be growing by approximately 1.4 percent per annum, equivalent to an aggregate in-crease of 30 million persons a year. In the lightof recent studies, it was now considered that in-creased production, favoured by good harvestsduring the past two years, particularly in NorthAmerica, made it doubtful whether, statistically,world food production was in fact lagging behindworld population growth. Indeed, substantial sur-pluses of foodstuffs were available in North Amer-ica, but they were not readily available to theworld owing to balance-of-payments and transportdifficulties, although some surpluses had generous-ly been placed at the disposal of the rest of theworld by the United States and Canadian Govern-ments. In less-favoured regions, however—andthese comprised the greatest part of the world'spopulation—the per capita consumption of foodwas still markedly less than before the war, hesaid.

The FAO representative pointed out that, atleast for the time being, the number of food-importing countries had increased. Increased foodproduction, particularly in countries from whichexports might be anticipated, was a matter of thegreatest importance to food-importing countries.FAO felt that technical assistance represented themost fruitful initiative undertaken by the UnitedNations. The very success of FAO's technical as-sistance programme, however, had placed the or-ganization in a difficult position, owing to theincrease in the number of requests received.

The Council also had before it a draft resolu-tion by Sweden (E/L.511), which would havethe Council take note of the report. During thediscussion, members congratulated FAO and itssecretariat upon the success of their work, andexpressed satisfaction with the valuable servicesrendered by FAO in the field of technical assis-tance and with the co-operation achieved withother specialized agencies and with the regionaleconomic commissions.

The majority of representatives expressed seri-ous concern at the situation regarding world food

supplies revealed by FAO's studies, and reaffirmedsupport of FAO's objective, calling for a well-balanced increase in world food production of atleast 1 to 2 per cent per annum in excess of therate of population growth. The representative ofFrance emphasized that all governments shouldheed the warnings of FAO and try to increaseagricultural production. Agricultural and industrialdevelopment, however, should go hand in hand,he said. There were too many current examplesof disequilibrium between industrial and agricul-tural development. Governments engaged in in-dustrializing their countries should take care toincrease agricultural output proportionately.

The representatives of Argentina, Cuba andEgypt, among others, however, thought there wasa lack of balance in the FAO report. It had saidthat more adequate supplies of food were a pre-requisite of all economic development and thatthe only real solution to the problem of securingsuch supplies in under-developed countries lay inincreasing indigenous production. At a time whensurpluses of food were accumulating for lack ofmarkets, while millions in need were unable togain access to those surpluses for lack of pur-chasing power—which was in turn due to the lackof economic development in under-developedcountries—such statements, they held, suggestedan incorrect approach to the problem. FAO shouldnot, of course, deviate from its allotted tasks, butinstead of giving priority to food production overeconomic development FAO should bear in mindthe need for integrated and harmonious devel-opment.

The representatives of Argentina and Egyptproposed an amendment (E/L.516) to the Swe-dish draft resolution, by which the Council wouldrequest FAO, when dealing with the problem ofincrease in production of foodstuffs, to bear inmind the more general problems arising out ofeconomic development, improvement in the stand-ard of living, and the flow of international trade.

Replying to the observations made, the repre-sentative of FAO stated that his organization hadfelt it necessary to emphasize the gravity of theworld food problem, but its attitude was not oneof pessimism. On the contrary, it believed, incontrast to the neo-Malthusians, that the technicalproblems of food production could be overcome.The most formidable obstacles were political,social and economic, not technical.

With respect to integrated economic develop-ment, FAO had never suggested that the import-ance of industrialization could be minimized. Onseveral occasions, in fact, the FAO Conference and

346 Yearbook of the United Nations

Council had stressed the importance of industriali-zation as part of economic development. In coun-tries in which there was considerable under-employment in agriculture, industrialization mightwell prove to be the only way of remedying thesituation. What FAO had maintained was ratherthat industrial and agricultural development shouldbe carried out concurrently. The representatives ofCuba, France and Yugoslavia felt that, in the cir-cumstances, the amendment would be inappro-priate.

The amendment proposed by Argentina andEgypt was withdrawn, in view of the assurancesgiven by the representative of FAO and on theunderstanding that the Council was in agreement

in stressing the importance of the general prob-lems arising out of economic development, theimprovement of living standards and the flow ofinternational trade.

The representative of Sweden accepted an Aus-tralian amendment (E/L.514 & Corr.1) to ex-press appreciation of the report and note withapproval emphasis on operational activities. Thedraft resolution (E/L.511), as thus amended, wasadopted by 16 votes to none, with 2 abstentions,at the Council's 710th plenary meeting on 3 July.

By this resolution (488(XVI)), the Counciltook note of FAO's report with appreciation andnoted with approval the continued emphasis onthe carrying out of operational activities in thefield.


The Transport and Communications Commis-sion held its sixth session at United Nations Head-quarters from 2 to 11 February 1953.

The Commission's report (E/2363) was con-sidered by the Economic and Social Council at itsfifteenth session, at the 125th, 126th and 129thmeetings of the Economic Committee, on 6, 7and 17 April 1953, and at the 687th and 689thplenary meetings, on 15 and 16 April 1953.

On the basis of the report of the EconomicCommittee (E/2402) and a statement by theSecretary-General (E/2363/Add.1) on the finan-cial implications of the report of the Commission,the Council, at its 687th plenary meeting on 15April, by 15 votes to none, with 2 abstentions,took note of the report of the Commission, inresolution 468 A (XV).

The action taken by the Commission and theCouncil on transport and communications ques-tions during 1953 are dealt with below.

1. International Road Transport

a. CONVENTION ON ROAD TRAFFICThe Commission noted that the Convention on

Road Traffic,39 opened for signature on 19 Sep-tember 1949, had come into force on 26 March1952. The Norwegian and United Kingdom re-presentatives informed the Commission that theirGovernments had taken steps toward ratificationof the Convention and the representatives of Pak-istan and China stated that their Governments

were considering the ratification of the Conven-tion in the near future.

At its sixteenth session, the Council had beforeit communications to the Secretary-General fromthe Governments of Vietnam and the VaticanCity (E/2453), requesting that the question oftheir accession to the Convention on Road Trafficbe placed on the Council's agenda. The questionwas considered by the Council at its 715th plenarymeeting on 7 July.

The representative of France pointed out that,under article 27, paragraph 3, of the Conventionon Road Traffic, that instrument was open to ac-cession by all States Members of the United Na-tions, by every State which had been invited toattend the United Nations Conference on Roadand Motor Transport held at Geneva in 1949, andalso by any "other State which the Economic andSocial Council might by resolution declare to beeligible". Some representatives, including those ofBelgium, China and Venezuela, felt that, thisConvention being of a technical nature, it wasessential to ensure its universal implementation.Opposition was voiced by the USSR representa-tive, who did not consider that the applicationconcerning Vietnam emanated from the lawfulgovernment of that country.

The Council adopted by 12 votes to 3, with 2abstentions, and by 15 votes to none, with 2 ab-stentions, respectively, resolutions 506(XVI) and507(XVI), resolving to admit the State of Viet-


See Y.U.N., 1948-49, pp. 489-90.

Economic and Social Questions 347

nam and the State of Vatican City as Parties tothat Convention.

In explaining his abstention, the representativeof India stated that the point at issue had not beenuniversality in the application of the Convention,but the eligibility of certain States—e.g., Vietnam—to accede to it.

The representative of Egypt said that his dele-gation, "for obvious political reasons", had ab-stained in the vote on the draft resolution con-cerning Vietnam.

At the end of 1953, the following countries hadratified or acceded to the Convention: Cuba,Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Luxem-bourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, the Philippines,Sweden, Syria, the Union of South Africa, theUnited States, the Vatican City State and Vietnam.


The Commission, at its sixth session, approvedthe final report of the Group of Experts on RoadSigns and Signals (E/CN.2/119-E/CN.2/-CONT.1/12) which had been established in ac-cordance with Council resolution 272(X).40 Theexperts had held three sessions in the period1950-52 and had completed a draft protocol on auniform system of road signs and signals.

The Commission considered that this draftmight appropriately be placed before governmentsfor adoption on a world-wide basis, and discussedthe procedure by which this should be done. Itnoted that the Group of Experts suggested theconvening of a conference of governments forthis purpose. However, the Commission was ofthe opinion that, in view of the thorough prepa-ration of the draft, the holding of such a confer-ence would not be essential and might delay theadoption of the uniform system.

In its consideration of this matter, the EconomicCommittee of the Council, by 9 votes to none,with 9 abstentions, adopted an oral Australianproposal to delete the provision in the draft pro-tocol which would have made it impossible forgovernments to make reservations on signing it.A French oral proposal to have the Secretary-General "continue his consultations concerning thecontents of the protocol and the date it should beopened for signature, and to report to the Councilat its seventeenth session" was adopted by theEconomic Committee. As thus amended, a draftresolution on this question was adopted by theEconomic Committee (E/2402) at its 125thmeeting on 6 April by 16 votes to none, with 2abstentions; and by the Council, at its 687th

plenary meeting on 15 April, by the same vote,as resolution 468 D (XV). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Taking note of the considerations and recommenda-tions of the Transport and Communications Commissionin its resolution 3 concerning the final report of theGroup of Experts on Road Signs and Signals,

"1. Notes in particular that the Commission con-siders the recommendation of the Group of Experts, asembodied in the draft convention on a uniform systemof road signs and signals, a suitable solution forachieving uniformity on a world-wide basis; and thatthe draft convention should without delay be openedfor signature and ratification by governments;

"2. Considers that a gradual application of a uni-form system would be the best method of securingeventual acceptance and thus uniformity on a world-wide scale; and, therefore,

"3. Approves the decision of the Group of Expertsto omit from the draft convention indication of a periodof time during which the introduction of uniform signsand signals should be accomplished by governments;

"4. Notes that the draft convention, in article 41,provides that it shall terminate and replace in therelations between Contracting States the provisions ofthe 1931 Convention concerning the Unification ofRoad Signals and the 1949 Protocol on Road Signsand Signals;

"5. Decides that the draft convention shall beknown as the Protocol on a Uniform System of RoadSigns and Signals (New York, [year]);

"6. Instructs the Secretary-General:

"(a) To continue his consultations concerning thecontents of the protocol and the date it should beopened for signature, and to report thereon to theCouncil at its seventeenth session;

"(b) To bring to the attention of the governmentsthe information and explanations contained in the finalreport of the Group of Experts on Road Signs andSignals."




Article 35

1. This Protocol shall be open until . . . . 195 . . . .for signature by all States Parties to the Conventionon Road Traffic, opened for signature at Geneva on19 September 1949, and all States Members of theUnited Nations or of any of the specialized agencies.


The Committee of Experts on Licensing ofMotor Vehicle Drivers, established in accordancewith Council resolution 379 B (XIII),41 sub-mitted its report (E/CN.2/133-E/CN.2/-

See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 437-38 . See Y.U.N., 1950, p. 489.40


348 Yearbook of the United Nations

CONF.2/3), dealing with the problem of estab-lishing uniform minimum regulations for thelicensing of drivers of the various categories ofmotor vehicles, to the Commission at its sixthsession. In accordance with its terms of reference,the report of the Committee contained draft uni-form regulations for the licensing of motor ve-hicle drivers which were recommended for con-sideration by governments in connexion with theirdomestic laws and regulations. It also containeddraft general provisions applicable to interna-tional traffic for consideration as an annex to theConvention on Road Traffic. The Committeefurthermore recommended that governments berequested to circulate the report to the driverlicensing authorities in their countries. In additionit proposed that the assistance of the World HealthOrganization (WHO) be invoked with respectto further recommendations relative to require-ments of mental and physical fitness of motorvehicle drivers.

The Economic Committee (E/2402) at its125th meeting on 6 April, by 16 votes to 2, andthe Council, at its 687th plenary meeting on 15April, by the same vote, adopted a resolution onthis matter. The USSR representative expressedthe view that the licensing of motor vehicle driverswas a matter essentially within the domestic juris-diction of States, and that a United Nations organhad no authority to impose rules on the subject.The resolution adopted by the Council (468 E(XV)) read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Taking note of the considerations and recom-mendations of the Transport and CommunicationsCommission in its resolution 4 concerning the reportof the Committee of Experts on Licensing of MotorVehicle Drivers,

"Noting in particular that the Committee of Expertshas recommended that the minimum uniform regula-tions for the licensing of motor vehicle drivers draftedby it should be referred to governments for considera-tion in connexion with their national laws andregulations,

"Further noting that the Committee has also pro-posed some general provisions for insertion in a newannex to the Convention on Road Traffic, concludedat Geneva on 19 September 1949, and that theTransport and Communications Commission considersthat it would be appropriate to merge the proposednew annex, as revised by the Commission, with annex8 to the Convention,

"1. Instructs the Secretary-General:

"(a) To circulate the report of the Committee ofExperts on Licensing of Motor Vehicle Drivers to allStates Members of the United Nations or of any ofthe specialized agencies:

"(i) Requesting them to consider in connexion withtheir domestic laws and regulations the min-imum uniform regulations recommended bythe Committee; and

"(ii) Drawing to their attention the attached amend-ment to annex 8 to the Convention on RoadTraffic proposed by the Committee of Expertsand revised by the Commission, and requestingthe governments of those States which areParties to the Convention to notify the Secre-tary-General if they wish to accept the pro-posed amendment in accordance with article 31of the Convention;

"(b) To bring to the attention of the World HealthOrganization the recommendation of the Committee ofExperts that the assistance of that organization besought with respect to the requirements and methodsof determining mental and physical fitness of applicantsfor driving permits;

"2. Endorses the recommendation of the Commis-sion that the study of this question which is beingundertaken on the regional level under the auspicesof the Economic Commission for Europe be co-ordinated with the recommendations by the Committeeof Experts and with any action taken by the WorldHealth Organization in giving the requested assistance."



(Note: Paragraph 1 is the existing text of annex 8.)

1. The minimum age for driving a motor vehicleunder the conditions set out in article 24 of the Con-vention shall be eighteen years.

Any Contracting State or sub-division thereof may,however, recognize the driving permits issued by otherContracting States to drivers of motorcycles and invalidcarriages of a lower age than eighteen years.

(Note: Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 are new and constitutethe proposed amendment.)

2. The requirement of "proof of competence" ascalled for in paragraph 1 of article 24 of the Conven-tion shall be deemed to have been fulfilled if:

(1) The permit was issued to the applicant:

(a) After he had passed satisfactorily an examina-tion of his:

(i) Ability to drive safely under normal traffic con-ditions a vehicle of the description to whichthe permit relates,

(ii) Knowledge of traffic laws and regulations, andof correct road behaviour; and

(b) After steps had been taken to ensure that theapplicant was in a state of health and physical andmental condition compatible with safe driving; or

(2) The driver held a permit prior to 26 March1952, the date of entry into force of the Convention,Provisional permits issued to learner-drivers are notdriving permits in the meaning of this provision.

Economic and Social Questions 349

3. Driving permits issued to disabled persons shallbear a clause to the effect that they are valid only whenthe vehicle or the holder or both are equipped withdevices designed to take account of the disability. Thisclause shall include the word "restricted" in thelanguage of the driving permit and the translation inFrench restreint and the registration number of thevehicle, if specially equipped.

4. Contracting States in introducing the detailedmeasures to give effect to the provisions of this annexshall give full consideration to the recommendations ofthe Committee of Experts on Licensing of MotorVehicle Drivers, established in accordance with Eco-nomic and Social Council resolution 379 B (XIII) of11 August 1951.

2. Other Problems of InternationalInland Transport


The Commission took note of a report by theSecretary-General concerning developments in thefield of inland transport (E/CN.2/121 & Corr.1& Add.1) which had occurred in the various re-gions since the fifth session of the Commission,and, in particular, of the activities of the threeregional economic commissions. The Commissionnoted that the Economic Commission for Asiaand the Far East (ECAFE) had placed emphasison projects, usually undertaken in conjunctionwith the Technical Assistance Administration(TAA) or specialized agencies, for providingtraining facilities for professional and technicalpersonnel in the transport field; it noted the ac-tivities of ECE in the co-ordination of inlandtransport, the integration of European railwaysystems, the development and improvement ofinternational road transport, the transport ofdangerous goods and the simplification of frontierformalities; and that the Economic Commissionfor Latin America (ECLA) among a number oftransport studies had undertaken a study, in colla-boration with TAA, of the development and in-tegration of the transport systems of the six Cen-tral American countries.

to continue to examine this problem, the Com-mission decided that the Secretary-General shouldcontinue to make reports to it on developments inthis field.

3. Facilitation of InternationalMovement of Persons

and Goods


The activities during 1951 and 1952 of a num-ber of international bodies concerned with thepromotion and facilitation of international travelwere noted by the Commission on the basis of areport by the Secretary-General (E/CN.2/123 &Add.1).

The Commission also considered the Secretary-General's report on passports and frontier formal-ities, setting out developments in 1951-52, inparticular with regard to the implementation ofthe recommendations of the 1947 Meeting ofExperts on Passports and Frontier Formalities(E/CN.2/124 & Corr.1 & Add.1).

The Commission requested the Secretary-Gen-eral to follow progress in this field, and, if in hisopinion it should be desirable, to address an in-quiry to Member Governments, and to reportresults to the Commission. It was also decided tocirculate the standard visa format—recommendedby the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO), with a view to facilitating the move-ment of persons by international air transport—to all Member States, requesting their views con-cerning its application to international travel byall means of transport. With regard to anotherICAO proposal that the United Nations publishperiodically a booklet setting out visa require-ments of States, the Commission decided that itwould not be feasible to undertake this.

b. CO-ORDINATION OF INLAND TRANSPORTThe Commission noted the Secretary-General's

report on the co-ordination of inland transport(E/CN.2/122 & Add.1), summarizing activitiesin this field since its fifth session, in particular theactivities of the International Labour Organisation(ILO), ECE, ECAFE and of the InternationalChamber of Commerce (ICC).

Having noted that the Council in its resolution298 H (XI)42 had requested the Secretary-General


The Commission had before it, at its sixth ses-sion, a report by the Secretary-General (E/CN.2/-135 & Corr.1, 2 & Add.1, 2 & 3) containing docu-ments which had been circulated to governmentsin accordance with Council resolution 379 D(XIII)43 and the comments received.

See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 439-40. See Y.U.N., 1950, pp. 490-91.



350 Yearbook of the United Nations

The documents circulated included the draftInternational Customs Convention on Touring pre-pared under the auspices of ECE, together withthe proposals submitted jointly by the WorldTouring and Automobile Organization (OTA)and the International Union of Official TravelOrganizations (IUOTO). A draft World WideConvention on Tourism prepared by the Govern-ment of the United Kingdom was circulated sep-arately.

The comments received from governmentsconcerned the desirability of concluding interna-tional conventions on customs formalities for:(1) the temporary importation of private ve-hicles and their equipment; and (2) tourism (i.e.,the personal effects of tourists travelling by anymeans of transport), and on the suitability of thedrafts mentioned above as a basis of discussionfor concluding such conventions.

The Commission proposed a draft resolutionwhich was adopted with certain changes by theCouncil. Thus, the Council's Economic Committee,by a vote of 13 to 1, with 3 abstentions, adopteda proposal that the suggested conference on cus-toms formalities should meet in Geneva ratherthan at United Nations Headquarters. AnEgyptian oral proposal to extend invitations tothe conference to territories which were notfully responsible for their foreign relations butwere self-governing in the field covered bythe conference's terms of reference was adoptedin the Economic Committee by 14 votes tonone, with 4 abstentions, and by the same voteby the Council. The revised draft resolutionwas adopted in the Economic Committee (E/-2402) at its 126th meeting on 7 April by 14votes to none, with 4 abstentions, and by the Coun-cil by 15 votes to none, with 3 abstentions on15 April.

The resolution adopted by the Council (468F (XV)) instructed the Secretary-General toconvene as early as possible in 1954, and preferablyin Geneva, a conference of governments for theconclusion on a world-wide basis of two con-ventions relating to customs formalities, namely:for the temporary importation of private roadmotor vehicles carrying persons and their equip-ment and for tourism (i.e., personal effects oftourists travelling by any means of transport).

By the same resolution, the Council decidedthat all States Members of the United Nationsor any of the specialized agencies should beinvited to participate in the conference, that thespecialized agencies, intergovernmental organiza-tions and international organizations in this field,

as may be appropriate, be invited to send observersto the conference, and that territories, which arenot fully responsible for their foreign relations,but which are self-governing in the fields coveredby the terms of reference of the conference, shouldbe invited to attend the conference without theright to vote.


The Secretary-General submitted to the Trans-port and Communications Commission a report(E/CN.2/129) on action on the question of bar-riers to the international transport of goods takenby the following: the Contracting Parties to theGeneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT), ECE, ICAO, WHO and the Inter-national Air Transport Association (IATA).

On the basis of the Secretary-General's report,the Commission, at its sixth session, noted withsatisfaction the adoption by the Contracting Par-ties to GATT, at their seventh session in Genevafrom 2 October to 10 November 1952, of twocodes of standard practices, one relative to docu-mentary requirements for the importation ofgoods, and the other to consular formalities. Thegovernments were asked to report on the stepstaken to bring their own practices into conformitywith the two codes of standard practices.

The Commission decided that the questioncould be removed from its agenda in view of theaction taken by GATT. At the same time it notedthe action taken on the European regional basisthrough the adoption at Geneva on 10 January1952 of the International Convention to Facilitatethe Crossing of Frontiers for Goods Carried byRail, prepared by ECE.

4. Transport of Dangerous Goods

The Commission considered a report (E/-CN.2/126 & Corr.1 & Add.1, 2 & 3) prepared bythe Secretary-General pursuant to Council resolu-tion 379 E (XIII)44 on the various aspects of theproblem of the transport of dangerous goods,with a view to determining which of these aspectswere appropriate for uniform, or approximatelyuniform, regulations with respect to the variousmeans of transport.

The Secretary-General's report, among otherthings, analysed comments by various organizations


See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 440-41.

Economic and Social Questions 351

on this question and made a number of sugges-tions regarding further action. The Secretary-Gen-eral suggested that the first two aspects of theproblem to receive priority should be:

(1) definition and classification of dangerous goods,determination of those which are to be excluded from(or restricted to certain types of) carriage and methodsand extent of listing; and

(2) aspects related to preparation of the consign-ment for shipment.

The Commission made a recommendation whichrecognized that the greatest possible uniformitywas required in the regulations for the safetransport of dangerous goods and considered thatthe first step should be to prepare draft regulationsto meet certain problems common to all forms oftransport and which might be given uniformtreatment with the least possible impact on exist-ing practices.

During a discussion of the question in theEconomic Committee, the representative of theUnited Kingdom suggested that the work of theexperts—who were proposed to be appointed tostudy the matter—would be more productive ifthe differences of opinion between governmentscould be settled as far as possible before theexperts met. The representative of the Secretary-General stated that the Secretariat would give fullconsideration to the matter before a meeting ofthe experts took place.

A draft resolution on the question, preparedby the Commission, was adopted by the Eco-nomic Committee at its 126th meeting on 7 Aprilby 16 votes to 2 (E/2402), and by the Council,at its 687th plenary meeting on 15 April, by thesame vote.

By this resolution (468 G (XV)), the Sec-retary-General was requested to appoint a com-mittee of not more than nine qualified expertsfrom countries having a substantial interest in theinternational transport of dangerous goods, whoseprincipal task would be to make a study andpresent to the Commission a report which, takingaccount of existing practices, procedures andusage, would recommend and define groupings orclassification of dangerous goods on the basisof the character of risk involved, list and clas-sify the principal dangerous goods, recommendmarks or labels to identify the risk graphically andwithout regard to printed text, and recommend thesimplest possible requirements for shipping pa-pers. The Secretary-General was also authorizedto invite appropriate international organizationsto participate in the work of the Committee in aconsultative capacity.

5. Problems in the Field of Shipping


The Commission at its sixth session consideredthe Secretary-General's report on the situationwith respect to ratification of the Convention(E/CN.2/128 & Corr.1). Eleven countries atthat time had ratified the Convention, six of whichhad more than a million gross tons of shippingeach, whereas 21 parties to the Convention arerequired to bring it into force, of which sevenmust each have not less than a million gross tonsof shipping. In response to an inquiry to govern-ments which had not thus far ratified the Con-vention, the Secretary-General had received infor-mation that a number of them had the matterunder consideration.

A resolution on the question was prepared bythe Commission and adopted by the EconomicCommittee at its 125th meeting on 6 April by11 votes to none, with 7 abstentions (E/2402),and by the Council, at its 687th plenary meetingon 15 April, by 13 votes to none, with 5 absten-tions.

According to the resolution (468 C (XV)), theSecretary-General was instructed to pursue, withthose governments that had not yet replied tohis previous communication, the inquiry con-cerning their steps to ratify the Convention andto continue his efforts to secure the entry intoforce of the Convention. It also invited thoseStates which had accepted the Convention toconsider what measures might be taken with aview to hastening the bringing into being ofthe organization.

On the initiative of the United KingdomGovernment, representatives of the fourteen gov-ernments which have accepted the Conventionmet in London on 27 and 28 October 1953. Theyagreed to recommend that their governments con-tinue to endeavour to obtain further acceptances.They also agreed to request the Secretary-Generalto send copies of the report of their meeting toall governments eligible to join IMCO and toplace this report before the Economic and SocialCouncil. The report drew attention to a numberof specific reasons why the establishment of IMCOwas considered to be urgently required.

At the end of 1953 fourteen countries hadratified the Convention.45

45 See Part Two of this Yearbook, under Inter-

Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization.

352 Yearbook of the United Nations


After noting a report by the Secretary-General(E/CN.2/141), reviewing developments on theunification of maritime tonnage measurements,explaining that rules were under study by profes-sional bodies in various countries and describinga meeting of experts held at The Hague in June1952, the Commission, at its sixth session,refrained from action, pending the coming intobeing of IMCO.

In his report, the Secretary-General stated thata third meeting of tonnage experts was held atThe Hague in June 1952. The aim of this meet-ing, like that of the earlier ones held at Oslo inApril 1948 and Stockholm in June 1950, was toensure uniform application and interpretation ofthe "International Regulations for Tonnage Meas-urement of Ships", drawn up under the auspicesof the League of Nations in 1939, and adoptedby the above-mentioned Oslo Conference. It wasfound at the meeting that the Oslo Convention,which contains the above regulations, had beenratified by only three signatories, Iceland, Norwayand the Netherlands, and that only the Netherlandshad put it into effect. It was decided that thenext meeting of experts should be held at Parisin 1954. It was also noted in the report of theSecretary-General that the rules of maritimetonnage measurements were under study by suchprofessional bodies as the International StandardsCommittee of the Society of Naval Architects andMarine Engineers in New York and the Institu-tion of Naval Architects in the United Kingdom.


The Commission, at its sixth session, notedthe Secretary-General's report on the pollutionof sea water (E/CN.2/134 & Corr.1 & Add. 1& 2).

The report indicated that 31 governments hadso far replied to inquiries by the Secretary-Gen-eral on the question. The replies contained infor-mation on studies undertaken; listed the extent ofpollution; indicated the damage caused by pol-lution (damage to birds; damage to plant life;damage to fisheries, fish and shellfish; damageto beaches; danger to ports (danger of fire));explained causes of pollution and conditions underwhich it takes place; listed possible remediesfor pollution (separators on ships, facilities onbarges or ashore for the discharge of pollutedwater, possibilities of treating oil sludge by phys-ical or chemical processes and limiting the spreadof oil discharged at sea); indicated the need for

international regulation; and summarized actionthat had already been taken at the international ornational level.

The Council discussed the question on the basisof a draft resolution proposed by the Commission.In the Economic Committee the representativesof the United Kingdom and Sweden stated thattheir governments were then studying the ques-tion of pollution of sea water. The representativeof the United Kingdom expressed the hope thathis country would be represented on the com-mittee of experts being planned to study the mat-ter. The representative of Sweden felt that theonly way to achieve tangible results would be toconvene an international conference on the ques-tion. The Swedish representative, with certainreservations, in particular regarding the provisionrelating to IMCO (see below), and the Frenchrepresentative expressed support for the draftresolution.

That part of the draft resolution concerningexpenses to be covered out of the regular budgetof the United Nations was adopted by the Eco-nomic Committee at its 125th meeting on 6April, by 13 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions, andby the Council by 16 votes to 2. The draft resolu-tion, as a whole, was adopted by both the Com-mittee (E/2402) on 6 April and by the Council,at its 687th plenary meeting on 15 April, by 16votes to none, with 2 abstentions.

By the resolution (468 B (XV)), the Councilauthorized the Secretary-General to request Gov-ernments of Member States interested in the mat-ter, at their own expense, to make available tohim experts in this field, who would correlate thestudies and other communications submitted byinterested governments and draw such conclusionsas might be appropriate for transmittal to IMCOwhen that organization became active, provided:that at least three governments were preparedto follow this course and that the Secretary-Generalwould be authorized to cover some or all of theexpense involved out of the regular budget ofthe United Nations if he found the expense couldbe covered under present budgetary appropria-tions.

Subsequently, the United Kingdom Govern-ment, in view of the increasing seriousness of thepollution problem and following considerationof the recommendations in a Report to the BritishMinister of Transport by the Committee on thePrevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil, dated2 July 1953, issued invitations to the majormaritime Powers to attend an ad hoc diplomaticconference in London opening on 26 April 1954.

Economic and Social Questions 353

The United Nations was invited to send anobserver and make available the information onthe subject furnished by the various governments.

6. Co-ordination of Activities of theSpecialized Agencies in the Fieldof Transport and Communications

The Commission, at its sixth session, took noteof a report prepared by the Secretary-General(E/CN.2/127 & Corr.1, 2), surveying the activi-ties of the United Nations and the specializedagencies in the field of transport and communica-tions with particular regard to the co-ordinationof such activities.

In summarizing the co-ordination of activitiesrelating to subjects of direct interest to the Trans-port and Communications Commission the reportdealt with: international transport; internationalcommunications; application of meteorology;co-ordination of statistical activities concerningtransport and communications; and co-ordinationof activities in the fields of aviation, shipping,telecommunication and meteorology in regard tosafety at sea and in the air. In dealing withco-ordination of activities relating to subjects ofindirect interest to the Commission, the Secretary-General briefly described the following:

(1) The Expanded Programme of technical assistancefor economic development of under-developed coun-tries;

(2) conditions of employment in internationaltransport;

(3) application of telecommunications—improvinginternational understanding;

(4) United Nations research laboratories;

(5) co-ordination of cartographic activities;

(6) inter-agency service privileges; and

(7) fiscal matters.

7. Implementation of the Decisions ofthe Atlantic City Telecommunication

Conferences of 1947

The report of the Secretary-General on theimplementation of the decisions of the AtlanticCity Telecommunication Conferences of 1947(E/CN.2/130 & Corr.1 & Add.1) informed theCommission that the Extraordinary Administra-tive Radio Conference, held at Geneva from 16August to 3 December 1951, had concluded an"Agreement for the preparation and adoptionof the new international frequency list for thevarious services in the bands between 14 kc/s and27,500 kc/s with a view to bringing into force

the Atlantic City table of frequency allocations".The International Plenipotentiary Telecommunica-tion Conference, held at Buenos Aires from 3October to 22 December 1952, confirmed thevalidity of this agreement. The Commissiondecided to remove this matter from its agenda.

8. Discrimination in TransportInsurance

The Transport and Communications Commis-sion had before it a report of the Secretary-Gen-eral on discrimination in transport insurance (E/-CN.2/139 & Corr.1) which summarized availableinformation on this question. One section defineddiscrimination, referred to the extent to whichrestrictions in transport insurance were beingapplied, and cited the impact of discriminatorypractices on international trade. Another sectionnoted the provisions concerning discriminationin various recent international conventions andagreements dealing with commerce and trans-portation (Havana Charter for an InternationalTrade Organization (Havana, 1948), Conventionon the Inter-Governmental Maritime ConsultativeOrganization (Geneva, 1948), and the EconomicAgreement of Bogota (1948)). A third sectiondealt with action by international organizationsincluding intergovernmental and non-govern-mental organizations. Another section dealt witha possible approach of the Transport and Com-munications Commission to this subject. Here,the following various categories of discriminationwere examined and various courses of action weresuggested:

(1) laws and regulations which provide for theinsurance of goods in international trade to be effectedin the domestic insurance market, including pro-visions to that effect in commercial treaties;

(2) discriminatory taxation;(3) discrimination practised through the control of

foreign exchange; and(4) practices designed to discourage the admission

of foreign insurance companies.During the discussion of this question in the

Economic Committee, the representative of Argen-tina took exception to that part of the report ofthe Secretary-General which stated that Argentinaapplied discriminatory laws in marine insurance.He denied that Argentine laws resulted in highercost of marine insurance or that these costs werepassed to the ultimate consumer and constituteda serious impediment to international trade. Hethen explained in detail the system existing inArgentina.

The representative of Venezuela, while statingthat he would vote for the draft resolution con-

354 Yearbook of the United Nations

cerning transport insurance proposed by the Com-mission which was before the Committee, pointedout that in Venezuela aliens enjoyed the samerights as nationals in matters of transport insur-ance. The insertion in every future commercialtreaty of a clause designed to prevent discrimina-tion could be dangerous, he felt, since the term"discrimination" might give rise to confusion.

The representative of the United States declaredthat his Government was already endeavouringto include in its commercial treaties with othercountries a provision designed to prevent the dis-crimination referred to in the draft resolution.

The draft resolution proposed by the Commis-sion was adopted in parts by varying votes and,as a whole, by 12 votes to 3, with 3 abstentions,by the Economic Committee (E/2402) at its126th meeting on 7 April.

The USSR representative said that he had votedagainst the draft because its implementation wouldrequire amendments to domestic legislation ontransport insurance and therefore constitute aninterference in the domestic affairs of States.

The Council considered an Argentine amend-ment (E/L.492) which had the effect of provid-ing that anti-discrimination clauses regardingtransport insurance should only be inserted infuture commercial treaties when the economicprogress of under-developed countries would notbe affected thereby. However, by 12 votes to 2,with 2 abstentions, it adopted a proposal, madeorally by the French representative and acceptedby Argentina, to delete altogether the provisionconcerned with commercial treaties.

The amended draft resolution, as a whole, wasadopted by 13 votes to 2, with 1 abstention, atthe 689th plenary meeting on 16 April.

By this resolution (468 H (XV)), the Coun-cil decided to bring the Secretary-General's study(E/CN.2/139 & Corr.1) to the attention of gov-ernments. It also instructed the Secretary-Generalto bring to the notice of the Contracting Partiesto GATT the relevant resolutions of the Counciland of the Commission, and the Secretary-General'sstudy for possible action; to bring them to thenotice of the International Monetary Fund witha view to examination by that organization ofthe possibility of achieving relaxation of exchangecontrols as applied to transport insurance; and toadvise the Commission at its next session of theprogress made in this matter.

The representative of the Fund said that onlyafter the extent and significance of the restrictionreferred to in the resolution had been explored

would it be possible to determine the degree ofpriority treatment justified for them. The Fundhoped to be able to report to the Transport andCommunications Commission at its next session.

9. Application of Certain Non-Governmental Organizations

for Consultative Status

As requested by Council resolution 453(XIV),46 the Commission, at its sixth session,considered the application for consultative statusin category B of the International AutomotiveInstitute. The Commission, having noted that thisorganization had requested postponement of theconsideration of its request (E/CN.2/137) andhaving noted the available information concern-ing the organization, decided not to recommendthe granting of consultative status to this organiza-tion.

The Council, in voting on applications andreapplications for consultative status47 acted inaccordance with the recommendation of the Com-

10. Priority Programme of Work

The Transport and Communications Commis-sion, at its sixth session, recommended a list ofprojects in the transport and communications field,divided into the three following groups ofpriority:

(1) continuing projects of high priority (forexample, review of developments in the field of inter-national road transport with particular reference tointernational action required at the world-wide levelto supplement the Convention on Road Traffic; andprogress in implementation of recommendations of theMeeting of Experts on Passports and Frontier Formali-ties);

(2) ad hoc projects of first priority (for example,uniform system of road signs and signals; and uniformregulations for the licensing of motor vehicle drivers);and

(3) projects of lower priority which might be de-ferred (for example, study on co-ordination of inlandtransport).

This question was considered by the Council'sEconomic Committee at its 126th meeting on 7April and by the Council at its 687th plenarymeeting on 15 April. In both the Economic Com-mittee and in the Council's plenary meeting, theUSSR representative stated that, in the absenceof information on the financial implications of

See pp. 503-504. See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 550-51.



Economic and Social Questions 355

the draft resolution concerning the priority pro-gramme, he would be obliged to vote against it.

The draft resolution on this question wasadopted by the Economic Committee (E/2402)

and by the Council by the same vote—16 votesto 2. The resolution (468 I (XV)) approved thelist of priorities included in the report of theCommission (A/2363).


At its fourth session, from 27 April to 8 May1953, the Fiscal Commission discussed a series ofsubstantive fiscal problems which had been broughtbefore it under the following items of theagenda: (1) international tax problems, especiallythe problem of fiscal incentives to increase theinternational flow of private capital for the eco-nomic development of under-developed countries,(2) world tax service, (3) taxation of agriculture,(4) government finance and economic develop-ment, (5) government financial reporting, (6)public finance information service and (7) prob-lems of municipal finance.

The Commission adopted a report on its ses-sion (E/2429) by 12 votes to none, with 2 absten-tions. The report, besides reviewing the discus-sions at the meetings, contained a request forstudies to be undertaken by the Secretariat in acertain order of priority, as well as three draftresolutions on international tax problems, govern-ment financial reporting and public finance infor-mation service.

The Economic and Social Council consideredthis report during its sixteenth session, at the131st and 132nd meetings of its Economic Com-mittee, on 6 and 7 July 1953, and at its 710thto 712th and 719th plenary meetings, on 3, 4 and9 July 1953. The Council on 4 and 7 July adoptedresolution 486(XVI) which, in part A, took noteof the report of the Commission and, in part B,approved, with certain modifications, the draftresolution of the Commission concerning inter-national tax problems recommended in the report.In parts C and D of the same resolution, the Coun-cil adopted without modifications the draft resolu-tions recommended by the Commission on govern-ment financial reporting and public finance infor-mation service. In part E, the Council approvedthe programme of work proposed by the Commis-sion in its report. An account of the principalstudies proposed and recommendations made isgiven below.

1. International Tax Problems

For the consideration of the problem of taxa-tion of foreign investment the Commission hadbefore it the study Taxation in Capital-Exporting

and Capital-Importing Countries of Foreign Pri-vate Investment in Latin America—United StatesIncome Taxation of Private United States Invest-ment in Latin America,48 prepared by the Sec-retary-General in response to resolution 378 I 2(b) (XIII)49 of the Economic and Social Coun-cil, adopted upon the recommendation of theFiscal Commission at its third session. This wasthe first in a series of studies designed to inquireinto the impact of tax measures, in capital-export-ing countries to Latin America and in selectedLatin American countries, on the flow of foreigninvestment.

The Fiscal Commission also had before it aspecial request embodied in Council resolution416 D (XIV) requesting the Commission toexamine further the proposal that, throughbilateral agreements or unilateral measures, incomefrom foreign investments in under-developedcountries should be taxed only in these coun-tries, with such income being exempted fromtaxes in the capital-exporting countries; and tosubmit the results of such examination to theCouncil in a special section of its next report.The Fiscal Commission discussed this problemand established a working group on internationaltax problems to seek a reconciliation of the viewsexpressed by its members. Upon the proposalof the working group, the Commission recom-mended for adoption by the Council draft resolu-tion B on "Fiscal Incentives to Increase the Inter-national Flow of Private Capital for the EconomicDevelopment of Under-Developed Countries".

The operative part would have the Council: (1) re-affirm that the country in which income arises hasas a general principle an undoubted right to tax thatincome; and (2) recommend that the highly developedcountries, acting unilaterally or through bilateral taxagreements, give sympathetic consideration to the feasi-bility of taxing income from investments in under-developed countries only or primarily in the countryin which the income was produced.

Furthermore, in its resolution on the programme ofwork of the Secretariat, the Commission requested asan ad hoc project in the first priority category thecontinuation of the study on the effects of taxation onforeign investment, especially in under-developed coun-tries, in the light of this draft resolution.

See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 413. U.N.P. Sales No.: 1953-XVI.1.





356 Yearbook of the United Nations

The Council in considering the Fiscal Commis-sion's draft resolution B also had before it a draftresolution by Cuba (E/L.510) which would havethe Council:

(1) declare that income from foreign investmentsin under-developed countries should be taxed only inthose countries; and

(2) recommend that highly developed countries, incarrying out their policy of concluding bilateral fiscalagreements with under-developed countries, stipulatethat the income of their residents from investments inthe other country would be taxed only in the countrywhere such income was produced.

A series of amendments (E/L.515 & Corr.1) tothis proposal were presented by Argentina whichwere designed primarily to broaden the applica-tion of the draft resolution.

Representatives of the more highly developedcountries, however, expressed their preference forthe draft resolution proposed by the Fiscal Com-mission, which was subsequently adopted. Theywere not prepared to approve an outright recom-mendation of complete tax exemption for incomefrom foreign investment in the capital-exportingcountries. Among the reasons put forward bythese representatives was that the inducementsproposed in the Cuban draft resolution might notbe effective in view of the other important influ-ences affecting the international movement ofcapital. Such exemption, moreover, would seriouslydiscriminate against domestic investment, whichwas also of importance to the highly developedcountries, and might thus lead in some of themto the adoption of measures restricting capitalexports. The representative of the United Statesexplained that his country was in the process ofre-examining its entire tax structure—includingconsideration of new incentives to foreign invest-ment—pending which it would not be possibleto support the Cuban draft resolution.

The representatives of Argentina, Cuba,Uruguay and Venezuela, among others, stressedthe importance of providing incentives for pri-vate investments in the under-developed coun-tries. One of these incentives, they held, consistedin the relatively lower tax rates prevailing in theunder-developed countries, so long as their pur-pose was not defeated by the imposition of furthertaxes in the countries from which such investmentcapital was derived.

The representative of Argentina sought to havethis idea included (E/L.517 & Corr.1) in a newtext for paragraph V of the preamble to thedraft resolution proposed by the Fiscal Com-mission. However, in the interest of unanimity,he subsequently withdrew the amendment andjoined with the representatives of Cuba, Egypt,

the Philippines, Uruguay and Venezuela in pro-posing (E/AC.6/L.62) a minor rewording of thesame paragraph. However, the sponsors of thejoint amendment later agreed to a United Statesoral amendment which would include a referenceto the comparative study of the taxation of foreigninvestment in capital-exporting countries andunder-developed countries.

The paragraph, as thus reworded, was adopted(for text, see below, para. (c)), at the EconomicCommittee's 132nd meeting on 7 July, by 15 votesto none, with 3 abstentions.

It was generally agreed that further study wasneeded on the influence of taxation on inter-national investment and that the Council shouldnote that the Fiscal Commission planned to con-tinue to study the problem, reporting to the Coun-cil after its next meeting. Amendments to thiseffect were proposed by Argentina (E/L.517 &Corr.1), the United States (E/L.520) and jointlyby Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay and Venezuela (E/-AC.6/L.61). On the basis of a joint amendmentby Argentina, Cuba, Egypt, the Philippines,Uruguay and Venezuela (E/AC.6/L.62), the fol-lowing action was taken:

(1) An additional paragraph (f) (for text, seebelow) was adopted by 15 votes to none, with 3 absten-tions, following the acceptance of a Swedish oral amend-ment adding a reference to practical recommendationswhich might emerge from this continued study andanalysis.

(2) The first operative paragraph of draft resolutionB (see above) was deleted and a new paragraph adoptedby 16 votes to none, with 2 abstentions (for text, seebelow).

The second operative paragraph proposed bythe Fiscal Commission (see above) was redraftedwith minor changes on the basis of suggestionsby (1) Australia (E/L.518), (2) Argentina,Cuba, Egypt, the Philippines, Uruguay andVenezuela (E/AC.6/L.62) and (3) China (oral-ly), and was adopted by 15 votes to none, with2 abstentions.

Draft resolution B, as proposed by the FiscalCommission, was adopted, as amended, as a whole,by 15 votes to none, with 3 abstentions, by theEconomic Committee (E/2478), and by theCouncil, by the same vote, at its 719th plenarymeeting on 9 July 1953. Resolution 486 B (XVI)read:Fiscal incentives to increase the international flow of

private capital for the economic development ofunder-developed countries

"The Economic and Social Council,"Recognizing:"(a) The great importance of finding means to

stimulate the flow of private investment from the highly

Economic and Social Questions 357

developed to the under-developed countries, in orderto accelerate the economic development of the latter,

"(b) That the present flow of capital exported tothe under-developed countries is insufficient for theirdevelopment needs,

"(c) That relatively lower taxation in force in theunder-developed countries, as compared with capitalexporting countries, is one of the attractions that under-developed countries may be in a position to offer toforeign capital as an incentive to investment,

"(d) That this incentive becomes less effective—although international double taxation is avoided—ifthe capital-exporting countries apply to the income frominvestments in under-developed countries any furthertaxation beyond that already paid in the latter,

"(e) That favourable tax treatment is one of themany factors affecting the flow of foreign capital,

"(f) That further analysis and factual study of theproblem referred to in paragraph (J) above is needed,together with such practical recommendations as mayemerge from this further study and analysis,

"1. Notes that the Fiscal Commission plans to con-tinue its study of the problem referred to in para-graph (d) above and anticipates a report on the resultsof its further studies to the Council after the nextmeeting of the Commission;

"2. Recommends, meanwhile, that the highly de-veloped countries, acting unilaterally or when conclud-ing tax agreements, should give special considerationto the feasibility of taking action to ensure that suchincome is taxable only or primarily in the country inwhich the income was produced."

Accordingly, the Secretary-General continuedhis research on the effects of taxation on foreigninvestment. A study "Taxation of Foreign Invest-ment in Mexico" (E/CN.8/69/Add.2) wasdistributed in 1953 in the series "Taxation inCapital-Exporting and Capital-Importing Coun-tries of Foreign Private Investment in Latin Amer-ica". Similar country studies were initiated orcontemplated during the year, in preparation fora study attempting to analyse the potentialitiesof tax exemption in capital-exporting countriesas an incentive to the flow of private investmentcapital to under-developed countries. Thus, studieson Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada and Chilewere in preparation; studies on the Netherlandsand Switzerland and on Ecuador, Peru andUruguay were contemplated. Within its pro-gramme of co-operation with the United Nations(see below "World Tax Service"), Harvard Uni-versity undertook studies on Colombia, Cuba,Venezuela, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom,as well as enquiries among United States invest-ment circles.

Further, in the field of international tax prob-lems, the Fiscal Commission discussed the prob-lems of taxation of corporate profits and dividendsand the taxation of foreign nationals, residents,income, assets and transactions. For the considera-

tion of these subjects the Commission had beforeit a progress report on "Corporate Tax Problems"(E/CN.8/66), with a series of country studies(E/CN.8/66/Add.1 to 7; the countries coveredwere Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, theNetherlands, New Zealand and the United King-dom), and the comparative country studies on"Taxation of Foreign Taxpayers and ForeignIncome" (E/CN.8/68/Add.1 to 4; the countriescovered were Argentina, Canada, Israel and NewZealand).50 In its resolution on the programmeof work of the Secretariat, the Commissionrequested the continuation of studies on the taxa-tion of foreign taxpayers and foreign income andthe methods of relief from international doubletaxation, as well as of the study "Corporate TaxProblems." In response to these requests, the Sec-retary-General undertook to prepare a numberof additional country studies in both series. In theformer, country studies on Belgium and the UnitedStates were undertaken, and additional studieson France, Sweden and the United Kingdom wereplanned; in the latter, country studies on Egypt,India and the United States were undertaken. Onthe basis of this material, it is intended to prepareultimately a comparative examination of the typesof provisions in laws and agreements which gov-ern taxation of incomes derived from internationalbusiness activities.

During 1953, the Secretary-General also contin-ued to publish and distribute the replies receivedfrom Member Governments to his questionnaireon the "Taxation of Foreign Nationals, Assetsand Transactions" (E/CN.8/W.19) issued on 13September 1948.

In its resolution on the programme of work ofthe Secretariat, the Commission gave high priorityto the continuation of the series International TaxAgreements. Volume IV in this series was preparedduring 1953 for publication in the spring of 1954.This volume contains the texts of international taxagreements signed since 1951 and brings up todate the tables on the present status of tax agree-ments published in Volume III, World Guide toInternational Tax Agreements, 1843-1951.51

2. World Tax Service

The Commission took note of the progresswhich had been made since its last session in theestablishment of a world tax service with the pos-sible co-operation of universities. It was informedthat the first university to offer its participation

50 See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 413.

51 See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 445. U.N.P., Sales No.: 1951.XVI.5.

358 Yearbook of the United Nations

in this project was Harvard University of Cam-bridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.52 and that a pro-gramme of research was being established byHarvard University in co-operation with the Sec-retary-General. The Commission expressed thehope that other universities might offer theirco-operation. In its resolution on the programmeof work, it urged the implementation of this pro-ject. Under Council resolution 226 B 2 (IX),Harvard University has co-operated with the Sec-retary-General on the study on taxation, in capital-exporting and capital-importing countries, offoreign private investment in Latin America andon the study of fiscal problems of agriculture.Harvard University has also established a specialtraining programme for tax administrators fromunder-developed countries under United Nationsfellowships and scholarships.

