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Eighth Session
7 December 1949

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
December 1949

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The Council of FAO held its Eighth Session on 7 December 1949 in Washington, D.C., immediately following the Fifth Session of the Conference. The main business of the session was to establish the necessary committees to carry out the studies and investigations requested by the Conference.

Election of Vice-Chairmen

The Council unanimously agreed to reappoint Professor André Mayer of France, Dr. G.S.H. Barton of Canada and Mr. B.R. Sen of India as vice-chairmen, until the next Session of the Conference.

Committee on Commodity Problems

The Fifth Session of the Conference decided to establish an FAO Committee on Commodity Problems which would work under the supervision of, and be responsible to, the Council of FAO. The recommendation of the Conference specifies that:

"The Council shall, on request of the Committee, transmit any report of the Committee to member governments and to the next regular session of the Conference, together with any comments the Council may wish to make. This Committee would be advisory and would address its attention primarily to the food and agricultural surplus commodity situation arising from balance of payments difficulties. With respect to such surpluses its functions would be:

  1. to consider such statements as to their needs as may be received from the governments of countries experiencing difficulties in securing supplies and to transmit such statements to governments of countries holding surpluses;

  2. to consider such statements as may be submitted by the governments of countries holding surpluses concerning their proposals for disposing of supplies on special terms and to make recommendations thereon to the governments concerned, having regard to the effects of such transactions on the interests of other importing and exporting countries;

  3. to review information relating to commodity surplus and deficit situations and, where considered desirable, to initiate discussion between governments with a view to promoting appropriate international action.

"In the case of any proposal relating to a commodity which is subject to an International Commodity Agreement and for which an International Commodity Council exists, the Committee shall notify the Council concerned. In arriving at recommendations, the Committee shall consider any views and recommendations expressed by the Commodity Council concerned, and any report of the Committee shall include a full statement of such views and recommendations. In the case of commodities for which Study Groups or other inter-governmental commodity bodies have been set up, such bodies should where practicable be consulted.

“Where the Committee proposes to make recommendations it should consult with the International Monetary Fund as to their possible balance of payments effects. In arriving at recommendations, the Committee shall consider any views and recommendations expressed by the International Monetary Fund, and any report of the Committee shall include a full statement of such views and recommendations. .......”

The Conference recommended that the Committee consist of 14 members representing member governments of FAO, to be appointed annually by the Council. Accordingly, the Council voted to invite the following governments to be represented on the Committee for the first year:

United Kingdom
United States

The Council agreed that the Committee should determine its own procedures and decide whether it wished to appoint an independent chairman or to choose a chairman from among its members. It was further understood that the Committee would submit a progress report to the next session of the Council.

Plan's for Removal of Headquarters

The Conference having decided that the permanent headquarters of the Organization should be in Rome, Italy, recognized that it was impossible to investigate fully into the technical, legal, administrative, and financial implications of the move and recommended that the Council establish a Headquarters Advisory Committee with the following terms of reference:

  1. in the light of information which may be available and the experience of other organizations, for example the transfer of ILO from Montreal to Geneva, to advise the Director-General (without in any way detracting from his executive responsibility) regarding the detailed technical and financial arrangements for the move;

  2. in the light of the detailed arrangements and estimates prepared by the Director-General and of any specific proposals which may be made by member governments, to advise the Council what special financial measures, if any, may be necessary to secure the required funds.

The Council, accordingly, appointed the following Governments as members of the Headquarters Advisory Committee: China, India, France, Mexico, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

It was understood that other members of the Council, and in particular the Governments of Italy and of the United States, would be prepared to offer to the Committee whatever assistance it might need.

Committee on Financial Control

Mr. A. Niazi, Representative of Egypt, was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Financial Control. The other members of the Committee, appointed as financial experts, are: Mr. J.R. Trevaldwyn (United Kingdom); Mr. Ralph S. Roberts (United States); Mr. Enrique Perez-Cisneros (Cuba); and Mr. B.K. Nehru (India).

The Conference directed the Council to set up a special working party of experts to review the financial regulations governing the working capital fund in the light of the practices of the United Nations and other specialized agencies and to study proposals put forward by delegates at the Conference. The Council agreed that the Committee on Financial Control should be authorized to set up a panel of, perhaps, 3 accounting experts to deal with this question.

Committee on International Organizations

The following members of the Council were appointed to the Committee on Relationships with International Organizations: Belgium, Burma, Egypt, Italy, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela.

Special Committee on the Scale of Contributions and Currency Problems

The Council at its Fifth Session appointed a Special Committee on the Scale of Contributions and Currency Problems in accordance with the recommendation of the Conference. The report of the Special Committee was submitted to the Fifth Session, which adopted the following resolution:

The Conference

  1. Expresses its appreciation for the work of the Special Committee on the Scale of Contributions and Currency Problems.

  2. Accepts the conclusions and recommendations of the Report of the Special Committee, and adopts the scale of contributions proposed therein, together with the principles to govern changes in the scale of contributions of the FAO to allow for changes in the scale of contributions of the United Nations, factors introduced by the admission of new members, and provision for adjustment in cases needing temporary relief.

