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The Council* has considered the report of its International Emergency Food Committee and hopes that Member Governments will give it the careful consideration it deserves. The report outlines in some detail the position affecting individual commodities concerned.

The report emphasizes the great responsibility of Member Governments for the effective operation of the IEFC system and records a high degree of co-operation both in concurrence by Governments in allocation recommendations and in effective implementation of these recommendations.

In the section entitled “Major Policy Issues” the report brings to the notice of Member Governments the increased operating difficulties which have arisen and which certainly will increase if Governments take less seriously the obligations implied in membership. Among the points stressed in this section are:

  1. the existence of serious foreign exchange shortages which have increased the difficulties in reaching agreement on allocation recommendations;

  2. the existence of commodity, trade, or barter agreements which run counter to the co-operative management of foods and fertilizers in short supply;

  3. the importance of the effects of the European Recovery Program;

  4. the problem of the volume of consumption in exporting countries in relation to the need to increase the supplies available for allocation to importing countries.

* In conformity with the arrangements made at the time of the transfer of IEFC to FAO, Governments represented upon IEFC commodity committees but not members of the Council of FAO participated in the discussion of allocations work at the invitation of the Council of FAO.

The Council notes that while the International Wheat Agreement affects the disposal of a part of the export surplus of three producing countries, a substantial proportion of the wheat produced by these countries, together with the wheat available from other producing countries is not covered by the Agreement. This, and other current difficulties inherent in world trade in foods, while complicating the task of allocation, are not viewed as removing the present need for the IEFC system for basic foods still in short supply.

After full consideration, the Council affirms its view that the work of IEFC has enabled Governments to develop a pattern of co-operation in international action helpful to the objectives of FAO. It has enabled them to gather and co-ordinate a great deal of most valuable information about current supply and demand situations. Had the allocation system not been operating during the period of extreme shortage the world would have suffered an un-restricted scramble for foodstuffs, particularly cereals, the results of which might have been of the utmost seriousness. IEFC has had to overcome serious difficulties to accomplish its work hitherto. The fact that these difficulties increase rather than diminish, may call for considering possible modifications, but not the abandonment of the work of IEFC at the present time. The Council accordingly adopts the following resolution:


having considered the Report of the International Emergency Food Committee (March 1948) and having examined the major policy issues involved,

takes note of the proposal expressed in the final paragraph of Part I thereof, namely that the International Emergency Food Committee intends to address to all nations participating in IEFC a communication requesting their views on its past operation and on current and future problems it has to face together with their conclusions as to the effectiveness and usefulness of the system of allocations for the future, and

recommends this communication to the prompt and earnest study of the Governments concerned in the light both of the general problems and of the particular supply situations affecting individual commodities discussed in the report.

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