3. Taxation of Agriculture

The Commission discussed the section on taxa-tion policies in the Secretary-General's report onLand Reform53 and was informed of the pro-gramme of research established and the workalready undertaken jointly by the Food and Agri-culture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) and the United Nations on the tax bur-dens of agriculture, in accordance with Councilresolution 378 I 2 (c) (XIII).54 The Commissionreviewed some of the problems raised by the taxa-tion of agriculture, and requested that furtherstudies include consideration of methods of assess-ing agricultural income and of the problems ofcommercial plantations and rural co-operatives.

An international conference of experts on thetaxation of agriculture was arranged for early 1954as part of Harvard University's programme ofco-operation with the United Nations. Its purposewould be to examine the present state of knowl-edge in this field and to develop guide-lines forthe direction and methods of further research. TheUnited Nations Secretariat prepared workingpapers for this conference on the structure andyield of the principal types of taxes levied onagriculture in different countries. Furthermore,within the programme of co-operation with FAO,two papers were prepared on "The Operation ofthe Land Tax in India and Pakistan" and on"Taxation of Agriculture in Under-DevelopedCountries."55

4. Government Finance andEconomic Development

The Commission reviewed the activities of theSecretariat in providing technical assistance to

under-developed countries. It was informed that,since its last session, United Nations missions inthe fiscal field were operating in Afghanistan,Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Libya andParaguay. Experts in the field of banking andcredit were sent to Haiti and to Pakistan. Overthe same period, 116 United Nations fellowshipsand scholarships were awarded in the field ofpublic finance and money and banking (E/CN.8/-72). The Commission also had for its informationthe "Report on the Technical Assistance Confer-ence on Comparative Fiscal Administration" heldin Geneva from 16 to 25 July 1951 (ST/TAA/-M/3—E/CN.8/67).56

The Commission discussed some of the issuesencountered in rendering technical assistance inthe field of public finance. Various membersemphasized their belief in the great importanceof the technical assistance programme. In itsresolution on the programme of work and priori-ties, the Commission gave first priority to technicalassistance to Member Governments at theirrequest.

As part of the technical assistance programme,a workshop on budgetary classification and man-agement was held in Mexico City from 3 to 11September 1953 under the auspices of the UnitedNations Technical Assistance Administration, thesecretariat of the Economic Commission for LatinAmerica and the United Nations Fiscal Division.The purpose of this workshop was to bringtogether budget officials from the republics ofCentral America, the Caribbean area, Mexico andthe United States, in order to discuss budget man-agement and classification requirements for theconduct of fiscal policy and the formulation andimplementation of government economic develop-ment programmes. The bases of discussion of theworkshop consisted of a preliminary draft of the"Manual for the Classification of GovernmentAccounts", prepared by the Secretariat in responseto technical assistance requirements (GeneralAssembly resolution 407(V)), two earlier studies,Budgetary Structure and Classification of Govern-

Bulletin of Agricultural Economics and Statistics ofF.A.O.

See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 412. A revised and expandedversion of this report was scheduled to be publishedearly in 1954 as a printed volume entitled "Taxes,Fiscal Policy and Economic Development, a Report onTechnical Assistance Experience, with Special Referenceto Field Missions and to the Technical AssistanceConference on Comparative Fiscal Administration (16-25 July 1951)".

These papers will be published in the Monthly See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 414. U.N.P., Sales No.: 1951.II.B.3. See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 414.






Economic and Social Questions 359

ment Accounts57 and Government Accounting andBudget Execution58 and several case studies pre-pared by the participants illustrating the applica-tion of new budget classification methods in theircountries. A report on this workshop was scheduledfor early in 1954.

5. Government Financial Reporting

The Commission had before it the study Gov-ernment Accounting and Budget Execution pre-pared by the Secretary-General in response toCouncil resolution 378 D (XIII), adopted on therecommendation of the Fiscal Commission at itsthird session.

The Commission, after considering the study,recommended, in draft resolution C, that the Coun-cil take note of the study and commend it as acontribution towards the improvement of govern-ment accounting and budget procedures. This draftresolution was adopted by the Council at its 712thplenary meeting on 4 July, by 15 votes to none,with 2 abstentions, without modifications, asresolution 486 C (XVI).

6. Public Finance Information Service

The Fiscal Commission considered the follow-ing documents submitted by the Secretary-Generalunder this item of the agenda: the Public FinanceSurvey of India (ST/ECA/SER.B/2),59 the Pub-lic Finance Information Paper on Peru (ST/-ECA/SER.A/6),60 the Review of Fiscal Develop-ments 1951-1952 (E/CN.8/74),61 the periodicpublic finance data published in the International

Monetary Fund's International Financial Statistics(based on a joint United Nations-InternationalMonetary Fund questionnaire), and the publicfinance chapter contained in the Statistical Year-book of the United Nations for 1951 and 1952.62

The Commission was also informed of the explor-atory work done by the Secretary-General forthe proposed volume "Public Finance Statistics1938-1952."

Upon the Commission's recommendation, theCouncil at its 712th plenary meeting on 4 July, by16 votes to none, with 2 abstentions, adoptedresolution 486 D (XVI), recommending that thework of the Secretariats of the United Nationsand the International Monetary Fund in preparingand publishing comparable public finance statisticsbe accelerated in so far as possible. It furtherrecommended that the work of the projectedspecial volume "Public Finance Statistics 1938-1952" be continued and that the "Manual on theClassification of Government Accounts" be distrib-uted to Member Governments in draft form fortheir information and comments. Finally, theCouncil recommended that a questionnairedesigned to obtain better public finance data bedrafted and distributed to Member States for theircomments.

The Commission also recommended the pre-paration of regional and country public financesurveys upon request of the regional commissionsor when needed for technical assistance purposes.Special interest was expressed in the preparationof a public finance survey of Pakistan. Further-more, the Commission requested the preparationof a review of fiscal developments in 1953-54.


The Economic and Social Council at its fifteenthsession had before it the report of the seventh ses-sion of the Statistical Commission (E/2365),held from 2 to 13 February 1953. This reportcovered important developments in the workof the Commission since May 1951 (there beingno session in 1952) relating to: (1) principlesof statistics of external trade; (2) developmentof national accounts; (3) concepts and definitionsof capital formation; (4) construction of priceand quantity indexes in national accounting; (5)definitions in basic industrial statistics; (6) prin-ciples for vital statistics; (7) recommendationsfor migration statistics; and (8) the fifth sessionof the Sub-Commission on Statistical Sampling.

The Council discussed the Commission's reportat the 126th and 129th meetings of its EconomicCommittee, on 7 and 17 April, and at its 702ndplenary meeting on 27 April 1953. In resolution469 A (XV), adopted by 16 votes to none, with2 abstentions, the Council noted with satisfactionthe report of the Commission. It also adopted fourresolutions suggested by the Commission concern-ing the use of transaction value in external tradestatistics, definitions in basic industrial statistics,

pp. 412 and 413.

U.N.P., Sales No.: 1951.XVII.5; 1952.XVII.1.

U.N.P., Sales No.:1951.XVI.3. U.N.P., Sales No.:1952.XVI.3; see Y.U.N., 1952,

U.N.P., Sales No.: 1952.XVI.1. U.N.P., Sales No.: 1952.XVI.2. See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 445.61






360 Yearbook of the United Nations

principles for vital statistics and recommendationsfor migration statistics. The action taken on thevarious items is given below.

1. Improvement of National Statistics

A comprehensive summary (E/CN.3/148) waspresented to the Commission containing a generaldescription of the current position, recent develop-ments and outstanding problems in internationaland national statistics. Emphasis was also laid onthe need for continued efforts to improve thequality of statistics both at national and inter-national levels.

The Commission commented favourably on thefact that, in the last four years, more than 30countries had produced for the first time centrallyprepared current statistical bulletins which were,in themselves, the Commission stressed, a methodof effecting closer co-ordination in statistics withina country and of contributing to the wider useful-ness of national statistics.

The Commission noted with satisfaction theincrease in the number of statistical series current-ly available throughout the world and the markedimprovement in their quality and comparability.This would appear to indicate, the Commissionconsidered, that its efforts to promote the improve-ment of national statistics were having effectiveresults.

Nevertheless, the Commission emphasized,prime responsibility for the progress of statisticaldevelopment in any country must be borne mainlyby the national organs. The carrying out of thisresponsibility depends in large measure on thecontinued improvement in the professional statusof statisticians, and the Commission stressed theimportance of international assistance in improv-ing basic statistical training. It recommended thatsuch assistance could best be given by manuals,national and regional training centres, additionalfacilities for education and training abroad.

Technical manuals on statistical methods andprocedures for use by national technicians werebeing compiled by the Statistical Office in thefields of population censuses, statistical organiza-tion, national income (including capital forma-tion), price statistics, trade statistics and vitalstatistics. During the year a manual entitled Indus-trial Census and Related Enquiries63 was pub-lished.

Training centres were established in widelyscattered areas. During March 1953 the first semi-nar in the five-year training programme, organizedby the Inter-American Centre for Bio-statistics,

opened in Santiago, Chile. The training providesfor a six-month series of lectures and three monthsof practical training in governmental statisticaldemonstration centres. Thirty-three full-time stu-dents and five part-time students from sixteenLatin American countries participated in 1953.

In Cairo, the International Training Centre forNational Income Statistics opened in January1953. The Centre is jointly conducted by theGovernment of Egypt, the Technical AssistanceAdministration (TAA) and the Statistical Office.In addition to its courses on national income,certain basic courses in general economics andeconomic statistics are also held.

In January, the Inter-American Seminar onNational Income was conducted jointly by theGovernment of Chile, the Pan American Union,the Inter-American Statistical Institute and theStatistical Office, with the co-operation of theEconomic Commission for Latin America(ECLA). Eighty representatives and observersfrom nineteen countries, members of the Organi-zation of American States and representatives ofinternational organizations participated in theconference.

Facilities for education and study abroad wereprovided by the award of 22 fellowships in thefield of statistics during 1953 under the technicalassistance programme. Under the same programme,statistical experts were provided to a number ofcountries to assist them either in specific fields ofstatistics or for the improvement of their statisticalservices. During the year, experts were assigned toAfghanistan, Burma, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecua-dor, Egypt, Greece, Haiti, Indonesia, Jamaica(British West Indies), Libya, Nicaragua, NorthBorneo, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Thailand andTurkey. A total of more than twenty man yearsof assistance was given in 1953 by 34 statisticalexperts.

To enable senior government officials to discusscommon problems in particular fields of statistics,the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) andthe Statistical Office sponsored the Third RegionalConference of European Statisticians at Geneva inJune 1953. The First Conference of NationalCommittees on Vital and Health Statistics tookplace at London in October 1953 under theauspices of the World Health Organization(WHO) in close collaboration with the UnitedNations; 66 representatives from 28 countriesattended.

63 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XVII.11, see below under

Definitions of Basic Industrial Statistics.

Economic and Social Questions 361

2. International Trade Statistics

As a further advance towards achieving com-parability in external trade statistics, attentionwas given to the uniformity of classification ofcommodities within the items of the StandardInternational Trade Classification (SITC). Forthis purpose the Statistical Office published theCommodity Indexes for the Standard InternationalTrade Classification.64 These Indexes list approxi-mately 20,000 commodities showing for each theitem of the SITC under which it is classified.These commodities are arranged in item order aswell as alphabetically, and therefore provide notonly a guide to the placing of individual com-modities within the SITC but also show the con-tent and definition of each of the 570 itemsthemselves. It is believed that comprehensive useof the Indexes by countries reporting their tradeunder the SITC format will lead to increasingcomparability of classification. The Indexes fur-thermore have considerably reduced the questionsaddressed to the Statistical Office from countrieswhich were doubtful whether they had rearrangedinto the items of the SITC correctly the itemsappearing in their national classifications. Workwas started in 1953 on a French edition of theCommodity Indexes while the Statistical Office co-operated with the Inter-American Statistical Insti-tute in the compilation of a Spanish edition.

A further development in connexion with theSITC was the decision of the Committee onEconomic Co-operation in Central America notonly to adopt the SITC as the national classifi-cation for the five Central American countries butto use it also as a basis of their tariff nomencla-tures. A group of experts from the five countries,supported by advisors from the Statistical Office,ECLA and the Inter-American Statistical Institute,adopted the SITC in the preparation of the"Uniform Central American Customs Nomen-clature" (E/CN.12/AC.17/25).

A further advance was made on standard defi-nitions and concepts concerning coverage, valu-ation and analysis of trade-by-country. The Com-mission endorsed the principal conclusions in thereport (E/CN.3/142) of a group of expertswhich met in 1952 to study these definitions andconcepts. Countries were consulted as to theirability progressively to adapt their external tradestatistics to the methods and concepts which re-ceived the Commission's approval.

The Commission recommended for adoptionby the Council a draft resolution (E/2365 B) onthe question of the value to be assigned for sta-tistical purposes to goods imported and exported.

The draft resolution was adopted, withoutchange, by the Economic Committee (E/2406 B),at its 129th meeting on 17 April, by 12 votes tonone, with 2 abstentions, and by the Council atits 702nd plenary meeting on 27 April, by 15votes to none, with 3 abstentions, as resolution469 B (XV). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,"Taking note of the work done by the Statistical

Commission at its fifth, sixth and seventh sessions, andthe comments received from governments and special-ized agencies, on the subject of definitions and methodsfor external trade statistics,

"Taking note that the use of the principle of the"transaction value", as defined in the report of theStatistical Commission (seventh session), would sub-stantially improve the accuracy, usefulness and com-parability of external trade statistics for internationalpurposes,

"Recommends that the governments of MemberStates, wherever possible, follow this principle:

"(a) By using "transaction values" in the compila-tion of their national statistics of external trade; or,

"(b) Where national practices are based on f.o.b.valuations of imports or other valuations, by endeavour-ing to provide supplementary statistical data based onthis principle."

3. National Income Statistics

a. SYSTEM OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTSThe Commission considered a report, A System

of National Accounts and Supporting Tables,65

setting out a standard national accounting systemfor reporting national income statistics. The Com-mission directed that the report, prepared by anexpert committee, should be circulated in order toassist countries who wished to adopt a system ofnational accounts along the same lines. TheSecretary-General was asked to collect commentsand information on the experience gained bycountries applying the concepts and classificationsproposed in the report in order to provide a basisfor further recommendations relating to inter-national standards in this field.

Work was continued on the Manual on Meth-ods of Estimating National Income which willinclude a study of methods assessing the accuracyof the estimates of various components.


The Commission approved concepts, definitionsand classifications contained in Concepts andDefinitions of Capital Formation66 for use by



66 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XVII.6.

U.N.P., Sales No.: 1952.XVII.9. U.N.P., Sales No.: 1952.XVII.4.

362 Yearbook of the United Nations

countries in the compilation of statistics of capitalformation. Information was requested on the ex-perience of countries in applying the conceptsand classifications. The Commission asked that astudy on the methods of estimating capital forma-tion should be completed and that estimates re-ceived from countries, including the estimates ofreal income and other statistics relating to eco-nomic growth, should be examined.

The Commission recommended that a study onmethods of estimating national product and ex-penditure in constant prices should continue.Accordingly, a paper was prepared, discussingvarious national estimates in constant prices, theo-retical aspects of the subject as well as methods ofestimating such totals currently in use.

4. Definitions for Basic Industrial


The Statistical Commission completed work onthe definitions of items of data, and these, to-gether with earlier recommendations on coverageand the items of information to be obtained atspecified intervals, were issued as InternationalStandards in Basic Industrial Statistics.67

The Commission recommended a draft reso-lution (E/2365 C), which was adopted, withoutchange, by the Council's Economic Committee(E/2406 C), at its 129th meeting on 17 April,by 14 votes to 2, and by the Council at its 702ndplenary meeting on 27 April, by 16 votes to 2 asresolution 469 C (XV).

By this resolution, the Council recommendedthat governments at present collecting and pub-lishing basic industrial statistics review their workin the light of the recommendations of the Com-mission, and also recommended that other govern-ments undertake the collection and publication ofsuch statistics in accordance with the Commis-sion's recommendations, adapting the recommen-dations where necessary for national purposes.

In addition, basic industrial statistics were in-corporated in a comprehensive manual coveringall aspects of the planning and conducting of anindustrial census. The manual (Industrial Censusesand Related Enquiries)68 is in two volumes, onedealing primarily with methods and proceduresand the other with summaries of country prac-tices, examples of census questionnaires and rec-ommended forms and tabulation schemes. Themanual is regarded as provisional; countries areasked to make comments which will be taken intoaccount when a revised edition is prepared.

5. Vital Statistics

The Council had before it a draft resolutionrecommended by the Commission (E/2365 D)concerning principles for a vital statistics system.A United Kingdom amendment (E/AC.6/L.54)to provide that the Secretary-General should drawthe attention of the countries concerned to thepriorities suggested by the Population and Statisti-cal Commissions for the collection of vital statisticswas adopted by the Economic Committee, at its129th meeting on 17 April, by 15 votes to none,with 2 abstentions. The draft resolution, as awhole, as amended, was adopted by the Committee(E/2406 D) by 15 votes to none, with 2 absten-tions, and by the Council, at its 702nd plenarymeeting on 27 April, by 16 votes to none, with 2abstentions.

By resolution 469 D (XV), the Council recom-mended that Governments should give attentionto the importance of developing vital statistics tomeet demographic, economic, public health andsocial needs. In the development of these statistics,it suggested that governments review and appraisetheir procedures for registering vital events andcompiling vital statistics, taking into account thePrinciples for a Vital Statistical System69 whichthe Statistical Commission had approved at itsseventh session. The Council also suggested thatgovernments introduce such changes as are feasibleto improve national statistics and their inter-national comparability in this field. It requestedthat the Secretary-General draw the attention ofgovernments to the priorities suggested by thePopulation and Statistical Commissions for thecollection of vital statistics, and emphasize thatwhere a vital registration system was being intro-duced or extended a sound organization of theregistration system should precede any attempt toobtain from it the full range of vital statistics.

6. Migration Statistics

Recommendations for the improvement of in-ternational migration statistics, which the Popu-lation and Statistical Commissions had developedwith the advice of Governments, were approvedby the Council in resolution 469 E (XV) andappeared in International Migration Statistics.70

The resolution as recommended by the Com-mission (E/2365 E) and adopted by the Council,



69 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XVII.8.

70 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XVII.10.

U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XVII.7. U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XVII.11.

Economic and Social Questions 363

by 15 votes to none, with 2 abstentions, at the129th meeting of its Economic Committee (E/-2406 E), and by 16 votes to none, with 2 ab-stentions, at its 702nd plenary meeting, expressedthe hope that governments might conclude mutualarrangements for the collection of migration sta-tistics without introducing impediments to themovement of people.

7. Statistical Sampling

The Statistical Commission considered the re-port (E/CN.3/140) of the fifth and final sessionof the Sub-Commission on Statistical Samplingand came to the following broad conclusions:

(1) that periodic reports should continue to bemade on sample surveys of current interest;

(2) that a report should be compiled bringingtogether the important recommendations made by theSub-Commission during its five sessions; and

(3) that assistance should be given to countrieswishing to undertake sampling projects, such assistanceto include the issuing of technical reports and manuals.

The Commission agreed that there was a needfor review and study of the use of samplingmethods in promoting the improvement of thequantity and quality of basic statistics especiallyin the under-developed countries and that an adhoc committee of experts should be convened forthis purpose.

The Statistical Commission recommended thatfinal decisions regarding the studies in statisticalsampling to be undertaken by ad hoc groups ofexperts should be made by the Secretary-General,in consultation with the specialized agencieswhere necessary, and that in the studies of thesubjects already suggested the special needs ofunder-developed countries and their available re-sources should be taken into consideration. A fifthreport on the Sample Surveys of Current Interest71

appeared during the year under review.

8. Collection and Disseminationof Statistical Data

During 1953, the Statistical Office continuedthe regular collection and publication of data inthe fields of external trade, production and prices,transport, national income, population and vitalstatistics, as well as such other special fields aswere required. The data published were obtainedfrom official government sources.

The Statistical Yearbook 1953,72 containingprincipal economic and social series, and theDemographic Yearbook 1953,73 which includesmajor basic demographic series, were preparedduring the year. The Yearbook of InternationalTrade Statistics 1952,74 issued in 1953, containsdetailed statistics for 70 countries, covering about97 per cent of world trade; for 25 of these coun-tries (or about 65 per cent of world trade) analy-sis by commodity of imports and exports is madeaccording to the Standard International TradeClassification (SITC).

The following monthly and quarterly publica-tions containing current statistical informationwere issued during the year to supplement theseyearbooks. The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics con-tains current statistical series for more than 70countries; Commodity Trade Statistics (quarterly)gives value of imports and exports classified ac-cording to the SITC; Direction of InternationalTrade (cumulative monthly issues with an annualsummary), published jointly by the InternationalMonetary Fund and the International Bank forReconstruction and Development, contains month-ly trade origin and destination figures for about100 countries; Population and Vital StatisticsReports contains most recently available data oftotal births and deaths and population totals withmid-year estimates for more than 250 countriesand territories; Statistics of National Income andExpenditure (semi-annual) contains current dataconcerning national income. In addition, StatisticalNotes describe current events in internationalstatistics.


1. Economic Commission for Europe(ECE)

The Economic Commission for Europe held itseighth session from 3 to 18 March 1953 at Geneva(E/2382, Parts III and IV). Representatives of24 European countries, the United States and vari-ous specialized agencies and non-governmentalorganizations participated.

Before the Commission were:(1) Reports from the committees of the Commis-

sion on their activities since the closing date of theirreports to the seventh session, and an additional Noteto those reports by the Executive Secretary concerning


U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XVII.4.72

U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XVII.9.73

U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.XIII.9.74

U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953-XVII.3.

364 Yearbook of the United Nations

the Committees on the Development of Trade, Industryand Materials, and Manpower (E/ECE/153);

(2) a Note by the Executive Secretary on otheractivities of the Commission and its secretariat, dealingprincipally with ECE co-operation with the EconomicCommission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) andthe Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA),the Technical Assistance Administration (TAA), spe-cialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations(E/ECE/154);

(3) a Note by the Executive Secretary on decisionsof the Economic and Social Council and the GeneralAssembly bearing on ECE (E/ECE/155);

(4) the Commission's programme of work for1953/54; and

(5) the Economic Survey of Europe since the War(E/ECE/157).

The Commission discussed separately the re-ports of each committee on its past and plannedactivities and unanimously adopted resolutionsconcerning the work of the Committee on Agri-cultural Problems and of the Coal Committee andon the convening of a Consultation of TradeExperts.

In the first resolution, the Commission statedthat certain adjustments in the policies of Euro-pean countries with regard to agricultural produc-tion and trade in agricultural products mightmaterially contribute to the improvement of theeconomy of Europe and to the welfare of itsfarmers. It invited the Executive Secretary, in co-operation with the Food and Agriculture Organi-zation of the United Nations (FAO), to preparea statement of the problems involved, togetherwith proposals for possible action, for submissionto governments for their consideration with aview to ascertaining whether the convening of theCommittee on Agricultural Problems before thenext session of the Commission would serve auseful purpose.

The second resolution called upon the CoalCommittee to give special attention during 1953to the formulation of practical recommendationswith a view to restoring European self-sufficiencyin solid fuel and putting an end to dependence onextra-European sources of supply.

The third resolution was adopted following adiscussion concerning the Committee on the De-velopment of Trade. All representatives who tookpart in this discussion reiterated their concern for,and interest in, the development of mutually fruit-ful commercial relations between countries ofEastern and Western Europe. The resolution ap-proved the proposals (E/ECE/153-H Rev.1)made by the Executive Secretary regarding theConsultation of Trade Experts and invited him toconvene it on 13 April 1953.

In connexion with its consideration of the Noteby the Executive Secretary on decisions of theEconomic and Social Council and the GeneralAssembly bearing on the work of ECE, and in thelight of certain findings of the Survey, the Com-mission adopted a resolution stating that theeconomic development of the less developed coun-tries in Europe, particularly in Southern Europe,could not only promote the welfare of the peoplesliving in those countries but could also contributeto a general improvement in European economicconditions. It invited the Executive Secretary:(1) to prepare a study of the current possibilitiesof expanding and accelerating the economic de-velopment of the less developed countries inSouthern Europe; and (2) to consult with inter-ested governments concerning the possibilities offurther action.


(1) Committee on Agricultural Problems

In the absence of an agreed programme ofwork, the Committee on Agricultural Problemswas not convened during 1953 (E/ECE/153-A &E/ECE/177-A).

The Fourth Session of the Working Party onStandardization of Perishable Foodstuffs was heldat Geneva in September. Unanimous agreementwas reached on proposals for the establishment ofEuropean standards regarding seed and warepotatoes, peaches, apricots and plums. Reviewing

the Working Party came to the conclusion that itwas now opportune to ask governments formallyto accept, as a common basis for their nationalregulations and controls, the recommendationsincluded in the "General Provisions" to be appliedin Europe for the commercial standardization andquality control of fresh fruit and vegetables mov-ing in international traffic, as adopted the previousyear by the Working Party for use on a trial basis.The Working Party further agreed that the"General Provisions" should be incorporated in adraft, which was subsequently prepared. The con-ditions under which the work of standardizationwas to be continued and the European standardsto be revised periodically were defined. The Work-ing Party also stressed the desirability of enlistingthe co-operation of countries which had notpreviously participated actively in the preparationof standards.

Two papers entitled "Output and Expenses ofAgriculture in Some European Countries"(AGRI/42) and "Prices of Agricultural Products

the work on fruit and vegetables achieved so far,

Economic and Social Questions 365

and Fertilizers 1952/53" (AGRI/43) were issuedby the secretariat for general distribution.

(2) Coal Committee

The Coal Committee held its 27th to 30th ses-sions in February, May, August and December(E/ECE/153-B & E/ECE/177-B). The work ofthe Committee was directed towards ensuringthat European coal needs are satisfied as economi-cally as possible, that solid fuel should be usedrationally and that the coal market should be ren-dered as stable as possible. In order to follow themarket more closely, the Committee institutedhalf-yearly reviews to ascertain what measuresshould be taken to reduce the effect of short-termfluctuations. At the same time, the long-termproblems of coal in relation to other forms ofenergy, consumption trends in particular sectorsof the economy, and the classification of coal andlignite were also studied, as well as the possibilityof improving coal statistics.

In addition to a decline in demand for coal inWestern Europe during 1953, competition fromother sources of energy such as dark oils, naturalgas and hydro-electric power increased. This ques-tion was taken up by the Coal Committee and astudy was initiated on post-war developments inthe relationship of coal and black oils. Similarstudies in the fields of hydro-electricity and naturalgas, it was decided, would be undertaken at alater stage.

The Coal Committee considered that part of thefalling demand was due to the lack of adequatestock-building by consumers for the wintermonths, and stressed the importance of properstocking policies and the necessity of improvingstatistics of distributed stocks. The Committeetherefore suggested that Governments should:

(1) recommend targets for coal stocks in the varioussectors of consumption, based on what they consideredwould be the normal requirements;

(2) exert influence on consumers by publicity or othersuitable means in order to ensure that these targetswere attained; and

(3) compare the actual figures of stocks in hand atthe commencement of the winter with the targets set.

The demand situation led to a sharp fall in theimports of coal from the United States, a decreasefrom 20.6 million tons in 1952 to 7.0 million tonsin 1953. This drop might have been even greaterhad it not been that, as a result of the loweringof trans-Atlantic freight rates, United States coalbecame competitive in Europe in the latter partof the year. Most of these imports were of cokingqualities which remained in short supply inEurope, and the Coal Committee continued to

direct its attention to solid fuel quality problemsin both the technical and economic aspects.

The Committee also studied consumption trendsin the main sectors of the coal market, a startbeing made on the domestic sector.

At its May session, the Coal Trade Sub-Com-mittee decided to hold only one session quarterly.Owing to the easing of the market, the Sub-Committee was able to adjust in nearly all casesdiscrepancies between export availabilities andimport requirements, and agreement was reachedwithout proceeding to a formal allocation.

The Classification Working Party met in Apriland November; it drew up and agreed on a pro-posal for a classification of hard coals by rank forcommercial purposes. This commercial classifica-tion is an adaptation, in a simplified form, of theearlier agreed scientific system for hard coal classi-fication. The proposal is to be fully considered bythe participating governments and given a trialover a period of two years, i.e., up to the endof 1955.

Work was started on the classification of hardcoals by size as well as on the classification ofbrown coal and lignites, and a second exchangeof brown coal samples was arranged.

The Utilization Working Party met in May andNovember. An ad hoc working group was set upto examine the advisability and feasibility of cre-ating an International Centre for Documentationand Research on the efficient use of solid fuels.

A consolidated report was issued on fuel advis-ory services and facilities for education and train-ing of boilerhouse staff. Work was continued onthe proper use of measuring instruments to im-prove results from existing plants.

The problem of the rational utilization ofcoking coal and the widening of the range of coalsused for carbonization was considered and thepreparation of a plan of future work was begun.

The Working Party on Coal Statistics, set up bythe Coal Committee at the end of 1952, held itsfirst session in January and two subsequent sessionsin April and November. Work proceeded on theexamination of the definitions used by participat-ing countries, on the improvement of the com-parability of statistics and on the inclusion of newstatistics in the Quarterly Bulletin of Coal Sta-tistics for Europe. By the end of 1953, considerableprogress had been made, especially in the case ofproductivity, where comparable statistics are nowavailable for the first time. Work was continuedon statistics in the field of consumption, prices,wages, and other forms of energy.

366 Yearbook of the United Nations

During the year, the Quarterly Bulletin of CoalStatistics for Europe, the Monthly Coal StatisticalSummary and the Monthly Coal News continuedto be issued.

(3) Committee on Electric Power

The Committee on Electric Power held itstenth session on 9 and 10 June (E/ECE 153-C &E/ECE/177-C). A programme of work was drawnup which provided for detailed consideration ofspecific problems by ad hoc groups of experts andalso for studies and negotiations to be undertakenunder the auspices of the secretariat.

Six groups of experts met during the year, andthe Working Party for the Study of Rural Electri-fication, which was set up by the Committee onElectric Power to make a periodic review of prob-lems in that field, held its first session. ThisWorking Party was an outcome of the recommen-dations of a technical study group convened in1952 in conjunction with TAA and FAO. A com-prehensive programme of work was drawn up,designed to make the experience of national ex-perts in a wide range of special problems availablefor the general improvement of rural electrificationpractice.

Following the conclusions, adopted by the Com-mittee, of a previous secretariat study on "Trans-fers of Electric Power Across European Frontiers"(E/ECE/151), a group of experts was appointedto investigate the possibilities of exporting electricpower from Yugoslavia to neighbouring countries,and an intergovernmental body known as "Yougel-export", comprising experts representing Austria,Italy, the Western Zone of Germany and Yugo-slavia, was set up to carry out the work. This bodyoperates through four committees dealing respec-tively with technical, economic, financial and legalaspects of the problem.

Inquiries and negotiations concerning generallegal questions — both those which hamper inter-national trade in electricity and those involved inthe development of rivers and lakes which consti-tute or cross common frontiers — was continued.

Studies completed by the secretariat during theyear included a survey of "Hydro-electric Potentialin Europe and its Gross, Technical and EconomicLimits" (E/ECE/EP/131). This established on auniform basis the hydro-electric resources of mostEuropean countries and set out methods of com-paring development possibilities according to suc-cessive levels of theoretical, technical and economicfeasibility.

The second of an annual series of surveys of themain factors governing the electric power situ-

ation in Europe was published under the title"The Electric Power Situation in Europe: 1952-53in the Setting of Post-War Developments" (E/-ECE/EP/142). This study includes a more com-prehensive analysis of developments in the yearsfollowing the Second World War.

Among a number of other studies on which thesecretariat worked to provide documentation forgovernments was one dealing with the methodsemployed in different countries to estimate con-sumption of electric power in future years.

The Committee on Electric Power continued toact as a forum for the consideration of funda-mental problems underlying the development ofEurope's electric power resources. Such problemsarise largely from the fact that the natural sourcesof power production, which are both highly di-versified and widely distributed, are also veryunevenly developed in the different countries.Thus it has often been necessary to supplementby intergovernmental action the efforts made byindividual countries to meet a constantly increas-ing demand under the most favourable conditions.There has, moreover, been a gradual increase inthe interconnexion of national transmission sys-tems in order to support a limited but economi-cally important international trade in electricpower which has also helped to create a broaddegree of interdependence over an ever-wideningarea of Europe.

In considering these problems, the Committeemaintained close contact with other internationalbodies, initiated studies in special fields, and pro-moted general studies to bring together authori-tative information on questions of current im-portance. It also continued to provide a mediumfor the conduct of negotiations between interestedgovernments on any specific issues which aroseand its secretariat was continuously available asa channel for this purpose.

(4) Industries and Materials Committee

The Industry and Materials Committee did notmeet in 1953 (E/ECE/153-D & E/ECE/177-D).The activities of its subsidiary organs in the fieldsof engineering and materials continued to begoverned by a programme of work drawn uptowards the end of 1950 (E/ECE/IM/155).

The Ad hoc Working Party on Contract Prac-tices in Engineering met in February and in June.In February, it finalized the text of "GeneralConditions for the Supply of Plant and Machineryfor Export" (ME/188/53) for use on a perma-nent basis by interested parties. A "Commentaryon the General Conditions for the Supply of Plant

Economic and Social Questions 367

and Machinery for Export" (E/ECE/169) wasapproved during the June meeting. This meetingalso decided to prepare similar model contractclauses dealing with the erection of equipment, amatter of particular interest to under-developedcountries. It set out the main subjects to be con-sidered and draft clauses were prepared for sub-mission to a session to be held in February 1954.

Work continued on a "pilot" machine-toolglossary, with the preparation of definitions anddrawings of 1,000 selected concepts approachinga semi-final stage.


The Housing Sub-Committee, which met inOctober 1953 (E/ECE/153-D & E/ECE/177-D),continued to develop its work on housing andbuilding in response to the wishes of the govern-ments and also aimed at implementing, in Europe,the programme on housing and town and countryplanning recommended by the Social Commissionand approved by the Economic and Social Council.

Several countries devoted greater attention tomeasures to reduce the high cost of building.Lower costs were achieved through a variety ofmeasures, such as a rationalization of the buildingindustry in Belgium, the better preparation ofprojects in Denmark and France, the use ofsimpler housing plans in the Netherlands, Norwayand the United Kingdom, and increased mechan-ization and prefabrication in the USSR.

An important problem for many countries re-mained that of relating various aspects of thehousing question to a comprehensive housingpolicy oriented towards a continually rising levelof dwelling construction and capable of substan-tially reducing the remaining backlog of unful-filled needs. Action in this direction would alsoencourage and facilitate technological progressleading to the development of a forward-lookingand modern building industry.

Arrangements for organizing international co-operation in Europe in building research anddocumentation on the general lines recommendedat the sixth session of the Housing Sub-Committeewere completed. A General Assembly of interestedparties was held under ECE auspices in June1953, at which the International Council forBuilding Research, Studies and Documentation(CIB) was formally established as a non-govern-mental organization to encourage, facilitate anddevelop international co-operation in building re-search, studies and the application of research, anddocumentation concerning not only the technicalbut also the economic and social aspects of hous-ing, building and town and country planning.

The Sub-Committee examined the first "An-nual Survey of European Housing Progress andPolicies" (IM/HOU/60 & Add. 1-7) and dis-cussed some of the more important issues arising,including questions of credits and subsidies andmeasures governments were taking to reduce costsand promote a higher level of construction. TheSub-Committee expressed the wish that, in future,the survey analyse in greater detail the social andeconomic trends related to housing.

In the field of economic studies, the Sub-Com-mittee also examined the completed report on"European Rent Policies" (E/ECE/170 & 172)and arrived at a number of general conclusions onpoints of principle. It was emphasized that rentpolicy should be regarded as an integral part ofhousing policy, closely related to credit and sub-sidy policy, to measures intended to reduce thereal cost of construction and to the level of wages.It was also considered desirable to equalize, as faras possible, the rents of houses of substantiallysimilar characteristics and amenities; where suchequalization led to increases in the rents of oldhouses, it was deemed essential to adopt socialmeasures to enable all categories of the populationto pay increased rents. It was agreed that, as longas a general housing shortage persisted in somecountries, the abolition of rent control and ofsubsidies could not be contemplated. Finally, itwas emphasized that housing could not be re-garded as a purely technical and economic prob-lem but as one which had important social aspectsof concern to governments.

The first Quarterly Bulletin of Housing andBuilding Statistics for Europe was published inAugust 1953. At its second meeting, in November,the Working Party on Housing and BuildingStatistics recommended methods for computingan index of building activity and a building costindex and began an examination of comparabilityof data relating to occupation of dwellings. Aspart of its future work in this field, the WorkingParty agreed to consider methods of calculatinghousing needs and overcrowding and methods ofcomputing an index of building cost proper.

The Sub-Committee continued to consider whatfurther steps it could take to reduce the cost ofbuilding and to increase the productivity of theindustry. Arising out of the general study on"The Cost of House Construction" (E/ECE/165),a number of specialized studies were undertakenconcerning: development of model building codesand regulations; methods of awarding buildingcontracts and the placing of orders; trends inmechanization of house building; housing needsof a family; cost of various types of construction.

368 Yearbook of the United Nations

In addition, the Sub-Committee invited inter-ested governments to examine the import require-ments and export availabilities of their countriesin building materials and components and to in-form the secretariat of any trade possibilitieswhich they considered worth exploring within theframework of ECE. The Sub-Committee furtherdecided to initiate an examination of methods andtechniques of developing and expediting thehousing programmes of less-industrialized coun-tries in Europe.

(5) Inland Transport Committee

The Committee continued to devote much of itstime to problems bearing on general transportpolicy. As the work advanced, the extent to whichproblems of co-ordination of transport are boundup with the work on costs and tariffs became in-creasingly evident. The Committee further definedits aim with respect to the current studies in thefield of co-ordination of transport and reachedagreement on a number of principles concerningthe social and economic burdens imposed on trans-port undertakings and the advantages and benefitsgranted to them.

The conclusions drawn by the Working Partyon Transport Costs and Accountancy and themethods of calculation it adopted have provideda means of ascertaining the cost of the under-taking for rail, road and inland water transportand a way of facing most rate-fixing problems.

With railway tariffs now largely standardizedas to form, attention is being given to achievinggreater uniformity in tariff structure in order tosimplify the task of those engaged in trade andthus facilitate commercial exchanges.

It was agreed that discrimination in railwaytariffs should first be considered from the nationalstandpoint, i.e. with the interest of the railwaysand of the countries' own economy in view, andthen only from the European angle. A list of typesof rail tariff discrimination was studied, type bytype, at a session of the appropriate subsidiarybody of the Committee, the various delegationsindicating whether or not they regarded them asjustifiable. The possibility of eliminating unjusti-fied discrimination is to be dealt with at a laterstage. Representatives from Eastern countries sup-plied full information on a uniform transit tariffapplied by these countries for traffic between themand also for traffic between Western and Easterncountries when one of the latter is an exporter orimporter of the goods transported. The possibilityof extending the application of such tariffs wasbeing studied. Questions relating to the establish-

ment of international tariffs for road and inlandwater transport were also being studied.

The Committee, during 1953, prepared a Gen-eral Agreement embodying economic regulationsfor international road transport, with an accom-panying set of rules with which carriers engagedin international traffic should comply. The pro-visions relating to the transport undertaking itself,to mobile equipment, to conditions of employ-ment, to the insurance to be carried, etc., are de-signed to improve the standard of internationalroad services.

Governments were recommended to carry outa census of road traffic on the main internationaltraffic arteries and, beginning in 1955, to takenational road traffic censuses and censuses on maininternational traffic arteries during the same periodin order to:

(1) ascertain whether there is a need for new roadsor for improving existing ones;

(2) find out the extent to which roads are utilized bythe various categories of users; and

(3) obtain information for use in the prevention ofaccidents.

Progress was made in the study of standardizedpackaging and of matters relating to the equip-ment of road vehicles for the transport of perish-able foodstuffs. The Committee's objective is todraw up one or more international agreements onpackaging and on the quality and conditions oftransport of perishable foodstuffs.

Regulations were drafted, to enter into force in1954, for the temporary duty-free admission ofreusable containers (e.g., for household goods,food and liquids) into foreign countries and onthe technical conditions which containers mustfulfil to be accepted in international traffic underCustoms seal. These regulations, when applied,will allow a more extensive use of containers ininternational traffic.

The Committee agreed that the most importantaspect of its work on the prevention of road trafficaccidents was the co-ordination of the activities ofgovernments and international organizations inkeeping the public informed as to the differentways of preventing accidents. A catalogue of re-search activities on road safety in progress in thevarious countries was prepared for publication bythe secretariat, as well as an international roadsafety manual for all road users. Progress wasmade in laying down the standards to be requiredof motor vehicle drivers and in studies of technicalproblems, such as the lighting of vehicles, safetyglass and the general internal design of motorvehicles. The object of these particular studies is

Economic and Social Questions 369

to reduce the risk of death or serious injury whenaccidents occur.

An inquiry was begun to ascertain the possi-bilities of putting into effect from 1 June 1954 aproposal that the duration of tax exemption forforeign tourist vehicles be extended to coincidewith that of the temporary importation papers.

Many European countries during the year beganapplying the international insurance card system,instituted on the Committee's recommendation,and enabling drivers who are holders of the cardto cross frontiers with a minimum of formalities,especially in countries where third-party insuranceis compulsory.

The Committee, among other things, also con-sidered problems of the temporary duty-free ad-mission of small pleasure boats, the transport ofdangerous goods, various customs questions andrational routing of rail traffic.

(6) Committee on Manpower

No meetings of the Committee were held dur-ing 1953, its programme having been taken over,on the decisions of the governments, by ILO inApril 1948.

(7) Steel Committee

The Committee held its tenth and eleventhsessions in January and September 1953. Duringthe year, its attention was directed mainly towardsthe problem of stimulating demand, the shortagesof raw materials which had characterized the in-dustry in previous years having been virtuallyovercome.

Despite some slackening in demand, the over-all European steel production of 75 million tonsof crude steel in 1953 remained virtually the sameas in 1952.

The secretariat published the revised version oftwo studies, presented in preliminary form to theCommittee in 1952, entitled The European SteelIndustry and the Wide-Strip Mill: A Study ofProduction and Consumption Trends in FlatProducts75 and "European Steel Exports and SteelDemand in Non-European Countries" (E/ECE/-163). It also prepared and presented to the Com-mittee the preliminary version of a study oncompetition between steel and aluminium. Thislatter study is divided into two main parts, thefirst covering the characteristics and growth of thealuminium industry and the second reviewing thepresent and probable future competitive positionof aluminium in a number of specific industries,particularly the railway, motor-vehicle, ship-building, packaging and mobile container, and

building and civil engineering industries. In addi-tion to this major study, the secretariat preparedand presented a paper on methods of calculatingthe availability of capital scrap, and issued a reportentitled "Some Important Developments during1953 in Iron and Steel Technology" (E/ECE/-171).

During the year, collaboration between thesecretariats of ECE and of ECAFE and ECLAcontinued to develop.

The Quarterly Bulletin of Steel Statistics forEurope was published regularly throughout theyear and incorporated a number of improvementsover earlier issues.

(8) Timber Committee

The joint FAO/ECE Working Party on Euro-pean Timber Trends and Prospects met at Genevain June; the Timber Committee met at FAOHeadquarters at Rome in October 1953, when, asin the previous year, it participated in a jointsession with the European Forestry Commissionof FAO.

The Committee, reviewing its provisional esti-mates of the volume of European trade in sawnsoftwood in 1953, noted that the volume waslikely to exceed the Committee's earlier expecta-tions by about 10 per cent.

Production costs in some of the exportingcountries have risen more rapidly in recent yearsthan have corresponding export prices, and costrigidities present an obstacle to any substantialdownward revision of prices. The Committeeagreed that technical improvements both in theproduction and utilization of wood should in timecontribute to resolving this apparent dilemma.

For 1954, no marked change in total demandfor sawn softwood was envisaged, and, after takinginto account an expected increase in supplies fromEastern Europe, European import requirementsfrom other continents were probably within therange of estimated availabilities in Canada, theUnited States and Brazil.

A comparison of pitprop import requirementsand export availabilities for 1953 and 1954 showedthat supplies in the importing countries appearedsecure for these two years. For pulpwood, how-ever, though import requirements in 1953 werebelow the level of actual imports in 1951 and1952, export availabilities also declined markedlyas compared with the two preceding years; therethus appeared to be a prospective deficit in pulp-wood for both 1953 and 1954.

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370 Yearbook of the United Nations

The FAO/ECE Working Party on EuropeanTimber Trends and Prospects, at its meeting inGeneva from 25 June to 1 July, considered theimplications of the joint FAO/ECE study Euro-pean Timber Trends and Prospects,76 publishedin April, together with European Timber Statistics1913-1950.77 Its report was considered at theJoint Meeting of the ECE Timber Committee andFAO European Forestry Commission held at Romein October 1953.

The Joint Meeting reached the following con-clusions: Europe's consumption of industrial tim-ber would tend to rise, affecting primarily pulp-wood, only small increases being expected for sawlogs and pitprops. In most European importingcountries the rise in prices assumed in the studyappeared to have taken place. Since 1951, upwardrevisions in felling estimates have been made inSweden, Western Germany, and some other Euro-pean countries with the result that the expectedoutput of industrial wood in Europe (outside theUSSR), estimated in the study at 155 millioncubic metres, could now be estimated at 163 mil-lion cubic metres; this figure, however, remainedsubstantially below the amount of industrial woodEurope might be expected to consume 10 to 20years hence.

To ensure that Europe's future requirements ofindustrial wood would be met, the Joint Meetingagreed on a number of recommendations designedto raise Europe's supplies by both short and long-term measures. These included short-term meas-ures to raise forest output by reducing waste inthe forest and achieving a fuller use of the by-products of the wood-using industries. The Meet-ing also considered it desirable to increase thevolume of imports of sawn softwood from theSoviet Union and other regions. Among the long-term measures recommended, particular impor-tance was attached to the need for improved forestmanagement, intensified sylviculture, improvedroadways and transport facilities, and a more am-bitious programme of afforestation and reforesta-tion. The need for a long-term programme de-signed to achieve a progressive improvement instatistical information was stressed.

The Joint Meeting recommended that highpriority be accorded to the technical projects fig-uring in the Committee's programme of work,and requested ECE and FAO to convene jointworking parties, as needed, in pursuance of itsrecommendations in the technical field.

(9) Committee on the Development of Trade

No meeting of the Committee itself was heldduring the period under review, but work ontrade was continued on the basis of resolutions

adopted at the seventh and eighth sessions of theCommission. The Executive Secretary convenedan East-West Trade Consultation on 13 April1953, which was attended by experts nominatedby the governments of 24 countries participatingin the work of ECE, as well as experts from theEastern and Western Zones of Germany. In con-formity with the plan for the Consultation, nosummary records were issued, the Executive Secre-tary acted as Chairman, and the report to govern-ments on the Consultation's proceedings was sub-mitted by the Executive Secretary on his ownresponsibility.

This report, among other things, summarizedthe principal results of the Consultation as follows:

"At the conclusion of the Consultation, it was thegeneral consensus of the experts and of the ExecutiveSecretary:

"(a) That the Consultation had been of value andhad helped prepare the way for an increase in East-Westtrade during the next twelve months;

"(b) That the work done at the Consultation wouldbe followed up in early negotiations;

"(c) That a further Consultation of the same kindwould be useful in April 1954;

"(d) That the experts would inform the ExecutiveSecretary (if possible by 1 July 1953 and again by1 September 1953) of the results of negotiations sub-sequent to the Consultation.

"(e) That the Executive Secretary would remain incontact with governments on this question and mightdetermine whether it would be to the general advantageto convene a Consultation even before April 1954."

In December 1953, the Executive Secretary, ina communication to all participating governments,convened the next Consultation for 20 April 1954at Geneva.

A detailed article, "Developments in Trade be-tween Eastern and Western Europe from 1951 to1952" was published by the secretariat in Volume5, No. 2, of the Quarterly Economic Bulletin forEurope.

The secretariat was instrumental in bringingtogether, and arranging for bilateral trade nego-tiations (with the consent of the governmentsconcerned) between the representatives of theGreek and Hungarian Chambers of Commerce.These talks took place in connexion with the East-West Trade Consultation of April 1953. On 1June 1953, a one-year trade agreement was signedfor the exchange of goods totalling about $4.5million in value.


The Economic Survey of Europe Since theWar78 published in February 1953, was the sixth

76 U.N.P., Sales No. 1953.II.E.3.

77 U.N.P., Sales No. 1953.II.E.5.78 U.N.P., Sales No. 1953.II.E.4.

Economic and Social Questions 371

annual survey prepared by the secretariat of theCommission. It was based on official statistics andstatistical estimates made by the secretariat, andsought to draw on the experience of the wholepost-war period and to analyse its significance forthe future.

According to the Survey, the adverse effects ofthe major shifts in the world economy during andafter the war were concentrated on WesternEurope. The political split of Europe intensifiedWestern Europe's balance-of-payments difficulties,and the dependence of Western European coun-tries on the dollar area as a source of supply grew.At the same time, it became far more difficultthan before to earn from other countries the meansto cover the deficit.