  3. Determines, in conformity with the above, that for the financial year 1950, the assessments of new members shall be used to the extent equitable to reduce for that year the contributions of members warranting immediate relief, with particular reference to Austria, China, and Finland, the amount of the assessment for each new member and the amount of the reduction for each member receiving relief to be determined by the Conference.

  4. Determines that after the financial year 1950, the adjustment referred to as Step 7 in Appendix III of the Report shall be omitted from the computation of the scale, and that appropriate adjustments shall be made for countries, such as China, for which special relief is warranted.

  5. Instructs the Special Committee to study other changes that might advantageously be brought into the scale taking into account the principles and procedures outlined in its Report and the views which have been expressed by the various Delegations in Commission III, and to present a revised scale to the Conference. In particular, in view of the findings of the General Assembly of the United Nations that there is room for closer relationship between the assessment of member states in the contribution both of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies, it shall seek the recommendations and advice of the Committee on Contributions of the United Nations.”

In accordance with this resolution, the Council decided to invite the following Governments to appoint experts to the Special Committee:

Union of South Africa
United States of America

The Council decided that the attention of the above Governments should be specially drawn to the recommendation adopted at the Fourth Session of the FAO Conference held in November 1948 when the Special Committee was originally appointed. This recommendation specified that the representatives on the Special Committee “should be selected for their qualifications in economic affairs generally and not merely in financial matters only” and that they “should be able to devote the necessary time to the preparation of the new scale of contributions until the task has been completed.”

Appointment of Chairman of Staff Appeals Committee

The Conference having recommended that the FAO Appeals Committee be continued, the Council had the responsibility of appointing an independent Chairman. It recorded its appreciation for the able manner in which H.E. Henrik de Kauffmann, Ambassador of Denmark in Washington, D.C., had carried out this assignment in 1949, and unanimously requested him to serve for another year in that capacity.

Appointment of Standing Advisory Committee on Agriculture

The Council approved the nominations presented by the Director-General for the Standing Advisory Committee on Agriculture, as well as the proposals for the work of the Committee during the forthcoming year (Appendix C).

Relations with Nongovernmental Organizations

The Council approved the recommendation of its committee on relationships with international organizations that the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs be granted consultative status with FAO.

Organization and Arrangements for the Conference

The Council was of the opinion that it would be of value to invite the views of heads of delegations, while the matter was still fresh in their minds, regarding the efficiency of arrangements for the Fifth Session and of the methods whereby its business had been conducted. The members of the Council drew particular attention to the need for closer coordination between the three Commissions.

Date and Place of Next Session

On the proposal of the Chairman, the Council decided to hold its Ninth Session in Rome (Italy) in the second week of May in order to discuss on the spot the situation arising out of the Conference decision to move FAO Headquarters to Rome.

The member for Pakistan conveyed a formal invitation on behalf of his Government to hold a future session at Karachi. The Council expressed its appreciation of this additional evidence of Pakistan's interest in the activities of FAO and agreed that this possibility should be investigated for another session than the next.

Appendix A


  1. Adoption of Agenda

  2. Election of Vice-Chairman

  3. Appointment of the Committee on Commodity Problems

  4. Plans for Removal of Headquarters

  5. Reappointment of Committees of the Council

    1. Committee on Financial Control
    2. Committee on Relations with International Organizations
    3. Special Committee on Scale of Contributions and Currency Problems

  6. Organization and Arrangements for Fifth Session of the Conference

  7. Date and place of next session

  8. Other business

    1. Appointment of Standing Advisory Committee on Agriculture
    2. Report of Committee on Relations with International Organizations
    3. Appointment of Chairman of Staff Appeals Committee

Appendix B


Chairman of the Council:     Viscount Bruce of Melbourne


James U. Garside, Commercial Counselor, Australian Embassy, Washington, D.C., Representative

John R.A. McMillan, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Sydney, Associate

Donald J. Munro, First Secretary, Australian Embassy, Washington, D.C. Associate

John T. Smith, Department of Commerce and Agriculture, Canberra, A.C.T., Associate


Albert Van Houtte, President, National FAO Committee, Brussels Representative


Dr. Newton de Castro Belleza, Chairman, Commission of International Agricultural Relations, Ministry of Agriculture; Head, Education and Health Division, São Francisco Valley Commission, Rio de Janeiro, Representative


U Myat Tun, Chief Liaison Officer, State Agricultural Marketing Board, Rangoon, Representative

U Khin Maung Gale, Second Secretary, Embassy of Burma, Washington, D.C. Alternate


