Right Hon. W\ L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister): I desire to take this opportunity of making an announcement which is being made to-day in other capitals.
Over many months, officials of a number of the united nations have been giving close study to the international monetary arrangements which will be desirable after the war. The house will recall that on April 14, 1943, I tabled in the house a proposal by United Kingdom officials for an international clearing union and one by United States officials for an international stabilization fund. On July 12, 1943, the Minister of Finance tabled tentative draft proposals of Canadian experts for an international exchange union. These proposals were all directed to the same ends, namely, the achievement of international monetary arrangements compatible with the balanced growth of international trade and with domestic economic policies aimed at high employment and incomes, but there was a considerable divergence in the methods suggested for achieving these objectives. Since that time, continuous efforts have been made to reach a common view as to the principles to be followed in post-war monetary arrangements.
I am glad to be able to announce that as a result of discussions among experts of the united nations there is now a consensus of opinion among those participating on the need for the establishment of an international monetary fund and a statement has been drawn up of the principles which should govern its constitution and operation. I wish to make available, with the permission of the house, a document setting out this statement of principles, but to conform to arrangements with other governments, it will be tabled when the house reassembles at 8 o'clock.
In announcing this agreement on the principles which should govern the constitution and. operation of an international monetary fund, I should like to make quite clear that what has been achieved is an agreement among experts. No government is in any way committed to this document or to the views of its experts. The statement is made public at this time in order that there may be public knowledge of the progress which has been made and informed discussion of the proposals before governments proceed further.
This statement of principles on international monetary relationships is conceived as part of a general plan of international economic cooperation, which as a whole will have for its objects the progressive expansion of international trade, high levels of employment, improved standards of living, reasonable stability of prices and .machinery for orderly exchange arrangements. The Canadian government is thoroughly aware of the importance of establishing international monetary arrangements favourable to the expansion of trade and employment, and is keenly sympathetic with the particular objects to which this statement of principles is directed. It is equally anxious that common views should be reached on other parts also of a general plan of international economic cooperation, particularly on a reduction in the barriers to trade expansion, a reduction vital to Canada's welfare and necessary if conditions favourable to stable monetary arrangements are to be achieved. The view which will ultimately be taken by the Canadian government of any proposed monetary arrangements will be greatly, perhaps decisively, influenced by the progress which it is possible to make in achieving agreement on other aspects of international economic policy with which monetary arrangements are inseparably linked.