Following five post-war years of continuous ex-pansion of production, the economy of WesternEurope stagnated for a year and a half—despitea continuous increase in armament expenditureand a sustained boom in the United States. Theprogress, goals and development plans of WesternEuropean countries appeared very modest in com-parison with those of the Soviet Union and theUnited States. The problem, the Survey indicated,was to find the means to further economic progresswithout relapsing into inflation.

Despite difficulties in particular industries atvarious times in Eastern Europe, countries theremade rapid progress in industrialization, particu-larly in heavy industry. As long as their agriculturalplans remained relatively modest, the chance of arapid and general increase in standards of livingremained rather slight. The reported rise in theincrease in industrial output in the Soviet Unionslowed down in recent years but further indus-trialization was continuing at a rate surpassingthat in any Western country, the Survey stated.

The gap between rural pauperism in SouthernEurope and industrial progress and higher livingstandards in Western and North-Western Europecontinued to widen in recent years. While thegoal of highly industrialized countries should befurther mechanization, both in agriculture and inindustry, the goal of over-populated countries inSouthern and Eastern Europe, it was indicated,should be an expansion of industry hand-in-handwith an increase in total food production. Sincelarge-scale international migration was neitherlikely nor desirable, agricultural production neededto be expanded where the surplus manpower exists.

The Survey stressed that the development ofindustrially retarded countries was in the long-term interest of Europe as a whole. There has beenfor four decades a persistent trend towards inter-national disintegration in Europe's economy. From

1913 to 1951 total commodity output in Europe(not counting the USSR) increased 70 per cent,but intra-European trade increased only 2 percent. The trend has been accentuated by govern-ment intervention in the economy. When labourand capital movements are restrained and capitalis scarce, the obstacles to reaching a higher degreeof international integration solely by the auto-matism of free commodity trade are immense, theSurvey pointed out.

Economic stagnation would be fatal to even themost humble efforts to break the historical trendtowards national economic autarky in WesternEurope, it said, pointing out that a general climateof expanding economy was required to avoid asetback in intra-European trade and thereby inproduction. Private business had to be given firmconfidence that governments take responsibilityfor maintaining total demand at a high level.

Governments needed to lay the foundation fora new equilibrium in international trade and pay-ments and for a more regular and normal function-ing of the world market before removal of controlson trade and payments and the achievement ofcurrency convertibility were possible without seri-ous threats to European production and trade. Thesituation required adequate action by the Europeancountries themselves, with co-operative efforts ona wider scale to promote steady economic progressin Europe and the world, the Survey declared.


Co-operation of the Commission's technical bod-ies and the secretariat with specialized agenciescontinued. Co-operation with FAO was maintainedmainly through the Joint ECE/FAO Agricultureand Timber Divisions servicing the ECE Com-mittee on agricultural problems and the TimberCommittee respectively. FAO collaborated in thepreparation of a "Statement on Agricultural Pro-duction and Trade in Agricultural Products". AnECE/FAO Working Party met to examine thejoint "Study of European Timber Trends", and itsrecommendations were submitted to a joint sessionof the ECE Timber Committee and the FAOEuropean Forestry Commission (see above). Col-laboration with the United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)continued on the compilation of a pilot machinetool glossary. Co-operation with the World Mete-orological Organization (WMO) was initiated inregard to the hydrological aspects of the work ofthe Electric Power Committee and the influenceof the weather on coal consumption. Co-operation

372 Yearbook of the United Nations

in various fields was maintained with ILO, theWorld Health Organization (WHO), the Inter-national Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-ment, the International Monetary Fund, the In-ternational Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)and the Interim Committee of the InternationalTrade Organization (ICITO).

The secretariat maintained informal contacts ona technical level with the staff of the Office ofEuropean Economic Co-operation (OEEC), thesecretariat of the Council of Europe, and the HighAuthority of the European Coal and Steel Com-munity. Collaboration with non-governmental or-ganizations was maintained, particularly in thefields of coal, electric power, housing, industry andmaterials, and inland transport.


The Council considered the fifth annual reportof ECE (E/2382) at its 716th and 717th plenarymeetings on 8 July. It also had before it theEconomic Survey of Europe Since the War.

In introducing the annual report, the ExecutiveSecretary of the Commission stressed that the pasttwelve months had seen two encouraging develop-ments. The first was that experts from Eastern andWestern European countries had met in the ECETrade Consultation to discuss specific trade pos-sibilities, and had thus created means of forgingnew links between certain countries which hadceased commercial relations, and of enlarging thevolume of East-West trade. The second encourag-ing development had been indications of an in-creasing willingness on the part of Eastern Europ-ean Governments to take part in the Commission'stechnical work. The Executive Secretary explainedvarious ways in which ECE, during the periodunder review, had devoted greater attention to theproblem of economic development. Just as ECEwas endeavouring to prevent the fractionalizationof Europe, he said, so it was working, in con-junction with ECLA and ECAFE, towards a fullerintegration of the various regions of the worldinto a co-ordinated whole, in conformity with theaims of the United Nations Charter.

During the discussion of the ECE report, anumber of representatives commended the practi-cal work done by ECE in various fields. Economicand technical studies of the secretariat were alsohighly praised, especially the Economic Survey ofEurope Since the War, and the Quarterly EconomicBulletins, as well as basic studies on timber, steeland inter-regional trade, certain of which had been

prepared in co-operation with FAO, ECAFE andECLA.

Non-European members of the Council, includ-ing the representatives of Argentina, Australia, thePhilippines and Venezuela, joined European mem-bers, including the representatives of France,Sweden and Turkey, in expressing appreciation ofECE efforts to relate developments in the Europeaneconomy to the world situation, and in stressingthe importance of past and future inter-regionalcollaboration. Various representatives, includingthose of Argentina, France, Turkey, the UnitedStates and Yugoslavia, also emphasized the im-portance of new work by ECE on behalf of less-developed countries in Southern Europe, whichwas in line with the emphasis placed by the Coun-cil on economic development.

The majority expressed hope and optimismconcerning greater participation by Eastern Euro-pean countries in the future work of ECE techni-cal committees and congratulated the ExecutiveSecretary on his efforts to foster East-West trade.The Polish and USSR representatives underlinedtheir view that ECE should concentrate first andforemost on developing trade among all the coun-tries of Europe.

The Council at its 717th plenary meeting on8 July unanimously adopted, as resolution 484(XVI), the draft resolution proposed by theCommission (E/2382), taking note of the annualreport of ECE and of the views expressed duringits eighth session.

2. Economic Commission for Asiaand the Far East (ECAFE)

The Economic Commission for Asia and the FarEast (ECAFE) held its ninth session at Bandung,Indonesia, from 6 to 14 February 1953. In its re-port (E/2374) to the fifteenth session of theEconomic and Social Council, held in March andApril 1953, the Commission drew attention to therapid growth of regional economic consciousness,the increasing recognition of sharing experiences,and the development of the Commission as an ef-fective and favoured instrument for economic ad-vance of the countries of the region.

The action taken by the Commission at its ninthsession, the Council's consideration of the Com-mission's report and the Commission's activitiescovering the period up to 31 December 1953are described below.79

79 For question of membership in the Commission,

see pp. 33-34. For amendments to its rules of pro-cedure, see p. 33.

Economic and Social Questions 373


At its ninth session, the Commission approved(E/CN.11/361/Rev.2) the report of its Commit-tee on Industry and Trade (E/CN.11/357) whichhad met for its fifth session in Bandung, Indonesiafrom 26 January to 2 February 1953. ECAFEnoted especially the effective manner in whichmuch of the Committee's work is carried outthrough sub-committees, expert working parties,and special conferences.

In adopting the report of the Committee, theCommission approved, among other things, re-commendations concerning economic and financialaspects of rural electrification; technical and eco-nomic aspects of extraction and utilization oflignite and other mineral resources; the visit ofa group of experts to Japan to study small-scaleindustries and handicrafts marketing in 1954; theorganization (in co-operation with the Govern-ment of India, the Technical Assistance Adminis-tration (TAA), the Food and Agriculture Organ-ization of the United Nations (FAO), the Inter-national Labour Organisation (ILO), the WorldHealth Organization (WHO) and the UnitedNations Department of Social Affairs) of a sem-inar on housing and building materials in 1954;a seminar (with TAA and the International In-stitute for Administrative Science) on organiza-tion and administration of public enterprises in theindustrial field in 1954; the continued analysis oftrade development and prospects of the region,especially work on a joint ECAFE/ECE/FAOReport on Trade Between Asia and Europe; tradepromotion activities, including the convening ofa second ECAFE conference on trade promotionand supply of capital goods, in March 1953; aseminar (with FAO and TAA) on agriculturaldevelopment financing in 1954; and a workingparty of financial aspects of economic develop-ment programmes.

( 1 ) Industrial Development

Electric Power: The Sub-Committee on ElectricPower, at its third session at Bangkok, Thailand,from 5 to 9 October 1953, considered reports onco-ordinated development of hydro and thermalpower and integrated power development; ruralelectrification (tariffs and finance); supply ofplant and machinery for export; the utilization oflignite in thermal power plants (E/CN.11/EP/-22, 23, 26, 27); and the first issue of ECAFE'sElectric Power Bulletin for Asia and the Far East.

Advisory services were rendered to Burma onrural electrification and to the Government of EastPakistan on electricity tariffs.

Iron and Steel: The Sub-Committee on Iron andSteel at its fifth session at Bangkok, from 31August to 3 September 1953, considered the re-port of the ECAFE/TAA study group of iron andsteel experts on Japanese production techniques(ST/TAA/SER.C/5) and reports on the appli-cability of Japanese techniques to countries ofAsia and the Far East and on the developmentand expansion of the iron and steel industry andallied industries in the countries of the region(E/CN.11/I&S/41 & 42). In view of the use-fulness of the group visit to Japan, it was decidedto seek TAA and other assistance for a study tripto Europe and North America in 1955. Advisoryservices on steel projects were rendered to Burma.

Mineral Resources: A regional conference onmineral resources development, the first of itskind, was held in Tokyo from 20 to 30 April1953. It considered various phases of mineral re-sources development in the region, possibilitiesof increasing production, and ways and meansof speeding up geological surveying. The reportand essential documents of the conference werepublished in Development of Mineral Resourcesin Asia and the Far East.80 Following the confer-ence, delegates toured areas in Japan of geologicaland mining interest.

A study group visit for Asian lignite experts toAustralia in October and November 1953 wasjointly sponsored by ECAFE and TAA. In a pre-liminary report (ECAFE/I&T/14), concrete re-commendations were made for consideration bythe countries of the region concerning the organ-ization and administration of lignite mining con-cerns, lignite prospecting, analysis, mining, pro-cessing, and the utilization of lignite.

Advisory services were provided to Thailandand arrangements were made for the testing inJapan of coals from Burma, lignite from Thailandand Malaya, and kaolin and peat from Ceylon.

Among reports issued were those on "MiningDevelopment in Asia and the Far East 1952-53"and on "Clays in Relation to Ceramics and Build-ing Materials Industries" (E/CN.11/I&T/87 &94).

Cottage and Small-Scale Industries: At its thirdmeeting in Bangkok, from 21 to 26 September1953, the working party on small-scale industriesand handicraft marketing considered reports oneconomic aspects of cottage industries and ondomestic and export marketing of handicrafts ofcountries in Asia and the Far East. It also con-sidered various reports describing government aid

80 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.F.5.

374 Yearbook of the United Nations

to handicraft marketing and finance, as well asthe results of research and experiments concerninghandloom production, common facilities services,handmade paper, pottery production, and spinningwith bast81 fibres. An exhibition of bamboo wood-work, including lacquerware, was arranged inBangkok.

Trained Personnel: The third meeting of theECAFE/ILO/UNESCO Inter-Secretariat WorkingParty on Trained Personnel for Economic Devel-opment was held in Bangkok from 7 to 14 Sep-tember 1953. It considered, among other things,the question of the establishment of an Interna-tional Institute of Management, but concludedthat the stage had not yet been reached for sucha project.

Housing and Building Materials: The Inter-secretariat Working Party on Housing and Build-ing Materials, at its first meeting from 17 to 21November 1952, recommended that regional re-search and demonstration centres for constructionmethods and designs (one for arid and anotherfor humid climates) be established in co-operationwith TAA. A report on "Housing and BuildingMaterials in Asia and the Far East" (ECAFE/-I&T/HBWP.2/1) was prepared.

(2) Trade and Finance

Trade Analysis: The Study of Trade BetweenAsia and Europe82, jointly undertaken by thesecretariats of ECAFE, ECE and FAO, was com-pleted and published in November 1953.

Trade promotion: The second ECAFE Confer-ence on Trade Promotion was held in Manila from23 February to 4 March 1953. The Conferencesuggested (E/CN.11/I&T/84) that the govern-ments should keep under constant review thepossibilities of simplifying exchange, customs, im-port and export regulations. It emphasized theneed for the development of arbitration facilitiesand the promotion of marketing research, whichmight concern itself with the production andmarketing of commodities, the search for newproducts for export, new uses of existing products,and utilization of by-products. It also dealt withvarious other aspects of trade promotion andrecommended, inter alia, that full use be madeof the existing trade associations in the region andthat the governments increasingly utilize the ad-vice of business groups in the formulation oftrade policies.

The Trade Promotion News, previously issuedmonthly, continued to be issued once every twomonths. A preliminary draft of a Glossary ofCommodity Terms was revised and publicationwas expected in 1954.

Financial aspects of economic development: Atthe third session of the working party of expertson financing of economic development in Asiaand the Far East, which was held at Bangkokfrom 7 to 12 September 1953, reports on recentdevelopments in mobilization of domestic capital,taxation as an instrument of development policy,development expenditure and variability in taxyields (ECAFE/I&T/FED.3-5) and a large num-ber of other papers were considered. The reportof the working party (E/CN.11/I&T/89) con-tained recommendations relating to taxation, in-cluding taxation in relation to individual develop-ment projects.

b. INLAND TRANSPORTAt its ninth session, the Commission approved

(E/CN.11/365) the report of the second sessionof the Inland Transport Committee (E/CN.11/-350), held at Bandung from 19 to 21 January1953. It agreed to enlarge the terms of referenceof the Inland Waterways Sub-Committee to covercoastal shipping.

Railways: The Railway Sub-Committee held itssecond session in Paris from 5 to 10 October 1953—the first session of a subsidiary body of ECAFEto be held outside Asia. It considered reports onthe Regional Railway Training Centre for Oper-ating and Signalling Officials, improved methodsof track construction and maintenance, the pre-vention and speedy disposal of claims and the besttypes of diesel locomotives and railcars (E/-CN.1l/TRANS/Sub.1/26-30, 32-34). The Sub-Committee reviewed in detail the progress madein establishing the ECAFE/TAA Regional Train-ing Centre for Railway Operating and SignallingOfficials at Lahore, Pakistan. The Centre wasscheduled to begin operation on 5 April 1954.The session of the Sub-Committee was followedby a group inspection tour of important rail in-stallations in France, the United Kingdom, theNetherlands, West Germany and Switzerland.

Highways: The Highway Sub-Committee at itssecond session, at Bangkok from 14 to 19 Sep-tember 1953, considered and approved: standardforms for highway bridge register and recordingdata on cement concrete pavements and highwayproject schemes (their preparation and presenta-tion) and recommended these for adoption bygovernments. Other documents considered dealtwith the economics of highway engineering, ve-hicle maintenance and repair, the training ofmechanics and highway safety (E/CN.11/-TRANS/Sub.2/14-16, 18, 19).

81 The inner fibre of certain trees.

82 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953-II.F.3.

Economic and Social Questions 375

Waterways: The Inland Waterways Sub-Com-mittee at its first session at Bandung, Indonesia,from 14 to 17 January 1953, considered the re-vised draft report of the expert working groupon inland water transport from Asia and the FarEast (E/CN.11/TRANS/R.1). This report wasfinalized (ST/TAA/SER.C/9) later in the yearand was to be published by TAA. The Sub-Com-mittee recommended the establishment of a re-gional training centre for inland water transportpersonnel, especially diesel marine mechanics, andthe preparation of a draft convention for uniformmethods of craft measurement (E/CN.11/-TRANS/87).

In line with the recommendations of the expertworking group on inland water transport for Asiaand the Far East, trials were held by the JointSteamer Company in East Pakistan to establishthe relative efficiencies of the various towingmethods and craft design. Details of these opera-tions and an analysis of their results were givenin a special report (ECAFE/TRANS/Sub.3/11).


At its ninth session, the Commission approved(E/CN.11/366) the report of the Bureau ofFlood Control (E/CN.11/352). This report re-commended, among other things, the conveningof a regional technical conference on water re-sources development in 1954. The Commissionapproved the suggestion to redesignate the Bureauas "Bureau of Flood Control and Water ResourcesDevelopment".

Multiple-purpose river basin development: TheBureau of Flood Control and Water ResourcesDevelopment completed work on the preparationof a manual on methods of economic analysis andplanning of multiple-purpose river basin develop-ment and country-by-country surveys of water re-sources development for Burma, Ceylon, China(Taiwan), India, Japan, the Philippines and Thai-land. Surveys for Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indo-nesia and Pakistan were in preparation. The man-ual and the country surveys begun in 1951 to-gether form a comprehensive study of water re-sources development in the region.

Flood control and water resources developmentof international rivers: The Bureau drew up aschedule to investigate the Mekong River alongthe Thai-Laotian border to study possibilities ofirrigation, water power development and naviga-tion. A preliminary study was also made of thepossibility of diverting the Mekong River to pro-vide irrigation for the north-eastern part of Thai-land.

Studies on the problems of sediment (silt),river bank protection and river training werecompleted by the Bureau. Hydraulic experimentsof silting and scouring of canals and rivers withheavy silt-laden flow, undertaken in co-operationwith organizations in India and Thailand, werecontinued.

Technical advice was given to China (Taiwan),India and Thailand concerning multiple-purposedevelopment of water resources.

The publication of the Flood Control Journal(ST/ECAFE/SER.C/13-17) was continued, andthe fourth and fifth volumes of the Flood ControlSeries ("River Training and River Bank Protec-tion" and "The Sediment Problem" (ST/ECAFE/-SER.F/4 & 5)) were published. The Bureau alsodistributed various publications and reports tonational technical organizations at their request.


The ninth session of the Commission openedwith a discussion on the economic situation in theregion, with the annual Economic Survey of Asiaand the Far East for 1951 and 195283 serving asa background document. At the conclusion of thedebate, the Commission adopted a resolution (E/-CN.11/356) drawing attention to:

(1) the urgent need for measures designed to assurestability of prices, particularly of the primary exportproducts from countries of the region;

(2) the need to bring about general conditions oftrade in which the prices of capital goods and othermanufactured articles bear an adequate, just and equi-table relation to prices of primary commodities; and

(3) the continued need for foreign capital and assist-ance on mutually agreed terms for the development ofthe region's agricultural and industrial resources.

Preparations for the 1953 Survey were also com-pleted by the end of the year. It was decided thatthe Survey, for the first time, should include, be-sides an analysis of regional economic develop-ments, separate country-by-country reviews. Aspecial article on "Economic Developments inMainland China, 1949-1953" was published in theNovember issue of the quarterly Economic Bul-letin for Asia and the Far East. Other articlespublished in the May and November issues ofthe Bulletin dealt with "Aspects of Urbanizationin ECAFE countries"; "Diversification of Produc-tion and Trade in ECAFE Countries"; and "Tax-ation and Economic Development in ECAFECountries".

Statistical compilation and services: The build-ing up of files of basic statistical series on such

83 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1952.II.F.2.

376 Yearbook of the United Nations

items as production, transport, trade, finance andprices was continued in collaboration with thestatistical offices and departments of governments,the Statistical Office of the United Nations, andthe specialized agencies including, in particular,FAO, ILO and the International Monetary Fund.Work on the index of economic statistics on thecollection of details relating to statistical serieswas regularly published in the quarterly EconomicBulletin.

Statistical conference: At its ninth session, theCommission approved (E/CN.11/364) the re-commendations of the Second Regional Confer-ence of Statisticians, held at Bangkok from 1 to13 September 1952, concerning statistics of agri-cultural and industrial production and wholesaleprices. Preparations were being made for the thirdRegional Conference of Statisticians, to be held inNew Delhi, India, in March 1954. This confer-ence would consider the application and promo-tion of international standards for the estimationof national income in ECAFE countries.


The Agriculture Division, jointly set up byECAFE and FAO and located at ECAFE head-quarters, started its work on projects agreed uponby the two organizations. It undertook, for FAOand ECAFE, a continuing review of developmentsin the field of food and agriculture in the countriesof the region. This review was used by FAO inthe preparation of the State of Food and Agri-culture and by ECAFE in the preparation of thehalf-yearly and the annual economic surveys.


At its ninth session, the Commission, notingwith satisfaction the close co-operation with TAA,requested (E/CN.11/369) the latter to intensifyits activities in the region so as to accelerate thepace of economic development. The ECAFE sec-retariat continued to bring to the notice of TAAmany regional needs for technical assistance, andTAA continued to seek the secretariat's advice inpreparing its own operational programmes and indealing with the requests of individual countries.The secretariat also continued to comment on fel-lowship and scholarship applications and on re-quests by governments to TAA for technical as-sistance.

During 1953, TAA co-operated with ECAFEin a number of regional projects, especially on:

(1) the preparations for a regional training centre forrailway operating and signalling officials at Lahore,Pakistan, to be opened on 5 April 1954;

(2) a group study tour of lignite experts to Australiain October and November 1953;

(3) arrangements for a study tour of cottage industryexperts to Japan in April-May 1954;

(4) a seminar on the organization and administrationof public enterprises in the industrial field at Rangoon,Burma in March 1954; and

(5) a seminar on housing and community improve-ment, at New Delhi in January and February 1954.

TAA also made experts available for theECAFE conference on mineral resources develop-ment, held in Tokyo in April 1953, and theECAFE working party on cottage and small-scaleindustries and handicraft marketing held at Bang-kok in September 1953.


Close and extensive co-operation with special-ized agencies was maintained. Informal meetingswere held periodically with representatives ofFAO, WHO, UNESCO, ICAO, as well asUNICEF, stationed in Bangkok. The establish-ment of a joint ECAFE/FAO Agricultural Divi-sion at ECAFE's headquarters resulted in stillcloser co-operation between the two organizations.Co-operation was further developed between theCommission's secretariat and the ConsultativeCommittee for Co-operative Economic Develop-ment in South-East Asia (known as the ColomboPlan). Consultations continued with a number ofnon-governmental organizations.


At its ninth session, the Commission consideredthe question of the location of its working site.After an invitation from the Government of thePhilippines had again been put before the Com-mission, the Commission endorsed (E/CN.11/-368) a statement by the Assistant Secretary-Gen-eral, in agreement with the governments con-cerned, that the Secretary-General should be askedto explore conditions and facilities at the varioussites offered, including Bangkok, to ascertain themost suitable working site. The Secretary-Generalwas requested, following these explorations andkeeping in touch with the Chairman of the Com-mission, to use his administrative discretion andto take appropriate action.

The Commission unanimously recommended tothe Council acceptance of an invitation from theGovernment of Ceylon to hold its tenth sessionand the meetings immediately preceding it inCeylon.

Economic and Social Questions 377


The Economic and Social Council, at its fif-teenth session, considered the annual report ofECAFE (E/2374), at its 699th to 701st plenarymeetings on 24 and 27 April. Most representativesfelt that the Commission had achieved good re-sults in all branches of its work, that it had rend-ered useful service to the countries of its region,and that it had become an effective instrumentfor the promotion of economic development inAsia and the Far East.

The representatives of Poland and the USSR,however, argued that the work of the Commissionwas practically paralysed because the People's Re-public of China, the most important country ofAsia and the Far East, was not represented there.

Several representatives, including those of Aus-tralia, China, France and the United States, stressedthe usefulness of the work of the technical com-mittees and working parties of the Commissionin the fields of industry and trade and of inlandtransport. They praised the efforts made by theCommission in promoting trade between Asiaand the Far East and the other countries of theworld, including the organization of trade pro-motion conferences. The work of the Commission'sBureau of Flood Control and Water ResourcesDevelopment was also commended. The represen-tative of the Philippines, in particular, expressedthe view that as an integrated and balanced eco-nomic development was of paramount import-ance, ECAFE should make positive recommenda-tions in this respect and should promote the diver-sification of production, the fuller use of non-agricultural resources, industrialization and thedevelopment of trade.

The representatives of Australia, China and theUnited States, among others, considered that theco-operation of ECAFE with TAA and the special-ized agencies had proved fruitful and profitablefor the countries in the region. The establishmentof a joint ECAFE/FAO Agriculture Division, saidthe representative of Australia, was also satisfac-tory for in the past insufficient attention had per-haps been paid to agriculture.

As regards its working site, the Commissionwas in favour of the suggestion that the Secretary-General be requested to explore conditions andfacilities at the various sites offered, includingBangkok itself, and ascertain what would be themost suitable working site from the points ofview both of operating costs and of other relevantfactors.

The Council, at its 700th plenary meeting on24 April, adopted by 16 votes to none, with 2abstentions, two resolutions (464 A & B (XV))recommended by ECAFE. In resolution 464 A(XV), the Council took note of the Commission'sannual report and the programme of work andpriorities contained therein.

In resolution 464 B (XV), the Council, notingthe Commission's recommendation regarding thefuture location of its working site, requested theSecretary-General to take appropriate action.

3. Economic Commission for

Latin America (ECLA)

The Economic Commission for Latin Americaheld its fifth session at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from9 to 25 April 1953. In general, the representativesexpressed satisfaction with the studies and reportsthat had been prepared by ECLA's secretariat.The principal issues dealt with by the Commissionconcerned the need for greater industrializationand the promotion of intra-regional as well asinternational trade. The Commission called forintensification of studies of iron and steel (includ-ing transforming industries), paper and pulp, andchemical and other industries. It decided, interalia, to investigate the possibilities of establishingprocessing industries utilizing local raw materials.The Commission's activities in Central Americawere endorsed, and satisfaction was expressed withthe progress achieved under the United NationsExpanded Programme of technical assistance.

The Commission's report (E/2405) coveringits fifth session was considered by the Economicand Social Council at its sixteenth session. A pro-gress report by the Executive Secretary (E/-CN.12/AC.24/2), covering the period from theend of the fifth session to 31 December 1953, wasalso issued in preparation for the meeting of theCommittee of the Whole on 8 February 1954.The following is an account of some of the ac-tivities of the Commission and of the Council'sconsideration of ECLA's report.84


The Commission at its fifth session took notewith satisfaction of the Economic Survey of LatinAmerica, 1951-5285 submitted by the secretariat.It requested the secretariat in the future to broadenthe treatment of subjects not sufficiently covered,and recommended that governments provide the

84 For amendments to the Commission's rules of

procedure, see p. 33.85 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.G.3.

378 Yearbook of the United Nations

necessary information. The secretariat was alsoasked to take into account the observations madein the course of the debate, and to include infuture editions of the Survey an explanation ofthe statistical concepts and methods employed.

The Executive Secretary reported (E/CN.12/-AC.24/2) that, while the main pan of the Eco-nomic Survey of Latin America, 1953 had beencompleted by the end of the year, it was to bepublished early in 1954. The 1953 Survey con-tained sections on income, investment and con-sumption; foreign trade and the effects of theworld economic situation on Latin American tradeand balance of payments; monetary problems;agricultural production; and industrial and miningproduction. The Survey showed that 1953 wasmarked by changes in the world economic situa-tion which had important repercussions on theeconomy of Latin America. Attention was drawnto the falling off in world demand, especially de-mand by the United States, and the drop in pricesof most of Latin America's traditional exports ofraw materials. On the other hand, the resurgenceof the European industrial producers, with theconsequent competition for foreign markets, hadfavoured Latin America to some extent. A reduc-tion of United States capital flow to Latin America,both government and private, was noted.

For Latin America as a whole, the 1953 Surveyshowed that the balance of payments in 1953 wasmaintained in equilibrium, but only as a result ofdrastic reductions in imports. It was recognized,however, that this was a temporary measure which,if continued too long, would inevitably have anadverse effect on economic activity and the rateof progress.

In addition to the external factors of supplyand price relations, the economies of some LatinAmerican countries were weakened by inflation.Moreover, agricultural exports, particularly offoodstuffs, were faced with increased competitionfrom outside the area.

Mining production dropped sharply, due prin-cipally to the contraction in world demand forstrategic metals. Special studies were made in theSurvey of some of the problems arising from in-flation and of monetary policies aimed at checkinginflation in selected countries.


The Commission at its fifth session requestedthe secretariat of ECLA to continue its work ongeneral problems of economic development andthe technique of programming. Emphasizing the

need for studying the role of monetary and fiscalpolicies in promoting economic growth, it askedthe secretariat to undertake studies in these fields.

The Commission specifically requested that thetype of analysis contained in the "PreliminaryStudy of the Technique of Programming EconomicDevelopment", which was presented to ECLA'sfifth session (E/CN.12/292), should be perfected,and that the refined method of analysis should beapplied in the preparation of studies of develop-ment in individual countries.

ECLA's secretariat worked on the revision ofthe preliminary programming study, for whichpurpose comments were invited, and an expertvisited Santiago, Chile, for a period of threemonths to make an appraisal of the study. It wasplanned to complete the revision of the study bythe middle of 1954.

ECLA's secretariat also undertook a number ofstudies on economic development in individualcountries, the purpose of which was to collect andanalyse data with a view to measuring the rateof economic growth in the recent past and to pre-pare projects for the different sectors of the econ-omy. It was hoped that such studies would aidgovernments in formulating integrated economicdevelopment programmes. Work undertaken in1953, which would continue into 1954, includedthe following:

(1) a study on the economic development of Brazil,undertaken in collaboration with the Brazilian Develop-ment Bank;

(2) studies on the economic development of Argen-tina and Colombia; and

(3) studies of the monetary policies of Chile andPeru and their effects on the economic development ofthese countries.


The Commission at it fifth session recommendedthat this joint Programme of ECLA and the UnitedNations Technical Assistance Administration bemaintained and expanded as far as possible.

The scope of the training programme for 1953was increased and covered the period from Aprilto December inclusive. Twelve trainees from thefollowing nine Latin American countries partici-pated: Argentina (2), Bolivia (1), Brazil (2),Chile (2), Costa Rica (1), Ecuador (1), Guate-mala (1), Mexico (1) and Nicaragua (1).

The first month of the Programme was spentin studying statistical tools, including social ac-counting, input-output, wealth accounting, sourcesand uses of funds, and resource inventories. The

Economic and Social Questions 379

second month was spent in examining the ex-perience in development of a number of LatinAmerican countries, as well as the United States,the USSR and Japan. The next two months weredevoted to studying programming techniques, thissubject being the principal aim of the TrainingProgramme, Special attention was given to de-velopment policies in the different countries.

In addition to following the general course, theparticipants worked on special studies dealing withthe particular problems of their individual coun-tries. These studies, which were undertaken in col-laboration with economists on the staff of ECLA,included reviews of the world situation andmarkets, balance of payments and projections offoreign exchange receipts, evaluation of the effectsof government fiscal policy on the rate of eco-nomic development, factors determining the rateof investment, and consideration of priority cri-teria for investment projects.


A technical meeting on budgetary managementwas held in Mexico City in September 1953,under the auspices of ECLA, TAA and the FiscalDivision of the United Nations Secretariat. It wasattended by experts from Costa Rica, Cuba, theDominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala,Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama andthe United States.

The main purpose of the meeting was to ex-amine the problems of classification, presentationand analysis of accounts in the public sector, aswell as the outlines drawn up by the UnitedNations for the preliminary draft of a Classifica-tion Manual.

e. INDUSTRIES STUDIES(1) Iron and Steel Transforming Industries

The Commission at its fifth session recom-mended that the ECLA secretariat continue workrelating to the iron and steel industry and in-vestigate, in particular, the development of theiron and steel and related transforming industriesin Latin America.

Work on a general study of the iron and steeltransforming industries in Latin America wasaccordingly initiated immediately after the session.This study, to be continued into 1954, is to pre-sent a general description of the iron and steeltransforming industries in selected Latin Americancountries, in terms of the origin and use of rawmaterials, technological knowledge, skilled labour,existing equipment and the means and possibilities

of acquiring or improving it, relation of invest-ment and production costs to production processes,output and the size of the market.

A market study was undertaken of the differenttypes of steel and the economic feasibility of estab-lishing plants for their manufacture. The effectswhich these industries, and the mechanical indus-tries which would use their output, might haveon the balance of payments and on the generaleconomy of the countries concerned was also be-ing considered. One of the aims of this study isto indicate what types of capital goods as well asconsumer goods could be produced in the area.

The first phase of the general study of the ironand steel transforming industries in Latin Americaconsisted of a study conducted in Chile. This wasdone in order to determine the method of investi-gation best suited for carrying out the generalstudy. A preliminary report on the Chilean studywas prepared in December 1953. At the end ofthe year, field work was under way for a studyon Brazil, and studies on Colombia, Mexico andeventually Argentina were to follow.

(2) Pulp and Paper Industry

A preliminary study of the possibilities for thedevelopment of the pulp and paper industry inLatin America (E/CN.12/294), carried out withthe collaboration of the Food and AgricultureOrganization of the United Nations (FAO), waspresented to the Commission's fifth session andsubsequently published.86 In accordance with arecommendation of the Commission, the ECLAsecretariat, in conjunction with FAO and TAAand in collaboration with other specialized agen-cies, continued the research begun in the prelim-inary study.

These further studies were designed to providethe documentation for a meeting of experts onall aspects of the question, to be held in BuenosAires, Argentina, in September 1954. This projectis sponsored by ECLA, TAA and FAO, with thecollaboration of the United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)and other specialized agencies and the secretariatof the Economic Commission for Europe. Thecollaboration has been obtained of leading pulpand paper technicians and institutions in a numberof countries in Western Europe, Canada, theUnited States, and Latin America. A preliminarywork programme for this meeting was drawn upin Santiago immediately after the fifth session.The following tentative agenda was prepared:

(a) present and prospective demand for pulp andpaper in Latin America;

86 U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.G.2.

380 Yearbook of the United Nations

(b) availability of Latin American raw materials forthe manufacture of pulp and paper;

(c) comparison of the economics of pulp and papermanufacture from conifers, with pulp and paper manu-facture from (i) Latin American tropical and sub-tropicalhardwoods, (ii) Latin American plantation woods, and(iii) sugar-cane bagasse;

(d) essential steps in planning new pulp and paperindustries;

(e) review of development prospects for pulp andpaper industries;

(f) prospects in pulp and paper trade; and(g) financing of Latin American pulp and paper


Due to a lack of industrial experience in theutilization of tropical hardwoods in the manu-facture of pulp and paper, special studies are tobe made in two regions which may be consideredas possible sites for the industry, namely, theYucatán Peninsula in Mexico and the TerritorioAmapá in Brazil. These studies were to consistof preliminary forest inventories, pulping testswith the native woods, the design of wood ex-traction and transportation systems, and the pre-liminary design of pulp and paper mills.

(3) Chemical Industries

In response to a recommendation of the Com-mission at its fifth session, the ECLA secretariatcontinued its studies of the technical and economicaspects of the chemical industries, including ananalysis of imports of chemical products in re-gard to selected countries in Latin America. Specialconsideration was being given to the relation be-tween consumption of heavy chemicals and na-tional income. Data was also collected on theconsumption of nitrogen for industrial uses.

(4) Energy Studies

As a result of the Commission's recommenda-tion at its fifth session, the ECLA secretariat beganwork on a study concerning the production andconsumption of energy, including an examinationof existing and potential energy resources, andresearch in the consumption of energy by differentsectors of industry.


The Commission at its fifth session unanimouslyadopted a resolution which, inter alia, requestedthe ECLA secretariat to continue studies of theeffects of changes in the terms of trade on therate of development in the Latin American coun-tries. The ECLA secretariat undertook the prepa-ration of a paper on the "Theory of InternationalTrade and Terms of Trade" from the point ofview of the Latin American periphery. In addi-

tion to the foreign trade section of the 1953Survey, which deals principally with trade betweenLatin America and Europe and the United States,work was continued, in accordance with a resolu-tion of the Commission's fifth session, on the studyof the possibilities of expanding the markets forLatin American goods by means of greater tradewithin the region. One part of this study, to becontinued into 1955, would include:

(1) an analysis of the flow of trade between Colom-bia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama, and betweenMexico, Central America and the Antilles;

(2) a study of recent developments in trade betweenthe seven southern countries of South America;

(3) a study on inter-Latin American trade in specificraw materials and manufactured products;

(4) a study of the effects on inter-Latin Americantrade of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade;and

(5) a study of trade problems in their relation tomaritime shipping.


ECLA, in conjunction with TAA, FAO andUNESCO, has been engaged in a project designedto co-ordinate economic activities suitable to theindividual countries in the area in such a waythat they will mutually benefit the other countriesin the region. This has involved questions con-cerning technical training, transport facilities,energy resources, development of specific indus-tries, etc.

The Committee on Economic Co-operation inCentral America held its second meeting at SanJose, Costa Rica, in October 1953, to review thework done since its previous meeting and to ob-tain the approval of member Governments for thecontinuation of the work programme. In additionto the reports of the Executive Secretary of ECLAand of the Resident Representative of the Techni-cal Assistance Board and a paper on "Problemsof Financing Economic Development and Inte-gration in Central America" (E/CN.12/AC.17/-27, 28 & 30 respectively), reports on other tech-nical meetings were received.

The Committee approved a report of the Sub-Committee on the Unification of Central Ameri-can Tariff Nomenclature (E/CN.12/AC.17/25)which had met at Tegucigalpa, Honduras, fromOctober 1952 to March 1953, and had recom-mended the adoption of a standard tariff nomen-clature for Central America. The Committee notedthat the project had been studied by the fivegovernments concerned and that definite stepshad been taken for its implementation. The gov-ernments were recommended to take measures to

Economic and Social Questions 381

standardize tariff nomenclature covering exportproducts, to unify customs regulations and pro-cedures and to study means for overcoming dif-ferences in duties and other taxes on importedproducts which might give rise to illicit trading.The Committee constituted a new sub-committeeto carry out this work.

The Committee expressed its appreciation ofthe work accomplished by the seminar on trans-portation in Central America, which was held inSan Jose, Costa Rica, from 9 to 20 June 1953. Theseminar, which was conducted under the auspicesof ECLA, TAA and the Government of CostaRica, published its final report under the tide"Transportation in Central America" (E/CN.12/-356). The report, the first complete study made oftransportation problems affecting Central America,covered all methods of transport and was dividedinto three parts. The first part described the ex-isting transport situation regarding each country;the second examined the regional problems affect-ing the different methods of transportation andmade recommendations for their solution; and thethird dealt with international transport problemscommon to the six countries, with recommenda-tions. The Committee requested the ECLA secre-tariat to submit preliminary plans for implement-ing the recommendations of the seminar which areto be examined by meetings of Central Americanexperts.

The Committee approved a proposal for thecreation of an Advanced School of Public Admin-istration (E/CN.12/AC.17/31). The school,scheduled to be inaugurated early in 1954, wouldprovide theoretical and practical instruction foran initial group of 25 fellows from the CentralAmerican republics. TAA has agreed to contri-bute two thirds of the cost of the school and theCentral American governments, jointly, are tocontribute the remainder. The offer of Costa Ricato establish the institute in San Jose was accepted.

Field work was also being undertaken by groupsof experts on an Institute of Industrial Techno-logical Research; electric energy; forestry prod-ucts, pulp and paper; cattle and dairy products;and technical and administrative training.


ECLA maintained co-operation with severalspecialized agencies. Collaboration with FAOcentred on the project for economic integrationin Central America and the preparation for ameeting of experts on pulp and paper to be heldin 1954. Other specialized agencies participating

in the project for economic integration in CentralAmerica were the International Labour Organisa-tion (ILO), UNESCO and the International CivilAviation Organization (ICAO). The InternationalBank for Reconstruction and Development wasalso consulted on this project. The InternationalMonetary Fund co-operated with ECLA in thepreparation of studies for a forthcoming meetingof experts on monetary and fiscal policies in rela-tion to economic development. Collaboration withthe Inter-American Economic and Social Coun-cil continued, and there has also been co-operationwith a number of non-governmental organizations.


The report of the fifth session of ECLA (E/-2405) was considered by the Economic and SocialCouncil during its sixteenth session, at its 718th,719th and 721st plenary meetings, held on 9 and10 July. In addition to ECLA's report, the Coun-cil had before it a statement of financial implica-tions (E/2405/Add.1) submitted by the Secre-tary-General, which said that the $15,000 estimat-ed additional costs for 1953 could be absorbedwithin the 1953 budget appropriation and thatfor 1954 an increase of $63,360 would be re-quired.

In presenting ECLA's report, the ExecutiveSecretary, at the Council's 718th meeting, stressedthat, notwithstanding the significant increases inper capita income in Latin America in recentyears, an acceleration of the rate of economicgrowth with corresponding structural changes inproduction and trade and, in many countries, anexpansion of industrial capacity would be re-quired if the gap between living standards inLatin American countries and in the industriallyadvanced countries were to be narrowed withina reasonable space of time. However, he said, theparticipation of Latin America in internationaltrade could be expected to grow with the rise inper capita income.

The Council members expressed satisfactionwith the work of ECLA and there was generalagreement that The Economic Survey of LatinAmerica, 1951-52 had made an important con-tribution to the understanding of the problems ofthe region. Certain representatives, including thoseof Argentina and Venezuela, commented favoura-bly on the practical direction which had been givento the activities of ECLA, as exemplified in itsstudies on intra-regional trade (E/CN.12/304),87


Subsequently published as U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.G.4.

382 Yearbook of the United Nations

the economic integration of the Central AmericanStates (E/CN.12/296) and the possibilities fordeveloping the iron and steel and the pulp andpaper industries in Latin America (E/CN.12/-293 & E/CN.12/294).88

The attention given by ECLA to the develop-ment of agriculture was commended. The repre-sentative of Cuba stated that, in practice, the LatinAmerican countries were prevented from expand-ing their agricultural production by various dif-ficulties such as, for example, the total lack of fuelor electric power, which made it impossible toexport certain agricultural products in substantialquantities. It was for this reason, among others,that Latin American countries were seeking abalanced development of their agricultural andindustrial resources. On the other hand, the repre-sentative of France, in particular, argued that itwas necessary for Latin American countries toraise considerably the output of agricultural prod-ucts so as to provide an adequate basis forindustrial development.

The representative of Belgium expressed reser-vations concerning references in ECLA's reportto the need for replacing imports of industrialgoods by domestic products, which he consideredappeared to imply a trend towards autarky. Thestatement of the Executive Secretary, he said,made it clear, however, that there would be scopefor an expansion of inter-regional trade andco-operation as the incomes of Latin Americancountries rose.

The representative of the United States wel-comed the growing diversification of the LatinAmerican economy which, in the absence of ex-cessive protectionism, would provide a basis forenlarged trade between Latin America and therest of the world. In this connexion, the repre-sentative of Belgium suggested that Latin Amer-

ican countries might be interested in adhering toa trade and payments system along the lines ofthe European Payments Union.

Two amendments to the draft resolution pro-posed by ECLA (E/2405, p. 36) were submitted.One by Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela and Uruguay(E/L.528/Rev.1—originally submitted as a substi-tute draft resolution (E/L.528)) would add aparagraph recognizing the importance of the workbeing done by ECLA and would amend the firstoperative paragraph to have the Council notewith appreciation the Commission's report. Anamendment by France, India and the UnitedStates (E/L.529) proposed to add to the firstparagraph a reference to the views expressed dur-ing the discussions at the Commission's fifthsession and to delete the remaining paragraphs ofthe resolution. These paragraphs would have theCouncil: consider the Commission's work pro-gramme of primary importance to the economicdevelopment of Latin America; endorse the pri-orities allocated by the Commission to individualwork projects; recommend that the necessaryfunds should be made available; and take note ofthe Commission's decision to hold its sixth sessionin Bogota.

The Council, at its 721st plenary meeting on10 July, unanimously adopted a compromise draftresolution (E/L.530) submitted jointly by Ar-gentina, Cuba, France, India, the United States,Uruguay and Venezuela. In the resolution adopted(485(XVI)), the Council, after recognizing theimportance of ECLA's work, took note of itsannual report and the views expressed at theCommission's fifth session, endorsed the prioritiesallocated by the Commission to the individualwork projects and took note of the arrangementsmade by the Commission to hold its sixth sessionin Bogota, Colombia.


1. Draft International Covenants onHuman Rights and Measures

of Implementation


In accordance with Council resolution 440 A(XIV),89 the Commission on Human Rights pro-ceeded at its ninth session, held from 7. April to30 May 1953, to consider the draft InternationalCovenants on Human Rights and measures ofimplementation in the light of the instructions

contained in previous resolutions of the GeneralAssembly and of the Economic and Social Coun-cil90 and on the basis of the report of its eighthsession (E/2256). The major part of the sessionwas devoted to this work.

The Commission drafted (E/2447) a numberof articles dealing with additional rights for in-


Subsequently published as U.N.P., Sales No.: 1953.II.G.2.


90 General Assembly resolutions 421 and 422(V) and

543 to 549(VI) and Council resolutions 349(XII),384(XIII), 415(S-1) and 440(X1V).

See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 447-48.

Economic and Social Questions 383

elusion in the draft Covenant on Civil and Polit-ical Rights, based on proposals submitted at pre-vious sessions and on a draft resolution adoptedby the Commission on the Status of Women con-cerning the inclusion in the draft Covenant onCivil and Political Rights of the text of article16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rightsrelating to marriage and family rights.91 Itadopted seven new articles:

(1) on the rights to vote, to be elected and to holdpublic office;

(2) on the treatment of persons deprived of libertyand on the penitentiary system;

(3) on the rights of minorities;(4) on equal rights of men and women;(5) on the protection of the privacy, home, corres-

pondence, honour and reputation of the individual;(6) on condemnation of incitement to hatred and

violence; and(7) on the right to marry and to found a family.

It was not able, however, to discuss certaindraft additional articles, such as that concerningthe right of property, for inclusion in the draftCovenant on Economic, Social and CulturalRights.

With regard to measures of implementation ofthe draft Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,the Commission revised the text of most of thesearticles, but made no far-reaching changes. Itrejected a proposal to reduce the membership ofthe Human Rights Committee from nine to seven,as well as a proposal that the members should beelected by the Assembly instead of by the Inter-national Court of Justice. It also rejected pro-posals:

(1) to grant the Committee the right to receive andconsider communications from non-governmental organi-zations, groups of individuals and individuals concerningthe non-observance of any provision by States parties;

(2) to allow the Committee to take the initiative incases where it considered that non-observance of anyprovision of the Covenant was sufficiently serious;

(3) to permit the Committee to accept, for informa-tion, petitions from persons who complained that theywere victims of violations of the Covenant; and

(4) to exclude from the Committee's competence thepower to deal with communications regarding the rightof self-determination.

The Commission drafted two new articles onimplementation. The first of these would grantto a State party complained of or lodging a com-plaint the right to bring the case to the Inter-national Court of Justice in the event of thefailure of the Committee to reach a solution. Theother article related to the implementation of theright of peoples to self-determination. The Com-mission did not consider measures of implementa-tion of the draft Covenant on Economic, Socialand Cultural Rights.

In the time available, the Commission wasunable to carry out the other instructions of theGeneral Assembly and the Council, and in par-ticular to consider the federal State clause, thefinal clauses, the question of reservations, thequestion of applying the provisions relating toa Human Rights Committee to the Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights, and theexamination of the provisions relating to thesystem of periodic reports and its applicationto the two Covenants.

A proposal by the USSR to request the Councilto suggest to the General Assembly that it reviewits decision concerning the drafting of two cove-nants instead of one was rejected.

Reference was made by the Chairman of theCommission to the fact that the text of the articleon the territorial application of the Covenant,prepared by the General Assembly, was includedin the annex of the Commission's report relatingto both Covenants; it followed that that articlewas considered as being applicable to both draftCovenants.

In annex I of the Commission's report (E/2447),section A contained the provisions of the draft Covenanton Economic, Social and Cultural Rights drafted at theeighth session of the Commission; section B containedthe provisions of the draft Covenant on Civil and Politi-cal Rights, as prepared at the eighth and ninth sessions,including provisions on implementation through theestablishment of a human rights committee; section Ccontained the article on the territorial application clauseadopted by the General Assembly in resolution 422(V);and sections D and E contained respectively the draftarticles on a system of periodic reports drafted at theseventh session, and the final clauses drafted at the sixthsession. Annex II included proposals for an additionalarticle on the right of property to be included in theCovenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, fora federal State article, for the final clauses and for theestablishment of an office of a United Nations HighCommissioner (Attorney-General) for Human Rights.


The Council decided, at the 236th meeting ofits Social Committee on 8 July, not to deal withthe substance of the Commission's report (E/-2447) relating to the draft Covenants, but toconfine its discussion to the procedural questionof whether to refer the matter to the GeneralAssembly or back to the Commission. Varyingopinions were expressed on this subject at the256th to 240th meetings of the Social Committee,from 8 to 10 July 1953.

The representatives of Chile, India, the Philip-pines, Uruguay, the USSR and Yugoslavia pre-


See also p. 425.

384 Yearbook of the United Nations

ferred to send the report of the Commission onHuman Rights (E/2447) to the General Assem-bly rather than to refer the draft Covenants backto the Commission. Among their reasons werethat: the Commission had completed its assign-ment; the issues outstanding were political andcould only be solved by the Assembly; the Assem-bly should be asked, at least, for guidance on out-standing issues; and it would be helpful toascertain the views of governments not repre-sented on the Commission.

On the other hand, the representatives ofAustralia, Belgium, France, Turkey, the UnitedKingdom and Venezuela held that the draft Cov-enants should be returned to the Commission.They pointed out, inter alia, that: the Covenantswere far from complete and that the Commissionshould, as far as possible, produce a final versionbefore sending the two texts to the Assembly;effective agreement in the Assembly was morelikely once the Commission had formed its ownconclusions on outstanding questions; a smalltechnical group was best able to do the work;and it would imply lack of faith in the Commis-sion to send the report directly to the Assembly.

As a compromise, the representative of Egyptproposed a draft resolution (E/AC.7/L.149)which:

(1) would request the Commission to complete thepreparation of the Covenants, concentrating exclusivelyon those pans not touched upon at its ninth session; and

(2) would, at the same time, request the Assembly toprovide directives on certain specific questions to simpli-fy the Commission's task.

The representative of Chile92 proposed (E/-AC.7/L.150) alternatively that the Council shouldrequest the Secretary-General to transmit thereport to Member States for comments by 1January 1954 so that the Commission might con-sider them at its tenth session.

India, the Philippines and Uruguay presentedan amendment (E/AC.7/L.151) to the Egyptiandraft resolution which would have the effect oftransmitting the work of the Commission directlyto the Assembly instead of asking the Commissionto complete its work.

The Committee at its 238th meeting on 9 Julyset up a working party consisting of the repre-sentatives of Argentina, Egypt, India, the Philip-pines, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguayand of the observer for the Government of Chileto draft a single text. The working party sub-mitted a text (E/AC.7/L.153) at the followingmeeting, which was subsequently adopted withminor amendment.

The Committee rejected, by 9 votes to 5, with4 abstentions, a proposal93 that the Secretary-General be requested to place the report on theAssembly's agenda as a separate item, and adopted,by 10 votes to 2, with 6 abstentions, a UnitedStates amendment (E/AC.7/L.154), to specifythat the comments requested should be submit-ted not later than 1 January 1954 so that theCommission might have them available at itsnext session.

The draft resolution, as amended, was adoptedby the Social Committee (E/2482 A), at its240th meeting on 10 July, in paragraph-by-para-graph votes, ranging from a unanimous vote to12 votes to none, with 6 abstentions, and as awhole, by 16 votes to none, with 2 abstentions.The Council adopted the Committee's draft reso-lution, at its 746th plenary meeting on 3 August,by 14 votes to none, with 2 abstentions, as resolu-tion 501 B (XVI).

By this resolution, the Council noted the prog-ress made by the Commission in the drafting ofthe Covenants, requested the Commission tocomplete the drafting of the Covenants duringits tenth session, and transmitted the report ofthe ninth session of the Commission to theGeneral Assembly at its eighth session. Theresolution also requested the Secretary-Generalto communicate the report of the ninth sessionof the Commission to Member States, the spe-cialized agencies and the non-governmental or-ganizations concerned for their observations, tobe submitted not later than 1 January 1954.


The General Assembly discussed aspects of theCovenants during the general debate of the ThirdCommittee, at its 503rd to 511th meetings, on22 and 26 to 30 October and 2 and 3 November,on Chapters IV (Social Questions) and V(Human Rights) of the report of the Economicand Social Council (A/2430) and. specifically, at


the Council's rules of procedure, which provides that aMember of the United Nations may be invited to par-ticipate, without vote, in discussions of particular concernto that Member.

93 This proposal was made in the form of an oralamendment by the Chinese representative in order tofacilitate the procedure. A United States amendment(E/AC.7/L.154), to the effect that the Secretary-Generalwould not be expected to include the report as a separateitem in the Assembly's agenda, had previously beenwithdrawn on the basis of a statement by the representa-tive of the Secretary-General that, in the light of thediscussion, he did not think the resolution would beinterpreted to mean that the report should be includedin the agenda as a separate item.

Chile took part in the discussions under rule 76 of

Economic and Social Questions 385

the Committee's 518th to 521st, 523rd and 524thmeetings, from 11 to 16 November 1953.

The question was raised of the need for direc-tives from the Assembly to the Commission onHuman Rights on the federal State clause, reser-vations, and the right of petition. The argumentsfor and against this procedure were similar tothose raised in the Council. Among those favour-ing directives from the Assembly were the repre-sentatives of China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India andthe Philippines. Those opposed included the rep-resentatives of Belgium, Canada, France, Turkey,the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Some repre-sentatives, including those of Afghanistan, theByelorussian SSR and Poland, thought that thequestion of a single covenant should be reopened.The representative of Saudi Arabia preferred asingle covenant, but stated that he would notpress the point.

With regard to reservations, the representativeof India thought it advisable to allow reservationsto the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cul-tural Rights, but not to the Covenant on Civiland Political Rights. The representative of Syriaalso thought that reservations should be per-mitted, but limited as to articles and the timeduring which they would apply. The representa-tives of Egypt, France and the Philippines alsopointed out that to allow too many reservationswould weaken the force of the Covenants andexpressed the view that certain articles shouldnot be open to reservation.

The Committee, at its 518th to 521st meetingson 11, 12 and 13 November, had before it twodraft resolutions relating to a federal State clause.

A draft resolution by Egypt (A/C.3/L.366)proposed, inter alia, that the General Assemblyshould request the Commission on Human Rightsnot to include provisions relating to federal Statesin the draft International Covenants on HumanRights.

A draft resolution by Australia proposed (A/-C.3/L.374) that the General Assembly shouldrequest the Council:

(1) to draw the attention of the Commission onHuman Rights to Assembly resolution 421(V) callingfor a study of the question of a federal State clause; and

(2) to invite Member States and the specialized agen-cies and non-governmental organizations concerned toreview the Assembly's discussion of the federal Statearticle at its fifth and eighth sessions and, with this dis-cussion in mind, to include their views on the questionin their observations submitted to the Secretary-Generalunder Council resolution 501 B (XVI). The availabletime for submission of these comments would be ex-tended to 1 February 1934.

A number of representatives expressed them-selves against the inclusion of a federal Stateclause. The representatives of the Dominican Re-public, Egypt, Iraq and Mexico, among others,held that such a clause was out of place incovenants on human rights, the universality ofwhich should be ensured. The representatives ofGuatemala, Syria and Yugoslavia were of theopinion that to include a federal State articlewould discriminate in favour of federal Statesand might, on that account, discourage non-federal States from signing the Covenants. Therepresentatives of Egypt and Yugoslavia alsoexpressed the view that a federal State articlemight be applied by Metropolitan Powers to theirdependent territories and that its adoption wouldbe tantamount to an outright repeal of the articleon the territorial application of the Covenantswhich the Assembly had adopted (resolution422(V)) and which was now incorporated inthe draft Covenants.

The representatives of Denmark, Egypt andSaudi Arabia suggested that the constitutionaldifficulties of federal States might be overcomeby the use of reservations at the time of signature.The Pakistan representative agreed, but thoughtit necessary for federal States themselves to decidewhether or not a federal State clause should beincluded. The representatives of Egypt and Yugo-slavia also suggested that federal governmentscould secure the agreement of all their constituentunits before signing the Covenants.

Other representatives, including those ofAustralia, Canada and the United States, held thatto omit the federal State clause would constitutean insuperable barrier to ratification of the Cov-enants by federal States. The representatives ofIndia and the United States stressed that amajority of unitary States should not attempt toforce the hand of federal States which had parti-cular constitutional difficulties. The representativeof New Zealand also pointed out that to decideat this time against the inclusion of a federalState clause would prejudge the question of reser-vations.

A number of representatives, including thoseof Brazil, Cuba and France, were of the opinionthat a decision on this important question wouldbe premature without further study. The repre-sentatives of Afghanistan, Bolivia and Chilethought that the Commission on Human Rights,as a body of experts, was the most appropriateorgan to study the matter first. The representativeof Afghanistan therefore proposed (A/C.3/-L.387) that the Egyptian proposal be amended toinvite the Commission on Human Rights to

386 Yearbook of the United Nations

decide, in the light of the Assembly's discussionat its eighth session, whether or not it wasnecessary to include a federal State clause in theCovenants.

The representative of Guatemala thought thatthe International Court of Justice should be con-sulted, and proposed an amendment (A/C.3/-L.388) to the Egyptian draft resolution by whichthe Assembly would, instead, request the Courtfor an opinion on the desirability or undesirabilityof including a federal State clause in the Coven-ants, having regard to the universal application ofthose rights and the constitutional problems ofsome federal States. The amendment would alsohave the Assembly request the Commission onHuman Rights not to consider the matter beforethe Court had delivered its opinion.

The representative of Egypt made a proposal,which was formally submitted by the representa-tive of Saudi Arabia. The draft resolution (A/-C3/L.389) proposed that the Assembly transmitto the Commission on Human Rights the draftresolutions and amendments submitted to theCommittee, together with the records of its de-bate, and request the Secretary-General to takethe necessary steps to ensure that the members ofthe Commission would receive the documents notless than two weeks before the opening of itstenth session. In view of this proposal, the repre-sentative of Afghanistan withdrew his amend-ment to the Egyptian draft resolution.

Some representatives, among them those ofPeru, the USSR and Uruguay, thought that it wasunnecessary to adopt a formal resolution, sincethe Saudi Arabian proposal seemed to appear tohave the general agreement of the Committee.However, the majority thought that a clear indi-cation of the Committee's wishes should be ex-pressed by a formal resolution, and the proposalwas adopted (A/2573 V A) by 40 votes to none,with 8 abstentions, at the Committee's 521stmeeting on 13 November.

It was adopted by the General Assembly, with-out discussion, at its 460th plenary meeting on28 November 1953, by 50 votes to 5, with 2abstentions, as resolution 737 A (VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,

"Recalling its resolution 421 (V), section C, of 4December 1950,

"Having discussed the draft resolutions contained indocuments A/C.3/L.366 and A/C.3/L.374 and theamendment contained in document A/C.3/L.388,

"1. Decides to transmit these draft resolutions andthe amendment to the Commission on Human Rights,together with the records of the meetings of the ThirdCommittee relating to the federal clause;

"2. Requests the Secretary-General to take the neces-sary steps to ensure that the members of the Commissionon Human Rights receive the above-mentioned docu-ments not less than two weeks before the opening of thetenth session of the Commission."

The Third Committee discussed, at its 523rdand 524th meetings on 16 November, a proposalby Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, the Philippinesand Uruguay (A/C.3/L.372) concerning theright of petition. The draft resolution, which wasrevised (A/C.3/L.372/Rev.1) to take account ofdrafting amendments by Afghanistan (A/C.3/-L.390), would request the Commission on Hu-man Rights to draft provisions recognizing theright of petition of every natural person, everyduly constituted group of individuals and everyrecognized non-governmental organization, forinclusion in the draft Covenants, in accordancewith the decision of the Assembly contained inresolution 421 F (V) and in the light of dis-cussions at its present session.

Among the arguments advanced in support ofthis proposal by, among others, the representativesof Denmark, India, Iraq, Israel, Mexico andSyria, were the following:

(1) that, without the inclusion of provisions extend-ing the right of petition to individuals, groups and non-governmental organizations, the whole value of theCovenants would be in question;

(2) that General Assembly resolution 421 F (V) wasthe equivalent of an instruction to the Commission onHuman Rights to include the right of petition in theCovenants;

(3) that individuals and non-governmental organiza-tions had, in most countries, the right to petition theirnational governments, and that, since the Covenantsattempted to place human rights under internationalprotection, the individual should be accorded the rightof international petition;

(4) that to restrict the right of petition to Stateswould lead to an increase in international friction; and

(5) that States were free to ratify or not to ratify theCovenants and could not therefore claim that to grantthe right of petition to individuals and organizationswould constitute an infringement of domestic juris-diction.

Others, including the representatives of theByelorussian SSR, Brazil, Cuba, Ethiopia, France,Honduras, New Zealand and Yugoslavia, argued:

(1) that to extend the right of petition to individ-uals and organizations would lead to intervention in thedomestic affairs of States and would violate Article 2,paragraph 7, of the Charter;

(2) that the principle of the sovereign equality ofMember States might also be infringed, since Stateswhich had not signed the Covenants would be in a po-sition to invite individuals or non-governmental organi-zations to submit complaints against States which wereparties to the Covenants;

(3) that the position of individuals in internationallaw had not yet been established and that it would notbe wise to attempt to achieve too much at one time; and

Economic and Social Questions 387

(4) that international relations were not yet so fardeveloped that the right of petition could be granted insuch general terms.

The representatives of Chile, China and Yugo-slavia also thought that the question was one thatthe Commission on Human Rights should decide.The representatives of China and Saudi Arabiathought that it would be wiser for the Committeeto take a decision similar to that adopted in thecase of the federal State clause and the representa-tive of China presented a formal proposal (A/-C.3/L.391) to that effect.

It was adopted by the Committee (A/2573V B), at its 524th meeting on 16 November, by34 votes to 3, with 10 abstentions, and by theGeneral Assembly at its 460th plenary meeting on28 November 1953, by 45 votes to 5, with 4abstentions, as resolution 737 B (VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,

"Recalling its resolutions 421(V), section F, of 4December 1950 and 547(VI) of 5 February 1952,

"Having discussed the draft resolution contained indocument A/C.3/L.372/Rev.1 on the right of petition,

"Decides to transmit the draft resolution to the Com-mission on Human Rights, at its tenth session, togetherwith the records of the discussion thereon in the ThirdCommittee."

2. Development of the Work of theUnited Nations for Wider Observanceof, and Respect for, Human Rights

and Fundamental Freedoms

The Commission on Human Rights, at its ninthsession, considered together two items on itsagenda relating, respectively, to the developmentof the work of the United Nations for widerobservance of, and respect for, human rights andfundamental freedoms throughout the world, andannual reports on human rights. It had before itthe memorandum by the Secretary-General (E/-1900) on the development of a Twenty-YearProgramme for achieving peace through the Unit-ed Nations. It also had before it two notes by theSecretary-General (E/CN.4/535 & Add.1), con-taining background information on the subjectand certain suggestions for future activities in thefield of human rights, and a memorandum (E/-CN.4/567) relating to annual reports.

Four draft resolutions were submitted. The first(E/CN.4/L.266/Rev.2) envisaged a programmefor annual reports on developments in the fieldof human rights by Member Governments andtheir review by the Commission. The second (E/-CN.4/L.268)94 proposed the initiation by theCommission of a series of studies on specificaspects of human rights on a world-wide basis

with the assistance of expert advisers to be ap-pointed by the Secretary-General. The third (E/-CN.4/L.267/Rev.1) proposed the establishmentof advisory services in the field of human rightson lines somewhat similar to the existing advisorysocial welfare services. The fourth draft (E/-CN.4/L.286) proposed changes in the procedurefor handling communications whereby allegationsof violations of human rights might be brought tothe attention of the governments concerned andof the Council.

The Commission resolved (E/2447) not totake any decision on the proposal, submitted byEgypt, India, the Philippines and Uruguay, oncommunications. It was unable to complete con-sideration of the other three proposals, submittedby the United States, and it transmitted them,together with the amendments submitted theretoand the records of the discussion thereon, to theEconomic and Social Council, with a recommenda-tion (E/2447 I) that the Council decide totransmit the documents concerned to MemberStates and specialized agencies with a requestthat they submit their comments to the Secretary-General by 1 October 1953.

During the discussion at the Council's sixteenthsession, at the 240th meeting of its Social Com-mittee on 10 July 1953, the representative of theUnited Kingdom expressed the view that govern-ments could not be expected to reply by 1October 1953 and that 1 January 1954 would bea more appropriate date and would still enablethe Commission to consider the replies at its tenthsession. The representatives of Sweden and Yugo-slavia doubted whether the Commission should bespecifically requested to consider the replies ofgovernments at its tenth session, when it wouldbe occupied with the drafting of the Covenants.

The representatives of China, Egypt and theUnited States, however, considered it desirablethat comments of governments and specializedagencies should be received before the forthcom-ing session of the General Assembly in order toprovide additional guidance should a compre-hensive debate develop in the Assembly. TheCommittee, by 16 votes to none, with 2 absten-tions, adopted an oral United States amendmentto request the comments by 1 October "in so faras possible". The draft resolution, as thus amend-ed, was adopted by the Committee by 16 votes to2 (E/2882 & Corr.1 B), and by the Council, atits 746th plenary meeting on 3 August 1953, by15 votes to 2.

94 Amendments were submitted to this proposal by

France (E/CN.4/L.304/Rev.1); Yugoslavia (E/CN.4/-L.305/Rev.1, 306 and 307); Egypt and India (E/-CN.4/L.308); and Chile (E/CN.4/L.309/Rev.1).

388 Yearbook of the United Nations

By this resolution (501 C (XVI)) , the Coun-cil transmitted the draft resolutions submitted tothe Commission and the amendments thereto (seeabove) to Member States and to the specializedagencies and requested them to submit their com-ments on the proposals to the Secretary-Generalin so far as possible by 1 October 1953.

At the General Assembly's eighth session dur-ing the Third Committee's general debate, at its503rd to 511th meetings, on 22 and 26 to 30October and 2 and 3 November, concerningChapters IV (Social Questions) and V (HumanRights) of the report of the Economic and SocialCouncil (A/2430), the representative of Egyptsubmitted a draft resolution (A/C.3/L.367 &Add.1) on this question. This draft, of which therepresentative of the Philippines subsequently be-came a co-sponsor (A/C.3/L.367/Add.2), wasconsidered specifically at the Committee's 527thto 529th meetings, from 18 to 20 November, andat the Assembly's 460th plenary meeting on 28November 1953.

The draft resolution, noting that the Com-mission on Human Rights had considered threedraft resolutions (E/CN.4/L.266/Rev.2, E/CN.4/-L.267/Rev.1 & E/CN.4/L.268) concerning de-velopment of the work of the United Nationsfor wider observance of, and respect for, humanrights and fundamental freedoms throughout theworld, and that the Economic and Social Councilhad requested Member States and specialized agen-cies to submit their comments on them and theamendments thereto to the Secretary-General inso far as possible by 1 October 1953, would re-quest the Council to ask the Commission:

(1) to consider at its tenth session the three draftresolutions and to prepare recommendations thereon, inorder that these recommendations might be consideredby the Council at its eighteenth session; and

(2) to take account of the comments made by Mem-ber States and specialized agencies and of the viewsexpressed at the General Assembly's eighth session.

Syria proposed an amendment (A/C.3/L.370)to the draft resolution which, as orally correctedby the Syrian representative, would ask the Com-mission:

(1) to consider the three draft resolutions at its tenthsession "after completing the drafting of the two Cove-nants on Human Rights and its consideration of theother important matters pending"; and

(2) to prepare recommendations "if possible".

He accepted an oral Afghanistan amendment torephrase the second amendment to state "if pos-sible, to supplement the provisions of the Cov-enants on Human Rights . . .".

The debate in the Committee centred princi-pally on the possible significance in relation to

the drafting of the Covenants on Human Rightsof the three draft resolutions submitted to theCommission on Human Rights. The majority ofrepresentatives agreed that the principal task ofthe Commission on Human Rights should be tocomplete the preparation of the draft Covenants.

The representatives of Czechoslovakia and Po-land felt that, in the light of the recent statementthat the United States Government did not intendto sign any conventions on human rights, theUnited States proposals contained in the threedraft resolutions were intended to constitute analternative method of protecting human rightsand that to approve them would be to abandonthe work on the Covenants. The United Statesrepresentative, on the other hand, stated that herGovernment would continue to co-operate indrafting the Covenants and was not trying to side-track them. The United States view, she said, wasthat covenants were not the only means of ensur-ing respect for human rights and she pointed outthat in certain matters, such as the status ofwomen, the protection of minorities, freedom ofinformation, forced labour and war prisoners, theUnited Nations was continuing its efforts by othermeans. The representative of France also con-sidered that the two methods were not mutuallyexclusive. The sponsors of the draft resolutionstated that it was in no way the purpose of theirtext that the three draft resolutions should hinderthe completion of the work on the draft Cov-enants; the programme envisaged was intended tosupplement the Covenants.

The representatives of Chile and Cuba thoughtthat the proposals would span the transitionalperiod until the Covenants were adopted. TheYugoslav representative suggested that the pro-posals could at the most be regarded as a trialfor the measures of implementation in the Cove-nants until such time as the Covenants came intoforce. The representative of Afghanistan, whileconsidering the proposals of value, thought itpremature to consider them at the present stage.

The representatives of Argentina, Iraq, Peru,Venezuela and the Union of South Africa sup-ported the draft resolution on the understandingthat it was purely procedural and did not commitdelegations as to the substance of the three pro-posals. A number of other representatives, includ-ing those of Afghanistan, New Zealand and SaudiArabia, also reserved their Governments' posi-tion on the substance of the proposals.

The Canadian representative stated that shewould abstain on the Syrian amendments since itwas neither advisable nor necessary to give suchdirections on priority to the Commission onHuman Rights.

Economic and Social Questions 389

The representatives of France and the UnitedKingdom expressed the view that the second partof the first Syrian amendment, referring to "otherimportant matters pending", would have theeffect, if strictly interpreted, of indefinitely post-poning consideration of the three proposals. Onthe proposal of the Greek representative, theCommittee decided by 25 votes to 10, with 7abstentions, to vote on the first Syrian amend-ment in two parts, the first part referring only tothe drafting of the Covenants. The representativeof Syria stated that, should the first part of theamendment be adopted and the second rejected,some delegations might claim that the threeUnited States proposals should be considered im-mediately after the completion of the draft Cove-nants to the detriment of priority for the recentlyadopted resolution on the right of peoples andnations to self-determination. He therefore with-drew the whole of his first amendment.

The second Syrian amendment was adopted by27 votes to 3, with 15 abstentions.

The joint draft resolution, as a whole, asamended, was adopted by the Third Committee(A/2573(VII)), at its 529th meeting on 20

November, by a roll-call vote of 36 to 5, with 7abstentions.

It was adopted by the General Assembly at its460th plenary meeting on 28 November, withoutdiscussion, by 47 votes to 5, with 6 abstentions,as resolution 739(VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,

"Considering that, under Articles 55 and 56 of theCharter, the Members of the United Nations havepledged themselves to take joint and separate action topromote universal respect for, and observance of, humanrights and fundamental freedoms for all without dis-tinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

"Desiring to advance as rapidly as possible respect for,and observance of, human rights and fundamental free-doms and to stimulate Member States to press forwardtoward attaining the goals set forth in the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights,

"Noting that the Commission on Human Rights, atits ninth session, considered three draft resolutions con-cerning the development of the work of the UnitedNations for wider observance of, and respect for, humanrights and fundamental freedoms throughout the world,

"Noting that the Economic and Social Council, inresolution 501 C (XVI) of 3 August 1953, requestedMember States and specialized agencies to submit theircomments on the draft resolutions and the amendmentsthereto to the Secretary-General in so far as possible by1 October 1953,

"Requests the Economic and Social Council to ask theCommission on Human Rights:

"(a) To consider, at its tenth session, the three draftresolutions concerning the development of the work ofthe United Nations for wider observance of, and respectfor, human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout

the world, and to prepare, if possible, to supplement theprovisions of the Covenants on Human Rights, recom-mendations thereon, in order that these recommendationsmay be considered by the Economic and Social Councilat its eighteenth session;

"(b) To take account, at its tenth session, of thecomments made by Member States and specialized agen-cies and of the views expressed on this subject at theeighth session of the General Assembly."

3. Communications ConcerningHuman Rights

In accordance with resolution 75(V) of theEconomic and Social Council, as amended by res-olution 275 B (X),95 the Secretary-General pre-pared two lists of communications for the ninthsession of the Commission on Human Rights:

(1) A non-confidential list of communications(E/CN.4/CR.22 and Add.1) dealing with theprinciples involved in the promotion of respectfor human rights. This list contained summariesof or references to 352 communications receivedduring the period 28 April 1952 to 31 March1953.

(2) A confidential list of other communica-tions, i.e., complaints and alleged violations ofhuman rights (H.R. Communications List No. 3& List No. 3/Add.1). This list, which was pre-sented to the Commission in a private meeting,contained summaries of or references to 2,118communications received during the period 7May 1952 to 7 March 1953. Of these communica-tions 1,562 alleged persecution on politicalgrounds, the majority of them (1,352) relatingto one country. Other communications allegeddiscrimination and violations of the rights ofminorities (96), denial of the right of fair trial(56), infringements of trade union rights (42),denial of the right to freedom of movement (30),violations of freedom of religion (29), denialof the right of self-determination (22) and in-human use of germ warfare (92). The remainingcommunications related to a variety of subjects,such as genocide, status of women, cruel and in-human punishment, freedom of information andof the press, freedom of assembly, right of asylum,old age rights, refugees, right to a nationalityand statelessness.

Also distributed at the private meeting werefifteen observations from governments (H.R.Communications Nos. 26-39, E/2371).

The Commission noted the distribution of thelists of communications, and decided to makepublic the record of the meeting.


See Y.U.N., 1950, p. 534.

390 Yearbook of the United Nations

Similar lists of communications relating to thestatus of women were presented to the seventhsession of the Commission on the Status ofWomen.

At its ninth session, the Commission on Hu-man Rights also discussed the question of com-munications during its consideration of the ques-tion of the development of the work of theUnited Nations for wider observance of, andrespect for, human rights and fundamental free-doms throughout the world. The Commission hadbefore it a draft resolution submitted by Egypt,India, the Philippines and Uruguay (E/CN.4/-L.286) according to which the Economic andSocial Council would request:

(1) that the Commission forward to governmentsfor their comments communications which it consideredto contain alleged violations sufficiently serious to justifysuch action;

(2) that the Commission transmit to the Councilcommunications—and any replies from governmentsthereto—which it considered should be drawn to theCouncil's attention and, also, that the Commission makeany appropriate recommendations thereon; and

(3) that the Secretary-General submit a report to theCommission suggesting appropriate changes in the pro-cedure for handling communications in the light of thepresent resolution.

The Commission, however, voted not to takeany decision on the draft resolution.

At the 521st and 522nd meetings of the ThirdCommittee on 13 November, the Assembly dis-cussed an Egyptian proposal (A/C.3/L.368),which had been presented during the Committee'sgeneral debate on Chapter V (Human Rights) ofthe report of the Economic and Social Council(A/2430).

The draft resolution proposed that the Assem-bly decide that, pending the entry into force ofthe Covenants on Human Rights, the Commissionon Human Rights would:

(1) transmit to governments, for their comments,communications received by the United Nations contain-ing allegations of violations of human rights which itregarded as serious enough to justify reference to thegovernments concerned; and

(2) transmit to the Council such communications,together with the replies or comments by governments,as the Commission considered should be brought to theCouncil's attention.

At the suggestion of the representative of Chinaduring the discussion, the representative of Egyptamended the first operative paragraph of his pro-posal to read: "Request the Secretary-General totransmit to governments . . .".

The representative of Egypt stated that thecurrent procedure for dealing with communica-

tions as laid down in Council resolutions 75(V),192 A (VIII) and 275 B (X) was very unsatis-factory and damaged the prestige of the UnitedNations and of the Commission on Human Rights.The Commission's terms of reference, he argued,authorized it to submit proposals, recommenda-tions and reports on "any other matter concerninghuman rights" and that this entitled it to makerecommendations on its own initiative in the mat-ter. It would be preferable, he thought, to discon-tinue the practice of bringing communications tothe attention of the Commission on Human Rightsif the Commission were not given an opportunityof taking some further action on them than waspossible under the current procedure.

Speaking in support of the proposal, the rep-resentative of Ecuador said that, while the draftresolution before the Committee might not bevery far reaching, it might, through moral pres-sure, restrain governments from violating humanrights.

The representatives of Belgium, France andPeru, in opposing the draft resolution, argued thatit would confer on the Commission on HumanRights quasi-judicial functions which that Com-mission was not competent to fulfil. Until theCovenants were completed, there was no legaldefinition of human rights on which the Com-mission could base its judgment with regard toalleged violations. The representatives of Afghan-istan, France and the United Kingdom alsoexpressed the opinion that it would be very dif-ficult to establish criteria to decide when a viola-tion was "serious enough" to justify reference tothe governments concerned. The representatives ofGreece and the United States pointed out thatadoption of the proposal would cause such anincrease in the number of communicationsreceived that the Commission on Human Rightswould be unable to deal with them, and that falsehopes would be raised on the part of the authorsof communications, which would be damagingto the prestige of the United Nations. ThePeruvian representative considered also that thetransmission to governments of such confidentialcommunications would create international ten-sion. The representatives of France and the UnitedKingdom also stated that the Charter did notprovide the right of individual petition except onTrusteeship matters.

The Committee, at its 522nd meeting on 13November, rejected the first paragraph of theoperative part of the draft resolution by a roll-call vote of 26 to 11, with 12 abstentions, and thesecond by a roll-call vote of 26 to 9, with 13abstentions. The Chairman observed that, since

Economic and Social Questions 391

the operative part of the draft resolution had beenrejected, it followed that the resolution had beenrejected as a whole.

4. Prevention of Discrimination andProtection of Minorities

The Commission on Human Rights, at itsninth session, from 7 April to 30 May 1953, con-sidered the reports of the fourth and fifth ses-sions of the Sub-Commission on Prevention ofDiscrimination and Protection of Minorities (E/-CN.4/641 & Corr.1 & E/CN.4/670 & Corr.1),which had been held from 1 to 16 October 1951,and from 22 September to 10 October 1952,respectively.

The reports of these sessions were discussedunder four main headings: recommendations relat-ing to prevention of discrimination; recommenda-tions relating to protection of minorities; gen-eral recommendations; and recommendations onthe programme of work of the Sub-Commission.The Commission took note (E/2447) of thereports of the two sessions of the Sub-Commis-sion and made recommendations for considerationby the Economic and Social Council.

The Council at its sixteenth session consideredthe Commission's report, at the 250th to 256thmeetings of its Social Committee from 24 to 31July, and at its 746th plenary meeting on 3 August1953. The questions of the acceleration of theratification of the Convention on Prevention andPunishment of the Crime of Genocide96 and oftechnical assistance in the fields of preventionof discrimination and protection of minoritieswere subsequently considered by the GeneralAssembly at its eighth session. The action takenunder the headings mentioned above is givenbelow.

The Commission on Human Rights alsoelected97 members of the Sub-Commission to takeoffice on 1 January 1954 and invited the Coun-cil to provide that the Sub-Commission shouldmeet at least once a year in a session lasting threeweeks and to convene the next session in January1954 in order that the Sub-Commission's reportmight be discussed by the Commission at itstenth session.

The Council, at its sixteenth session, at the253rd meeting of the Social Committee on 27July, by 16 votes to none, with 2 abstentions, andat the 746th plenary meeting on 3 August, bythe same vote, adopted a resolution (502 A(XVI)), in which, noting its previous decision98

that the Sub-Commission in principle be convenedas early as possible in 1954 so that its report

could be discussed at the tenth session of the Com-mission and having considered the Commission'sresolution, it decided that the Sub-Commissionshould meet at least once a year and that eachsession should last three weeks.


In the field of prevention of discrimination, theCommission on Human Rights considered recom-mendations on the collection of anti-discrimina-tion provisions, the abolition of discriminatorymeasures, the preparation of studies on erroneousviews concerning religion, the co-operation ofnon-governmental organizations, the position ofpersons born out of wedlock and the accelerationof ratification of the Genocide Convention.

The Commission rejected the recommendationrelating to the preparation of studies on erroneousviews concerning religion. It considered that suchstudies should be undertaken only by theologiansand philosophers and expressed the fear thatdiscussion of such matters in United Nationsorgans might increase rather than lessen misunder-standing. However, it approved the Sub-Commis-sion's recommendation on the collection of anti-discrimination provisions and requested the Sec-retary-General "to arrange for anti-discriminationprovisions, in particular those formulated underthe League of Nations system or by organs of, orunder the auspices of, the United Nations, to becollected, made available, and kept up to date, toserve as a body of suitable precedents for use whenconstitutional or statutory provisions are to beelaborated".

(1 ) Abolition of Discriminatory Measures

The Commission on Human Rights endorsedthe Sub-Commission's recommendation on theabolition of discriminatory measures and added areference to resolution 644(VII)99 of the Gen-eral Assembly relating to racial discriminationin Non-Self-Governing Territories. It proposed(E/2447 B) that the Economic and Social Coun-cil:

(1) note resolutions 323(IV) and 644(VII) of theGeneral Assembly and 127(VI) of the TrusteeshipCouncil;

(2) consider that the prevention of discriminationin Metropolitan territories is as important as preventionof discrimination in Trust and other Non-Self-GoverningTerritories;




during the discussion of the calendar of conferences.99 See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 575-76.

For discussion of this item, see pp. 687-89.

Adopted at its 707th plenary meeting on 1 July See p. 32.

392 Yearbook of the United Nations

(3) consider further that in certain countries or ter-ritories minorities might exist which require protectionotherwise than by implementation of the principle ofnon-discrimination; and

(4) recommend to Member Governments that theyreview their national legislation and administrativepractices with a view to abolishing all measures of dis-crimination that might exist in countries and territoriesunder their jurisdiction and with a view to taking effec-tive measures for the protection of minorities, if any, inthose countries and territories.

The Economic and Social Council discussed thequestion at the 251st and 253rd to 256th meetingsof its Social Committee, on 24, 27, 30 and 31July, and at its 746th plenary meeting on 3August 1953.

During the debate, the representative of Yugo-slavia pointed out that certain minority groupswould not be covered unless the recommendationreferred to all States, and proposed an amendment(E/AC.7/L.174) to that effect. The represent-ative of Belgium also proposed (E/AC.7/L.179)that the resolution should refer to independentStates rather than Metropolitan territories and thatthe idea of progressive action should be embodiedin the resolution to make it more acceptable toall governments.

The representatives of Argentina, Uruguay andVenezuela, among others, were of the opinion thatthe persistence of discriminatory measures shouldbe regarded as an international problem likely toendanger peace. In Latin America, they stated,there were no minority problems that couldengender international disputes, because the civicrights of all nationals of those countries weresafeguarded by law. However, communities of im-migrants should not be given privileged treat-ment provided they were not denied or obstructedin their exercise of certain common rights. Therepresentatives of Argentina and Venezuela pro-posed an amendment (E/AC.7/L.178) to giveeffect to this point. The majority felt that the jointamendment, as presented, was not clear and asubstitute draft resolution was submitted byArgentina, Belgium, Venezuela and Yugoslavia(E/AC.7/L.184) incorporating this idea in thejoint amendment, as well as those expressed byBelgium and Yugoslavia.

The operative part of the new text would havethe Council:

(1) recommend to all governments that they makeevery possible effort to abolish in any territories undertheir jurisdiction or administration any legal provisionsand administrative or private practices which discrimi-nate against certain sections of the population; and

(2) recommend, likewise, to the governments ofthose States in which minorities exist, that they makeevery possible effort to give such minorities the special

protection they need, besides implementing the principleof non-discrimination, it being understood that groupsof aliens of the same origin which have entered or mayenter a certain State as immigrants shall not be entitledto such special protection as a minority.

The Philippine representative suggested (E/-AC.7/L.185) that reference to dependent ter-ritories should only be made specifically withrespect to minorities since the Assembly hadalready made recommendations concerning theabolition of discriminatory practices in such ter-ritories. The representative of Uruguay, as afurther qualification of the word immigrants, sug-gested (E/AC.7/L.186) a reference to displacedpersons.

The representative of India, however, thoughtthat a much clearer definition of the word immi-grants was necessary if certain groups of alienswere not to be unjustly deprived of protection.The joint draft resolution, he said, would havethe effect of singling out a group or class of per-sons as one not entitled to protection. Moreover,it might lead to vast numbers of people beingdenied minority rights if governments chose tocall them aliens. The representatives of Polandand the USSR shared this concern. The represent-atives of France and Sweden thought that themain problem was the lack of any clear definitionof a minority group.

In an attempt to reach a compromise, a work-ing group was established, consisting of the rep-resentatives of Belgium, Egypt, India, the Philip-pines, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Uruguay,Venezuela, Yugoslavia and the Chairman of theCommittee. The Chairman announced at the Com-mittee's 255th meeting on 30 July that the grouphad been unable to draft a text capable of com-manding general support. It had accordinglyapproved a substitute text (E/AC.7/L.187) forthe Commission's draft resolution which omittedall reference to minorities. At the same time, ithad approved a new draft resolution (E/AC.7/-L.188), by which the subject of protection ofminorities would be referred back to the Com-mission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commis-sion on Prevention of Discrimination and Protec-tion of Minorities for further study.

The substitute draft resolution (E/AC.7/L.187)was adopted (E/2499 B I), at the Committee's256th meeting on 31 July, by 16 votes to none,with 2 abstentions.

The Committee unanimously agreed to acceptan oral Chinese amendment to the second draftresolution (E/AC.7/L.188) to request that recom-mendations be submitted to the Council at itseighteenth session rather than "at an early date".

Economic and Social Questions 393

The amended draft resolution was adopted (E/-2499 B II) at the same meeting by 16 votes tonone, with 2 abstentions.

The representatives of Poland and the USSRexplained that they had abstained in both instancesbecause they had preferred the original proposalof the Commission on Human Rights.

The draft resolutions, as proposed by the SocialCommittee, were adopted by the Council at its746th plenary meeting on 3 August by a unani-mous vote and by 16 votes to none, with 2 absten-tions, respectively, as resolution 502 B I & II(XVI).

In resolution 502 B I, the Council, consideringthat the prevention of discrimination in independ-ent States was as important as prevention ofdiscrimination in Trust and other Non-Self-Gov-erning Territories, recommended to all States thatthey make every possible effort to abolish anylegal provisions and administrative or privatepractices which discriminated against certain sec-tions of the population.

In resolution 502 B II, the Council noted therecommendations to governments contained in theCommission's draft resolution concerning theapplication of special measures for the protectionof minorities. It considered that before adoptingrecommendations to that effect it was necessaryto undertake a more thorough study of the wholequestion, including the definition of the term"minority". It requested the Commission and theSub-Commission to continue their work on theprotection of minorities with that considerationin mind and to submit revised recommendationsto the eighteenth session of the Council. TheCouncil also drew the attention of both organsto its discussion of the subject.

(2) Co-operation of Non-GovernmentalOrganizations

The Commission on Human Rights adopted adraft resolution (E/2447 C) for considerationby the Economic and Social Council, based on therecommendation of the Sub-Commission onPrevention of Discrimination and Protection ofMinorities, concerning the co-operation of non-governmental organizations.

At the Council's sixteenth session, a UnitedStates amendment (E/AC.7/L.177) to providefor consultations concerning the advisability ofcalling "a conference" of non-governmental organ-izations to discuss the subject rather than "one ormore conferences" was adopted by 9 votes to 5,with 4 abstentions, and the draft resolution as thusamended was adopted unanimously by the Coun-cil's Social Committee (E/2499 C), at its 255th

meeting on 30 July, and by the Council at its746th plenary meeting on 3 August

By this resolution (502 C (XVI)), the Councilnoted that a number of non-governmental organi-zations, including organizations in consultativestatus, were actively engaged in activities designedto eradicate prejudice and discrimination. It con-sidered, however, that uncoordinated action inthis field was conducive to duplication, and thatcertain important aspects of the work might beoverlooked, and, further, that some organizationshaving as their objective the promotion of socialprogress generally might well be encouraged todevote particular attention to the vital problemof eradicating prejudice and discrimination. Itappealed to non-governmental organizations activein the field of eradicating prejudice and discrimina-tion, or having as their objective the promotionof social progress generally, to co-ordinate theirendeavours in this work.

The Council requested the Secretary-General,in collaboration with competent specialized agen-cies, to consult the non-governmental organizationsin consultative relationship with it or the special-ized agency concerned, in order to determine ifit would be advisable to convene the interestednon-governmental organizations in a conferencein order that they might: exchange views con-cerning the most effective means of combatingdiscrimination; co-ordinate their endeavours inthis work if they found it desirable and feasible;and consider the possibility of establishing com-mon objectives and programmes. The Secretary-General was further requested, after consultationwith the non-governmental organizations and thespecialized agencies concerned, to report to theCouncil on the advisability of convening sucha conference in accordance with resolution 479( V ) 1 0 0 of the General Assembly.

(3) Position of Persons Born Out of Wedlock

The Commission submitted to the Economicand Social Council a draft resolution (E/2447 D),based substantially upon the draft resolution ofthe Sub-Commission, by which the Council woulddraw the attention of the Social Commission, otherinter-governmental organs and interested non-governmental organizations to

(1) the discriminations which may be practisedagainst persons born out of wedlock and

(2) the desirability of preparing recommendationswith a view to eliminating any such discrimination, andin particular with a view to eliminating the disclosureof illegitimacy in extracts from official documents deliv-ered to third parties.

100 This resolution provides rules for the calling ofnon-governmental conferences by the Council.

394 Yearbook of the United Nations

At the Council's sixteenth session, the repre-sentative of Belgium criticized the draft resolutionas being too categorical; by doing away with alldiscrimination in respect of all persons born outof wedlock, she said, the draft resolution, ifadopted, would introduce changes indirectly fatalto the family as an institution. She thereforeproposed two amendments (E/AC.7/L.181). Thefirst of these would insert a phrase to have theCouncil request the bodies mentioned to "studythese problems and to examine the desirability"of preparing recommendations; it was rejectedby 7 votes to 6, with 5 abstentions. The secondamendment, to refer to "unjustifiable discrimina-tion" rather than "any discrimination" was re-jected by 16 votes to 1, with 1 abstention.The Council's Social Committee, however, by 13votes to 3, with 2 abstentions, voted to delete theword "any".

Argentina presented an oral amendment bywhich the Council would call attention to thedesirability of preparing recommendations witha view to eliminating, with due regard to the nec-essity of preserving the unity of the family, dis-crimination practised against persons born outof wedlock, rather than with due regard to theprinciples set forth in article 16 of the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights. It was adopted by6 votes to 2, with 8 abstentions.

The draft resolution, as amended, was adoptedby the Social Committee (E/2499 D), at its 255thmeeting on 30 July, by 16 votes to none, with 2abstentions, and by the Council at its 746thplenary meeting on 3 August, by 17 votes to none,with 1 abstention. Resolution 502 D (XVI) read:

"The Economic and Social Council"Draws the attention of the Social Commission, other

inter-governmental organs and interested non-govern-mental organizations to:

"(a) The discrimination which may, in existingsocial conditions, be practised against persons born outof wedlock;

"(b) The desirability of preparing recommendationswith a view to eliminating, with due regard to the neces-sity of preserving the unity of the family, discriminationwhich may, in existing social conditions, be practisedagainst persons born out of wedlock, and in particular ofpreparing recommendations with a view to eliminatingthe disclosure of illegitimacy in extracts from officialdocuments delivered to third parties."


In the field of protection of minorities, the Com-mission on Human Rights, having studied thework of the Sub-Commission on Prevention ofDiscrimination and Protection of Minorities,noted its results with appreciation, withoutexpressing any opinion on the proposed definition

of minorities. It requested (E/2447) the Sub-Commission to proceed with its work on thedefinition and protection of minorities, bearingin mind the discussions which had taken place inthe Commission, and to make recommendationsfor the tenth session of the Commission.

The Commission also requested the Secretary-General, as recommended by the Sub-Commission,

"to arrange for as complete as possible a collection ofprovisions for the protection of minorities to be madeavailable, and kept up to date, for use in the drafting ofclauses to be included in international and national in-struments which deal with the protection of minorityrights, notably in cases when minority rights are to besafeguarded in newly-established States, but also in caseswhere minorities are to be protected following upon theestablishment of new boundary lines between States."

The Commission endorsed the draft resolutionof the Sub-Commission on the protection of newly-created minorities and recommended (E/2447 F)it to the Economic and Social Council. The Coun-cil unanimously adopted the draft resolution, atthe 255th meeting of its Social Committee (E/-2499 F) on 30 July, and at its 746th plenarymeeting on 3 August.

By this resolution (502 F (XVI)), the Coun-cil recommended that, in the preparation of anyinternational treaties, decisions of internationalorgans, or other acts which establish new Statesor new boundary lines between States, specialattention should be paid to the protection of anyminority which might be created thereby.

c. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONSThe Commission adopted (E/2447) articles

25 and 26 of the draft Covenant on Civil andPolitical Rights relating, respectively, to rightsof minorities and incitement to hatred or violence,substantially on the basis of draft ankles pro-posed by the Sub-Commission on Prevention ofDiscrimination and Protection of Minorities.

It also considered recommendations of a gen-eral character proposed by the Sub-Commissionrelating to reports on the relevant work ofUNESCO and to publications. It noted (E/2447)the statement of the representative of UNESCOthat that organization would devote a special chap-ter of its annual report to the Economic and SocialCouncil on its work in the field of prevention ofdiscrimination and protection of minorities, copiesof it being made available to the Sub-Commission.This statement was repeated by the representativeof UNESCO in the Council's Social Committee.

In accordance with Council resolution 443(XIV),101 UNESCO also submitted to the Coun-

See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 451.101

Economic and Social Questions 395

cil for its information a report dealing with itseducational campaign against prejudice and dis-criminatory attitudes and measures, with itsresearch work and dissemination of scientific dataon race questions and with the surveys it hadundertaken into the position of the problem indifferent Member States.

The Commission noted the proposals of theSub-Commission concerning publications andrequested (E/2447) the Secretary-General to pre-pare a publication containing an account of thework of the United Nations and an analysis ofthe information from governments in the field ofprevention of discrimination and protection ofminorities.

d. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCEThe Commission on Human Rights endorsed

and forwarded to the Economic and Social Coun-cil for action (E/2447 G) the proposal of theSub-Commission that the Council should recom-mend organizations participating in the technicalassistance programmes to give sympathetic con-sideration to requests for technical assistance inconnexion with measures aimed at the eradicationof prejudice or discrimination or at the protec-tion of minorities. By the same draft resolution,the Council would recommend to the GeneralAssembly that it adopt a resolution authorizingthe Secretary-General to render technical assistanceto Members in the eradication of prejudice ordiscrimination or in the protection of minorities.(For text of resolution as adopted, see below.)

(1) Consideration by the Economic andSocial Council at its Sixteenth Session

During the discussions in the Social Committeeof the Council, the representative of the UnitedKingdom expressed the opinion that it would bepremature and undesirable for the Council topronounce on technical assistance in the particu-lar group of human rights in question at a timewhen the problem of technical assistance in theentire field of human rights was being referred togovernments for their comments. He submitted asubstitute text (E/AC.7/L.182), which wouldrequest the Commission on Human Rights to takethe Sub-Commission's proposal into account whenstudying the question in detail.

A number of representatives, including thoseof Australia and France, agreed that it would bebetter to consider advisory services to combatprejudice or discrimination within the generalframework. The representatives of France, Swedenand the United Kingdom considered that the serv-ices envisaged could be provided under existingtechnical assistance programmes.

The majority, however, supported the Com-mission's proposal, emphasizing that the UnitedKingdom draft resolution would only result infurther delay, and the substitute text was rejectedby the Committee by 13 votes to 4, with 1 absten-tion.

A United States amendment (E/AC.7/L.183),to specify that the organizations should considerrequests for technical assistance "within their termsof reference", was adopted by 11 votes to 3, with4 abstentions. The Committee voted separately onthe provision that technical assistance servicesauthorized by the General Assembly should "alsoextend to education programmes designed tocombat prejudice and discrimination" and deletedthis phrase by 8 votes to 7, with 3 abstentions.

The resolution, as amended, was adopted by theCommittee (E/2499 G) by 14 votes to none,with 4 abstentions, and by the Council at its 746thplenary meeting on 3 August by 16 votes to none,with 2 abstentions, as resolution 502 G (XVI).It read:

"The Economic and Social Council

"1. Recommends to the organizations participatingin the technical assistance and other programmes pro-viding aid or advice at the request of Member States,that they give sympathetic consideration, within theirterms of reference, to the requests which governmentsmay submit for such technical assistance in connexionwith measures aimed at the eradication of prejudice ordiscrimination or at the protection of minorities;

"2. Recommends to the General Assembly the adop-tion of a resolution authorizing the Secretary-General torender, at the request of Member States of the UnitedNations, expert technical advice and other services inorder to assist these States in the eradication of prejudiceor discrimination or in the protection of minorities; andthat the services to be so authorized should include, butneed not be restricted to, technical expert advice regard-ing the drafting of legislation and the establishment ofadministrative and judicial machinery."

(2 ) Consideration by the General Assembly

at its Eighth Session

At its eighth session, the General Assemblyconsidered the question at the 487th, 488th and489th meetings of its Third Committee, from 28to 30 September, and at its 453rd plenary meetingon 23 October 1953. It had before it the reportof the Economic and Social Council (A/2430)and a note by the Secretary-General (A/2453)drawing attention to the second operative para-graph of Council resolution 502 G (XVI).

The discussion was mainly directed to a draftresolution (A/C.3/L.340) by Ecuador, Haiti,India, Lebanon, Liberia and the Philippines, whichwould extend the Secretary-General's authorizationin the manner recommended in the Council'sresolution.

396 Yearbook of the United Nations

The majority spoke in favour of the proposal.However, the representatives of Australia, Burma,the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, amongothers, either doubted its usefulness or consideredit premature. The question of technical assistancein the whole field of human rights, they held,should be studied first. The representative of SaudiArabia, moreover, considered the proposal dan-gerous and impracticable. It would encourage, hesaid, a tendency, which was becoming more andmore marked, to turn to technical assistance inorder to solve all current world problems. The rep-resentatives of Guatemala, the Netherlands, SaudiArabia, Sweden and the United Kingdom alsofelt that the aims of the resolution were notdefined in the text with sufficient precision.

Amendments to the joint draft resolution weresubmitted by Mexico (A/C.3/L.341/Rev.1), bySyria (A/C.3/L.342) and by Guatemala (A/C.3/-L.343). Syria also submitted a sub-amendmentto the Guatemalan amendment (A/C.3/L.344).

The Mexican amendment proposed to add a provisionfor services "in such matters of fundamental importance"as education, subject to arrangements within existingagreements with the competent specialized agencies.

The Syrian amendment proposed to specify that tech-nical assistance should be granted at the request of Mem-ber States "directly interested" in order to assist theseStates, "each in so far as it is concerned". The reason forthe amendment, the Syrian representative stated, was toavoid any interference in the internal affairs of Statesunder the cover of technical assistance.

The Guatemalan amendment proposed a rewordingof the first paragraph to authorize the Secretary-Generalat the request of Member States "in whose jurisdictionthere are minorities" to render technical advice to assistthese States "each in so far as it is concerned" in theeradication of prejudice or discrimination "against mi-norities and in the development of their economic andsocial potentialities".

The Syrian sub-amendment to the Guatemalan amend-ment covered the same points as the Syrian amendmentto the joint draft resolution. It was subsequently with-drawn.

Following an informal meeting between thesponsors of the draft resolution and the authorsof amendments, a new text (A/C.3/L.346) wassubmitted jointly by the sponsors of the six-Powerdraft resolution and Mexico at the Committee's489th meeting. In introducing the text, the rep-resentative of Lebanon stated that it incorporatedthe substance of some of the amendments and tookinto account suggestions made during the debate.However, the representative of Lebanon stated,the Guatemalan amendment had not been acceptedsince the group had felt that it would tend toconfine the purpose of the draft resolution to theprotection of minorities, without stressing theneed for the prevention of discrimination.

The Mexican and Syrian amendments werewithdrawn. Guatemala maintained its amendmentto the new text and it was rejected by 23 votesto 8, with 21 abstentions.

The first operative paragraph of the reviseddraft resolution (A/C.3/L.346) was adopted intwo parts, the first part being adopted by a roll-call vote of 37 to none, with 18 abstentions, andthe second part (referring to the protection ofminorities) by 35 votes to none, with 18 absten-tions. A Venezuelan oral amendment to add thewords "or both" at the end of the paragraph wasadopted by 17 votes to 4, with 30 abstentions.

The draft resolution, as a whole, as amended,was adopted (A/2495) by a roll-call vote of 36to none, with 18 abstentions (see below for text)at the Committee's 489th meeting on 30 Sep-tember.

The Secretary-General, in presenting a state-ment of the financial implications of the proposal,indicated (A/C.3/L.340/Add.1) that requestswould be met as far as possible from existingbudgetary provisions and that any additionalexpenses to meet urgent needs contemplated inthe resolution could be financed from the Work-ing Capital Fund as an unforeseen and extra-ordinary commitment requiring the AdvisoryCommittee's prior concurrence. This was sub-sequently endorsed by the Advisory Committee(A/2511) and by the Fifth Committee (A/2525)at its 392nd meeting on 19 October.

The draft resolution proposed by the ThirdCommittee (A/2495) was adopted by the Gen-eral Assembly at its 453rd plenary meeting on 23October, without discussion, by 41 votes to none,with 16 abstentions, as resolution 730(VIII). Itread:

"The General Assembly,

"Having considered the recommendation contained inparagraph 2 of Economic and Social Council resolution502 G (XVI) of 3 August 1953 on technical assistancein the fields of prevention of discrimination and pro-tection of minorities,

"1. Authorizes the Secretary-General to render, atthe request of any State Member of the United Nations,technical advice and other services which do not fallwithin the scope of existing technical assistance pro-grammes, in order to assist the government of that Statewithin its territory in the eradication of discriminationor in the protection of minorities or both;

"2. Decides that the services so authorized may in-clude, but need not be restricted to, technical adviceregarding the drafting of legislation and the establish-ment of administrative and judicial machinery and ap-propriate services in such matters of fundamental im-portance as education, subject to arrangements withinexisting agreements with the United Nations Education-al, Scientific and Cultural Organization and other com-petent specialized agencies."

Economic and Social Questions 397

e. PROGRAMME OF WORK OFTHE SUB-COMMISSIONIn its report, the Sub-Commission on Preven-

tion of Discrimination and Protection of Minori-ties requested the Commission on Human Rightsto approve a programme of work it had adoptedat its fifth session in September and October 1952(E/CN.4/670).102 The Sub-Commission proposedto undertake studies on discrimination in the fieldsof education, employment and occupation, politicalrights, religious rights and practices, residence andmovement, immigration and travel, the right tochoose a spouse and enjoyment of family rights.Measures for the cessation of any advocacy ofnational, racial or religious hostility that con-stituted an incitement to violence would also bestudied. The Sub-Commission proposed to initiateimmediately the study of discrimination in thefield of education, and to appoint a special rap-porteur who would be requested to submit aprovisional plan of work, together with relevantinformation concerning discrimination in educa-tion. UNESCO and other appropriate specializedagencies, and national and international non-gov-ernmental organizations would be requested toco-operate. (On 10 October 1952 it chose Mr. M.R. Masani, a member of the Sub-Commission, asthe Special Rapporteur.)

Furthermore, the Sub-Commission requestedthe Secretary-General, in collaboration with theInternational Labour Office, to prepare suggestionsconcerning the procedure for the study of dis-crimination in the field of employment and occu-pation.

In addition, the Sub-Commission requested theSecretary-General to compile and analyse infor-mation on legislation, judicial decisions andadministrative practices relating to the protectionof minorities. The Sub-Commission proposed (E/-CN.4/670 F) that the Commission on HumanRights note the resolution on its work programme,approve the programme of work contained therein,and recommend that the Council arrange for theco-operation of UNESCO and other appropriatespecialized agencies, and national and internationalnon-governmental organizations, with the SpecialRapporteur appointed in connexion with the studyof discrimination in the field of education.

The Commission on Human Rights approvedthe work programme with certain amendments tothe preambular clauses and an amendment to theoperative part of the Sub-Commission's resolutionto provide for the study of measures for the ces-sation of hostility constituting an incitement to"hatred and violence jointly or separately" ratherthan simply an incitement "to violence".

The Commission recommended (E/2447 H)that the Economic and Social Council:

(1) note its resolution relating to the Sub-Commis-sion's work programme;

(2) request UNESCO and other appropriate special-ized agencies, and national and international non-govern-mental organizations, to co-operate with the SpecialRapporteur; and

(3) note the financial implications of the programme.

During the discussion in the Council's SocialCommittee at the sixteenth session, the majorityfelt that the programme proposed by the Sub-Commission needed revision and clarification. TheUnited States representative thought that therewas much that could be done in the immediatefuture in the field of the protection of minorities,and it should therefore be dealt with as a matterof priority. As to discrimination, there was muchuncertainty as to the best ways of tackling theproblem. The Sub-Commission itself could notundertake all the necessary studies. The represent-ative of the USSR stated that the programmelacked any specific reference to discrimination insocial and economic matters. The representativesof Sweden and Venezuela suggested that the Sub-Commission would be more likely to achieveresults by choosing one subject for study eachyear. The United Kingdom representative ques-tioned whether the range of studies proposedwould yield really effective results, since theremedies were already known, namely, educationand publicity. He and the representative of theUnited States thought that the programme shouldbe more modest and that the Commission onHuman Rights should give the Sub-Commissionguidance every year or two.

The representative of the Philippines con-sidered that the Council should not interfere withthe Sub-Commission, which was a body of expertsand should be left free to organize its work as itsaw fit.

A number of representatives, including thoseof Australia, France, Sweden, Turkey, the UnitedKingdom, the United States and Venezuela,expressed the opinion that studies which fellwithin the scope of the specialized agencies andother international institutions should be left tothem and not carried out by the Sub-Commission.This did not mean, the French representativepointed out, that the Sub-Commission could notco-ordinate such studies at a later stage. The rep-resentatives of Poland and the USSR, however,stated that they could not agree that any mattersfalling clearly within the terms of reference of


See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 451-52.

398 Yearbook of the United Nations

the Sub-Commission should be delegated to thespecialized agencies.

The representatives of Sweden, the UnitedStates and Venezuela, among others, doubted thenecessity for the appointment of a Special Rap-porteur to study discrimination in the field ofeducation and thought that UNESCO was bestqualified to make such a specialized study. Therepresentatives of France and the United King-dom also objected to the appointment of a SpecialRapporteur on the ground that it might create aprecedent.

The representatives of India and Sweden jointlyproposed a series of amendments (E/AC.7/-L.180) to replace the second and third paragraphsof the draft resolution proposed by the Commis-sion. These were adopted at the Social Committee's256th meeting on 31 July in paragraph-by-para-graph votes, ranging from a unanimous vote to14 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions.

The amended draft resolution was adopted, asa whole, by the Committee (E/2499 H) by 15votes to none, with 3 abstentions, and by theCouncil, at its 746th plenary meeting on 3 August,by the same vote, as resolution 502 H (XVI). Itread:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Noting the resolution of the Commission on HumanRights relating to the programme of work of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Pro-tection of Minorities,

"1. Commends the Sub-Commission for its intentionto study in a systematic manner concrete aspects of theproblem of discrimination and, as a matter of equalpriority, to study at its sixth session the problem ofminority rights;

"2. Notes the decision of the Sub-Commission im-mediately to initiate a study of discrimination in the fieldof education;

"3. Approves, in order not to cause any delay inthis study, the appointment of a Rapporteur on dis-crimination in the field of education;

"4. Believes, however, that future studies which fallwithin the scope of specialized agencies or other bodiesshould normally be carried out by the specialized agen-cies or other bodies directly concerned;

"5. Invites the appropriate specialized agencies, par-ticularly the United Nations Educational, Scientific andCultural Organization, and interested non-governmentalorganizations to co-operate with the Rapporteur on dis-crimination in the field of education;

"6. Requests the Sub-Commission at its sixth session:"(a) To undertake further consideration, in the light

of the discussions in the Commission on Human Rightsand in the Council, of the general work programmedeveloped by the Sub-Commission at its fifth sessionand amended and approved by the Commission onHuman Rights at its ninth session;

"(b) To consider, as regards proposed studies of dis-crimination, which cf the studies should be undertaken

by specialized agencies or other bodies concerned andwhich directly by the Sub-Commission in collaborationwith the Secretary-General;

"(c) To formulate specific proposals, including pro-cedures to be followed, for the carrying out of studieson discrimination, indicating which studies should beundertaken immediately;

"(d) To continue its work regarding the protectionof minority rights;

"(e) To report on the above matters to the tenthsession of the Commission on Human Rights."

5. The Right of Peoples and Nationsto Self-Determination

The General Assembly, in resolution 637 C(VII),103 inter alia, requested the Economic andSocial Council to ask the Commission on HumanRights to continue preparing recommendationsconcerning international respect for the right ofpeoples to self-determination, and particularlyrecommendations relating to the steps which mightbe taken by the various organs of the UnitedNations and by the specialized agencies, within thelimits of their resources and competence, todevelop international respect for the right of peo-ples to self-determination. It also requested theCommission to submit through the Council itsrecommendations to the General Assembly.

The Economic and Social Council, at its fifteenthsession, at the 674th and 675th plenary meetingson 1 April, briefly discussed the item and agreed,generally, that the Council should merely transmitthe Assembly's recommendations to the Commis-sion without adding any comments of its own.

A draft resolution (E/L.478) to this effect waspresented jointly by Argentina, Egypt and thePhilippines and was adopted by 14 votes to none,with 4 abstentions, at the 675th plenary meeting.By this resolution (472(XV)), the Council trans-mitted Assembly resolution 637 C (VII) to theCommission for the contemplated action therein.

The Commission on Human Rights includedthe item in the agenda of its ninth session, whichwas held from 7 April to 30 May 1953, butreported (E/2447) that it had not had time toconsider it.

The General Assembly at its eighth sessiondiscussed the question during the debate of itsThird Committee on Chapter V (Human Rights)of the report of the Economic and Social Coun-cil (A/2430). The Third Committee, which helda general debate on this Chapter and on ChapterIV (Social Questions) at its 503rd to 511th meet-ings, on 22 and 26 to 30 October and on 2 and 3

103 See Y.U.N., 1952. p. 447.

Economic and Social Questions 399

November, had before it two similar draft resolu-tions on the right of peoples and nations to self-determination. However, one of the draft resolu-tions submitted by Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala,Mexico and Uruguay (A/C.3/L.369) was with-drawn by its sponsors in favour of the second, adraft resolution by Afghanistan, Burma, Cuba,Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon,Liberia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia,Syria and Yemen (A/C.3/L.371); the formergroup of representatives subsequently joined withthe sponsors of the second draft resolution in sub-mitting one joint proposal (A/C.3/L.371/Rev.1).

The Committee discussed the joint draft resolu-tion at its 525th to 527th meetings on 17 and 18November.

The joint draft proposed that the Assemblyrequest:

(1) the Commission on Human Rights to give duepriority at its tenth session to the preparation of recom-mendations concerning the right of self-determination;and

(2) the Secretary-General to transmit to the Com-mission the summary records of the debate on thismatter.

In the preamble to the draft resolution, reference wasmade to Assembly resolution 637 C (VII) and Councilresolution 472(XV), to the fact that the Commissionhad not had time to prepare recommendations at itsninth session, and to the importance of the observanceand respect for the right to self-determination in thepromotion of world peace and friendly relations betweenpeoples and nations.

Among others, the representatives of Afghanis-tan, Mexico, the Philippines and Uruguay empha-sized that the exercise of the right of self-deter-mination was a vital factor in preserving peace inthe world and maintaining friendly relationsbetween nations. The representatives of Afghan-istan, Indonesia, Iraq, Peru, Syria and Yugoslaviastressed that this right was universal and should beenjoyed by all peoples and all nations, and thatrespect for the right of self-determination was aprerequisite for the enjoyment of all other humanrights. The representatives of Afghanistan, Cubaand Uruguay also pointed out that the importanceaccorded to the question of the right of peoplesand nations to self-determination was reflectedin the fact that 20 delegations had joined in spon-soring the joint draft resolution.

The Burmese representative thought that someaction should be taken pending the completionand coming into force of the Covenants on HumanRights by which States would explicitly bind them-selves to ensure respect for human rights andfundamental freedoms. The Yugoslav representa-tive suggested that certain transitional measuresmight be taken, such as participation of indigenous

populations in legislative and executive organs ofgovernment. The representatives of Iraq, thePhilippines and Syria stressed the link betweeneconomic and social problems and the politicalaspects of the right to self-determination. TheIndian representative expressed the view that theAssembly should leave the Commission sufficientlatitude to consider the question but impress uponit that the matter was urgent. It was explainedby the representative of the Philippines that, inasking the Commission to give "due priority" to thepreparation of recommendations, it was intendedthat the Commission would first complete itswork on the draft Covenants.

The representatives of Afghanistan, Egypt, Hon-duras, Guatemala, Liberia, the USSR and Yugo-slavia referred, during the discussion, to GeneralAssembly resolution 648(VII),104 which laiddown certain factors to be taken into account indeciding whether a Territory was or was not onewhose peoples had attained a full measure of self-government, some of them suggesting that areference to these factors be incorporated in thedraft resolution.

Accordingly, the representative of Argentinaproposed an amendment (A/C.3/L.393/Rev.1)to add a second paragraph to the preamble read-ing:

"Recalling also, with reference to the Non-Self-Governing Territories, resolution 648(VII) and theannexed list of factors which should be taken intoaccount in deciding whether a Territory is or is not aTerritory whose people have not yet attained a fullmeasure of self-government."

However, the representatives of China, Chileand Cuba, among others, criticized the amendmenton the grounds that it gave too much emphasisto self-government, which formed only one partof the whole question of the right of peoples toself-determination.

The representative of Argentina subsequentlywithdrew the amendment because the list of fac-tors to which it referred could not yet be con-sidered as final since the new list had beenapproved by the Fourth Committee and wouldbe considered in plenary session.105 He acceptedthe proposal of the representative of India thata second paragraph should be added to the pre-amble, to refer to Assembly resolution 648(VII).This second additional paragraph of the preambleto the draft resolution was adopted by 33 votesto 12, with 6 abstentions.

The draft resolution, as a whole, was adopted(E/2447 & Corr.1 (VI)) by a roll-call vote of

104 See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 563-65.

105 See pp. 520-26.

400 Yearbook of the United Nations

39 to 8, with 6 abstentions, at the Third Com-mittee's 527th meeting on 18 November.

In explaining their votes against this resolution,the representatives of Australia, Belgium, France,the Netherlands, New Zealand, Turkey and theUnited Kingdom stated, inter alia, that they wereopposed to it because of its restrictive character,since it was directed principally to the Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, and they con-sidered that the addition of the reference to resolu-tion 648(VII) lent emphasis to the restrictivenature of the resolution. It was also pointed outby the Australian representative that the prin-ciple of self-determination was a political prin-ciple applicable to peoples but not a juridicalright vested in individuals.

The draft resolution, as proposed by the ThirdCommittee, was adopted by the General Assemblyat its 460th plenary meeting on 28 November1953 by 43 votes to 9, with 5 abstentions, asresolution 738(VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,

"Recalling General Assembly resolution 637 C (VII)of 16 December 1952 and Economic and Social Councilresolution 472(XV) of 1 April 1953 inviting the Com-mission on Human Rights to make recommendationsconcerning international respect for the right of peoplesand nations to self-determination,

"Recalling also General Assembly resolution 648(VII) of 10 December 1952,

"Considering that the Commission on Human Rightshad been unable due to lack of time to prepare suchrecommendations at its ninth session,

"Considering the importance of the observance of andrespect for the right of self-determination in the pro-motion of world peace and of friendly relations betweenpeoples and nations,

"1. Requests the Commission on Human Rights togive due priority at its tenth session to the preparationof such recommendations;

"2. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit to theCommission on Human Rights the summary records ofthe debate on this matter."

6. Allegations Regarding Infringementsof Trade Union Rights


At its fifteenth session, the Council, at its679th and 680th plenary meetings on 9 April,had before it a number of communications, sub-mitted in accordance with Council resolution 277(X),106 alleging that trade union rights were

being infringed in various countries (E/2333 &Add.1-37).

In order to facilitate the Council's considerationof the item, the Secretary-General submitted amemorandum (E/L.471 & Corr.1) dividing thecommunications into four categories, namely, thoserelating to States, members of both the UnitedNations and of the International Labour Organ-isation (ILO) (32); those relating to States,members of ILO but not Members of the UnitedNations (2); those relating to States, Membersof the United Nations but not members of ILO(1); and those relating to States members neitherof the United Nations nor of ILO (3).

The Secretary-General also informed the Coun-cil (E/2370) that, in implementation of Coun-cil resolution 444(XIV),107 he had addressedletters to the Governments of Romania, Spainand the USSR, inviting them to reply to therequests previously addressed to them under resolu-tion 351 XII)108 with respect to certain allega-tions relating to their countries, but that no re-plies had yet been received. Under Council reso-lution 444(XIV) the Secretary-General had alsoaddressed letters to the Government of Spain,the competent authorities of the Saar and theAllied Military Government of the Free Territoryof Trieste (British-United States Zone), invitingthem to submit their observations with respect tocertain allegations relating to their territoriesbrought to the attention of the Council at its four-teenth session. The note further stated that onlythe Allied Military Government had replied (E/-2335).

The Council, in addition, had before it a docu-ment (E/2371) containing certain observations ofthe Permanent Representative of Greece to theUnited Nations on one of the new communica-tions (E/2333/Add.21) and two statements bythe World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)(E/C.2/341) and the International Confedera-tion of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) (E/C.2/-343), respectively.

The representatives of Sweden and the UnitedKingdom had also submitted a five-part draftresolution (E/L.484), which was subsequentlyadopted with minor amendments at the Council's680th meeting on 9 April.

During the debate, several members, includingthe representatives of Egypt, Poland, the USSR,the United Kingdom, the United States andUruguay, discussed specific allegations relatingto their own or other countries.

The main issue, however, was whether theprocedure under which the Secretary-General is


See Y.U.N., 1950, pp. 539-40.107

See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 454-55.108

See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 499-500.

Economic and Social Questions 401

requested to bring allegations of the infringementof trade union rights to the attention of the Coun-cil should be changed, as proposed by Sweden andthe United Kingdom (E/L.484(I)), to the effectthat in the future allegations relating to StatesMembers of ILO should be forwarded by the Sec-retary-General, acting on behalf of the Council,directly to the Governing Body of the Inter-national Labour Office. The representatives ofEgypt, Poland and the USSR contended that theprocedure established under resolution 277(X)already constituted an abdication of the Coun-cil's responsibility and thought that, if the Coun-cil were to agree to the proposed change, it wouldbe divesting itself to a still larger extent of oneof its important functions under the Charter.The representative of WFTU also spoke to thispoint, her organization having urged the Councilin a written statement (E/C.2/341) to under-take at each session substantive discussions ofcomplaints of violations of trade union rights.Other representatives, including those of Argen-tina, Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom andthe United States, pointed out that the ILO Fact-Finding and Conciliation Commission on Freedomof Association was the proper agency to handleallegations regarding infringement of trade unionrights, and that the proposed change in procedurewould only serve to expedite the forwarding ofcomplaints.

An amendment by India (E/L.488), providingthat a summary of the allegations be submitted tothe Council for its information or discussion wasrejected by 9 votes to 3, with 5 abstentions.

The sponsors of the draft resolution agreed toan oral Argentine proposal to delete the referencein the first paragraph to resolutions 351(XII) and444(XIV) dealing with procedure.

Draft resolution I, as amended, was adoptedby 13 votes to 3, with 1 abstention, as resolution474 A (XV).

By this resolution, the Council decided to for-ward to the Governing Body of the InternationalLabour Office for its consideration as to referenceto the Fact-Finding and Conciliation Commissionthose allegations enumerated in document E/-L.471 and those received subsequently relatingto States Members of ILO, and requested the Sec-retary-General, acting on behalf of the Council,to forward to the Governing Body of the Inter-national Labour Office for similar action all suchallegations in the future.

Another item briefly discussed by the Councilwas the absence of a reply from the Governmentof the USSR to several requests addressed to it

by the Secretary-General, acting on behalf of theCouncil, seeking its consent to permit an allega-tion relating to that country (E/1882) to behandled under the international machinery forsafeguarding trade union rights and freedom ofassociation, agreed upon between the UnitedNations and ILO. Additional material relating tothe previous allegation had been submitted byICFTU (E/2333/Add.6). In its written state-ment (E/C.2/343), ICFTU had suggested thatthe Council should establish a committee, similarto the Committee on Freedom of Association ofthe Governing Body of the International LabourOffice, to handle complaints directed against StatesMembers of the United Nations but not Mem-bers of ILO, which have not given their consentto let a complaint relating to them be referredto the Fact-Finding and Conciliation Commissionof ILO. The tasks of this Committee would be

(1) to consider for recommendation to the Economicand Social Council whether cases are worthy of exami-nation by the Council, and

(2) where so determined affirmatively, to recom-mend alternative action designed to safeguard the rightsrelating to freedom of association involved in the case.

In discussing the allegation, the representativeof the USSR maintained that there could be noquestion of infringements of trade union rightsin the USSR, because the country was ruled bythe working class and the labour legislation wasworked out with prior consent of the trade unions.

The Swedish representative thought that theprocedure proposed by ICFTU would serve nouseful purpose at this time and the United King-dom representative expressed the hope that theUSSR would reply in the near future. The UnitedStates representative, however, stated that theCouncil had waited two years for a reply and thatit would be remiss, in his opinion, not to takesome action. The Indian representative proposedthat the Council should note, rather than notewith concern, that the USSR had not yet repliedand an amendment deleting the words "with con-cern" was adopted by 7 votes to 5, with 5 absten-tions. Draft resolution II was adopted, as amended,by 13 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions, as resolution474 B (XV).

By this resolution the Council, noting that theGovernment of the USSR had not yet replied tothe invitations addressed to it by the Secretary-General under the terms of resolution 277(X)(sub-paragraph (c) of the second operative para-graph), requested the Secretary-General to for-ward to the Government of the USSR the furthermaterial relating to the allegation previously sub-mitted by ICFTU, and to invite it to reconsiderits attitude in the matter.

402 Yearbook of the United Nations

Concerning the question of replies from theGovernments of Romania and Spain, the Argen-tine representative held that the United Nationscould not confer obligations on a State withoutalso giving it the rights of membership. He would,therefore, vote against the draft resolution con-cerning these Governments. Draft resolution IIIwas adopted by 13 votes to 4, as resolution 474C (XV).

By this resolution, the Council, noting that theGovernments of Spain and Romania had not re-sponded to invitations addressed to them, in ac-cordance with resolutions 351(XII) and 444(XIV), to submit their observations on certainallegations relating to them, and noting thatfurther allegations relating to Spain (E/2333/-Add.4 & 5) had been received, requested theSecretary-General to bring the latter allegationsto the attention of the Government of Spain andto invite it to submit its observations on them,bringing to its attention the provisions of reso-lution 277(X). It further expressed the hope thatthe two Governments might find it possible toindicate their willingness to co-operate with theUnited Nations in its efforts to safeguard tradeunion rights by submitting their observations onthe allegations already referred to them.

As to the observations of the Allied MilitaryGovernment of the Free Territory of Trieste (E/-2335) on the allegation contained in documentE/2154/Add.20, some representatives, includingthose of Argentina and the Philippines, felt that itwould be outside the competence of the Councilto examine the case in substance. The Philippinerepresentative therefore proposed (E/L.489) thatdraft resolution IV should be redrafted to read"Considers that the allegation is not within its[The Council's] competence to examine". Thiswas rejected by 7 votes to 4, with 6 abstentions.An Egyptian proposal to delete draft resolutionIV completely was rejected by 7 votes to 3, with7 abstentions.

By resolution 474 D (XV), which was adoptedby 10 votes to 3, with 4 abstentions, the Counciltook note of the observations of the Allied Mili-tary Government, observed that no question oftrade union rights was involved, and dismissedthe allegation as not meriting further examination.

With regard to draft resolution V, the Frenchrepresentative recalled that the case of the com-plaint previously addressed to the competentauthorities of the Saar had been referred to theILO Committee on Freedom of Association. ACommission of the Saar Diet was currently study-ing the matter and the ILO Committee would beinformed of the outcome in the near future. He

therefore considered it inexpedient to bring theallegations once again to the attention of the Saarauthorities, who were apparently acting in goodfaith.

The sponsors of the draft resolution thereforeagreed to amend it accordingly. As amended, itwas adopted by 14 votes to 2, with 1 abstention,as resolution 474 E (XV).

By this resolution the Council recalled the pro-cedure established in its resolution 444(XIV),paragraph 4, concerning an allegation (E/2154/-Add.43) relating to the Saar, noted that a furtherallegation relating to the Saar (E/2333/Add.19)had been received and requested the Secretary-General to bring the latter allegation to the atten-tion of the competent authorities of the Saar, andto invite them to submit their observations, bring-ing to their attention the provisions of resolution277(X).


At its sixteenth session, the Council had beforeit, in accordance with its resolutions 277(X) and474(XV), a communication (E/2434) alleginginfringements of trade union rights in Spain. TheCouncil also had before it a note by the Secretary-General (E/2464) in which it was stated that hehad received no reply from the Governments ofthe USSR, Spain and Romania, and the competentauthorities of the Saar to his note sent in pur-suance of Council resolutions 474 B, C and E(XV).

During the discussion at the Council's 719th,720th and 722nd plenary meetings, from 9 to 11July, a representative of the International LabourOffice, and representatives of WFTU, the Inter-national Federation of Christian Trade Unions(IFCTU) and ICFTU were heard. The represen-tative of ILO reminded the Council of the state-ment of the Director-General of ILO during thediscussion on the seventh report of ILO to theUnited Nations that the Governing Body of theInternational Labour Office was considering thepossibility of improving the procedure regardingallegations and their consideration by the Fact-Finding and Conciliation Commission on Free-dom of Association.

The WFTU representative criticized the pro-cedure followed by ILO and urged the Councilto reintroduce the procedure under resolution277(X) and to maintain a closer supervision overthe protection of trade union liberties. The repre-sentative of IFCTU urged the establishment of an

Economic and Social Questions 403

ad hoc committee by the Council to considerallegations against governments which were notmembers of ILO, in consultation with the freetrade unions, with a view to making recommen-dations on action to be taken by the Council. Therepresentative of ICFTU requested the Council toprovide for some machinery whereby such alle-gations could be dealt with, and referred toICFTU's suggestion on the matter at the fifteenthsession.

The Council did not take up the substance ofthe matter. The majority agreed that it might bedesirable for the Council to take up eventually thequestion of the machinery for dealing with suchallegations but were willing to support, withoutprejudice to future action by the Council, the pro-cedural proposal (E/L.532) presented by theArgentine representative that the allegations re-ferred to in the documents before the Council bereferred to the governments concerned.

The Council, at its 722nd plenary meeting on11 July 1953, adopted the Argentine draft reso-lution by 16 votes to 2. By this resolution (503(XVI)) the Secretary-General was requested totransmit to the governments concerned the alle-gations regarding infringements of trade unionrights contained in documents E/2434 and E/-2464.

7. Forced Labour


The Ad hoc Committee on Forced Labour, ap-pointed by the Secretary-General and the Director-General of the International Labour Office inaccordance with resolution 350(XII)109 of theEconomic and Social Council, held its fourth andlast session from 17 April to 27 May 1953 andunanimously adopted its final report (E/2431) forsubmission to the Economic and Social Counciland to the Governing Body of the InternationalLabour Office.

The fourth session was devoted to a final studyof the documentation before the Committee relat-ing to 24 countries (and/or territories under theiradministration) concerning which allegations ofthe existence of forced labour had been madeeither in the Council or subsequently by non-governmental organizations or individuals. Theobject of this study was to determine whetherthose allegations were relevant to the Committee'sterms of reference and, if so, whether the docu-mentation submitted to the Committee revealedthe existence of a system of forced labour of eitherthe "political" or "economic" or of both types

coming within the meaning of the Committee'sterms of reference.

During the interval between the third andfourth sessions, on 2 March 1953, a letter of re-minder, under the Chairman's signature, was sentto those of the 24 governments which had notreplied by that time to the Committee's letter of22 November 1952, by which an informal docu-ment summarizing the allegations and other ma-terial in the possession of the Committee had beencommunicated confidentially to each of the gov-ernments concerned for comment.

On 23 April 1953, another reminder was sentto these governments, by cable, indicating theCommittee's intention to conclude its work by22 May 1953 and requesting that their commentsand observations be forwarded by 10 May.

By 20 May, the following Governments hadtransmitted their comments and observations:Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, France, Peru, Portugal,Spain, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, UnitedStates.

The following Governments had not replied:Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile,110 Colombia, Czecho-slovakia, Ecuador, Germany (Democratic Republic of),Hungary, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, USSR, Venezuela.

The Committee, in its final report (E/2431),stated that its inquiry had revealed the existencein the world of two principal systems of forcedlabour, the first being employed as a means ofpolitical coercion or punishment for holding orexpressing political views and the second beingused for important economic purposes.

The Committee found that a system of forcedlabour as a means of political coercion had beenestablished in certain countries, was probably inexistence in several other countries, and possi-bilities for its establishment existed in others. Sucha system was found to exist in its fullest form,and in the form which most endangered the fun-damental rights of the human person as guaran-teed by the Charter of the United Nations andproclaimed in the Universal Declaration of HumanRights, where it was expressly directed againstpeople of a particular "class" (or social origin)and even against political "ideas" or attitudes inmen's minds; where a person might be sentencedto forced labour for the offence of having ex-pressed his ideological opposition to the estab-lished political order, or even because he was onlysuspected of such hostility; when he might be

109 See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 502.110 The reply of the Government of Chile, dated 19

May 1953, was received on 14 June 1953; therefore thecomments and observations included therein were issuedseparately (E/2431/Add.1).

404 Yearbook of the United Nations

sentenced by procedures which did not afford himfull rights of defence, often by a purely adminis-trative order; and when, in addition, the penaltyof forced labour was intended for his political"correction" or "re-education", i.e., to alter hispolitical convictions to the satisfaction of thegovernment in power.

The Committee stated that its inquiry had againshown the importance of the work of the UnitedNations for ensuring and safeguarding humanrights and dignity. The Commission on HumanRights, it noted, was engaged in drafting articlesfor Covenants on Human Rights which had adirect bearing on many of the issues consideredby the Committee and the problems raised bysuch issues. The Committee suggested that anearnest appeal be addressed to all governmentsconcerned to re-examine their laws and adminis-trative practices in the light of the current con-ditions and the increasing desire of the peoples ofthe world "to reaffirm faith in fundamental humanrights [and] in the dignity and worth of thehuman person".

While less seriously jeopardizing the funda-mental rights of the human person, systems offorced labour for economic purposes constituted,in the Committee's opinion, no less a violation ofthe Charter of the United Nations and the Uni-versal Declaration of Human Rights. Althoughsuch systems may be found in different parts ofthe world, they differ in nature and scope. Thesesystems—still found by the Committee to exist insome countries or territories where a large in-digenous population lived side by side with apopulation of another origin—most often, itstated, resulted from a combination of variouspractices or institutions affecting only the in-digenous population and involving direct or in-direct compulsion to work. Examples of such prac-tices were: compulsory labour properly so called,various coercive methods of recruiting, the in-fliction of heavy penalties for breaches of con-tracts of employment, the abusive use of vagrancylaws, and other similar measures.

Recalling that the International Labour Organi-sation (ILO) had been working for some 25 yearsto bring about the abolition of such practices byConventions and other means, the Committeeexpressed the hope that it would continue andwould intensify its efforts towards this goal.

The Committee further pointed out that, whilethe forms of forced labour contemplated in theILO Conventions related almost entirely to "in-digenous" inhabitants of dependent territories, thesystems of forced labour for economic purposesfound to affect the working population of some

fully self-governing countries (where there wasno "indigenous" population) raised new problems,calling for action.

Such systems, the Committee stated, resultedfrom various general measures involving compul-sion in the recruitment, mobilization or directionof labour. The Committee found that these, takenin conjunction with other similar restrictive meas-ures, went beyond the "general obligation to work"embodied in several modern constitutions, as wellas the "normal civic obligations" and "emergency"regulations contemplated in ILO Convention No.29 concerning forced or compulsory labour. Suchmeasures often deprived the individual of the freechoice of employment and freedom of movementand were contrary to the principles of the Uni-versal Declaration of Human Rights, it stated.However attractive might seem the idea of usingsuch methods of compulsion to promote a coun-try's economic progress, the result, the Committeeconcluded, was a system of forced labour whichnot only subjected a section of the population toconditions of serious hardship and indignity, butwhich must gradually lower the status and dignityof even the free workers in such countries.

The Committee, therefore, expressed the opinionthat the problems of compulsory labour whichILO had thus far considered mainly in connexionwith indigenous workers should now be examinedalso in connexion with workers in fully self-governing countries. It suggested that, wherenecessary, international action be taken, either byframing new Conventions or by amending exist-ing Conventions, so that they might be applicableto forced labour conditions among these workers.

In addition to these general observations, thereport contained the Committee's findings andconclusions concerning the allegations of forcedlabour of either political or economic type, orboth, for each of the 24 countries (or territories)examined.


The question of forced labour was not consid-ered by the Economic and Social Council during1953, since the relevant item was deferred by theCouncil to its seventeenth session.

At the request of the permanent representativeof the United States, in a letter addressed to theSecretary-General on 14 August 1953 (A/2438& Corr.1), the General Assembly, at its 435thplenary meeting on 17 September 1953, decided,without opposition, to include in the agenda of itseighth session the item "Evidence of Existence of

Economic and Social Questions 405

Forced Labour" and to refer it to its Third Com-mittee for consideration and report.

The Third Committee considered the item atits 529th to 534th and 536th meetings, on 20, 23,24, 25 and 27 November 1953.

Although the report of the Ad hoc Committeewas not formally before the Third Committee, thediscussion was largely concerned with that docu-ment The discussion was marked by clear differ-ences of view. Most speakers endorsed the find-ings and conclusions of the Ad hoc Committee,as evidence of the existence of systems of forcedlabour employed as a means of political coercionor for economic purposes in a number of coun-tries, and emphasized the importance which theyattached to the abolition of such systems.

The representative of the United States statedthat the Ad hoc Committee had provided evidencethat forced labour as a means of political coercionand as an essential part of the national economywent hand in hand with Soviet Communism andthat the USSR was the central source of infection.He cited, as one example, the penal codes of theUSSR and "its constituent republics" which, hesaid, explicitly provided for several types offorced labour. After examining the detailed evi-dence, he further stated, the Ad hoc Committeehad had no choice but to conclude that Sovietpenal legislation was the basis of a system offorced labour used as a means of political coercionor punishment for holding or expressing politicalviews, that the legislation was in fact used in sucha way, that the system played a part of some sig-nificance in the national economy and that Sovietlegislation involving compulsion to work andplacing restrictions on freedom of employmentled to a system of forced or compulsory labour.The spotlight of public debate, he concluded, hadto be thrown on the subject in the hope that themoral pressure of the United Nations would leadto remedial measures which only the countriesconcerned could take.

The representatives of the Byelorussian SSR,Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Ukrainian SSR andthe USSR regarded the Ad hoc Committee's re-port as a collection of false and slanderous accu-sations, based on unofficial information. Theyrejected its findings and conclusions and chargedthat it had disregarded the existence of forcedlabour in France, the United Kingdom, the UnitedStates, colonies in Africa and Asia and in mostLatin American countries. They accused theUnited States Government of attempting to sowhatred and discord among nations and of keepingthe cold war alive. The Ad hoc Committee, therepresentative of the USSR charged, had refused

to study real forced labour, in the form in whichit appeared in capitalist countries and colonialterritories, and had attempted to show that forcedlabour for economic and political purposes had itsbasis in legislation. Instead of taking into accountthe Constitution of the USSR, he continued, theagents of the United States reactionary circleswere trying to distort the legislative provisions ofthe USSR; they gave fragmentary quotations,cited passages out of context, and referred to ob-solete documents no longer in force. They dis-torted the penal code of the USSR and tried tocite it as the main evidence of the alleged forcedlabour system.

The representatives of Afghanistan, Ethiopiaand India stressed that the question should beconsidered from a purely humanitarian point ofview. The representative of India stated that anystudy of forced labour should include all forms ofsuch labour and all circumstances involved. Apreliminary study of the report showed that theinvestigation was too limited in scope in as muchas it excluded some countries where forced labourmight exist in practice. The Committee, he con-cluded, had placed undue emphasis on the word"systems" and had considered itself competent todeal with forced labour only if it was sanctionedby law or administrative measures, thus implyingthat, if illegal forced labour existed, it could notconcern itself with the matter. Moreover, it haddecided that forced labour sanctioned by law foreconomic reasons would not be regarded as forcedlabour unless it was being practised on such awide scale as to constitute an important elementin the country's economy. That, he said, led to theabsurd conclusion that, if a few persons weresubjected to forced labour for political purposes,forced labour existed, but if a few persons werethus subjected for economic purposes, no forcedlabour was involved. He considered that forcedlabour should be regarded as such, irrespective ofwhether it was practised for political or economicpurposes or on a large or small scale, whether ornot it was prescribed by law and whether or notit constituted an important element in the nationaleconomy. So long as the report excluded severalcategories of forced labour, it was valueless inassessing the real extent of the problem and hisdelegation would abstain from voting on the jointdraft resolution (A/C.3/L.395) before the Com-mittee (see below).

The representative of Cuba agreed that theCommittee had adopted a rather narrow interpre-tation of its terms of reference, but, within thelimits of that interpretation, he considered that ithad produced a valuable and impartial report.

406 Yearbook of the United Nations

The representative of the Union of South Africaquestioned whether the report in some instancesdid not constitute interference in the domesticaffairs of the countries concerned.

The majority supported the draft resolution(A/C.3/L.395) submitted jointly by Australia,Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Greece, Pakistan,the United Kingdom and the United States.

At the request of the representative of Iraq aseparate vote was taken on each paragraph of thejoint draft resolution, as well as on the words "onsuch a scale as" in the first operative paragraph.The latter phrase was adopted by 35 votes to 8,with 8 abstentions, and the separate paragraphswere adopted in votes varying from 35 to 5, with10 abstentions, to 42 to 5, with 3 abstentions.The joint draft resolution was adopted, as a whole,by the Committee (A/2588), at its 536th meet-ing on 27 November, by a roll-call vote of 36 to 5,with 10 abstentions.

It was adopted by the General Assembly, at its468th plenary meeting on 7 December 1953, bya roll-call vote of 39 to 5, with 12 abstentions, asresolution 740(VIII). The voting was as follows:

In favour: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada,Chile, China, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic,Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guate-mala, Haiti, Iceland, Israel, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexi-co, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway,Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sweden,Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uru-guay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.

Against: Byelorussian SSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland,Ukrainian SSR, USSR.

Abstaining: Afghanistan, Argentina, Burma, Egypt,India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Unionof South Africa, Yemen.

Resolution 740(VIII) read:"The General Assembly,

"Recalling the determination of the peoples of theUnited Nations under the Charter to reaffirm faith infundamental human rights and in the dignity and worthof the human person,

"Regretting that the Economic and Social Council atits sixteenth session was unable to consider the conclu-sions contained in the report of the Ad hoc Committeeon Forced Labour,

"Considering that systems of forced labour constitutea serious threat to fundamental human rights andjeopardize the freedom and status of workers in contra-vention of the obligations and provisions of the Charterof the United Nations,

"Observing that the report of the Ad hoc Committeeon Forced Labour has now been placed on the agendaof the seventeenth session of the Economic and SocialCouncil and of the 123rd session of the GoverningBody of the International Labour Office,

"Considering that in view of this delay there is stilltime for certain governments which have not yet done

so to provide information in response to the Ad hocCommittee's request for comments and observations onthe allegations concerning them,

"1. Affirms the importance which it attaches to theabolition of all systems of forced or "corrective" labour,whether employed as a means of political coercion orpunishment for holding or expressing political views oron such a scale as to constitute an important element inthe economy of a country;

"2. Invites the Economic and Social Council and theInternational Labour Organisation, as a matter of urg-ency, to give early consideration to the report of theAd hoc Committee on Forced Labour at their nextsessions with this aim in view;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General to consult withgovernments which have not yet found it possible toprovide information in response to the Ad hoc Com-mittee's request to the effect that they submit such infor-mation before the seventeenth session of the Economicand Social Council so that these replies may be broughtto the attention of the Council;

"4. Requests the Economic and Social Council toreport on forced labour to the General Assembly at itsninth session."


Meanwhile, the report of the Ad hoc Committeewas studied by the Governing Body of the Inter-national Labour Office, at its 122nd and 123rdsessions, held in June and November 1953, re-spectively.

The Governing Body decided (E/2431/Add.2)to support the suggestion of the Ad hoc Com-mittee that an appeal be addressed to all govern-ments which in one form or another maintainedor might maintain a system of forced labour of apolitical type, to the effect that they re-examinetheir laws and their administrative practices assuggested in the report.

It also decided (E/2431/Add.3)(1) to address an appeal to governments which had

not yet ratified the various International Labour Con-ventions of 1930, 1936, and 1939, inviting them to giveprompt consideration to whether their ratification couldbe effected and, in the case of governments which hadresponsibilities for non-metropolitan territories, also toconsider whether the Conventions could be applied with-out modifications to those territories;

(2) to authorize the Director-General to address anappeal to the governments which had ratified one ormore of these Conventions to examine the possibilitiesof extending their application to any territories inwhich any or all of the provisions were not applied;

(3) to continue work on the five-year report on theworking of the Forced Labour Convention of 1930,with a view to enabling the Governing Body to considerthe possibility of the suppression of forced or compul-sory labour in all its forms without a further transitionalperiod;

(4) to affirm the willingness of ILO to continue andintensify its efforts towards the abolition of forced

Economic and Social Questions 407

labour practices of an economic character, includingpractices not envisaged when the existing instrumentswere adopted; and

(5) to request the Director-General to continue hisconsultations with the Secretary-General of the UnitedNations on those aspects of the matter not dealt with inthese proposals and to keep the Governing Body in-formed.

8. Slavery


At its fifteenth session, the Economic andSocial Council had before it the report of theSecretary-General (E/2357) on slavery, the slavetrade and other forms of servitude, submitted inaccordance with Council resolution 388(XIII)by which the Secretary-General had been askedto collect information to supplement the materialpresented by the Ad hoc Committee on Slavery,to examine the Committee's report (E/1988) andto report to the Council with recommendationsfor appropriate United Nations action.111

In compiling this report, the Secretary-Generalnoted that the materials available included repliesfrom 52 Member States and 22 non-memberStates and territories, ancillary memoranda pre-pared individually by members of the Ad hocCommittee on Slavery and a report by the Inter-national Labour Organisation (ILO) on indige-nous workers in independent countries. He pointedout that certain countries and territories had notyet supplied full information in response to theQuestionnaire on Slavery and Servitude and thatcertain available materials were unverified and insome cases contained contradictory statements.Therefore, the conclusions and suggestions putforward by him should not be considered at thisstage as being either final or complete. Indeed, thequestion might be raised, he stated, whether theCouncil should take any definitive action beforeexhausting every possibility of completing thesurvey of slavery, the slave trade and other formsof servitude.

Chapter I of the Secretary-General's report re-called that the Ad hoc Committee had reached theunanimous conclusion that slavery, even in itscrudest form, was still present in the world andthat other forms of servitude existed in practicallyall regions. In some countries, these other formsof servitude were decreasing, but in others, theCommittee had held, they were increasing in ex-tent and the suffering caused by them was nowgreater than anything resulting from crude slav-ery. These forms of servitude, the report stated,

as well as slavery itself should, therefore, beequally a concern of the international community.

The recommendations put forward by the Adhoc Committee had recognized that existing formsof servitude could not be abolished by legislationalone, but that positive measures of internationalassistance in eliminating the underlying economicand social causes of such practices were necessary.

The first of these recommendations proposedthat (1) the definition contained in article 1112

of the International Slavery Convention, 1926,should continue to be accepted as an accurate andadequate international definition of slavery andthe slave trade, and (2) that the functions andpowers of the League of Nations under that Con-vention should be transferred to the United Na-tions by means of a Protocol which the Committeehad drafted.

The Ad hoc Committee had further recom-mended that the Council set up a drafting com-mittee to prepare a new supplementary convention,based on certain principles set forth in its report,which would aim at the elimination of otherforms of servitude as well as of slavery.

It had drafted recommendations which mightbe made to governments regarding legislative andadministrative measures for the abolition of slav-ery and similar customs and had proposed that astanding body of experts of the United Nationsshould be established to study and report to theCouncil on measures taken to eliminate slavery.The Committee had further recommended theconclusion of regional agreements to combat slav-ery, the slave trade and other forms of servitude,and the adoption of appropriate measures by thespecialized agencies, particularly by the Inter-national Labour Organisation.

The Secretary-General examined these recom-mendations and, in addition, in chapter II madesupplementary suggestions relating to:

(1) completion of the survey;(2) preparation of drafts of separate and additional

conventions aimed at the elimination of such institutionsor practices resembling slavery in their effects as werenot already covered by the International Slavery Con-vention of 1926;

(3) establishment of a reporting procedure on thesubject of slavery, the slave trade and other forms ofservitude on a continuing basis; and

(4) assistance which the United Nations and thespecialized agencies might furnish to States in order toenable them to eliminate slavery, the slave trade andother forms of servitude.

111 See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 502-505.

112 For definition, see Y.U.N., 1951, p. 503, footnote


408 Yearbook of the United Nations

In chapter III of the report, the Secretary-General recapitulated the main problems whichappeared to him to arise from his examination ofthe report and recommendations of the Ad hocCommittee and from his supplementary sugges-tions, and made alternative suggestions for actionwhich might be taken by the Council. The ques-tions raised related, in particular, to:

(1) the completion of the survey begun by the Adhoc Committee;

(2) the use of existing and proposed internationalinstruments for combating slavery, the slave trade andother forms of servitude;

(3) the possibility of establishing a reporting pro-cedure and international supervisory machinery to dealwith these problems;

(4) the possibility of combating slavery, the slavetrade and other forms of servitude by means of regionalarrangements;

(5) the possibility of addressing recommendations togovernments on appropriate legislative and administra-tive measures aimed at combating those practices; and

(6) the possibility that the United Nations and spe-cialized agencies might furnish assistance to States to aidthem in eliminating slavery, the slave trade and otherforms of servitude.

During the debate in the Council's Social Com-mittee, at its 228th to 233rd meetings from 7 to20 April 1953, the majority commended theSecretary-General's report. There was unanimousagreement that slavery, in all its forms, should beabolished as quickly as possible and that it wasthe duty of the United Nations to bring thisabout. It was also generally agreed, as observed bythe Secretary-General in his report, that moreaccurate and comprehensive information wasneeded to enable the Council to take further meas-ures towards the total elimination of slavery, theslave trade and other forms of servitude. TheBelgian representative, in this connexion, sug-gested that those governments which had not re-plied fully or at all to the Questionnaire shouldbe requested to do so. With reference to a report-ing procedure, most representatives also felt thatthe continuous collection of additional informa-tion should be left to the Commission on HumanRights or perhaps to a group such as the Ad hocCommittee on Forced Labour.

The United Kingdom representative statedthat he recognized the duty of the United Nationsto strive with all the means at its disposal toabolish slavery as soon as possible but he consid-ered that the Council should act with circum-spection in view of the vast scope of the problemand the inadequacy of the information available.He drew attention to the importance of securingthe goodwill and co-operation of all governmentsand an awakened international public opinion.

He and the representative of Sweden pointed outthe need for recognizing that certain traditions,which were part of the social, economic, or re-ligious structure of an area, could not be abolishedat once without upsetting the entire system. Theimportance of improving the poor economic andsocial conditions, which were the underlyingcauses of slavery, was also stressed by the repre-sentatives of Australia, China, India, the UnitedStates and Venezuela. The Australian and Chineserepresentatives thought that technical assistance,as suggested in the Secretary-General's report,might be requested, perhaps under the UnitedNations Advisory Social Welfare Programme, witha view to reducing or eliminating conditions con-ducive to slavery.

The majority also supported the transfer, by theadoption of a protocol, of the functions under theInternational Slavery Convention of 1926 to theUnited Nations. The representatives of China andSweden thought that an Assembly or Councilresolution might be sufficient to effect the trans-fer, but several representatives, including those ofFrance and the United States, considered that thiswould create a dangerous precedent. Moreover, itwas pointed out, some States which had signed theConvention were not United Nations Members.

The Council recognized that slavery, while stillexisting in a crude form in some areas, in generalin the modern world took the form of servitudewith results similar to slavery. The representativesof Australia, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavianevertheless thought that the definition in article1 of the 1926 Convention was adequate at present.The representatives of China and Sweden thoughtthat it was clear that the definition would have tobe interpreted in a very broad sense to allow itsapplication to every possible form of slavery. Therepresentatives of France, India, Sweden and theUnited Kingdom, among others, supported, atleast in principle, the drafting of a supplementaryconvention covering both the institutions andpractices covered by the 1926 Convention andcertain other institutions and practices.

The representatives of Poland and the USSRstated that there was still no accurate and compre-hensive report before the Committee and thePolish representative therefore proposed a draftresolution (E/AC.7/L.136), by which the Councilwould set up a committee composed of represen-tatives of five States to prepare for the Council'sseventeenth session recommendations for the earl-iest possible abolition of the slave trade and slav-ery in all its forms. The USSR representative,who supported the Polish proposal, stated thata return to the 1926 Convention and a supplement

Economic and Social Questions 409

were not sufficient. The 1926 Convention was notan effective instrument for the abolition of slavery.

Among others, the representatives of China,Egypt, France, the Philippines and Sweden op-posed the Polish draft resolution, stating that theydid not consider the establishment of a new organof the United Nations was the best solution. It waspointed out that the Commission on HumanRights had already studied the problem, or thatthe necessary work might be entrusted to theSecretariat, for the time being.

The Polish draft resolution was rejected by 14votes to 2, with 2 abstentions, at the Social Com-mittee's 233rd meeting on 20 April.

A joint draft resolution (E/AC.7/L.143) waspresented by Belgium, Egypt, France, Sweden, theUnited Kingdom, Uruguay and Yugoslavia, amal-gamating the provisions of four separate draftresolutions: by the United Kingdom (E/AC.7/-L.138); by Belgium (E/AC.7/L.139); jointly byFrance and Sweden (E/AC.7/L.140); and byEgypt (E/AC.7/L.141).

The USSR and United States representativescriticized the fourth paragraph of the preamble tothe joint draft, which referred to measures for the"progressive" eradication of slavery. The UnitedStates representative suggested the deletion of theword "progressive" and the USSR representativeproposed to refer to measures aimed "at the earl-iest eradication of slavery and the slave trade inall their forms". The representatives of China,Egypt and Venezuela considered that the secondoperative paragraph calling for the preparation ofthe Protocol should set a more definite time limit.

The sponsors agreed to meet these points, andthe draft resolution, as amended, was adopted bythe Social Committee (E/2407), at its 233rdmeeting on 20 April, by 16 votes to none, with2 abstentions, and at the Council's 702nd plenarymeeting on 27 April, by the same vote, as reso-lution 475(XV). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,"Recalling its resolution 388(XIII), and taking note

of the report of the Secretary-General concerning slav-ery, the slave trade and other forms of servitude,

"Mindful of the principle of the dignity and worth ofthe human person proclaimed in the Charter and in theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights,

"Noting that vestiges of crude slavery still exist, andthat other institutions and practices which give rise toconditions similar to slavery, whether in law or in fact,also exist and affect a much larger number of people,

"Bearing in mind the progress already made towardsabolishing slavery, the slave trade and conditions similarto slavery, and considering that measures should betaken to promote their earliest possible eradication,

"Believing that, as stated in the above-mentioned re-port of the Secretary-General, more information should

be obtained in order that the Council may take furthermeasures towards the total elimination of the institutionsand practices referred to,

"1. Recommends that the General Assembly invitethe States Parties, or which may become Parties, to theInternational Slavery Convention of 1926 to agree tothe transfer to the United Nations of the functionsundertaken by the League of Nations under the saidConvention;

"2. Requests the Secretary-General to prepare a draftprotocol to this end, to communicate it to the StatesParties to the International Slavery Convention of 1926for their observations, and to submit it to the GeneralAssembly at its eighth session for appropriate action;

"3. Recommends to all States, both Members andnon-members of the United Nations, which have notalready done so, that they adhere as soon as possible tothe International Slavery Convention of 1926 in respectof their territories and the Non-Self-Governing andTrust Territories for which they are responsible, in orderthat the said Convention may be given universalapplication;

"4. Requests the Secretary-General to consult thegovernments of all States, both Members and non-members of the United Nations, concerning the desir-ability of a supplementary convention and its possiblecontents, at the same time communicating to them theproposals of the Committee of Experts contained in itsrecommendation B, and to report to the Council, ifpossible at its first regular session in 1954;

"5. Invites the specialized agencies to submit to theSecretary-General their comments and suggestions;

"6. Requests the Secretary-General to urge thosegovernments which have failed to supply information,or have supplied information which is incomplete, toreply accurately and fully to the questionnaire alreadytransmitted to them;

"7. Invites the specialized agencies and the compe-tent non-governmental organizations to collect andtransmit to the Secretary-General all the material avail-able to them relating to the problems under considera-tion, and asks the specialized agencies for their sugges-tions as to measures which might be taken in order toeliminate slavery and conditions similar to slavery;

"8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to theCouncil, if possible at its first regular session in 1954,a supplementary report collating information suppliedin response to the present resolution."


In accordance with the resolution adopted bythe Council, the Secretary-General prepared adraft Protocol, which he submitted to the eighthsession of the General Assembly, together with amemorandum (A/2435) outlining the back-ground to the question. Also annexed to thememorandum was a draft resolution for adoptionby the Assembly. (For the text of the Protocol asadopted, with drafting amendments, see below.)

In his notes (A/2435/Add.1,2 & 3) the Secre-tary-General also transmitted to the GeneralAssembly the observations he had received fromgovernments on the draft Protocol, which he had

410 Yearbook of the United Nations

circulated to States parties to the Convention of1926.

Observations had been received from the Gov-ernments of the Federal Republic of Germany,Greece, Haiti, Switzerland and the United King-dom, stating that they would accept, or had noobjection to the proposed Protocol. Certain draft-ing amendments were suggested by the UnitedKingdom. The Belgian Government, in its obser-vation, stated that, while the 1926 Convention atthe time it was concluded was a step forward, asa measure for curbing slavery proper, it was in-adequate at the present time, particularly in thelight of the Ad hoc Committee's statements con-cerning forms of servitude other than slavery. Theproblem also involved some States not Membersof the United Nations. Belgium therefore sug-gested the convening of a diplomatic conferenceto discuss the interrelated problems of slavery.The proposed conference, it considered, shouldbe open to all States whose co-operation wasessential for combating the various forms ofservitude.

The question was considered by the Assemblyat the 369th and 370th meetings of its SixthCommittee, on 12 and 15 October, and at its453rd plenary meeting on 23 October 1953.

The Committee had before it a draft resolutionsubmitted by the United Kingdom (A/C.6/-L.304) to which was annexed a slightly amendedversion of the draft Protocol submitted by theSecretary-General. Under the operative part of theUnited Kingdom draft resolution the GeneralAssembly would:

(1) approve the Protocol accompanying the draftresolution;

(2) urge "all States parties to the Slavery Conven-tion to sign or accept the Protocol"; and

(3) recommend all other States to accede at theirearliest opportunity to the Slavery Convention asamended by the Protocol.

In submitting the draft resolution the represen-tative of the United Kingdom stressed the purelyformal character of the accompanying Protocol.Its adoption, he considered, would cast no doubtwhatever on the depositary functions exercisedby the Secretary-General under Assembly resolu-tion 24(I) of 1946, by which certain functionsand activities of the League were transferred tothe United Nations.

The United Kingdom draft provided in articleII that States might become parties to the Protocolby (1) signature without reservation as to accep-tance, (2) signature with reservation as to ac-ceptance, or (3) acceptance, instead of by"accession" as stated in the Secretary-General's

draft, since this form was considered to be inaccordance with the precedents and to give gov-ernments a choice of a variety of methods of ad-herence to the Protocol.

The United Kingdom representative did notpress an amendment to article III of the Secretary-General's draft, which his Government had sug-gested in its comments (A/2435/Add.3), andwhich expressly stipulated that States not partiesto the Convention might become parties theretoif they simultaneously signed or accepted theProtocol and acceded to the Convention. TheUnited Kingdom representative accepted the as-surance of the representative of the Secretary-General that the practice of the Secretary-Generalwas to give States an opportunity to accede to aprotocol as well as the corresponding convention.Under the terms of article III, after the Protocolhad come into force by the adherence of 23 States,States subsequently acceding to the Conventionwould become parties to the Convention asamended by the Annex to the Protocol.

During the discussions in the Committee thequestion was raised, in connexion with the broad-er problem of the adaptation of League of Nationsconventions to the United Nations, whether aprotocol was necessary for the transfer to theOrganization of the functions and powers exer-cised by the League under the Slavery Convention.

The representative of Israel drew the Com-mittee's attention to General Assembly resolution24(I) and the resolution of the League of NationsAssembly of 18 April 1946. In resolution 24(I)the General Assembly of the United Nationsstated that the Organization was prepared toaccept the custody of international instrumentsformerly entrusted to the League of Nations andto charge the Secretariat of the United Nationswith the task of performing for the parties thefunctions pertaining to a Secretariat formerly en-trusted to the League of Nations and set forth inpart A of that resolution. The League, by its reso-lution, had accepted the offer made by the UnitedNations. Therefore, the representative of Israelargued, there was no need for a protocol for thetransfer of such functions.

Furthermore, the representative of Israel con-tinued, an analysis of the Slavery Conventionshowed that only article VII, which laid upon theparties the obligation to inform the Secretary-General of the League, inter alia, of the laws andregulations enacted by them for the purpose ofapplying the Convention, might perhaps requirea protocol before it could be sanctioned. How-ever, it was pointed out, even if that were thecase some practical remedy for the deficiency

Economic and Social Questions 411

might easily be found. For example, the represen-tative of Israel suggested, legal texts could beobtained in other ways. Presumably, also, theparties would be willing to furnish them to theSecretary-General irrespective of whether he wasentitled to ask for them or not.

Turning to the question of the effectiveness ofthe Convention, the representative of Israel saidthat the substantive provisions of the Conventionwere meagre in content and its definitions hadbecome obsolete. Its approach to forced labour, itwas said, was "timid". He therefore suggested thatinstead of reactivating the Convention, effortsshould be made to prepare a revised Conventionin the light of the report of the Ad hoc Com-mittee on Slavery.

The inadequacy of the 1926 Convention wasalso stressed by the representative of Belgium,who referred to the comments of his Governmenton the subject (see above). Technical amend-ments of the Convention such as those envisagedunder the proposed Protocol would therefore, heconsidered, provide only a partial solution to theproblem of slavery. The representative of Belgiumpointed out that, under article III, the Protocolwould enter into force only when two States hadacceded to it, and the amendments to the Conven-tion would take effect when 23 States had becomeparties to the Protocol. That, he said, meant thatthe amendments would not become binding onany of the 45 States parties to the Convention of1926 which failed to accept the Protocol. Thusthere might be two international conventions onthe same subject concurrently in force, and re-sulting in inequality between signatory States.He suggested that the General Assembly shouldconvene a diplomatic conference for a general re-view of the problem.

The representative of Yugoslavia said thatthough the principles of international law relatingto slavery remained valid, there was at present noorgan to deal with their application, and that thisgap should be promptly and effectively filled. Hesaid that he would vote for the United Kingdomproposal, on the understanding that it representeda temporary solution which would be followed bya broader and more effective Convention.

In reply to a question by the representative ofSweden, as to whether, in the view of the Secre-tariat, the draft Protocol was necessary, the repre-sentative of the Secretary-General replied that, inaccordance with the terms of the General Assem-bly resolution 24 A (I), the functions conferredupon the Secretary-General were purely adminis-trative and applied to all conventions concludedunder the League. He had carried out these func-

tions with regard to conventions to which therehad been no protocols, and no objection had beenraised by any State. On the other hand, in somecases transfer of functions had been effected byspecial protocols approved by the Assembly. Sincethere were precedents for either course of action,the Secretary-General felt that whether or notthere should be a protocol in the present case wasa matter of policy to be decided by the Assembly.

The representative of the United States saidthat, from the legal point of view, it was prefer-able that the transfer of functions from theLeague to the United Nations should be effectedby the original parties to the Convention ratherthan by a resolution of the General Assembly.His Government, he said, was prepared to requestthe United States Senate to accept the draft Proto-col annexed to the United Kingdom draft reso-lution.

The representative of El Salvador, supported bythe representative of Uruguay, considered thatarticle 1 of the text proposed by the United King-dom might give rise to conflicting interpretations,and moved an amendment in favour of the drafttext similar to that proposed by the Secretary-General. The representative of the United King-dom pointed out that the text of the article asproposed by him followed that of similar proto-cols adopted by the General Assembly in the past,and the motion by El Salvador was rejected by13 votes to 7, with 24 abstentions.

The United Kingdom proposal (A/C.6/L.304),including a draft resolution, a draft Protocol andan Annex to the draft Protocol, was then adoptedby 38 votes to none, with 9 abstentions, at the370th meeting of the Sixth Committee on 15October.

The General Assembly at its 453rd plenarymeeting on 23 October 1953 adopted the draftresolution, as recommended by its Sixth Commit-tee (A/2517) in paragraph-by-paragraph votes,ranging from 52 to none, with 6 abstentions, to47 to none, with 6 abstentions. It was adopted, asa whole, by 50 votes to none, with 6 abstentions,as resolution 794(VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,"Considering Economic and Social Council resolution

475(XV), adopted on 27 April 1953, concerning thetransfer to the United Nations of the functions exercisedby the League of Nations under the Slavery Conventionof 25 September 1926,

"Desirous of continuing international co-operationrelating to the elimination of slavery,

"1. Approves the Protocol which accompanies thepresent resolution;

"2. Urges all States Parties to the Slavery Conven-tion to sign or accept this Protocol;

412 Yearbook of the United Nations

"3. Recommends all other States to accede at theirearliest opportunity to the Slavery Convention asamended by the present Protocol."



The States Parties to the present Protocol,Considering that under the Slavery Convention signed

at Geneva on 25 September 1926 (hereinafter called"the Convention") the League of Nations was investedwith certain duties and functions, and

Considering that it is expedient that these duties andfunctions should be continued by the United Nations,

Have agreed as follows:

Article I

The States Parties to the present Protocol undertakethat as between themselves they will, in accordance withthe provisions of the Protocol, attribute full legal forceand effect to and duly apply the amendments to theConvention set forth in the annex to the Protocol.

Article II

1. The present Protocol shall be open for signatureor acceptance by any of the States Parties to the Conven-tion to which the Secretary-General has communicatedfor this purpose a copy of the Protocol.

2. States may become Parties to the present Protocolby:

(a) Signature without reservation as to acceptance;(b) Signature with reservation as to acceptance,

followed by acceptance;(c) Acceptance.

3. Acceptance shall be effected by the deposit of aformal instrument with the Secretary-General of theUnited Nations.

Article III

1. The present Protocol shall come into force on thedate on which two States shall have become Partiesthereto, and shall thereafter come into force in respectof each State upon the date on which it becomes a Partyto the Protocol.

2. The amendments set forth in the annex to thepresent Protocol shall come into force when twenty-three States shall have become Parties to the Protocol,and consequently any State becoming a Party to theConvention, after the amendments thereto have comeinto force, shall become a Party to the Convention asso amended.

Article IV

In accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 102 of theCharter of the United Nations and the regulations pur-suant thereto adopted by the General Assembly, theSecretary-General of the United Nations is authorized toeffect registration of the present Protocol and of theamendments made in the Convention by the Protocol onthe respective dates of their entry into force and topublish the Protocol and the amended text of the Con-vention as soon as possible after registration.

Article V

The present Protocol, of which the Chinese, English,French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic,shall be deposited in the archives of the United NationsSecretariat. The texts of the Convention to be amended

in accordance with the annex being authentic in theEnglish and French languages only, the English andFrench texts of the annex shall be equally authentic,and the Chinese, Russian and Spanish texts shall betranslations. The Secretary-General shall prepare certifiedcopies of the Protocol, including the annex, for com-munication to States Parties to the Convention, as wellas to all other States Members of the United Nations.He shall likewise prepare for communication to States,including States not Members of the United Nations,upon the entry into force of the amendments as pro-vided in article III, certified copies of the Convention asso amended.

In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly auth-orized thereto by their respective Governments, signedthe present Protocol on the date appearing oppositetheir respective signatures.

Done at the Headquarters of the United Nations,New York, t h i s . . . . . . . . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . *one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three.

* The above Protocol was opened for signature oracceptance at United Nations Headquarters on 7 Decem-ber 1953.



In article 7 "the Secretary-General of the United Na-tions" shall be substituted for "the Secretary-General ofthe League of Nations".

In article 8 "the International Court of Justice" shallbe substituted for "the Permanent Court of InternationalJustice", and "the Statute of the International Court ofJustice" shall be substituted for "the Protocol of De-cember 16th, 1920, relating to the Permanent Court ofInternational Justice".

In the first and second paragraphs of article 10 "theUnited Nations" shall be substituted for "the League ofNations".

The last three paragraphs of article 11 shall be deletedand the following substituted:

"The present Convention shall be open to accessionby all States, including States which are not Membersof the United Nations, to which the Secretary-Generalof the United Nations shall have communicated acertified copy of the Convention.

"Accession shall be effected by the deposit of aformal instrument with the Secretary-General of theUnited Nations, who shall give notice thereof to allStates Parties to the Convention and to all otherStates contemplated in the present article, informingthem of the date on which each such instrument ofaccession was received in deposit."In article 12 "the United Nations" shall be substi-

tuted for "the League of Nations".

9. Prisoners of War


The Ad hoc Commission on Prisoners of Warheld its fourth session from 24 August to 11 Sep-tember 1953. In its report to the General Assem-

Economic and Social Questions 413

bly (A/2482 & Corr.1), the Commission coveredits work from the time of its establishment inDecember 1950 (Assembly resolution 427(V))up to and including its fourth session.113 TheCommission emphasized that its report was con-fined to a strictly objective statement of the facts,from which the General Assembly would be ableto draw its own conclusions.

The first section of the report dealt with thebasic problem and summarized the task withwhich the Assembly had charged the Commission.It stated that, had all governments concerned co-operated in supplying information, the problemwould have been well on the road to a satisfactorysolution.

The second section analysed the Commission'sapproach to its task, and described its interpre-tation of its terms of reference and its method ofdirect consultation with representatives of the gov-ernments concerned. The information the Com-mission had received, the report stated, fell intotwo main categories:

(1) information from governments concerning theprisoners of war who, at one time or another, had beendetained in their custody; and

(2) information from certain governments concern-ing the numbers of their nationals who were believedto have been at one time in the custody of a foreignPower and had not as yet been repatriated or otherwiseaccounted for.

The Commission further, it was stated, hadbeen faced with two special problems:

(1) the problem of prisoners of war who had be-come war criminals through the judgment of militarytribunals or other judicial proceedings; and

(2) the problem of Japanese nationals who had notyet been repatriated or of whom nothing was known.

The third section of the report summarized andtabulated the information made available to theAd hoc Commission as a result of the requestsaddressed to governments and the direct consulta-tions with representatives of governments. TheCommission analysed and tabulated the informa-tion it had received, in reply to requests addressedto some 80 Member and non-member States,under the following headings: Governments whohad replied or failed to reply to the various re-quests for information addressed to them by theSecretary-General or by the Commission; thosewho had, at any time, held any prisoners of theSecond World War in their custody; those whowere, at the date of the establishment of the Com-mission, holding any such prisoners; those whowere, at the date of the report (12 September1953), still holding any such prisoners; those whosupplied information concerning prisoners of warwho had died while in their custody; and thosewho had supplied information concerning prison-

ers of war still held in custody in connexion withwar crimes or on whatsoever grounds.

In the fourth section of the report, the Com-mission surveyed certain developments which hadoccurred since its establishment and which itwished to bring to the attention of the Assembly.The fate of some prisoners of war, it stated, hadbeen clarified in the light of information receivedfrom countries which had co-operated with theCommission, while similar clarification of the fateof others had proved unattainable as a result ofthe lack of co-operation by other countries, espe-cially the USSR.

With regard to repatriation of war prisoners,about 2,300 persons, previously held in connexionwith war crimes, had been released; some prison-ers, previously detained in the USSR, had returnedhome; and some 23,000 Japanese nationals hadbeen repatriated, as a result of negotiations initi-ated by the Government of the People's Republicof China and carried out by the Chinese andJapanese Red Cross Societies together with certainother Japanese private organizations. This processof repatriation, the Commission stated, was con-tinuing.

In conclusion, the Commission summed up thesituation of prisoners of war at the time of thesubmission of the report by asserting that, insectors where the full co-operation of governmentshad been given, the problem no longer existed;in sectors where that co-operation had been with-held, the problem remained in its entirety. TheCommission emphasized that it therefore attachedthe greatest importance to the questions addressedto governments concerning those prisoners of warwho had died while in captivity, and those whowere still detained in connexion with war crimes.


At its 87th meeting, the General Committeediscussed whether the item "Measures for thePeaceful Solution of the Problem of Prisoners ofWar" should be included on the Assembly'sagenda. The representatives of the USSR andPoland opposed the recommendation, contendingthat, under Article 107 of the Charter, the ques-tion of prisoners of war was entirely outside thecompetence of the United Nations; that, in anycase, the question had no basis in fact, since theUSSR had long ago completed the repatriation ofprisoners of war; and that the examination of the

113 For details of activities undertaken at the Commis-

sion's first three sessions, see Y.U.N., 1951, p. 508 and1952, pp. 457-58. For members of the Commission, seeAppendix I.

414 Yearbook of the United Nations

question would do nothing to relieve internationaltension or to improve relations between States.The representatives of the United Kingdom andAustralia felt that the Secretary-General had beenright in proposing the inclusion of the item inthe General Assembly's agenda, and that since theargument that the United Nations was not com-petent to deal with the question had not been heldvalid at the fifth session of the General Assembly,the United Nations must continue to give atten-tion to this problem that concerned the fate of somany thousands of human beings.

The General Committee decided, by 12 votesto 2, to recommend the inclusion of the item inthe agenda (A/2477) and, at its 435th plenarymeeting on 17 September 1953, the General As-sembly decided by 51 votes to 5, with 1 absten-tion, to include the item.

The question was considered by the ThirdCommittee at its 537th to 542nd meetings, from30 November to 3 December 1953.

The Committee was informed by the Chairman(A/C.3/L.383, L.392 & L.394) that the Govern-ments of the Federal Republic of Germany, Italyand Japan had requested that their representativesbe heard by the Third Committee when it dis-cussed the item. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico and Peru proposed adraft resolution (A/C.3/L.396 & Add.1) bywhich the Third Committee would invite a repre-sentative of the Government of the Federal Re-public of Germany and the Permanent Observersof Italy and Japan to the United Nations to statethe views of their Governments. After a brief dis-cussion at the 537th meeting, in which the repre-sentatives of the Byelorussian SSR, Czechoslovakia,Poland, the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR opposedthe resolution, while the representatives of Afghan-istan, Brazil, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic,India. Iraq, Mexico and Pakistan spoke in favourof it, the resolution was adopted by 48 votes to 5.Accordingly, statements were made at the samemeeting by the representatives of the three Gov-ernments.

The representative of the Federal Republic ofGermany said that the Soviet Government hadannounced on 4 May 1950 that repatriation ofGerman war prisoners had been completed, ex-cept for 9,717 prisoners sentenced for major warcrimes, 3,815 suspected of war crimes and four-teen sick prisoners. The Federal Government hadfound that, up to 1 September 1953, at least102,958 former members of the armed Germanforces—whose names were known—had not beenreturned from the Soviet Union. At least 750,000German civilians had been deported to the Soviet

Union, of whom a minimum of 133,000 had stillbeen alive and in detention in 1950. Poland, hesaid, was still detaining 2,047 German prisonersand Czechoslovakia 3,434—whose names andplaces of detention were known. In addition, thewhereabouts of 5,921 German prisoners in Polandand of 3,131 in Czechoslovakia—whose nameswere also known—remained to be cleared up. HisGovernment had welcomed the recent releases ofprisoners by the Soviet Union, and urged allMembers of the United Nations to do their utmostto see that all Germans still detained abroad werereturned home and the fate of the missing broughtto light.

The representative of Italy said that Italy wasconcerned about the continuing uncertainty as tothe number and names of prisoners detained asalleged war criminals. Nothing was known ofabout 63,000 officers and men missing on theEastern Front, and the lack of information sug-gested that other war prisoners besides thoseaccounted for might still be detained in the SovietUnion.

The representative of Japan announced that26,000 Japanese prisoners had been repatriatedfrom Communist China in 1953 through RedCross arrangements and that Red Cross negotia-tions in Moscow had resulted in an arrangementfor the repatriation of over 2,000 prisoners.Nevertheless, Japan had estimated on 1 August1953 that there were, in all, 85,000 Japanese pris-oners still unrepatriated whose identity wasknown, and of whom 56,000 were known to bealive. Of these, 14,504 were in USSR territoryand most of the remainder in Communist China.

Two draft resolutions were submitted which re-flected the clear differences of views held by mem-bers of the Committee.

A draft resolution by Australia, Brazil, Thailand,the United Kingdom and the United States(A/C.3/L.397) would have the Assembly:

(1) reiterate its concern that large numbers of pris-oners had not been repatriated or otherwise accountedfor;

(2) appeal to governments still having control oversuch persons to give them an unrestricted opportunityof repatriation;

(3) express appreciation of the work of the Com-mission and request it to continue its efforts;

(4) note with satisfaction that valuable informationhad been made available to the Commission, but notewith concern the refusal of certain governments to co-operate with it;

(5) urgently appeal to all governments and authori-ties which had not already done so to give their fullco-operation to the Commission and to grant right ofaccess to areas in which prisoners of war were detained;and

Economic and Social Questions 415

(6) request the Commission to report on the resultsof its further work and possible suggestions.

(For text as adopted, see below.)The representative of Argentina expressed

some apprehensions concerning the clause in thefifth paragraph which would ask governments togrant right of access to areas in which such prison-ers were detained. The representative of Mexicoproposed that the English text should be made toconform to the French text, whereby governmentswould be asked to grant the Commission access tothese areas. The sponsors agreed to amend thedraft resolution accordingly.

A revised text (A/C.3/L.397/Rev.1) was pre-sented, which took the proposal of the representa-tive of Mexico into account as well as an amend-ment by Iraq (A/C.3/L.399). This amendmentwould have added two new paragraphs by whichthe Assembly would note with satisfaction thatsome progress had taken place in the repatriationof prisoners of war in the last two years, and wouldexpress its appreciation to the Red Cross Societiesand governments co-operating in that progress.The revised text of the joint draft resolution in-corporated the two ideas proposed by Iraq in onenew paragraph (paragraph 1).

The other draft resolution (A/C.3/L.398), sub-mitted by the Byelorussian SSR, would have theAssembly

state that by virtue of Article 107 of the Charter, theproblem of prisoners of war was not within the com-petence of the United Nations and that the activities ofthe Ad hoc Commission were contrary to the provisionsof that Article and were being used "to sow hatred andhostility between nations". The draft resolution there-fore would have the Assembly resolve to discontinuethe Commission.

The majority supported the joint draft resolu-tion, many representatives, including those ofArgentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cuba, theDominican Republic, France, Greece, Indonesia,Iraq. Lebanon, Liberia, Mexico, the Netherlands,Peru, the Philippines, the Union of South Africaand Uruguay, stressing that they did so for hu-manitarian reasons.

It was pointed out that recognized standards ofinternational conduct required the speedy repatria-tion of prisoners of war after the cessation of hos-tilities and full accounting for those who had diedor were for any reason still detained, and refer-ence was made in this connexion to the Hagueand Geneva Conventions.

The sponsors of the joint draft and the rep-resentatives supporting it deplored the fact that,more than eight years after the end of the SecondWorld War, a large number of prisoners of warhad not been repatriated or otherwise accounted

for by certain countries, and stressed the necessityof maintaining international interest in the prob-lem of prisoners of war. In their view, the As-sembly was competent and in duty bound to dealwith the problem, which could only be solved withthe goodwill of the governments concerned. Itwas obvious, they held, from the contradictoryfigures cited that further clarification was neces-sary and that the appeal to governments to accountfor all war prisoners was therefore justified andurgent. They also expressed appreciation of thework of the Commission and hoped that it wouldbe continued until the problem of prisoners ofwar was completely solved.

Speaking in support of the Byelorussian draftresolution and against the joint draft resolution,the representatives of Czechoslovakia, Poland, theUkrainian SSR and the USSR contended that theproblem of prisoners of war was beyond the com-petence of the United Nations and that its inclu-sion in the agenda was contrary to the letter andspirit of Article 107 of the Charter. They statedthat the artificial maintenance of the problem andthe continuation in existence of the Ad hoc Com-mission did not serve the cause of peaceful rela-tions, but contributed to international tension.The activities of the Ad hoc Commission, theystated, were designed to divert attention from thepolicy of reviving the German army under thesame leadership it had had under Hitler, and gen-erally to whitewash the Nazi, Fascist and Japanesemilitarists. They maintained that the problem ofprisoners of war no longer existed, since all prison-ers had been repatriated except those convictedof or under investigation for war crimes. Theyalso alleged that the figures presented by the rep-resentative of the Federal Republic of Germanyand the observers of Italy and Japan and by certainrepresentatives, and referred to in the report ofthe Ad hoc Commission, were based on unfoundedassumptions.

The representatives of Afghanistan, India andSaudi Arabia held that the continuation of theAd hoc Commission was not the best nor the mosteffective way of dealing with the problem. TheIndian representative thought that the mattershould be placed in the hands of an internationalorganization such as the Red Cross rather thanin those of the Ad hoc Commission.

The representative of Saudi Arabia held that,since the governments concerned had clearlystated that they would not co-operate with theAd hoc Commission on Prisoners of War, whichthey regarded as illegal, no practical results couldbe expected from the joint draft resolution. Onthe other hand, he said, the Byelorussian proposal

416 Yearbook of the United Nations

took too narrow and formalistic a position on amatter which undoubtedly had a humanitarianaspect. Therefore, his delegation would abstain inthe vote on both draft resolutions. The represen-tative of Afghanistan associated himself with theviews expressed by the representative of SaudiArabia.

Following a separate vote on the first operativeparagraph, as requested by the representative ofSaudi Arabia, the revised joint draft resolution(A/C.3/L.397/Rev.1), as a whole, was adopted(A/2604) by a roll-call vote of 44 to 5, with 5abstentions, at the Third Committee's 542nd meet-ing on 3 December (see below for text).

The Chairman observed that, since a resolutionapproving the continuance of the Ad hoc Com-mission had been adopted, no vote was neededon the Byelorussian draft resolution. The rep-resentative of the USSR, however, formally movedthat it be put to the vote. The Committee de-cided, however, by 21 votes to 11, with 16 absten-tions, that the resolution should not be voted on.

The General Assembly considered the draftresolution proposed by the Third Committee(A/2604) at its 468th meeting on 7 December1953. In addition to the report of the ThirdCommittee, the Fifth Committee, in accordancewith rule 152 of the rules of procedure, had sub-mitted its report (A/2609) on the financial as-pects of the resolution proposed by the ThirdCommittee.

The representatives of the Byelorussian SSR,Poland and the USSR, explaining their votes, saidthat they would vote against the proposed resolu-tion because the inclusion of the item in theagenda was contrary to Article 107 of the Charterand, since the repatriation of war prisoners fromthe Soviet Union had been completed long ago,the creation of the Ad hoc Commission on Prison-ers of War had not been justified, but wasprompted only by a desire of reactionary circlesto delude public opinion and slander the peoples'democracies.

The representative of the United States ex-plained that he would vote in favour of the reso-lution because, in his view, it reflected the besthope of thousands of families in Germany, Italy,Japan and other countries. These families wereentitled to know whether their missing relativeswere alive or dead.

The representative of the Byelorussian SSR re-submitted (A/L.171) his draft resolution, callingfor the abolition of the Ad hoc Commission andasked that it be put to the vote first.

However, the Assembly rejected this motion by35 votes to 5, with 14 abstentions, and adopted the

draft resolution proposed by the Third Committeeby 46 votes to 5, with 6 abstentions, as resolution741(VIII). The Byelorussian SSR draft resolu-tion was, accordingly, not voted on. Resolution741(VIII) read:

"The General Assembly,"Recalling its resolution 427(V) of 14 December 1950

on measures for the peaceful solution of the problem ofprisoners of war,

"Reaffirming its belief that all prisoners having origi-nally come within the control of the Allied Powers asa consequence of the Second World War should eitherhave been repatriated long since or have been otherwiseaccounted for as required both by recognized standardsof international conduct and the Geneva Convention of1949 relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, andby specific agreements between the Allied Powers,

"Having examined the progress report to the Secre-tary-General on the work of the Ad hoc Commission onPrisoners of War,

"1. Notes with satisfaction that some progress hastaken place in the repatriation of prisoners of war inthe course of the last two years, and expresses the hopethat those governments and Red Cross Societies whichhave contributed to that progress will continue theirefforts;

"2. Reiterates its grave and continuing concern atthe evidence that large numbers of prisoners taken inthe course of the Second World War have not yet beenrepatriated or otherwise accounted for;

"3. Urgently appeals to all governments and authori-ties which continue to hold prisoners of the SecondWorld War to act in conformity with the recognizedstandards of international conduct and with the above-mentioned international agreements and the GenevaConvention of 1949 which require that, upon the ces-sation of active hostilities, all prisoners should, with theleast possible delay, be given an unrestricted opportunityof repatriation;

"4. Expresses its sincere appreciation to the Ad hocCommission on Prisoners of War for its efforts to assistin a solution of the problem of prisoners of war; andrequests the Commission to continue its efforts to assistin a solution of the problem of prisoners of war underthe terms of reference contained in General Assemblyresolution 427(V) of 14 December 1950;

"5. Notes with satisfaction that a large amount ofvaluable information was made available to the Ad hocCommission concerning prisoners of war; but notes withconcern that certain governments and authorities men-tioned in the report of the Commission have so farrefused to co-operate with the Commission, which re-fusal represents the main obstacle by which the bestefforts of the Commission have been frustrated;

"6. Urgently appeals to all governments and authori-ties which have not already done so to give their fullco-operation to the Ad hoc Commission to supply theinformation requested by it on all prisoners of theSecond World War who are still under their controland on such prisoners who have died while under theircontrol; and to grant the Commission access to areas inwhich such prisoners are detained;

"7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue tofurnish the Ad hoc Commission with the staff andfacilities necessary for the effective accomplishment ofits task;

Economic and Social Questions 417

"8. Requests the Ad hoc Commission to report assoon as practicable the results of its further work andpossible suggestions to the Secretary-General for trans-mission to the Members of the United Nations."

10. Plight of Survivors of So-CalledScientific Experiments in Nazi

Concentration Camps

During its fifteenth session, the Secretary-Gen-eral furnished to the Economic and Social Coun-cil, for its information, a fourth progress report(E/2378) on action taken to implement resolu-tion 386(XIII)114 on the subject of indemnifica-tion for survivors of so-called scientific experi-ments in Nazi concentration camps.

The report stated that, as of 31 January 1953,the Secretary-General had transmitted 468 claimsto the Government of the Federal Republic ofGermany. The Federal Government had informedthe Secretary-General, in a note dated 22 Decem-ber 1952, that final decisions had been passed in156 cases and that a large number of applicationswere still being worked on. Of these 156, pay-

ments in the amount of DM 351,673.20 had beenmade to 108 applicants, while 48 claims had beenrejected. The latter, it was stated by the FederalGovernment, had been rejected for the followingreasons: in 27 cases they were not victims of so-called scientific experiments; fifteen applicantswere not in need of assistance; in two cases theapplicants did not suffer impairment of health;and in four cases they had received compensationpreviously.

By the end of 1953, a total of 510 claims hadbeen transmitted to the Federal Republic of Ger-many.

In 1953, 500,000 Deutschmarks were appropri-ated for the plight of survivors in the Budget Billsubmitted to the Parliament of the Federal Re-public of Germany.

A new Federal law on "the indemnification ofvictims of national-socialist persecution", contain-ing some provisions relevant to the plight ofsurvivors of so-called scientific experiments inNazi concentration camps, came into force on1 October 1953.


1. Consideration by the Economicand Social Council at its

Fifteenth Session

The Economic and Social Council, at its 677thplenary meeting on 6 April 1953, had before itthe interim report of the Rapporteur on Freedomof Information (E/2345 & Add.1). The Rap-porteur reported that satisfactory progress wasbeing made in the preparation of the substantivereport on freedom of information which he hadbeen asked by the Council (442 C (XIV))115 tosubmit in 1953. Preparatory work on the report,he stated, had involved extensive consultationswith the United Nations Educational, Scientificand Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and cor-respondence with governments and with morethan 600 information enterprises and national andinternational professional associations throughoutthe world. He had also taken into account sug-gestions made by several representatives in theThird Committee's debates at the Assembly'sseventh session.116

In order to facilitate his work, he asked that theCouncil also permit him certain privileges con-cerning access to communications that had beenreceived which contained specific criticisms or

complaints against governments in the field offreedom of information.

The representatives of Belgium, India, Vene-zuela and the USSR, among others, opposed a draftresolution proposed by the Rapporteur to thiseffect. They considered that such communicationswere extremely vague and often unreliable andthat conclusions based on them could be seriouslydistorted. Often such communications were moti-vated by bitterness or political hatred. It was alsodifficult to see how the Rapporteur could success-fully study, within the time remaining, thehundred thousand communications which hadreached the Secretariat over the years. While notdoubting the Rapporteur's objectivity, some rep-resentatives, including those of India and theUSSR, questioned the wisdom of giving suchprivileges to an individual. The representative ofthe USSR further stated that the proposal rancounter to the Charter, which, with the exceptionof petitions from Trust Territories, did not permitexamination of such communications from any in-dividual or organization. The representatives ofArgentina and Yugoslavia thought the exact scope



116 See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 459 ff.

See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 507. See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 477.

418 Yearbook of the United Nations

of the proposal must be clarified before the Councilcould take a decision on it.

Those favouring the draft resolution, includingthe representatives of China, France, the Philip-pines, the United States and Uruguay, felt that,in all fairness, the Council should give the Rap-porteur all the facilities he needed to complete hisassignment. The United States representativepointed out that, according to the draft resolutionunder discussion, the communications would bedealt with in conformity with the procedure de-fined in resolutions 75(V) and 116 A (VI).117

In that connexion, he recalled that the Commissionon Human Rights itself, while having the rightto take cognizance of those communications, wasnot entitled to act on any claims made in them.Moreover, according to the procedure laid downin resolution 75(V), the Rapporteur would simplyreview the confidential list of communications andwould consult only such communications as re-lated to the basic principles of freedom of infor-mation.

The Rapporteur, in further clarifying the intentof the draft resolution, stated that he would con-cern himself only with communications whichrelated to freedom of information and emanatedfrom national or international legally constitutedenterprises or associations. The Secretariat hadreceived over 25,000 communications relating tohuman rights, and he would be able to study onlya small number in the two or three weeks remain-ing to him for the preparation of his report.Therefore, he would clearly confine himself tothose communications which were relevant to thestudy he had been asked to carry out. Moreover,in accordance with the letter and spirit of resolu-tion 240(IX),118 he did not intend to considercommunications emanating from individuals ornon-professional organizations. Where a relevantcommunication contained criticism of a givengovernment, he stated, he supposed that he wouldreceive a summary of it only, without the nameand address of the author. He hoped that theseexplanations would dispel the doubts expressedby certain delegations.

The draft resolution proposed by the Rapporteur(E/2345/Add.1) was adopted by 13 votes to 3,with 2 abstentions, as resolution 473(XV). Itread:

"The Economic and Social Council"Resolves to give the Rapporteur on Freedom of In-

formation, Mr. Salvador P. Lopez, with respect to Com-munications dealing with freedom of information, thefacilities which have been granted to the members ofthe Sub-Commission on Freedom of Information and ofthe Press by Council resolution 240 C (IX), it beingunderstood that if such communications include criticism

of or complaints against governments, the procedure tobe followed shall be the same as that established byresolution 75(V) as amended and by resolution 116 A(VI)".

2. Consideration by the Economicand Social Council at its

Sixteenth Session

In accordance with resolution 442 C (XIV), thereport of the Rapporteur on Freedom of Informa-tion (E/2426), together with comments andsuggestions of governments (E/2427) transmittedto him for his information and assistance, and asummary of comments and suggestions (E/2439)received by him from information enterprises andnational and professional associations were sub-mitted to the Council at its sixteenth session.

In Section I of the report, the Rapporteur dealtwith the work accomplished prior to the existenceof the United Nations concerning freedom of in-formation, including the early work of non-gov-ernmental organizations and of the League ofNations, and with the work of the United Na-tions and the specialized agencies, particularly withreference to reasons for the successes and failuresof the United Nations in this field.

Section II of the report covered the currentsituation and practical problems, namely: rightsand responsibilities of the media of information;propaganda for war and false and distorted in-formation; internal censorship and the suppressionand coercion of media of information; censorshipof outgoing news dispatches; status and movementof foreign correspondents; laws affecting thePress; monopolies; professional standards; inde-pendence of information personnel; protection ofsources of information; development of Press, film,radio and television; professional training; pro-duction and distribution of newsprint; Press ratesand priorities; international broadcasting; postalservices; tariff and trade practices; and copyright.

Section II also contained a series of recommen-dations. The Rapporteur recommended that workon the draft Convention on Freedom of Informa-tion should proceed and he proposed a generalformula which might be used as a basis for thedrafting of article 2 of the Convention. Thisarticle, which lists permissible restrictions on free-dom of information, had given rise to particulardifficulties.

He recommended that a rapporteur be ap-pointed for a further period of one year and thathe be asked, among other things, to:

117 See Y.U.N., 1947-48, pp. 579-80.

118 See Y.U.N., 1948-49, p. 570-71.

Economic and Social Questions 419

(1) prepare a working paper, in co-operation withthe Secretary-General, on the drafting of a Declarationon Freedom of Information;

(2) draw up a concrete programme of action, inconjunction with the Secretary-General and UNESCOand in consultation with information enterprises andnational and international professional associations, forenlisting the co-operation of the Press, radio and filmsthroughout the world in promoting friendly relationsamong nations based on the Purposes and Principles ofthe Charter;

(3) undertake, in co-operation with the Secretary-General and the specialized agencies concerned and,where appropriate, in consultation with informationenterprises and national and international professionalassociations, a world-wide survey of current internalcensorship practices, a similar survey of current prac-tices involved in the censorship of outgoing news dis-patches, and a study of the problem of bringing intoharmony articles 29 and 30 of the International Tele-communication Convention with articles of the UnitedNations Conventions on freedom of information;

(4) prepare, in co-operation with the Secretary-General and UNESCO, a programme of action for im-plementing the recommendations contained in twoearlier studies, namely, "Study of the Law and PracticeGoverning the Status and Work of Foreign News Per-sonnel and Measures to Facilitate the Work of SuchPersonnel" (E/CN.4/Sub.1/140) and "Study Relatingto the Definition and Identification of Foreign Cor-respondents" (E/CN.4/Sub.1/148);

(5) make suggestions concerning the range andscope of and the most efficient manner of undertakinga detailed study of the legal aspects of the rights andresponsibilities of the media of information;

(6) prepare, in co-operation with the Secretary-General, a detailed study of the problem of the protec-tion of sources of information of news personnel; and

(7) make, in consultation with the Secretary-Generaland UNESCO, a detailed study and recommendationsregarding the establishment of machinery which wouldserve as an international co-ordinating centre for pro-fessional action in regard to such matters as professionalethics and responsibility to the public, and as a liaisonbody between the profession and the United Nations.

As a means of coping with propaganda for warand false and distorted reports, the Rapporteurrecommended that the International Conventionconcerning the Use of Broadcasting in the Causeof Peace (Geneva, 1936), formulated by theLeague of Nations, be revitalized. He also recom-mended that the specialized agencies co-operatewith the United Nations in a number of specialtechnical tasks, concerning, for example:

the collection of current information and completionof documentation on problems relating to the economicindependence of information personnel;

the increasing of opportunities for professional train-ing of information personnel;

the removal of tariff and trade obstacles affecting thefree flow of information;

problems arising from lack of uniformity in copyrightagreements;

the provision of services and advice and the formu-lation of plans for expansion of their production on pulpand paper;

problems of transmitting Press messages and the de-velopment of new techniques leading to economy inthe use of radio frequencies and to elimination of waste-ful competition and duplication; and reduction of postalrates for news materials.

The report listed in annex A the governmentswhich had replied (E/2427 & Addenda) to therequest for comments and suggestions as to con-temporary problems and developments which, intheir opinion, had tended to promote or hamperthe free flow of information within countries andacross national frontiers and any other relevantmaterial which might be useful in the preparationof the report. The information enterprises andnational and international professional associationswhich forwarded (E/2439) comments and sug-gestions on the subject, at the Rapporteur's re-quest, were listed in annex B.

The Council also had before it a note by theSecretary-General (E/2465) stating that the Sec-retariat report concerning the encouragement anddevelopment of independent domestic informationenterprises, called for by Council resolution 442E (XIV) and Assembly resolution 633(VII),119

was not yet ready. While it could be presented tothe Council before the end of the current session,it was suggested that, to allow more time for dis-cussion of it, the Council might wish to postponeits consideration of this subject to the followingsession.

The Council, at its 705th plenary meeting on 30June 1953, decided, by 12 votes to 5, with 1 ab-stention, to postpone consideration of the Rap-porteur's report on freedom of information, sincegovernments would not have sufficient time tostudy it prior to the Council's discussion. It wasdecided, without vote, to postpone also the dis-cussion on the item concerning encouragementand development of independent domestic infor-mation enterprises.

Following brief discussions at the Council's706th and 718th plenary meetings, on 30 Juneand 9 July, the Council was informed that theRapporteur, Mr. Lopez, had agreed to present hisreport at the seventeenth session of the Counciland that no financial implications for the UnitedNations would ensue, providing Mr. Lopez werein New York at that time. It was also agreed thatprovision for travelling expenses, if necessary,should be provided by the Secretary-General insubmitting, at the end of the session, a statementof financial implications of the Council's decisions.


See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 467 and 469-70.

420 Yearbook of the United Nations

3. Consideration by the GeneralAssembly at its Eighth Session

The question of freedom of information was noton the Assembly's agenda at its eighth session.However, it was introduced during the ThirdCommittee's general debate, at its 503rd to 511thmeetings, on 22, and 26 to 30 October and 2 and3 November, on Chapter V, Human Rights, of thereport of the Economic and Social Council (A/-2430). As a result, it subsequently, at the ThirdCommittee's 512th to 516th meetings, from 5 to9 November, became the subject of a separate dis-cussion and specific recommendations to the Gen-eral Assembly.

At its 504th meeting, the Third Committee ap-proved, without vote, a formal proposal by SaudiArabia (A/C.3/L.362) to invite Mr. Salvador P.López, the Rapporteur on Freedom of Informa-tion, to address the Committee. Mr. Lopez statedthat he had naturally been disappointed by theCouncil's decision not to discuss his report, but thatassurance had been given that the Council wouldgive high priority to its consideration at the seven-teenth session and he was confident that it wouldbe possible to make up for the time that had beenlost. In view of the procedural difficulties, he statedthat he thought it would be advisable for the ThirdCommittee to proceed with caution and to confineitself to a general discussion of the report, leavingit to the Council to consider the recommendationsfor practical action. He briefly outlined the formof the report and the principles on which it wasbased. The Rapporteur also stated that, since May1953, the situation had changed in a number ofcountries and that he would supply the Councilwith the latest information at his disposal on newdevelopments.

Among others, the representatives of Afghani-stan, China, Egypt, Mexico, the Philippines, SaudiArabia, Syria and Yugoslavia regretted that theCouncil had not discussed the Rapporteur's reportand stressed that it should give urgent priority toit at its seventeenth session. They further hopedthat, on the basis of the many useful suggestions inthe report, the Council would be able to agree onnew and practical measures to be taken in the fieldof freedom of information. The representativesof Mexico and the Philippines particularly em-phasized the desirability of continuing work onthe draft Convention on Freedom of Information,noting that the Rapporteur had proposed a re-vised text for the controversial article 2. TheEgyptian and Syrian representatives also urgedthat the Secretariat should complete, in time forthe Council's consideration at its next session, the

study of concrete action for developing informa-tion media in under-developed areas of the world.

On the other hand, some representatives, amongthem those of Belgium, Canada, Turkey and theUnited Kingdom, maintained that, in view of thecare which must be taken not to act hastily in sucha delicate matter, the Council's decision to deferconsideration of the Rapporteur's report was notnecessarily to be regretted. In any case, they noted,the Council had decided to deal with the report atits seventeenth session.

A representative of the Secretary-General statedthat the study of measures for the encouragementand development of independent domestic infor-mation enterprises had been ready for the sixteenthsession of the Council; when the Council had de-cided to postpone consideration of the matter, theSecretary-General had decided to avail himself ofthe extra time at his disposal to attempt to improvethe study.

Chile, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan,United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay sub-mitted a draft resolution (A/C.3/L.364 & Add.1)by which the General Assembly,

recalling the terms of its resolutions 631(VII) and633(VII) and regretting that the Council had been un-able to consider the subject of freedom of informationat its sixteenth session, would request the Council togive priority at its seventeenth session to discussion offreedom of information, including the Rapporteur'sreport, and to the formulation of recommendations forthe Assembly's consideration at its ninth session.

The draft resolution would further: (1) request theCouncil to take into account the views expressed on thissubject at the eighth session of the Assembly; and(2) request the Secretary-General to complete his reporton the development of information facilities in under-developed regions of the world in time for considerationat the Council's seventeenth session.

Amendments to the joint draft resolution werepresented by Turkey (A/C.3/L.365) and Afghan-istan (A/C.3/L.377).

The Turkish amendment proposed that the GeneralAssembly should "note" instead of "regret" that theCouncil had been unable to consider freedom of infor-mation at its sixteenth session and that the request tothe Council to give priority to discussions on freedomof information at its seventeenth session should bedeleted.

The Afghanistan amendment proposed that the firstparagraph of the preamble of the joint draft resolutionshould be replaced by a paragraph reaffirming the con-siderations and decisions contained in Assembly reso-lutions 631(VII) and 633(VII) and that a paragraphshould be added to the preamble, by which the Assem-bly would also reaffirm its recommendation that UnitedNations bodies studying freedom of information con-sider measures to avoid the harm done to internationalunderstanding by the dissemination of false and dis-torted information.

Economic and Social Questions 421

The amendment also proposed that the second para-graph of the joint draft resolution be reworded to in-clude a reference to consideration by the Council of thedraft Convention on Freedom of Information in thelight of the Rapporteur's report and that a new para-graph be added to the preamble referring to the factthat the General Assembly had not studied the draftConvention during its sixth, seventh and eighth sessions.

The amendment further proposed that the secondoperative paragraph of the joint draft resolution shouldbe amended to include a request to the Council to takeinto account the views expressed on freedom of infor-mation at the seventh and eighth sessions of the Assem-bly and that a new operative paragraph should be addedrequesting the Council to submit to the Assembly at itsnext session a statement of its views and plans regardingfuture work in connexion with freedom of informationand the problem of promoting and safeguarding free-dom of information in accordance with the provisionsof resolution 631(VII).

The representatives of Afghanistan, Chile,Egypt, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan,Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United Statesand Uruguay met as an informal working groupon 5 November to consider the consolidation ofthe joint draft resolution (A/C.3/L.364 & Add.1)and the amendments submitted thereto (A/C.3/-L.365 and A/C.3/L.377). Subsequently, the grouppresented a text (A/C.3/L379) for the con-sideration of the Committee. Its report noted thatunanimous agreement had been reached on every-thing except the first word of the first paragraphof the preamble of the new text, by which theAssembly would alternatively reaffirm or recall thedecisions contained in its resolutions on freedomof information adopted at its seventh session.Thus, the new text incorporated all the pointscontained in the Afghanistan amendment exceptthe word "reaffirming". The representative of Af-ghanistan agreed that this paragraph should beginwith the word "recalling" and the word "reaffirm-ing" was withdrawn.

The new joint text (A/C.3/L.379), asamended, was adopted by the Committee (A/2573(IV) A), at its 514th meeting on 5 November,by 42 votes to none, with 6 abstentions.

The General Assembly, at its 460th plenarymeeting on 28 November 1953, adopted it by 53votes to none, with 6 abstentions, as resolution736 A (VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,

"Recalling the decisions contained in the resolutionson freedom of information adopted at its seventh session,

"Regretting that the Economic and Social Council wasunable to give consideration at its sixteenth session tothe subject of freedom of information, including thereport of its Rapporteur,

"Noting that, at its sixteenth session, the Economicand Social Council postponed consideration of the ques-tion of freedom of information to its seventeenth session

and decided, in agreement with the Rapporteur, that theRapporteur would present his report at the seventeenthsession,

"Noting that the General Assembly has not studiedthe draft Convention on Freedom of Information at itssixth, seventh and eighth sessions and that the Economicand Social Council, at its sixteenth session, did not con-sider the draft Convention on Freedom of Informationconcurrently with the report of the Rapporteur,

"1. Requests the Economic and Social Council togive priority, at its seventeenth session, to discussion offreedom of information, including the report of theRapporteur, and to the formulation, in accordance withthe provisions of General Assembly resolution 631(VII)of 16 December 1952, of recommendations for the con-sideration of the General Assembly at its ninth session;

"2. Requests the Economic and Social Council, inits discussion of freedom of information, to take intoaccount the views expressed on this subject at the seventhand eighth sessions of the General Assembly;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General to complete thereport on a programme of concrete action for the devel-opment of information facilities in under-developedregions of the world, requested in General Assemblyresolution 633(VII) of 16 December 1952, in time forconsideration at the seventeenth session of the Economicand Social Council."

The Third Committee also had before it, at its514th to 516th meetings on 5, 6 and 9 November,a draft resolution (A/C.3/L.375) by Saudi Arabiaand Syria concerning the draft International Codeof Ethics for information personnel.

By this resolution the Assembly, recalling its resolu-tion 635(VII)120 concerning further work on the draftInternational Code of Ethics, would invite the Secretary-General to address a further communication to the in-formation enterprises and national and internationalprofessional associations which had not yet replied tohis previous letter concerning the organization of aninternational professional conference to complete workon the draft Code, requesting them to do so within areasonable period, upon the expiry of which a conferenceshould be organized for the purpose of preparing a finaltext of the Code and measures for its implementation.

The Committee also had before it a statementby the Secretary-General (A/C.3/L.375/Add.1)on the financial implications of the draft resolu-tion, and a memorandum (A/C.3/L.381), entitled"Replies from information enterprises and nationaland international professional associations receivedunder General Assembly resolution 635(VII)".

Chile, France and the United Kingdom sub-mitted two amendments (A/C.3/L.380) to thedraft resolution. The first amendment, that thethird paragraph of the draft should be deleted,was subsequently withdrawn. The second, whichsuggested a new text for the first operative para-graph, was accepted by Saudi Arabia and Syria.Verbal drafting amendments proposed by the rep-resentatives of China, Egypt and the United States

120 See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 466.

422 Yearbook of the United Nations

were also accepted by the sponsors and a reviseddraft resolution (A/C.3/L.375/Rev.2) was sub-mitted to the Committee.

The majority supported the proposal on thegrounds that:

(1) a code of ethics would help to correct some ofthe abuses in the field of freedom of information, topromote friendly relations among peoples and to solvethe vexed problem of false and distorted reports;

(2) while the development of the code was a matterfor the profession alone, the United Nations was legiti-mately interested in questions of professional ethics andcould properly offer encouragement and assistance insuch a problem; and

(3) even if an improvement in the internationalclimate was necessary before an effective code could bedrafted, every effort should be made to improve thesituation.

However, they emphasized that the final adop-tion of a draft code was a matter for the informa-tion professions alone without any form of gov-ernmental interference at national or internationallevels.

A number of representatives, including thoseof Israel, New Zealand and Sweden, expresseddoubt, however, as to whether the United Nationsshould interest itself any further in the draft Code.In their opinion it would be extremely difficult,under current conditions, for any conference toreach agreement on the text of a universally ac-ceptable code.

Moreover, the New Zealand representativestated, it would be detrimental to the prestigeof the United Nations to address another com-munication on the subject to enterprises and as-sociations.

The representative of the USSR held that thequestion was outside the competence of the UnitedNations and that information personnel shoulddecide on the calling of a conference and thepreparation of a draft code.

In resolution 635(VII), the Assembly had re-quested the Secretary-General, if a representativegroup of information enterprises and of nationaland international professional associations ex-pressed a desire to do so, to co-operate with it inorganizing an international professional confer-ence. However, various opinions were expressedas to what constituted a "representative group"under the terms of this resolution.

The representative of Sweden maintained thatthose enterprises and associations which, according

to the Secretary-General's memorandum (A/C.3/-L.381), favoured holding a professional confer-ence did not constitute a representative group.On the other hand, the Egyptian representativestated that a federation, representing several unitsor syndicates, might itself constitute a representa-tive group. The representatives of Canada andFrance believed that the task of defining a rep-resentative group should be left to the Secretary-General.

At the request of the representative of Guate-mala, a separate vote was taken on the firstoperative paragraph of the revised draft resolution(A/C.3/L.375/Rev.2), and it was adopted by 43votes to 5, with 5 abstentions, at the Committee's516th meeting on 9 November.

The draft resolution, as a whole, was adoptedby the Third Committee (A/2573 IV B) by 44votes to 5, with 5 abstentions.

The General Assembly, at its 460th plenarymeeting on 28 November 1953, adopted it by 49votes to 5, with 5 abstentions, as resolution 736B (VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,

"Recalling its resolution 635(VII) of 16 December1952 in which it requested the Secretary-General, if arepresentative group of information enterprises and ofnational and international professional associations ex-pressed a desire to do so, to co-operate with it in organ-izing an international professional conference for thepurpose of preparing the final text of an InternationalCode of Ethics for the use of information personnel,

"Noting that replies have already been received froma number of the information enterprises and professionalassociations consulted by the Secretary-General in pur-suance of the aforementioned resolution,

"Considering that to await replies from all the infor-mation enterprises and professional associations con-sulted would unnecessarily delay the conference and thepreparation of the final text of the Code,

"1. Invites the Secretary-General to address a furthercommunication to the enterprises and associations whichhave not yet replied, requesting them to do so within areasonable period, and, provided that a representativegroup of enterprises and associations expresses a desireto do so, to co-operate with the group in organizing aninternational professional conference for the purpose ofpreparing the final text of the Code and measures for itsimplementation;

"2. Requests the Secretary-General:"(a) To bring the text of the present resolution to

the notice of the information enterprises and nationaland international associations to which he communicatedthe draft Code;

"(b) To report to the General Assembly at its ninthsession on any progress achieved."



The Commission on the Status of Women at itsseventh session, held from 16 March to 3 April1953, discussed, among other things: the national-ity of married women; the status of women inprivate law; political rights of women; equal payfor equal work; economic and educational oppor-tunities for women; participation of women inthe work of the United Nations and the specializedagencies; and technical assistance programmes inrelation to the status of women.

The report of the Commission (E/2401) wasdiscussed by the Economic and Social Council atits sixteenth session, at the 241st to 245th and248th meetings of its Social Committee on 13 to15 and 17 July, and at its 736th plenary meetingon 23 July 1953.

A resolution noting the Commission's reportwas adopted unanimously by the Social Committeeat its 248th meeting on 17 July (E/2486) and, by17 votes to none, by the Council, at its 736thplenary meeting on 23 July, as resolution 504 A(XVI).

The questions of political rights of women andtechnical assistance programmes in relation to thestatus of women were subsequently considered bythe General Assembly at its eighth session. Theaction taken on the various items mentioned aboveis given below.

1. Nationality of Married Women

At its seventh session, the Commission on theStatus of Women had before it notes (E/2343 &E/CN.6/217) by the Secretary-General on theaction taken by the International Law Commissionand the Economic and Social Council since thesixth session of the Commission, the report on"Nationality including statelessness" (A/CN.4/50)submitted to the International Law Commissionby its special rapporteur, the relevant summaryrecords of that Commission and a supplementaryreport by the Secretary-General (E/CN.6/206 &Add.1-2) on statutory and constitutional provi-sions relating to the nationality of married women.

The Commission proposed a draft resolution(E/2401 B) for adoption by the Economic andSocial Council, which would note the recommen-dation of the Commission that a convention on thenationality of married persons be opened for sig-nature by interested States, the text of a draft con-vention on that subject being appended to theresolution, and would request the Secretary-Gen-eral to circulate that text to Member Governmentsfor their comments.

During the Council's discussions of that draftresolution at its sixteenth session, the representa-tives of Belgium, Sweden, the United Kingdom,the United States and Venezuela, among others, ex-pressed the view that it was premature to cir-culate for comments by governments a text whichhad not been studied adequately by the Council,especially as it involved the whole question ofnationality of married persons and not just thenationality of married women. It would, they con-sidered, be wiser to wait until the report on thework of the International Law Commission on thesubject of nationality was available Others,among them the representatives of Argentina,Cuba, China, France, the Philippines and Yugo-slavia, opposed postponement of the question andconsidered that consultation with governmentswould facilitate the work of all organs of theUnited Nations on the subject.

A new text for the operative part of the draftresolution was proposed jointly by the Philippines,the United Kingdom and Venezuela (E/AC.7/-L.161). In circulating the draft convention forcomments, it would state that the Council had notconsidered its substance. It would also circulate togovernments the records of the Council's discus-sions and the amendments submitted.

Two amendments to the substance of thedraft Convention had been submitted. One bythe Philippines recommended (E/AC.7/L.159/-Rev.1) that a territorial clause should be added toextend the convention to all territories adminis-tered or governed by a contracting MetropolitanState. The second, by Egypt (E/AC.7/L.156),proposed to replace article 1 of the draft conven-tion by a clause stating that each of the con-tracting States "agrees to direct" its legislation andpractice in regard to nationality "towards abolish-ing" the distinction based on sex.

The joint amendment was adopted by the Coun-cil's Social Committee at its 244th meeting, by 15votes to 1, with 2 abstentions, with the exceptionof a clause (rejected by 4 votes to 4, with 10abstentions) providing that comments of gov-ernments should include comments on the de-sirability of such a convention.

The amended draft resolution was adopted, asa whole, by the Committee at the same meetingby 14 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions (E/2486 B),and by the Council, at its 736th plenary meetingon 23 July, by 15 votes to none, with 3 abstentions,as resolution 504 B (XVI). It read:

Economic and Social Questions

424 Yearbook of the United Nations

"The Economic and Social Council,"Noting the recommendation of the Commission on

the Status of Women, at its seventh session, that a con-vention on the nationality of married persons be openedfor signature by interested States,

"Desiring to expedite by every appropriate means, inaccordance with the principles of the Charter and of theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, the extensionto women in all countries of equal rights in the field ofnationality,

"Requests the Secretary-General to circulate to thegovernments of Member States, for their comments, thefollowing text of a draft convention on nationality ofmarried persons, the substance of which the Council hasnot considered, together with the records of the discus-sions held and the amendments submitted at the sixteenthsession, with the request that such comments be sent tothe Secretary-General by 1 January 1954, to be madeavailable to the Commission on the Status of Womenfor consideration at its eighth session."


The Contracting Parties,Recognizing that conflicts in law and in practice with

reference to nationality arise as a result of distinctionsbased on sex,

Recognizing that in article 15 of the Universal Dec-laration of Human Rights the General Assembly of theUnited Nations has proclaimed that "everyone has theright to a nationality" and that "no one shall be arbi-trarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the rightto change his nationality",

Desiring to co-operate with the United Nations inpromoting universal respect for, and observance of,human rights and fundamental freedoms for all withoutdistinction as to sex,

Hereby agree as hereinafter provided:

Article I

Each of the Contracting States agrees that it will makeno distinction based on sex either in its legislation or inits practice in regard to nationality.

Article 2Each of the Contracting States agrees that neither the

celebration nor the dissolution of a marriage betweenone of its nationals and an alien shall affect the nation-ality of the spouse who is its national.

Article 31. Each of the Contracting States agrees that it will,

whenever possible, give to the alien spouse of one of itsnationals the right to acquire its nationality at his/herrequest.

2. Each of the Contracting States agrees that thisConvention shall not be construed as affecting any exist-ing legislation or practice which gives to the alien spouseof one of its nationals the right to acquire the latter'snationality, either at his/her request or through privi-leged naturalization procedures.

Article 4

Each of the Contracting States agrees that neither thevoluntary acquisition of the nationality of another Statenor the renunciation of its nationality by one of itsnationals will affect the retention of its nationality bythe spouse of such national.

Article 5

1. This Convention shall be open for signature onbehalf of any Member of the United Nations and alsoon behalf of any other State to which an invitation hasbeen directed by the General Assembly.

2. This Convention shall be ratified and the instru-ments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secre-tary-General of the United Nations.

Article 6

1. This Convention shall be open for accession toall States referred to in paragraph 1 of article 5.

2. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of aninstrument of accession with the Secretary-General ofthe United Nations.

Article 7

1. This Convention shall come into force on theninetieth day following the date of deposit of the sixthinstrument of ratification or accession.

2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Con-vention after the deposit of the sixth instrument of ratifi-cation or accession, the Convention shall enter into forceon the ninetieth day after deposit by such State of itsinstrument of ratification or accession.

Article 8

1. At the time of signature, ratification, or accession,any State may make reservations to any article of thisConvention other than article(s) . . .

2. Any State making a reservation in accordance withparagraph 1 of this article may at any time withdrawthe reservation by communication to this effect addressedto the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 9

1. Any State may denounce this Convention bywritten notification to the Secretary-General of theUnited Nations. Denunciation shall take effect one yearafter the date of receipt of the notification by theSecretary-General.

2. This Convention shall cease to be in force asfrom the date when the denunciation which reduces thenumber of Parties to less than six becomes effective.

Article 10

Any dispute which may arise between any two ormore Contracting States concerning the interpretation orapplication of this Convention which is not settled bynegotiation shall, at the request of any one of the Partiesto the dispute, be referred to the International Court ofJustice for decision, unless they agree to another modeof settlement.

Article 11

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shallnotify all Members of the United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in paragraph 1 of article 5of this Convention of the following:

(a) Signature and instruments of ratification re-ceived in accordance with article 5;

(b) Instruments of accession received in accordancewith article 6;

(c) The date upon which this Convention entersinto force in accordance with article 7;

(d) Communications and notifications received inaccordance with article 8;

Economic and Social Questions 425

(e) Notifications of denunciation received in accord-ance with paragraph 1 of article 9;

(f) Abrogation in accordance with paragraph 2 ofarticle 9.

Article 12

1. This Convention, of which the Chinese, English,French, Russian and Spanish texts shall be equallyauthentic, shall be deposited in the archives of theUnited Nations.

2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shalltransmit a certified copy to all Members of the UnitedNations and to the non-member States contemplated inparagraph 1 of article 5.

2. Status of Women in Private Law

The Commission, at its seventh session, dis-cussed the question of the status of women inprivate law, including family law and propertyrights. It had before it:

(a) a report on family law, (E/CN.6/185 & Add.1-10) prepared by the Secretary-General and based onreplies of governments to part III of the Questionnaireon the Legal Status and Treatment of Women;

(b) a report (E/CN.6/208) by the Secretary-Generalon property rights of women based on replies of gov-ernments to part II of the same Questionnaire; and

(c) a report (E/CN.6/186 & Add.1-3) by the Sec-retary-General on the status of women in private law,covering both family law and property rights of women,based on replies of non-governmental organizations toquestions concerning changes considered desirable inthe legal systems of various countries in order to elim-inate discrimination against women.

The Commission recommended (E/2401 C)that the Economic and Social Council request theCommission on Human Rights to include the textof article 16121 of the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights relating to marriage and familyrights in the draft Covenant on Civil and PoliticalRights. Meanwhile, the attention of the Commis-sion on Human Rights was drawn to this resolu-tion prior to its consideration by the Council.

That Commission, at its ninth session from 7April to 1 June 1953,122 drafted article 22 of thedraft Covenant on Civil and Political Rights sub-stantially on the basis of article 16 of the UniversalDeclaration with the modification that the draftarticle did not specify that legislation would pro-vide the equality of rights and responsibilities forthe spouses as to marriage, during marriage andat its dissolution, but that legislation "shall bedirected towards" that equality.

During the discussions in the Economic andSocial Council in July, the representatives of Bel-gium and the Philippines pointed out that theproposal was obsolete in view of the action alreadytaken by the Commission on Human Rights.However, the representative of India considered

that, on the basis of that action, the Commissionon the Status of Women should have the oppor-tunity to reconsider its recommendation, and pre-sented a draft resolution (E/AC.7/L.162) to thiseffect. The representative of France pointed outthat article 22 had been adopted by the Commis-sion on Human Rights after long discussion andthat therefore it might be unwise to reopen thediscussion of the text. A separate vote was takenon the operative paragraph of the draft resolution(see para. 3, below), and it was adopted by 8 votesto 5, with 5 abstentions, at the Social Commit-tee's 244th meeting on 14 July. The two introduc-tory paragraphs were adopted jointly by 17 votesto none, with 1 abstention.

The draff resolution, as a whole, was adoptedby 17 votes to none, with 1 abstention, by theSocial Committee (E/2486 C) at the same meet-ing and by the Council, at its 736th plenarymeeting on 23 July, as resolution 504 C (XVI).It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"1. Takes note of the recommendation contained inparagraph 30 of the report of the Commission on theStatus of Women (seventh session);

"2. Draws the attention of the Commission on theStatus of Women to article 22 of the Draft Covenant onCivil and Political Rights included in the report of theCommission on Human Rights (ninth session);

"3. Suggests to the Commission on the Status ofWomen that it reconsider the recommendation in thelight of the provisions contained in article 22 of theDraft Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."

In its further considerations of the question,the Commission on the Status of Women agreedthat discriminations existing against women, par-ticularly married women, in family law and inregard to property rights were extensive and thatmeasures should be taken as soon as possible fortheir elimination. It therefore requested (E/-2401) the Secretary-General to prepare, for futuresessions, detailed comparative studies of certainspecific aspects of the status of women in familylaw and property rights. It also proposed a draftresolution, which the Council (E/2401 D) subse-quently adopted.

During the discussions in the Council, at itssixteenth session, the representative of Egypt pro-posed (E/AC.7/L.155) that, in view of the com-plexities and difficulties involved in this problem,the Council should recommend to governmentsthat they direct all possible measures towards en-suring equality of rights and duties of husbandand wife in family matters rather than recommend

121 For text, see Y.U.N., 1948-49, p. 536.122

See also p. 383.

426 Yearbook of the United Nations

specifically that governments take measures to doso.

However, the majority considered that theamendment would weaken the resolution and,moreover, that the expression "all possible meas-ures" was not mandatory and did not necessarilyrequire action. The Egyptian amendment wasrejected at the Social Committee's 244th meetingon 14 July, by 8 votes to 4, with 6 abstentions.

The draft resolution, as proposed by the Com-mission, was adopted by 16 votes to none, with2 abstentions, by the Social Committee (E/-2486 D) at the same meeting, and by the Council,at its 736th plenary meeting, as resolution 540 D(XVI). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Considering that the principle of equality of rightsfor men and women is solemnly proclaimed in theCharter of the United Nations,

"Recognizing, in accordance with the Universal Dec-laration of Human Rights, that "the family is thenatural and fundamental group unit of society and isentitled to protection by society and the State", and thatmen and women "are entitled to equal rights as tomarriage, during marriage and at its dissolution",

"Believing that legal equality of husband and wifeand the sharing by spouses of the authority, prerogativesand responsibilities involved in marriage are of benefitnot only to the status of women but also to the familyas an institution,

"Noting that the legal systems of many countriesresult in a subordinate status of the wife in familymatters of fundamental importance, and that undernumerous legal systems women are, during marriage,deprived of important personal and property rights orare subject to the authority and control of their husbandsin the exercise of these rights,

"Recommends that governments:"(a) Take all possible measures to ensure equality

of rights and duties of husband and wife in familymatters;

"(b) Take all possible measures to ensure to thewife full legal capacity, the right to engage in workoutside the home and the right, on equal terms withher husband, to acquire, administer, enjoy and disposeof property."

3. Political Rights of Women


The Commission on the Status of Women, atits seventh session, had before it a report by theSecretary-General (E/CN.6/209) on the actiontaken by the Economic and Social Council and theGeneral Assembly on the Draft Convention onthe Political Rights of Women. By resolution 640(VII)123 of 20 December 1952, the General As-sembly had adopted the Convention and had open-ed it for signature and ratification or accession.

The Commission therefore adopted a resolution(E/2401 E) which, after expressing satisfactionthat the Convention on Political Rights of Womenhad been adopted by the General Assembly at itsseventh session and had been opened for signatureand ratification or accession by States, expressedcertain recommendations to the Council concern-ing invitations to States not Members of theUnited Nations to ratify or accede to the Conven-tion and concerning reports by States parties to theConvention on the implementation of the provi-sions of that instrument.

During the discussions in the Economic andSocial Council at its sixteenth session, the majoritypraised the work of the Commission in securingthe adoption of the Convention. The representa-tives of Poland and the USSR considered that,while the Convention had certain shortcomings, ingeneral it represented a step forward. The rep-resentative of the Philippines thought that theAssembly's invitation to sign and ratify or accedeto the Convention should be extended either onthe principle of universality—that is, to all non-member States without exception—or on that ofselectivity, by which the Assembly would considereach invitation to a non-member State on itsindividual merits. At the 736th plenary meeting ofthe Council, a separate vote was therefore takenon the final phrase of paragraph 4, concerningthe invitation for signature (see below) and itwas retained by 10 votes to 2, with 6 abstentions.A separate vote was also taken on the last para-graph at the request of Belgium, the representa-tives of Belgium and France having pointed outthat the obligation of signatory States to report onimplementation would place those States in anunfavourable position compared with non-signa-tory States. It was retained by 9 votes to 5, with4 abstentions.

Following a paragraph-by-paragraph vote, thedraft resolution, as proposed by the Commission(E/2401 E), was adopted by the Social Committee(E/2486 E), at its 244th meeting on 14 July, by13 votes to none, with 5 abstentions, and by theCouncil, at its 736 plenary meeting on 23 July,by 14 votes to none, with 4 abstentions.

Resolution 504 E (XVI) urged Member Stateswhich had not yet done so to sign and ratify oraccede to the Convention. It recommended to theAssembly that it invite signature and ratification oraccession by non-member States which are orbecome members of one or more of the specializedagencies or are or become parties to the Statute ofthe International Court of Justice. It also re-


See Y.U.N., 1952, pp. 484-85.

Economic and Social Questions 427

quested States parties to the Convention to reportevery two years to the Council on the measurestaken by them to implement the provisions of theConvention.

The question was considered by the GeneralAssembly at its eighth session, at the 367th meet-ing of its Sixth Committee on 7 October and at its453rd plenary meeting on 23 October 1953. Ithad before it a memorandum (A/2445) by theSecretary-General which contained the text of theCouncil's resolution and of the relevant articles ofthe Convention. A draft resolution (A/C.6/-L.297) was proposed by Cuba, the DominicanRepublic, Greece, and the Philippines whichwould refer to the Council's resolution and wouldrequest the Secretary-General to invite each non-member State fulfilling the conditions laid downtherein to become a party to the Convention.

Statements in support of the draft resolutionwere made by the representatives of Argentina,Belgium, Brazil, the Byelorussian SSR, Cuba, theDominican Republic, Egypt, Greece, the Philip-pines, Syria, Thailand, the USSR and Yugoslavia,some of them announcing the intention of theircountries shortly to ratify the Convention.

The representative of Peru stated that in hiscountry women had not acquired full politicalrights because certain constitutional amendmentswere first required. That, however, would notprevent his delegation from voting in favour ofthe draft resolution.

The representative of the United Kingdomstated that the principles contained in the Con-vention were widely applied in his country butsome practical difficulties remained which couldnot be solved without constitutional and legislativechanges. He felt that his Government could notjoin in an invitation to other States until it hadsigned and ratified the Convention itself. Hewould therefore, he said, abstain on the draftresolution.

The joint draft resolution was adopted by theCommittee (A/2508), at its 367th meeting by44 votes to none, with 4 abstentions, and by theAssembly at its 453rd plenary meeting, withoutdiscussion, by 54 votes to 1, with 5 abstentions,as resolution 793(VIII). It read:

"The General Assembly,"Taking note of Economic and Social Council reso-

lution 504 E (XVI) dated 23 July 1953,"Considering that articles IV and V of the Conven-

tion on the Political Rights of Women provide, interalia, that the Convention shall be open for signatureand ratification or for accession on behalf of any non-member State to which an invitation has been addressedby the General Assembly,

"Decides to request the Secretary-General to dispatchsuch an invitation to each non-member State which isor hereafter becomes a member or one or more of thespecialized agencies of the United Nations, or whichis or hereafter becomes a Party to the Statute of theInternational Court of Justice."

By December 1953, 29 countries had signed theConvention and three had deposited instrumentsof ratification. It will come into force 90 daysafter the date of deposit of the sixth instrumentof ratification or accession.124


The Commission on the Status of Women, at itsseventh session, also had before it a memorandum(A/2154 & Add.1-2) prepared annually by the

Secretary-General on the advancement of politicalrights of women and a report (E/CN.6/212 &Add.1) on women in political and public life. Theformer brought up to date information on nationalconstitutions, electoral laws and other legal in-struments relating to the franchise of women andtheir eligibility to public office and functions.

The Secretary-General's report (E/CN.6/212& Add.1) on women in political and public life(number of women in elective State bodies, localgovernment bodies, etc.) contained informationconcerning 35 countries. It was based on informa-tion from governments in response to the Ques-tionnaire on the Legal Status and Treatment ofWomen, on information received from the Inter-American Commission of Women, and on infor-mation taken from official government sourcesavailable to the Secretary-General.

The Commission, following a discussion of thetwo reports, adopted a resolution (E/2401), which,inter alia, noted that in several countries, includingBolivia, Lebanon and Greece, action had beentaken since the last session of the Commission toextend the franchise to women or to improve lawsregarding the right to vote. It commended theSecretary-General on the inclusion of historicaldata in his report for 1952 and suggested that thisdocument in the future include pertinent informa-tion on all countries, information as to whetherwomen who had been granted the vote had hadan opportunity to participate in an election, andinformation on suffrage grants involving limita-tions on grounds of sex, and legislative changessubsequent to such grants in relation to theachievement of equal suffrage for women. TheCommission further requested the Secretary-Gen-eral to summarize suggestions on ways in whichequal political rights for women could be achieved


In accordance with the provision, the Conventionwas due to come into force on 7 July 1954.

428 Yearbook of the United Nations

and made effective. It expressed its appreciationof the report on Women in Political and PublicLife and suggested that the Secretary-Generalprepare a plan for a more complete report on thissubject to be issued at a later date, possibly in1955. It also expressed its appreciation of thepublication The Road to Equality.

The Commission also considered in this con-nexion two further reports by the Secretary-Gen-eral, one on the status of women in Trust Terri-tories (E/CN.6/210) and the other on their statusin Non-Self-Governing Territories (E/CN.6/-211). The former contained information onpolitical, social and economic, and educationaladvancement, based on the information suppliedby the Administering Authorities in their annualreports to the Trusteeship Council. The report onthe status of women in Non-Self-Governing Terri-tories contained information taken from thattransmitted by the Administering Authorities un-der Article 73e of the Charter and dealt with thestatus of women, in general, and political advance-ment.

Several members of the Commission expressedthe opinion that the question of the politicalrights of women in Trust and Non-Self-GoverningTerritories should not be dealt with separatelyfrom that of the rights of women in sovereignStates, inasmuch as in some of the latter Stateswomen did not enjoy any more political rightsthan women in dependent Territories. Separatetreatment, they considered, would amount to dis-crimination. Other members stated that womenin these Territories still had no rights and thatspecial attention should be given by the Com-mission to the improvement of the status ofwomen in dependent Territories; they referredparticularly to decisions taken by the TrusteeshipCouncil on this matter.

At the sixteenth session of the Economic andSocial Council, the Commission's recommenda-tions (E/2401 F) were adopted unanimously,without discussion, at the 244th meeting of theSocial Committee (E/2486) on 14 July and at theCouncil's 736th plenary meeting on 23 July. Reso-lution 504 F (XIV) read:

"The Economic and Social Council,"Considering that in some areas of the world, includ-

ing certain Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories,women do not enjoy full political rights, and thatprogress in this field can be achieved more readily ifthe education of women receives greater emphasis,

"1. Invites the General Assembly and the Trustee-ship Council, as appropriate, in collaboration with thegovernments of all States which administer territories,including Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories,where women do not enjoy full political rights, to take

all necessary measures leading to the development ofpolitical rights of women in such territories, in particu-lar by means of education;

"2. Invites the Secretary-General to report to theCommission on the Status of Women on the steps takento implement this resolution."

The Commission at its seventh session alsonoted with satisfaction (E/2401) that the Trustee-ship Council had included in its Questionnaire,adopted under Article 88 of the Charter, ques-tions on the status of women which containedsome suggestions adopted by the Commission onthe Status of Women at its sixth session. It ex-pressed the hope that the Administering Authori-ties would reply in detail to all those questionsin their annual reports to the United Nations.The Commission invited the Secretary-General totransmit regularly to the Commission informationforwarded by the Administering Authorities intheir annual reports on those questions and allrelevant documents of the Trusteeship Councilrelating to that subject, as well as records of alldiscussions in that Council concerning the statusof women in Trust Territories.

On the basis of an oral proposal by Cuba, theEconomic and Social Council, at its sixteenthsession, without discussion, by 15 votes to none,with 2 abstentions, at the 245th meeting of itsSocial Committee (E/2486 K) on 15 July, and by17 votes to none, with 1 abstention, at its 736thplenary meeting on 23 July, took note of theCommission's resolution and drew it to the atten-tion of the Trusteeship Council (resolution 504K (XVI)).

The General Assembly, at its eighth session,under the agenda item "Development of politicalrights of women in territories where these rightsare not fully enjoyed", had before it the relevantsection of the report of the Economic and SocialCouncil (E/2430), together with a note by theSecretary-General (A/2452) calling attention toCouncil resolution 504 F (XVI).

The question was discussed at the 490th to492nd meetings of the Third Committee, on 1,2 and 6 October, and at the Assembly's 454thplenary meeting on 23 October 1953. The Com-mittee had before it a draft resolution (A/C.3/-L.345/Rev.1) by Chile, Cuba, the DominicanRepublic, Greece, India, Indonesia and the Philip-pines, based upon the Council's recommendations.The draft resolution would urge States to take allnecessary measures, particularly educational, lead-ing to the development of political rights forwomen in all territories—including Trust andNon-Self-Governing Territories—in which wo-men do not enjoy full political rights.

Economic and Social Questions 429

During the discussion, all speakers stronglysupported the goal of equal political rights forwomen. The representative of Cuba pointed outthat the draft resolution especially stressed educa-tional measures, because education was the bestmeans of raising people to the highest economicand social levels. It was clear that in many caseseconomic and social factors had prevented womenfrom obtaining proper education and thus becom-ing fitted to exercise the vote, he said.

The representatives of Bolivia, Israel and Yugo-slavia stressed that lack of education must not beused as a pretext for postponing the granting ofpolitical rights to women, and it was generallyunderstood that the draft resolution had no suchimplications. The representative of the Philip-pines was of the opinion that, if literacy was aprerequisite of the franchise in any country, thesame condition should apply to men as well asto women.

Syria submitted three amendments (A/C.3/-L.347/Rev.1). The first would urge States to takelegislative as well as educational measures leadingto the development of political rights. This wasopposed by the representatives of Argentina,Australia, Belgium, El Salvador and France,among others, on the basis that the resolutionalready provided for "all necessary" measures. Therepresentatives of Bolivia, Costa Rica, the Domini-can Republic, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Israel, Poland,the Ukrainian SSR, the USSR and Venezuela, onthe other hand, supported the amendment on thegrounds that it might strengthen the resolution.The amendment was subsequently adopted by 32votes to 8, with 12 abstentions.

A second Syrian amendment proposed the addi-tion of a new operative paragraph requesting theTrusteeship Council to be careful to ensure thatquestions in the revised Trusteeship Question-naire relating to the status of women were repliedto adequately and in detail by the AdministeringAuthorities. The representatives of El Salvador,Guatemala, Poland, the Ukrainian SSR and theUSSR, among others, spoke in favour of theamendment. The representatives of Argentina,Australia, Cuba, and Mexico, however, pointedout that the Council in resolution 504 K (XVI)(see above) had already covered the matter. Therepresentatives of Australia, Belgium, France andthe United Kingdom considered that such a stronginjunction to the Trusteeship Council was derog-atory and implied failure by the AdministeringAuthorities to discharge their obligations. Doubtswere also expressed as to the Third Committee'scompetence to deal with this matter.

The Committee decided, by 26 votes to 13,with 13 abstentions, on the basis of an oralAfghanistan proposal, to recommend that theAssembly refer the text of the amendment to theFourth Committee for further consideration andreport thereon to the General Assembly.

The third Syrian amendment, which would havecalled on the Secretary-General to report to theAssembly's ninth session on steps taken to giveeffect to the resolution, was withdrawn.

The draft resolution, as amended, was adoptedby the Third Committee (A/2503), at its 492ndmeeting on 6 October, by a roll-call vote of 53 tonone, with 1 abstention.

The General Assembly, at its 454th plenarymeeting on 23 October adopted it, without dis-cussion, by a roll-call vote of 59 in favour (theUnion of South Africa was absent). Resolution731(VIII) read:

"The General Assembly,

"Recalling its resolution 56(I) of 11 December 1946relating to the political rights of women, which wasreaffirmed in resolution 640(VII) of 20 December 1952,

"Having considered Economic and Social Councilresolution 504 F (XVI) of 23 July 1953,

"Urges States to take all necessary measures, par-ticularly educational and legislative measures, leading tothe development of the political rights of women in allTerritories in which women do not enjoy full politicalrights, including Trust and Non-Self-Governing Terri-tories."

4. Equal Pay for Equal Work

The Commission at its seventh session hadbefore it a report (E/CN.6/220) by the Inter-national Labour Office on the application of theConvention (No. 100) and Recommendation(No. 90) on Equal Remuneration for Work ofEqual Value for Men and Women Workers,adopted at the 34th International Labour Con-ference in 1951. The Commission took note ofthe fact that the Convention had been broughtinto force by the ratification of three countries(Belgium, Mexico and Yugoslavia) and that itwould come into effect on 23 May 1953. It alsorecommended a draft resolution (E/2401 G),which was subsequently adopted by the Council.

During the discussions at the sixteenth session ofthe Economic and Social Council, the representa-tive of the United Kingdom stated that the Com-mission on the Status of Women, in commonwith many United Nations bodies, appeared tobelieve that to adopt a resolution was equivalentto action. While accepting the principle of equalpay, his Government questioned the wisdom of

430 Yearbook of the United Nations

adopting yet another resolution on the subject.The representative of Australia was also not infavour of the resolution since, in his opinion, itdid not differ substantially from the resolutionadopted at the Council's fourteenth session. Therepresentative of Poland, on the other hand,stressed the importance of the draft resolution asa step in the right direction. The representativeof Sweden stated that he would abstain in thevote, since his Government was not prepared tointervene in negotiations between parties in thelabour market.

The draft resolution, as proposed by the Com-mission, was adopted by the Council at the 244thmeeting of its Social Committee (E/2486 G) on14 July by 15 votes to 1, with 2 abstentions, andat its 736th plenary meeting on 23 July by 15votes to none, with 3 abstentions, as resolution504 G (XVI). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Noting the action of countries which have formallyratified the Convention on Equal Remuneration adoptedby the International Labour Organisation in 1951,

"Noting also the progress being made in other coun-tries towards obtaining increased acceptance, in law andin practice, of the equal remuneration principle as setforth in the Preamble of the United Nations Charter, inarticle 23, paragraph 2, of the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights, and in the International Labour Organi-sation Convention and Recommendation on this subject,

"Noting the work of non-governmental organizationsin many countries in creating a favourable publicopinion for the application of this principle by callingattention to the value of women's work and the need forestablishing improved personnel practices and for secur-ing equal opportunities for training and advancement,by promoting the adoption of legislation and by otherappropriate means,

"1. Urges increased efforts towards widespread im-plementation of the principle of equal remuneration inall countries, whether or not members of the Interna-tional Labour Organisation, by means appropriate totheir systems of wage fixing;

"2. Invites the Secretary-General in collaborationwith the International Labour Office to furnish annuallyadditional information on the progress being made inthe various countries toward elimination of discrimina-tory wage practices against women, as well as similarreports on steps taken or methods used in those coun-tries to put the principle of equal remuneration intoforce."

5. Educational Opportunitiesfor Women

The Commission had before it at its seventhsession:

(1) a note by the Secretary-General (E/CN.6/214)on the findings of the Fifteenth International Conferenceon Public Education convened by the United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UN-ESCO) and the International Bureau of Education inJuly 1952, together with the official report of thisConference (Publication No. 143);

(2) a note by the Secretary-General on legal pro-visions concerning educational opportunities for girlsand women (E/CN.6/215) transmitting a joint publica-tion of UNESCO and the International Bureau ofEducation (Publication No. 141);

(3) a progress report prepared by UNESCO onaccess of women to education (E/CN.6/223); and

(4) a progress report prepared by the InternationalLabour Office on vocational guidance and on vocationaland technical training of women (E/CN.6/221).

The Commission expressed its appreciation forthe work which ILO intended to undertake in thefield of vocational guidance and training of womenand suggested that its studies be continued inco-operation with the Secretary-General, andinclude the field of access to apprenticeship.

Various members of the Commission expresseddisappointment, on the other hand, with certainparts of recommendation 34, concerning the accessof women to education, adopted by the FifteenthInternational Conference, on the grounds thatthey did not provide for true equality. Statingthat, in its opinion, it was essential to have iden-tity of basic programmes if all children were tohave an equal chance of really benefiting fromeducational opportunities, the Commission recom-mended (E/2401 H) that the Economic andSocial Council draw the attention of governmentsand of specialized agencies to the need for ensur-ing the identity of basic school curricula for pupilsof both sexes.

The Council, however, at its sixteenth session,adopted a joint amendment by Argentina, Cuba,France and the United States (E/AC.7/L.158)which, instead of drawing the attention of govern-ments and specialized agencies to the need forensuring "the identity of basic school curriculafor pupils of both sexes", would call their atten-tion to the need for ensuring that "pupils of bothsexes have the same opportunity to take basicschool curricula, including curriculum choices".

The majority supported this version on theground of clarity. The representative of UNESCOalso expressed approval, pointing out that educa-tors were reluctant to use so categorical an expres-sion as "identity of basic school curricula", sincethe trend in education was towards diversificationand adaptation to needs.

The substitute proposal was adopted by 15votes to none, with 3 abstentions, at the 244thmeeting of the Council's Social Committee (E/-2486 H) on 14 July, and unanimously by the

Economic and Social Questions 431

Council at its 736th plenary meeting on 23 July,as resolution 504 H (XVI). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Draws the attention of governments and of special-ized agencies to the need for ensuring that pupils ofboth sexes have the same opportunity to take basicschool curricula, including curriculum choices."

The Commission on the Status of Womenfurther adopted a resolution requesting the Sec-retary-General, in collaboration with UNESCO,to provide the Commission at its next sessionwith all available information on the number ofscholarships and fellowships granted to men andwomen students respectively in primary, secondary,higher and technical education. It also requestedthe Secretary-General to continue to co-operatewith the Director-General of UNESCO to advanceopportunities for education of women, and toassure full consideration of the needs of and par-ticipation by women in all programmes relatingto education on equal terms with men. It recom-mended a draft resolution (E/2401 I) for adop-tion by the Economic and Social Council (seebelow).

During the Council's discussion, the represent-ative of UNESCO stated that the information inUNESCO's possession was inadequate as a basisfor any serious study as requested by the Com-mission, and would involve lengthy and difficultresearch. UNESCO, he further pointed out, hadno funds to devote to such a study before 1955.The United States representative thought that thecost would be out of proportion to the value ofthe results. Moreover, in the view of his Govern-ment, primary education ought to be compulsoryand free and the question of scholarships shouldtherefore not arise at that level, he stated.

The draft resolution proposed by the Commis-sion was unanimously adopted by the Social Com-mittee (E/2486 I), at its 244th meeting on 14July, and by the Council at its 736th plenarymeeting on 23 July, as resolution 504 I (XVI).It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,

"1. Recommends to Member States that laws andregulations regarding the distribution of scholarshipsprovide equal opportunities for girls and women, andthat such scholarships be made available to them foreducation in any field and in preparation for all careers;

"2. Expresses the hope that, in countries wherenative and official languages exist, attention will begiven in programmes of education to the importance ofproviding equal opportunities for women to acquire thelanguage, in addition to their own, which will permitthem access to the resources of knowledge in the generalculture of the country."

6. Technical Assistance Programmes inRelation to the Status of Women

The Commission on the Status of Women hadbefore it reports (E/CN.6/189 & Add.1) by theSecretary-General and other documents describ-ing the nature and the extent of the technicalassistance programmes administered by the UnitedNations and the various specialized agencies. Italso had before it for information purposes: areport by the Secretary-General (E/2209) onUnited Nations Programmes of Technical Assist-ance; Evaluation of the Programme of AdvisorySocial Welfare Services 1947-1951 (E/CN.5/266);Programme of Fellowships and Scholarships for1954; and Background Paper No. 74 (ST/DPI/-SER.A/74) on United Nations Technical Assist-ance.

The Commission adopted a resolution (E/2401J), asking the Council:

(1) to recommend to member Governments thatthey increase the participation of women in the formu-lation and carrying out of various technical assistanceand other programmes;

(2) to recommend sympathetic consideration by theappropriate bodies of requests submitted by governmentswithin the framework of those programmes for aidwhich would be useful in raising the status of women;and

(3) to authorize, subject to the approval of the Gen-eral Assembly, the Secretary-General to render, at therequest of Members, expert advice and other servicesin order to assist these States in improving the statusof women, such services to include advice regardingthe drafting of legislation and other matters which hedeems appropriate.

During the discussion at the Council's sixteenthsession, the majority supported the principlesunderlying the resolution. A number of represent-atives, however, among them those of Australia,Belgium, France, Sweden and the United King-dom, thought it would be preferable to refer thequestion to the Council's Technical AssistanceCommittee. The representative of the UnitedStates pointed out that the draft resolutionreferred, in one paragraph, to existing technicalassistance programmes and, in another, to a newtype of programme, namely technical assistanceto promote human rights. Therefore, at the SocialCommittee's 245th meeting on 15 July, he intro-duced an alternative draft resolution (E/AC.7/-L.163) designed to simplify and rearrange theoriginal text. Part A of the new text dealt withexisting programmes and Part B with a new typeof programme. While recognizing that separatefunds might be required under Part B, he statedthat in the initial stages they could be met outof existing resources.

432 Yearbook of the United Nations

The representatives of Australia and the UnitedKingdom thought it unrealistic to base a proposalon a remote possibility of obtaining funds throughsavings in other sections of the United Nationsbudget. The Australian representative thereforeproposed (E/AC.7/L.164) that the authority ofGeneral Assembly resolution 418(V) on advisorysocial welfare services should be extended to coverthe new expenses. However, he subsequently with-drew the amendment on the understanding thatthe draft resolution would not be regarded ascommitting the Council or Committee on anyother eventual proposal concerning other formsof technical assistance in the field of human rights.

The representative of the United States acceptedan oral United Kingdom amendment to addressthe recommendations concerning conferences,seminars and training courses to governmentsrather than to the Secretary-General and thespecialized agencies.

The Social Committee, at its 248th meeting on17 July, adopted Part A of the draft resolution(E/AC.7/L.163) by 17 votes to none, with 1abstention, and Part B by 13 votes to none, with5 abstentions. It was adopted, as a whole (E/2486J I & II), by 15 votes to none, with 3 abstentions.

The Council, at its 736th plenary meeting on23 July, adopted the resolution, by the same votes,as resolution 504 J I & II (XVI). The representa-tive of the United Kingdom stated that he hadabstained, in particular, on the grounds that itwas inappropriate for the Council to establishwhat might be regarded as a precedent when thewhole question of technical assistance in the fieldof human rights had been referred to governmentsfor their consideration. The French representativeabstained since she did not disapprove of theprinciples but wished to leave the door openuntil the financial implications of Part II werebetter known.

Resolution 504 J I & II (XVI) read:I

"The Economic and Social Council,

"Noting the constructive nature and extent of thetechnical assistance programmes administered by theUnited Nations and the various specialized agencies,

"1. Recommends to the organizations participatingin the technical assistance and other programmes pro-viding aid or assistance that they give sympatheticconsideration to the requests which governments maysubmit for aid, within the framework of existing pro-grammes, which would be useful in promoting theeconomic and social advance of women;

"2. Recommends to governments of Member States:"(a) That, where women are not already participat-

ing in the formulation of requests for technical assis-

tance, consideration be given to appointing qualifiedwomen to posts in which they may share in framingpolicy and planning specific technical assistance projects;

"(b) That they encourage increased participation ofwomen in conferences, seminars and training coursesorganized under existing technical assistance pro-grammes."


"The Economic and Social Council,

"Bearing in mind that, under Article 66 of theCharter of the United Nations, the Council "may, withthe approval of the General Assembly, perform servicesat the request of Members of the United Nations andat the request of specialized agencies",

''Relieving that the fields in which the Secretary-General is at present authorized to render assistance forthe purpose of improving the status of women mayappropriately be broadened,

"Decides that, subject to the approval of the GeneralAssembly, the Secretary-General shall be authorized torender, at the request of Member States, services whichdo not fall within the scope of existing technical assis-tance programmes, in order to assist these States in pro-moting and safeguarding the rights of women."

The General Assembly at its eighth session con-sidered the question, at the 485th and 486th meet-ings of its Third Committee on 24 and 25 Sep-tember, under the item "Technical assistance inpromoting and safeguarding the rights of women".It had before it the relevant sections of the reportof the Economic and Social Council (E/2430)and a note by the Secretary-General (A/2454)directing attention to Council resolution 504 J II(XVI). The discussion in the Committee wasmainly directed to a draft resolution (A/C.3/-L.339/Rev.1), submitted by Cuba, the DominicanRepublic and Pakistan, which would note theCouncil's resolution and approve its decision toextend the Secretary-General's authority in themanner therein described.

All representatives agreed on the principlesand the majority supported the draft resolution.Again, the main point of disagreement concernedthe financial implications, the representatives ofAustralia, France, the Netherlands, the Union ofSouth Africa and the United Kingdom stressingthe importance of fuller information regardingthe extent of the commitment involved.

The representatives of Syria, the United King-dom, Uruguay and Yugoslavia also questioned theabsence of a more specific indication of the typeof services to be rendered. The representative ofthe Dominican Republic thought that the exactnature of the services that would be renderedcould be determined only after the receipt ofrequests from Member States. He and the rep-resentative of the United States suggested, as pos-sible types of projects, advice in connexion with

Economic and Social Questions 433

revision of laws and practices relating to property,inheritance and family rights of women andassistance in planning programmes for the pro-gressive advancement of women's status in politi-cal as well as in economic and social fields. Withrespect to financial implications, the representativeof the United States pointed out that the assistanceprovided for in the resolution could, for the year1954 at least, be rendered by the Secretary-Gen-eral without additional expenditure by utilizingexisting staff, for whom requesting governmentsmight bear local costs, and that a year's experiencewould provide a possible basis for future budgetaryprovisions if these became necessary.

The Secretary-General presented a statement(A/C.3/L.339/Rev.1/Add.1) of financial impli-cations, indicating that assistance would be pro-vided within available funds to the maximumextent possible through the use of staff membersseconded from the existing establishment. It wasforeseen that such requests would necessitateexpenditures for travel and subsistence of suchstaff and for miscellaneous expenses. The localcosts, it was assumed, would be borne by recipientgovernments, in accordance with normal technicalassistance arrangements. Should this course ofaction prove inadequate, the Secretary-Generalwould rely on the resolution on unforeseen andextraordinary expenses, whereby, with the con-currence of the Advisory Committee on Admin-istrative and Budgetary Questions, additionalresources from the Working Capital Fund mightbe made available to meet urgent needs.

The Fifth Committee at its 392nd meeting on19 October subsequently endorsed (A/2525) thedecision of the Advisory Committee to concurin the Secretary General's proposal, inasmuch asthe nature and volume of requests likely to arisewere not known at that stage.

The draft resolution was adopted by a roll-callvote of 39 to none, with 14 abstentions, at theThird Committee's 486th meeting on 25 Sep-tember (E/2494) and by the General Assembly,at its 453rd plenary meeting on 23 October, bya roll-call vote of 47 to none, with 13 abstentions,as follows:

In favour: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bur-ma, Byelorussian SSR, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia,Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic,Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Greece, Guate-mala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran,Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico,Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines,Poland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukrainian SSR, USSR,United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.

Against: None.

Abstaining: Afghanistan, Australia, Denmark, France,Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Saudi Arabia,Sweden, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom,Yemen.

Resolution 729(VIII) read:

"The General Assembly,

"Noting Economic and Social Council resolution 504J II (XVI) of 23 July 1953 concerning technicalassistance in promoting and safeguarding the rightsof women,

"Approves the decision of the Council authorizingthe Secretary-General to render, at the request of Mem-ber States, services which do not fall within the scopeof existing technical assistance programmes, in order toassist these States in promoting and safeguarding therights of women."

7. Economic Opportunitiesfor Women

The Commission on the Status of Women, atits seventh session, had before it a report by theSecretary-General (E/CN.6/213) concerning part-time work for women and a preliminary reportprepared by the International Labour Office (E/-CN.6/222) on part-time employment. After not-ing these reports, the Commission requested (E/-2401) the Secretary-General, in co-operation withthe International Labour Office, to continue studyof the question with a view to preparing suchfurther reports as might be needed to serve as abasis for full discussion of the question at theCommission's eighth session. It invited them togive special attention to the work of women incottage industries and handicrafts and in seasonalagricultural work in the economically under-developed countries of the world. The Commis-sion also expressed the wish that the Secretary-General prepare a bibliography of books andpamphlets on this subject.

8. Participation of Women in the Workof the United Nations and

the Specialized Agencies

The Commission had before it a report by theSecretary-General (E/CN.6/216 & Add.1) con-taining information on the nature and propor-tion of positions occupied by women in the sec-retariats of the United Nations and the specializedagencies, and on the number and proportion ofwomen who had served in delegations since theSan Francisco Conference. The Commission, tak-ing note of the report of the Secretary-General,deplored the exceedingly small number of womenoccupying senior and policy-making posts in thesecretariats of the United Nations and the special-ized agencies and the fact that no upward trend

434 Yearbook of the United Nations

was discernible in the reports of past years. Iturged the Secretary-General and the chief admin-istrative officers of the specialized agencies, inmaking appointments to senior and policy-makingpositions in the secretariats, to give equal con-sideration to qualified women, in conformity withArticle 8 of the Charter. It also urged that all dis-crimination against women be eliminated fromthe conditions of employment in the secretariats.

The Commission further invited the Secretary-General to continue to make such annual reports,to include in those reports data on the numberand proportion of applications presented bywomen and accepted, and to continue to supple-ment the report by information on the number andproportion of women who had served during theyear as delegates and alternates in sessions of theprincipal organs of the United Nations and in con-ferences of the specialized agencies. It suggestedthat, in addition, the report should include what-ever information was available on the number andproportion of women in fellowship and intern-ship programmes of the United Nations and thespecialized agencies, and of those serving asexperts on technical assistance projects.

The Commission also recommended to non-governmental organizations that they emphasizethe importance of expanding opportunities forwomen at the national level as a means ofencouraging the appointment of more women topolicy-making posts in the United Nations andspecialized agencies.

9. Other Work

The Commission at its seventh session also tooknote of two lists of communications, a non-con-fidential list (E/CN.6/CR.6) and a confidentiallist (SW/Communications List No. 3), submittedby the Secretary-General, together with a reply(SW/Communication No.1) from the Govern-ment of a Member State concerning a communica-tion sent to it.

Concerning its programme of future work, itestablished a programme of priorities, the mainheadings of which were: political rights and pub-lic law; nationality; economic rights and equalpay; private law; educational opportunities; andactivities of other United Nations organs affectingthe status of women.

The Commission also took note of the reportof the Inter-American Commission of Women(E/CN.6/224) on its activities during the year.It adopted a resolution concerning the attendanceat its session of a representative of the Women'sInternational Democratic Federation, a non-gov-ernmental organization in consultative status cate-gory B, expressing regret that the representativehad not been granted an entry visa which wouldhave enabled her to come to United Nations Head-quarters and to take part in the work of the Com-mission, calling the attention of the Council tothat abnormal situation and requesting it toexamine this question at its fifteenth session inorder to take appropriate measures.125


1. Report of the United Nations

High Commissioner for Refugees

In accordance with the Statute of the Office ofthe United Nations High Commissioner forRefugees,126 the General Assembly, at its eighthsession, was to review the arrangements for theOffice with a view to determining whether itshould be continued beyond 31 December 1953.The High Commissioner accordingly submitted,through the Economic and Social Council at itssixteenth session, a report covering the periodfrom June 1952 to May 1953,127 giving as fullan account as possible of the work undertaken bythe Office during that time. The report containeda section on the historical background, and dealtwith general activities and work of protection,the work of the branch offices and the situationof refugees in various countries, refugees requir-

ing institutional care, the Refugee EmergencyFund, Ford Foundation grants for refugees, andthe Advisory Committee on Refugees.

In his conclusions, the High Commissionerstated that, despite the fact that a number ofindividual countries had made great efforts toprovide some permanent solution for the prob-lem of refugees within the mandate of the Office,there remained a continuing need for some centralinternational organization concerned with theproblems of refugees. To ensure that the bestpossible use is made of the various internationalfunds made available to help refugees, this centralorganization, he considered, must have some sayin the allocation of the funds. Closer co-ordination

125 See pp. 501-503.

126 See Y.U.N., 1950, pp. 585-87.127

For activities prior to this date, see Y.U.N., 1952,pp. 497-501. For those undertaken during 1953, seebelow.

Economic and Social Questions 435

and, therefore, more efficient use of existingmachinery rather than the establishment of newmachinery was needed, he maintained. Continuedeffort, he stated, must be made not only in thedirection of resettlement but also in that of repa-triation and integration. This did not imply thatthere was a need for an international organizationwith operational functions to deal with the cur-rent refugee problem; the responsibilities of theUnited Nations in providing international protec-tion and seeking permanent solutions should, inhis opinion, mainly be the promotion and co-ordi-nation of operations on behalf of refugees. How-ever, he considered, it was essential to prolong thearrangements for the Office for a period longenough to make it possible for it to devote itsefforts entirely to the needs of refugees and not,after a very short period, to the administrativeproblems of liquidation. He therefore recom-mended that, should the Assembly continue theOffice, it should do so for a period of not lessthan five years and that any subsequent reviewshould take place at least one year before thetermination date. In addition, he stressed in thereport that it was urgent for the General Assem-bly to give renewed attention to the continuingproblem of emergency aid to the most needygroups within the mandate of his office.

2. Consideration by the Economicand Social Council at its

Sixteenth Session

The Economic and Social Council had theHigh Commissioner's report before it at its 713thto 715th plenary meetings on 6 and 7 July 1953.The majority congratulated the High Commis-sioner on the progress made by his Office, despitethe limited resources at his disposal, and agreedthat it was necessary for the work of the Officeto be continued. It was also generally agreed thatany question of extending the scope of the man-date should be raised in the Assembly. In thisconnexion, the representative of France, pendingthe Assembly's decision on the continuation ofthe Office, at the 715th plenary meeting withdrewa draft resolution (E/L.523) which would pro-pose to increase the powers and responsibilitiesof the Advisory Committee.

With regard to continuing the Office, there wassome difference of opinion as to whether a periodshould be defined at all, whether the Assemblyshould define it, or whether three years was prefer-able to five, but it was finally agreed that theCouncil should recommend that the Assemblyapprove the continuation of the Office for a furtherfive years.

By 16 votes to 2, the Council, at its 714thplenary meeting on 7 July, adopted a draft resolu-tion (E/L.521/Rev.1) submitted by Australia,Sweden and the United Kingdom.

By this resolution (500(XVI)) the Council, con-sidering the valuable work performed by the Officeof the High Commissioner both in providinginternational protection for refugees and promot-ing permanent solutions for their problems,expressed its appreciation of the report, recom-mended that the Office should be continued for afurther period of five years, and drew the atten-tion of the General Assembly to the importanceof making provision for the arrangements of theOffice to be reviewed at least one year before theexpiry of the period which it would determine.

3. Consideration by the GeneralAssembly at its Eighth Session

The General Assembly considered the work ofthe Office of the United Nations High Commis-sioner for Refugees at the 497th to 502nd meet-ings of its Third Committee, on 13 to 16, 19 and20 October, and at its 453rd and 454th plenarymeetings on 23 October 1953. In addition to thereport of the United Nations High Commissionerfor Refugees (A/2394) (see above), it had beforeit the relevant sections of the report of the Eco-nomic and Social Council (A/2430), a note bythe Secretary-General (A/2449) on the questionof the continuation of the Office of the High Com-missioner, and a memorandum by the Secretary-General (A/2457) containing his comments onthe work of the United Nations on behalf ofrefugees.

At the Committee's 497th meeting on 13October, the High Commissioner, Dr. G. J. vanHeuven Goedhart, outlined the background andorigins of the Office, explaining its functions inconnexion both with international protection ofrefugees and the promotion of permanent solu-tions for their problems. He stressed, among otherthings, the precarious situation of refugees whowere dependent on the Refugee Emergency Fund,particularly those of European origin in China;the difficult cases requiring special care; and thesituation of a considerable number of refugeesstill living in camps in Europe. He also mentionedthe valuable work which the interested organiza-tions had enabled his Office to promote in thefield of social and economic assimilation ofrefugees.

At the end of his statement, the High Com-missioner submitted certain conclusions (A/C.3/-

436 Yearbook of the United Nations

L.356) for the consideration of the Committee.In those conclusions, he pointed out that a solu-tion of the refugee problem required the co-opera-tion, in a co-ordinated manner, between the coun-tries of first and second asylum and those of reset-tlement. There was need, he emphasized, for abetter and more co-ordinated use of existingmachinery rather than new machinery. Stressingthe co-ordinating role of his Office, he pointedout that if the Office were consulted prior to thelaunching of any programme of internationalaction on behalf of refugees, there would be aconsiderable increase in the efficiency of the workdone. It would also be a step forward if govern-ments would see their way to give attention ata higher level to refugee problems. He alsoemphasized that the complexity of the currentrefugee problem made it necessary for a certainamount of long-term planning to be undertakenand for this reason considered five years the mini-mum period for the prolongation of the. Office.Finally, he appealed for further contributions tothe Refugee Emergency Fund, pointing out thatfor many thousands of refugees within the man-date of his Office the living conditions were nearlydesperate.

The discussion in the Committee was mainlydirected to the question of the continuation ofthe Office and the need for greater co-ordinationof international action on behalf of refugees. Themajority expressed their appreciation of the workof the Office of the High Commissioner andemphasized the necessity of continued UnitedNations action on behalf of refugees throughthe Office. The majority also emphasized the neces-sity of working for permanent solutions of therefugee problem through integration and resettle-ment, and the importance of greater co-ordinationof programmes. However, a number of representa-tives, among them those of Iraq, Saudi Arabia andYugoslavia, considered that more attention shouldbe paid to voluntary repatriation.

The representatives of the Byelorussian SSR,Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Ukrainian SSR andthe USSR considered that the work of the Officeshould be discontinued, and expressed strongcriticism of international action undertaken onbehalf of refugees since the end of the war throughthe International Refugee Organization and theOffice of the High Commissioner. They main-tained that the Office tended to perpetuate therefugee problem, which should be solved throughthe repatriation of the refugees in accordance withGeneral Assembly resolution 8(I) of 12 February1946, the provisions of which, they stated, hadnot been observed.

The High Commissioner, in answer, stated thathe firmly believed that repatriation was the idealsolution for the refugee problem. However, itshould be pointed out that repatriation shouldbe voluntary, as was clear from the terms of theStatute of his Office. No person could be sentback to his country of origin against his will and,in fact, the refugees who asked for repatriationwere few. Moreover, the High Commissioner'stask was not to ensure repatriation or resettlementof refugees. His responsibility was only to facili-tate solutions of that kind, not to carry them out.When a refugee expressed a desire to return tohis country the High Commissioner could onlyput him in touch with the nearest interestedconsulate; such a case had occurred, for example,in connexion with 75 Yugoslav citizens in Greeceand twelve European refugees from Shanghai. Hewas acting, he stated, within the means at hisdisposal; he had no funds to finance repatriation.Moreover, the Statute and the various resolutionsof the General Assembly showed that a refugeewho asked to return to his country ceased auto-matically to be a refugee within the meaning oftheir provisions and no longer came under thejurisdiction of the High Commissioner. Personally,he was entirely in favour of voluntary repatriationas a solution, yet it was not for him to encouragerefugees to take that step but merely to aid thosewho showed a desire to return to their countries,so far as his means and his terms of referenceallowed.

The Committee had before it two draft resolu-tions, one on the continuation of the Office ofthe High Commissioner, and a second on the workof the Office. The former, submitted by Belgium,Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UnitedKingdom and Uruguay (A/C.3/L.355/Rev.1)would reaffirm the Statute of the Office and recom-mend that it should be continued for a period offive years from 1 January 1954, with a reviewto take place not later than at the twelfth sessionof the General Assembly. The representative ofthe United States submitted an amendment (A/-C.3/L.360) to this, which would omit any refer-ence to the reaffirmation of the Statute but recom-mend that the Office be continued for five yearson the basis of the Statute.

The second draft resolution, submitted by Bel-gium, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, the Nether-lands, Norway and the United Kingdom (A/C.3/-L.357), and concerning the work of the Officeof the High Commissioner, would invite the HighCommissioner to concern himself in particularwith refugees requiring emergency aid, those stillliving in camps and those requiring special care,

Economic and Social Questions 437

and would appeal to governments to intensifytheir efforts to promote solutions for the problemsof refugees in co-operation with the High Com-missioner. It would congratulate the High Com-missioner on the relations established with inter-ested organizations and express the hope thatappropriate consultations would take place in thedrawing up of all programmes of internationalaction designed to improve the situation ofrefugees who were the concern of the High Com-missioner.

Amendments to this draft resolution were pro-posed by Syria (A/C.3/L.358 & 361) and byYugoslavia (A/C.3/L.359). The first Syrianamendment (A/C.3/L.358) would request theHigh Commissioner in the exercise of his func-tions to take account of the provisions of GeneralAssembly resolution 538 B (VI) of 2 February1952 concerning repatriation and the provisions ofthe Statute, emphasizing the humanitarian char-acter of the work of the Office and the importanceof concentrating attention on the more destitutecategories of refugees. The Yugoslav amendment(A/C.3/L.359) would also stress the questionof repatriation and would invite the High Com-missioner to pay particular attention and takecare of refugees willing to be repatriated. It wouldfurther invite him to report to the Assembly'sninth session on his consultations with appro-priate international organizations on all pro-grammes of international action designed toimprove the situation of refugees within hismandate.

The second Syrian proposal (A/C.3/L.361)would delete the paragraph in the preamble ofthe draft resolution expressing appreciation forthe work accomplished and, in the operative part,the congratulations offered the High Commissionerfor the relations he had established with inter-ested organizations.

At the suggestion of the Chairman, the authorsof the amendments and the two draft resolutionsmet informally and agreed on two compromisetexts (A/C.3/L.355/Rev.2 & A/C.3/L.357/-Rev.1).

They were adopted by the Third Committee(A/2523 & Corr.1 (I & II)), at its 502nd meet-ing on 20 October, by 43 votes to 5, with 4abstentions, and by a roll-call vote of 45 to 5, with3 abstentions, respectively. The General Assem-bly, at its 453rd plenary meeting on 23 October,adopted the draft resolutions by 47 votes to 5,with 3 abstentions, and by 48 votes to 5, with4 abstentions, respectively, as resolutions 727 and728(VIII).

The same day, at its 454th meeting, on thenomination of the Secretary-General (A/2527) inaccordance with Chapter III, paragraph 13 of theStatute of the High Commissioner's Office, thePresident of the Assembly declared Dr. G. J. vanHeuven Goedhart elected as United Nations HighCommissioner for Refugees for a period of fiveyears, beginning 1 January 1954. The representa-tive of the USSR stated that, for reasons alreadyexplained, he wished to be considered as votingagainst the election of the High Commissioner.The representatives of the Byelorussian SSR, theUkrainian SSR, Czechoslovakia and Poland associ-ated themselves with the USSR's objections.

Resolution 727 (VIII) read:"The General Assembly,

"Recalling its resolutions 319(IV) of 3 December1949 and 428(V) of 14 December 1950, by which theAssembly decided to establish the Office of the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Refugees and adoptedthe Statute governing the operation of that Office,

''Considering the continuing need for internationalaction on behalf of refugees,

"Considering the valuable work which has been per-formed by the Office of the High Commissioner bothin providing international protection for refugees andin promoting permanent solutions for their problems,

"1. Decides to continue the Office of the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Refugees for a periodof five years from 1 January 1954 on the basis of theStatute of the Office contained in the annex to GeneralAssembly resolution 428(V);

"2. Decides to review, not later than at the twelfthregular session of the Assembly, the arrangements forthe Office of the High Commissioner with a view todetermining whether the Office should be continuedbeyond 31 December 1958;

"3. Decides that the High Commissioner shall beelected for a period of five years from 1 January 1954,and that the High Commissioner shall appoint a DeputyHigh Commissioner of a nationality other than hisown."

Resolution 728(VIII) read:

"The General Assembly,

"Having considered the problems of refugees who arethe concern of the United Nations High Commissionerfor Refugees in the light of his report to the GeneralAssembly at its eighth session and of the Secretary-General's memorandum,

"Having noted with appreciation the work beingdone on behalf of these refugees,

"Having noted with concern the precarious situationof certain groups of refugees within the High Com-missioner's mandate, in particular those in need ofemergency aid, the considerable number still living incamps, and those requiring special care for whom nosatisfactory arrangements have yet been made,

"1. Invites the High Commissioner to concern him-self in particular with these groups of refugees in carry-ing out his functions as defined in the Statute of his

438 Yearbook of the United Nations

Office and to pay special attention to them in his reportto the General Assembly at its ninth session;

"2. Appeals to the governments of States Membersand non-members of the United Nations to intensifytheir efforts to promote, in co-operation with the HighCommissioner, solutions for the problems of refugees,through repatriation, resettlement and integration inaccordance with General Assembly resolution 538 B(VI) of 2 February 1952;

"3. Takes note of the relations which the HighCommissioner has established with interested organiza-tions, expresses the hope that appropriate consultationswill take place in the drawing up of all programmesof international action designed to improve the situationof refugees within his mandate and invites the HighCommissioner to give an account of such consultationsin his report."

4. Work of the Office of the UnitedNations High Commissioner

for Refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Com-missioner for Refugees, established by the Gen-eral Assembly as of 1 January 1951, continuedto function during 1953.128

On 2 February 1952, the General Assembly(resolution 538 B (VI))129 had authorized theHigh Commissioner to appeal for funds to provideemergency aid to the most needy groups of refu-gees within his mandate. An appeal for funds withwhich to finance a programme of emergencyrelief was immediately launched under the name"United Nations Refugee Emergency Fund"(UNREF). During the subsequent year, it waspossible, through voluntary contributions fromgovernments and private persons, to provide foodand medical attention for the most needy groupsof refugees within the High Commissioner's man-date.

The continued provision throughout the worldof international protection to refugees within themandate was the major task of the Office duringthe year.

The branch offices130 were particularly con-cerned with helping refugees represent their needsto the competent national and local authorities.They assisted refugees to establish their refugeestatus and to obtain the necessary legal documents.Representations were also made to the competentauthorities concerning the right to work, socialsecurity benefits and public relief.

An important aspect of international protec-tion for refugees is the promotion of the ratifica-tion of relevant international conventions. By theend of 1953 five countries—Belgium, Denmark,the Federal Republic of Germany, Luxembourgand Norway—had ratified the 1951 ConventionRelating to the Status of Refugees. It was to come

into force 90 days after the deposit of the sixthinstrument of ratification or accession.131

Special attention was given during the year tothe difficult problem of finding asylum for thesick and elderly persons, currently numbering 800,among the group of 15,000 refugees of Europeanorigin in China. Barred by reasons of health fromthe regular programmes of immigration, thesepersons constituted the residual problem of sev-eral years of practical work on behalf of refugeesin this region by previous organizations.

A new approach was made to governments, withthe result that by the end of 1953, places inhomes and sanatoria had been found for more than300, and the first large group, made up of 51persons, had been moved from Shanghai to HongKong to await transport to Sweden, Denmark andBelgium.

In Austria, a survey of the situation of sick andelderly refugees among the approximately 230,000refugees within the High Commissioner's man-date was begun. The condition of refugees whohave already been placed in institutions and theproblems of those who require hospital treatmentor special care are to form part of the survey.

In September 1952, the Ford Foundation madeavailable a grant of $2,900,000 with which theHigh Commissioner, as Administrator of the grant,was able to launch a number of pilot projectsdesigned to promote the economic integration ofrefugees in Austria, France, Germany, Trieste andGreece and opportunities for resettlement in LatinAmerica, Canada and Australia. These projectswere implemented by voluntary agencies. Thiswork continued throughout 1953 and, by Sep-tember, almost all the Ford Grant had beenallocated; matching contributions to the value of$7,943,774 had extended the scale of the projects,with the result that nearly 300,000 refugees wouldbenefit.

Some $400,000 of the $2,900,000 grant wereallocated by the High Commissioner for practical

128 For discussions leading to the establishment of the

High Commissioner's Office, see Y.U.N., 1950, pp.580-85. For text of the Statute of the Office, see ibid,pp. 585-87. A summary of the functions and organiza-tional arrangements for the Office is contained inY.U.N., 1952, pp. 496-97 and is therefore not repeatedin this volume. The members serving on the High Com-missioner's Advisory Committee and the principal offi-cials of the Office are given in Appendix I. The addressesof the Headquarters, liaison and branch offices are an-nexed to this section.


130 For list of these branch offices, see p. 440.131 Australia deposited its instrument of accession on

22 January 1954 and the Convention accordingly cameinto force on 22 April 1954.

See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 531.

Economic and Social Questions 439

assistance to Berlin refugees whose arrival in largenumbers was affecting the position of the foreignrefugees already in Germany. The High Commis-sioner also appealed to governments in January1953 to support his action and, by 15 September,goods to the value of $2,323,843 had been re-ceived and the United States Government haddonated $15,000,000 for housing settlements forEast German refugees.

The High Commissioner's Advisory Committeemet between 27 April and 2 May, when arrange-ments for the High Commissioner's Office werereviewed and discussion centred on internationalprotection and the position of the refugees ofEuropean origin in China and Hong Kong.


The main details of the expenditures and con-tributions relating to the United Nations RefugeeEmergency Fund (UNREF) follow.

By 31 December 1953, contributions or pledges,totalling $1,062,096, had been received as follows:

Contributions Received

Pledges from Governments


AustraliaAustriaBelgiumCanadaDenmarkFranceGermanyGreeceLuxembourg (3

contributions)NetherlandsNorwaySwedenSwitzerlandUnited Kingdom

$ 55,8331,923






Private Agencies, Societies andIndividuals

IRO Trust Fund forShanghai Operation

IRO Grant for resettle-ment of difficult case:

Miscellaneous Income

$ 733,484


$ 795,421

Norway (2ndcontribution)





Of this total, $847,527 had been spent and theremainder allocated by the end of 1953. Expenditureswere as follows:

For emergency relief to refugees in

AustriaBelgiumGermanyGreeceItalyMiddle EastSwitzerlandTriesteTurkey

$ 35,107420




Resettlement of difficultcases from Shanghai toBelgium

Resettlement of difficultcases from Shanghai toFrance

Expenditures ShanghaiOperation1 March 1952-31 December 1953

Due ICEM care andmaintenance refugeesin Hong Kong 1953

Due Jewish Council careand maintenance refu-gees in Shanghai 1953

Administrative expenses1 March 1952-31 December 1953

Fund raising expenses


Accounts payable (Li-quidated since dateof statement)



$ 148,032

$ 33,000

$ 628,014

$ 32,481


$ 847,527

$ 252,571

132 As of 26 February 1954, an additional $97,496

have been received from Australia (2nd contribution),the Holy See, New Zealand and Switzerland (2nd con-tribution).

$ 13,000







Other Assets

440 Yearbook of the United Nations



Address: Office of the United Nations HighCommissioner for Refugees,Palais des Nations,Geneva, Switzerland.



Address: Office of the United Nations HighCommissioner for Refugees,Room 3858,United Nations Headquarters,New York, U.S.A.



Address: Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for Austria,3 Krugerstrasse,Vienna I, Austria.HICOMREF VIENNACables:







Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for Belgium,

Netherlands and Luxembourg,63 rue de l'Association,Brussels, Belgium.HICOMREF BRUSSELS

Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for the Far East,c/o ECAFE,Rajadamnoen Avenue,Bangkok, Thailand.HICOMREF BANGKOK

Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for France,103 rue de l'Université,Paris 7, France.HICOMREF PARIS

Address: Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for Germany,89/91 Kolnerstrasse,Bad Godesberg, Germany.


Address: Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for Greece,59 Skoufa Street,Athens, Greece.


Address: Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for Italy,Viale David Lubin 2,Rome, Italy.


Address: Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for Latin America,Avenida Jiménez de Quesada 8-89,Oficina 301,Bogota, Colombia.


Address: Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for the United

Kingdom and British Commonwealth,Russell Square House,Russell Square,London, W.C.1., England.


Address: Representative,UNHCR Branch Office for the United StatesU.N. Headquarters,United Nations, New York.


Address: Joint Representative,United Nations High Commissioner for

Refugees and the IntergovernmentalCommittee for European Migration

c/o Bank of East Asia Building,801 Desvoeux Road C,Hong Kong.



The Economic and Social Council at its six-teenth session reviewed the report of the ninthsession of the Social Commission, held from 4 to20 May 1953 (E/2437), which, inter alia, dealtwith two major subjects, the programme of con-certed practical action in the social field and thefuture of UNICEF.133 The Council also consideredthose sections of the Commission's report dealingwith the progress made on a number of selecteditems of the Commission's work programme, aswell as its general work programme and prioritiesfor 1954-1955, as indicated below.

1. Concerted Practical Actionin the Social Field

a. REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERALIn accordance with General Assembly resolu-

tion 535(VI)134 and Council resolutions 434 A(XIV)135 and 451 A (XIV),136 and in the lightof the findings of the Preliminary Report on the


134 See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 552-53.

135 See Y.U.N., 1952, p. 506.136 Ibid, p. 539.

For UNICEF, see below, under that heading.

Economic and Social Questions 441

World Social Situation (E/CN.5/267/Rev.1)137

the Secretary-General, in consultation with theexecutive heads of the specialized agencies con-cerned, submitted to the Social Commission at itsninth session a report on a "Programme of Con-certed Practical Action in the Social Field of theUnited Nations and Specialized Agencies" (E/-CN.5/291 & Addenda). The report representedthe common efforts of the United Nations (includ-ing UNICEF, the Office of the United NationsHigh Commissioner for Refugees, the UnitedNations Relief and Works Agency for PalestineRefugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and theUnited Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency(UNKRA)), the International Labour Organisa-tion (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organizationof the United Nations (FAO), the United NationsEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO), and the World Health Organization(WHO), and took into account the observationssubmitted by various governments.138 The essentialfindings of the report expressed the views of theexecutive heads of the international agencies con-cerned, but not of their policy-making bodies.

The report reviewed the development of policyin international social programmes, analysed thecurrent programmes and suggested various devel-opments and re-orientations in the followingfields: background research basic to social policy;health and narcotic drugs; housing and town andcountry planning; nutrition and home economics;education; labour; community organization anddevelopment (with special reference to rural areasprogrammes); social security, social assistance andrelated measures concerned with income; socialprotection and rehabilitation; migration and refu-gees; and emergency relief. Further, it analysedthe techniques used for the implementation ofinternational social programmes: collection anddissemination of information, legal and semi-legalinstruments in the social field and direct assistanceto governments.

In the conclusions of the report, the Secretary-General and the Directors-General of the fourspecialized agencies concerned stated that, in theirview, there did not appear to be any significantgaps in the substance of international programmesin the social field. They stated that the most impor-tant problems which arose in increasing the effec-tiveness of the social programme were: (1)improvement of techniques; (2) achieving fullgovernmental and popular co-operation in theimplementation of essential long-term pro-grammes; and (3) obtaining new resources forsocial development. The international organiza-tions, it was stated, might make a substantial con-

tribution to the improvement of techniques withinthe limitations of existing constitutional arrange-ments but the solutions to problems of newresources and governmental and popular co-opera-tion lay almost wholly within the province ofMember Governments.

The Social Commission, in developing itsrecommendations at its ninth session, reviewedits own work programme and also considered thecontributions which the specialized agencies andother organizations had made, and could make,towards improving social conditions.

The Commission, in its report (E/2437), setforth for the Council's approval certain generalprinciples to be applied in matters of assistanceto governments, the essential elements of a pro-gramme of practical action in the social field andthe methods and techniques best adapted to carry-ing out activities in the social field.

The importance of the role of non-governmentalorganizations in promoting and developing pro-grammes of social action was emphasized byvarious members of the Commission and also con-firmed by the representatives of non-governmentalorganizations who participated either in the Com-mission's or the Council's consideration of thisitem.139


The question of concerted practical action inthe social field was considered by the Council atits sixteenth session, during its 734th to 736th,738th, 739th and 744th plenary meetings, heldon 21, 23, 28 and 31 July 1953. Most represent-atives, including those of Argentina, Belgium,


U.N.P., Sales No.: 1952.IV.11.138

The following Governments had, up to 15 Feb-ruary 1953, submitted observations: Canada, Ceylon.Egypt, France, Italy, the Philippines, Sweden, the UnitedKingdom, the USSR and the United States. In addition,the following Governments stated that they had nospecific suggestions to offer: Austria, Denmark, Egypt,the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, India, New Zealand,Panama, Switzerland and Thailand. Subsequently (by 23April 1953) the following Governments submitted ob-servations: Greece, the Netherlands, the Union of SouthAfrica and Yugoslavia.

139 Catholic International Union for Social Service.International Association of Penal Law, InternationalBureau for the Unification of Penal Law, InternationalCatholic Migration Committee, International Committeeof Schools of Social Work, International Confederationof Free Trade Unions, International Conference ofCatholic Charities, International Conference of SocialWork, International Federation of University Women,International Social Service, International Society forthe Welfare of Cripples, International Union for ChildWelfare, World Alliance of Young Men's ChristianAssociations, World Federation of Trade Unions.

442 Yearbook of the United Nation

France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the UnitedStates and Uruguay, expressed general satisfactionwith the report on this question.

During the discussion, several representatives,including those of Argentina, Belgium and Uru-guay, spoke of the inter-relationships betweeneconomic and social problems. They were gratifiedthat the Council was devoting more time to thestudy of social problems.

Several representatives, in particular those ofArgentina, Belgium, India and the United States,agreed that in the programmes of internationalassistance to governments in the social field,emphasis should be placed on under-developedcountries. Nevertheless, it was pointed out that allcountries had urgent social problems.

There was also agreement that internationalaction should be closely integrated with nationalprogrammes. The representative of Belgium, inparticular, stated that governments were respon-sible for determining their own social policies;the United Nations could do no more thanencourage, assist and inform the national author-ities, whom they could not in any circumstancesreplace.

Many representatives held the view, emphasizedby the Social Commission, that governmentalactivities should be based on the co-operation ofthe people themselves and on the initiative oflocal communities. The representatives of Belgium,the Philippines, the United States and Yugoslavia,among others, stressed the importance of develop-ing programmes of community organization anddevelopment, and particularly of establishing socialwelfare centres, as well as of building up trainingfacilities.

Certain representatives, in particular those ofArgentina and Sweden, underlined the importanceof preliminary studies.

The representative of the Philippines said thathe was in favour of a bold and far-reachingprogramme measuring up to the world's needs inthe field of social development. More than halfthe population of the world, he declared, wasliving at a level that failed to give it adequatenutrition, housing, education, conditions of workand reasonable freedom from preventable disease.The social situation in Asia and in other under-developed areas, he said, could not be dealt withdecisively in the interests of world peace by halfmeasures. The challenge to the United Nationswas. total: social and economic as well as political.Its response to that challenge should also be total.

The view was expressed by the representativesof Poland and the USSR that the Secretary-Gen-

eral's report, having proved the urgency of socialproblems, did not contain practical suggestionsand that the Social Commission's resolution hadalso failed to incorporate proposals designed toimprove the living standards of the populationsthroughout the world. The Council, they argued,must repair that omission. Many countries, theydeclared, had no social security systems at all, whilein others the system was defective and was thevictim of racial discrimination. In the under-developed countries, they stated, there was a veryclose link between economic development andsocial security; improvements in the social securitysystems could give an added impetus to economicdevelopment. They spoke in support of a memo-randum (E/2422) by the World Federation ofTrade Unions (WFTU) on social security (seebelow).

The Council had before it (1) a Polish draftresolution (E/L.544 & Corr.2) and (2) a draftresolution proposed by the Social Commission foradoption by the Council (E/2437 B), withamendments to it.

The preamble to the Polish draft would havethe Council draw attention to the memorandumby WFTU (E/2422) and the enclosed programmeof social security prepared by the InternationalConference for the Defence, Improvement andExtension of Social Insurance and Social Security,held in Vienna in 1953 (E/C.2/349 & E/C.2/-350). In its operative part, the draft resolutionwould have the Council:

(1) state that the above-mentioned Conference'sprepared programme of social insurance and social se-curity corresponded with the principles of the UnitedNations;

(2) express gratitude to the Conference for thepreparation of constructive proposals; and

(3) include in its plan of work for 1953-54 as aproblem of priority importance, the programme pre-pared by the Conference for further substantive studyand review at one of the sessions of the Council in 1954.

Certain representatives, in particular those ofAustralia, Belgium and the United States, con-sidered that the Polish proposal was intendedto by-pass, or even to undermine, the position ofILO, which had the necessary authority to dealwith questions relating to social security. Further-more, the Polish proposal sought to replace anumber of important international instruments,treaties and intergovernmental declarations by astatement elaborated by a single non-governmentalorganization, which, they argued, represented onlyone political point of view.

In support of the Polish proposal, the representa-tives of Poland and the USSR argued that the

Economic and Social Questions 443

programme which was being proposed for adop-tion by the Council had been developed by therepresentatives of 59 countries of various politicalviews. Moreover, the purpose of the Polish draftwas not to usurp the function of ILO but merelyto incorporate in the Council's plan of work for1953-54 the study of a programme of socialsecurity elaborated by a large and representativeinternational conference, all of whose participantshad had direct experience of the problems in-volved.

The representatives of Egypt and India con-sidered that proposals by a recognized non-govern-mental organization ought to be given due con-sideration. They orally proposed that the preambleof the Polish proposal be voted upon paragraphby paragraph.

The first part of the preamble to the Polishdraft, referring to the WFTU memorandum, wasrejected by 11 votes to 4, with 3 abstentions, andthe second part, referring to the enclosed pro-gramme prepared by the International Conferencefor the Defence, Improvement and Extension ofSocial Insurance and Social Security, was rejected,by 12 votes to 2, with 4 abstentions. The firstoperative paragraph was rejected by 12 votes to 2,with 4 abstentions, the second by 13 votes to 2,with 3 abstentions, and the third by 13 votes to4, with 1 abstention.

The resolution submitted by the Social Com-mission (E/2437), inter alia, laid down a numberof general principles which the Secretary-Generalwas invited to apply in matters of assistance togovernments. An annex to the resolution definedthe essential elements of a programme of practicalaction in the social field.

A number of representatives, in particular thoseof Argentina, the Philippines, the United States,Venezuela and Yugoslavia, expressed the opinionthat this draft resolution, while serving as asound basis for the Council's consideration, failedto provide specific recommendations for imple-mentation of the programme. Accordingly, theyjointly submitted an amendment (E/L.541 &Rev.1 & 2) which would, inter alia, incorporatethe annex of the resolution proposed by the SocialCommission into the substantive part of theresolution, and proposed certain changes aimedat placing more emphasis on the importance ofcommunity organization and development in theprogramme of international organizations.

The joint amendment called for the followingspecific action by the Secretary-General:

(1) to convene one or more small groups of seniorpolicy-making representatives of the governments of

countries having similar social and economic problemswith representatives of the secretariats of the UnitedNations and of the specialized agencies concerned toplan concrete programmes for expanding communityprojects and training facilities and for strengtheningnational and local organizations administering socialprogrammes; and

(2) to submit to the Council a report containingrecommendations on further practical measures.

The Secretary-General estimated that, as faras the United Nations was concerned, an ex-penditure of $2,000 to $3,000 would be requiredto convene such groups.

Sub-amendments to the joint five-Power amend-ment (E/L.541/Rev.2) were submitted: (1)jointly by France, Sweden and the United King-dom (E/L.545, later revised as E/L.546); (2)by Australia (E/L.549, later revised as E/L.549/-Rev.1); (3) by Poland (E/L.550); (4) byBelgium (E/L.552); and (5) by Turkey (E/-L.558).140

The joint three-Power sub-amendment (E/L.546)proposed, inter alia, to replace the provisions concerningthe. general principles to be applied in matters of assist-ance to governments by a provision inviting the atten-tion of the General Assembly to previous Council reso-lutions on the subject (324(XI) & 451 A (XIV)) stat-ing the opinion that these constituted sufficient guidanceas to criteria and priorities.

This sub-amendment was rejected by the Council by10 votes to 6, with 2 abstentions.

The Australian sub-amendment (E/L.549/Rev.1)would add assistance to "groups in need of special care",to the list of projects being undertaken in the social field.

This was adopted by 13 votes to none, with 5 ab-stentions.

The first paragraph of the Polish sub-amendment(E/L.550) would have the Council state that internation-al action in the social field should "give special consid-eration to the needs of" under-developed areas ratherthan "concentrate on" such areas.

The representative of Poland explained that his sub-amendment sought to provide that, while special con-sideration was given to the needs of the under-developedareas, the United Nations programme would also em-brace other areas since deficiencies in the social fieldexisted also in highly industrialized and developedcountries.

This paragraph was adopted unanimously.The second paragraph of the sub-amendment would

have the Council state that international as well asnational measures in the social field should be intro-duced and applied "without any difference as to race,sex, language or religion".

This paragraph was rejected by 6 votes to 2, with 10abstentions.

140 For the convenience of the members of the Coun-

cil, the Secretariat prepared a working paper (E/L.559)for the Council's 744th meeting on 31 July, indicatingthe paragraphs of the draft resolution on the programmeof concerted practical action in the social field whichhad been accepted and those yet to be voted upon.

444 Yearbook of the United Nations

The third paragraph of the sub-amendment, inter alia,would:

(1) have the Council refer to projects for improving"social insurance" as well as "social security" measures;and

(2) delete a reference to the development of "con-structive employer-employee relationships" as a reasonfor assuring respect for trade union freedom.

The representative of Poland explained that he didnot think it was the purpose of the Council to enter intothe problem of contractual relationships between em-ployers and employees.

The first part of this paragraph was adopted by 10votes to none, with 8 abstentions, and the second partrejected by 6 votes to 2, with 10 abstentions.

The fourth paragraph of the Polish sub-amendmentwould add the following methods and techniques forassisting governments in carrying out activities in thesocial field:

(1) the strengthening of governmental administra-tion of programmes in the social field;

(2) the continuing study of the relationship ofmeasures to increase international trade; and

(3) surveys essential to the implementation of prac-tical action.

The representative of Poland explained that theseadditions were taken verbatim from section C of theannex to the draft resolution submitted by the SocialCommission.

The first part of this paragraph was rejected by 5votes to 3, with 10 abstentions; and the last two parts,each, by 6 votes to 2, with 10 abstentions.

The Belgian sub-amendment (E/L.552) would add aprovision for the encouragement of "scientific trainingand research" in the programme of practical action inthe social field.

This sub-amendment was adopted by 9 votes to 4,with 5 abstentions.

The Turkish sub-amendment (E/L.558) would statethat the programme should be established "without dis-turbing the balance between economic and social pro-grammes".

The Turkish representative, however, accepted an oralUnited States proposal to reword the sub-amendment tostate "without prejudice to the economic priority pro-grammes".

The sub-amendment, as thus amended, was adoptedby 9 votes to 4, with 5 abstentions.

The joint five-Power amendment and the sub-amendments to it were voted upon by the Councilat its 738th, 739th and 744th plenary meetings,on 28 and 31 July. AH paragraphs were adoptedby votes, ranging from unanimity to 15 to 2,with 1 abstention.

The draft resolution, as a whole and as amended,was adopted by the Council at its 744th meetingon 31 July by 15 votes to none, with 3 abstentions,as resolution 496(XVI). It read:

"The Economic and Social Council,"Taking into account the recommendations of its

Social Commission on the programme of concerted actionin the social field,

"Having considered the report by the Secretary-General on a programme of concerted practical action inthe social field of the United Nations and the specializedagencies prepared in the light of criteria for, and priori-ties in the social field established by Council resolutions324(XI) and 451 A (XIV), the findings of the Prelimi-nary Report on the World Social Situation, the views ofgovernments and policies established by the UnitedNations and the specialized agencies,

"1. Informs the General Assembly that, in accord-ance with General Assembly resolution 535(VI), it hasexamined the social activities undertaken by the UnitedNations and the specialized agencies;

"2. Calls attention to the fact that progress hasalready been made through national, bilateral and inter-national action in dealing with the age-old problems ofignorance, poverty and disease, but that in spite of allefforts, the need as pictured in the report on the worldsocial situation is so great that resources available arestill inadequate;

"3. Notes with satisfaction that the Secretary-Gen-eral's report contains suggestions directed to increasingthe practical effectiveness of the social programme whichthe Council commends to the careful consideration ofthe organizations concerned;

"4. Agrees with the views expressed by the Secre-tary-General and the Directors-General of the specializedagencies concerned that, in the programme of activitiesnow being undertaken as part of a broader plan for thepromotion of social progress and the raising of standardsof living among the people, there is need for reorienta-tion, further concentration of effort, wider geographicalcoverage, improvement of methods and techniques, addi-tional resources and for achieving full governmental andpopular co-operation;

"5. Considers that special attention should be de-voted to the exploration for broader sources indispen-sable for international financing of social and economicdevelopment;

"6. Considers that international action in the socialfield should give special consideration to the needs ofunder-developed areas;

"7. Requests the Secretary-General and invites thespecialized agencies to apply in matters of assistance togovernments the following general principles:

"(a) The inter-related character of economic andsocial factors and the benefits to social progress resultingfrom a balanced expansion of world economy requirethat economic development and social development gohand-in-hand with a view to improving standards ofliving; projects financed by the United Nations and thespecialized agencies should be selected bearing in mindthis inter-relationship;

"(b) Such projects should be concerted with inte-grated plans for economic and social development pre-pared by each of the beneficiary governments;

"(c) Such projects should yield early and permanentresults and reach a maximum number of people;

"(d) Such projects should be adapted to the geo-graphic, economic, social and demographic conditions ofthe country concerned, and studies of these conditionsessential to effective practical projects should be under-taken but should not delay action to meet urgent needs;

"(e) The participation of appropriate non-govern-mental organizations in the implementation of inter-national programmes in the social field should be en-

Economic and Social Questions 445

couraged and their experience, competence and facilitiesutilized to the fullest extent;

"8. Considers that a concerted programme of prac-tical action in the social field should, within the frame-work of criteria and priorities established by Councilresolutions 324(XI) and 451 A (XIV) and withoutprejudice to the priorities established in the economicfield, concentrate on projects which:

"(a) Improve health and nutrition by increasingfood supply and improving food distribution and dietarypractices;

"(b) Strengthen national health services with greateraccessibility of medical services, improve maternal andchild health and prevent and control major communic-able diseases;

"(c) Strengthen national family and child welfareservices;

"(d) Introduce, extend and improve social securityand social insurance measures such as assistance in oldage, unemployment and disability;

"(e) Develop and extend services for the welfare ofgroups in need of special care;

"(f) Emphasize fundamental education, promotegreater accessibility of education for the broad massesof the population, introduce or develop in the MemberStates of the United Nations free compulsory primaryeducation for all and encourage scientific training andresearch;

"(g) Improve housing and community facilities, espe-cially for persons in low-income groups;

"(h) Increase employment opportunities, improvelabour standards, strengthen training and manpowerservices, assure respect for trade-union freedom so as todevelop constructive employer-employee relationshipsand encourage any measures which will improve thesocial and economic status of workers;

"9. Considers it advisable, as an immediate objec-tive, to pay particular attention to the use of the follow-ing practical methods and techniques for assisting gov-ernments in carrying out the activities set forth inparagraph 8:

"(a) The promotion and implementation of com-munity development projects, particularly through theestablishment of demonstration centres;

"(b) The rapid development of programmes andfacilities for training both professional and technicalpersonnel and auxiliary and community workers;

"(c) The development and strengthening of nationaland local organizations necessary for administering socialprogrammes;

"10. Authorizes the Secretary-General to take earlyaction, on an experimental basis and at the request ofthe governments concerned, to convene one or moresmall groups of senior policy-making representatives ofgovernments having similar social and economic prob-lems and of representatives of the Secretariats of theUnited Nations and the specialized agencies concerned,to plan concrete programmes for expansion of com-munit