Dr. G.S.H. Barton, C.M.G., Special Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Ottawa, Representative

Dr. W.C. Hopper, Agriculture Secretary, Embassy of Canada, Washington, D.C., Adviser


Jorge Burr, Commercial Counselor, Embassy of Chile, Washington, D.C. Alternate


A.P. Jacobsen, Agricultural Adviser, Ministry of Agriculture, Copenhagen, Representative

A.F. Knudsen, Agricultural Counselor, Danish Embassy, Washington, D.C. Alternate


Boutros Bey Bassili, Director-General, Plant Protection Section, Ministry of Agriculture, Cairo, Representative

Anwar Niazi, Second Secretary, Royal Egyptian Embassy, Washington, D.C. Alternate

Abdelfattah Ali Moursi, Agricultural Attache, Royal Egyptian Embassy, Washington, D.C., Associate


André Mayer, Professor, Collège de France, Paris; Chairman, National FAO Committee, Representative

Michel Cépède, Technical Secretary, National FAO Committee; Head of Studies, Ministry of Agriculture, Paris, Alternate

G.H. Janton, Government Inspector, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Paris, Associate


Binay Ranjan Sen, Minister, Embassy of India, Washington, D.C. Representative

Narhar Ganesh Abhyankar, Food Attaché, Embassy of India, Washington, D.C., Alternate


G. Ugo Papi, Professor, University of Rome, Representative

Dr. Paolo N. Rogers, Italian Technical Delegation, Italian Embassy, Washington, D.C., Alternate


Adolfo Alarcón Mendizabal, Agricultural Attaché, Mexican Embassy, Washington, D.C., Representative

Gonzalo Andrade Alcocer, Assistant Agricultural Attaché, Mexican Embassy, Washington, D.C., Alternate


H.S.M. Ishaque, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Health, Karachi, Representative

Muhammed Shahryar Khan, Third Secretary, Embassy of Pakistan, Washington, D.C., Alternate

Union of South Africa

S.J.J. de Swardt, Chief, Division of Economics and Markets, Department of Agriculture, Pretoria, Representative

Rees Davies, Agricultural Attaché, South African Embassy, Washington, D.C., Alternate

W.A. Horrocks, Commercial Secretary, South African Embassy, Washington, D.C., Alternate

United Kingdom

Sir Ralph Roscoe Enfield, C.B., Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, London, Representative

A.N. Duckham, O.B.E., Agricultural Counselor, British Embassy, Washington, D.C., Alternate

Berwyn I. Felton, Principal, Ministry of Food, London, Associate and Secretary of Delegation

United States of America

Fred J. Rossiter, Associate Director, Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., Alternate Member and Spokesman

John W. Evans, Chief, Economic Resources and Security Staff, Department of State, Washington, D.C., Associate

Mrs. Ursula Duffus, Division of United Nations Economic and Social Affairs, Department of State, Washington, D.C., Adviser

Stanley Black Fracker, Agricultural Research Administration, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., Adviser

George Mason Ingram, Chief, Division of International Administration, Department of State, Washington, D.C., Adviser

William Arthur Minor, Jr., Assistant to the Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., Adviser

Ralph S. Roberts, Director, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., Adviser

Robert B. Schwenger, Chief, Regional Investigations Branch, Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., Adviser

James O. Howard, Head, Division of Information, Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., Adviser and Secretary of Delegation


Dr. Manuel Reyna, Counselor, Embassy of Venezuela, Washington, D.C., Representative


Dr. Jovan Dulic, Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Belgrade, Representative

Dr. Milan Ristic, Counselor, Ministry of Foreign Trade, Belgrade, Alternate

Special Observer

Holy See

Rev. William Joseph Gibbons, S.J. Executive Committee, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, New York

Rev. Jean Serve, S.J. Professor, Institut Catholique, Paris

Other Observer

International Federation of Agricultural Producers

Andrew Cairns, Secretary-General, Washington, D.C.

Appendix C


The following proposals by the Director-General were approved by the Council.

Complying with the request of the Council at its Sixth Session, June 1949, the Director-General proposes to increase the membership of the Standing Advisory Committee for Agriculture to include the following members, appointed in their personal capacity:

Dr. P.V. Cardon         (Chairman)
Chief, Agricultural Research Administration
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C.

Dr. E.S. Archibald
Director, Experiment Farm Service
Department of Agriculture
Ottawa, Canada

Dr. Richard Bradfield
Chief, Department of Agronomy
Cornell University
Ithaca, N.Y.

Dr. I. Clunies Ross
Chairman, Executive Committee
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Melbourne, Australia

Dr. P.J. du Toit
Deputy President
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Pretoria, South Africa

Dr. Mohamed Ali El-Kilany Bey
Under-Secretary of State
Ministry of Agriculture
Cairo, Egypt

Professor Jean Lefèvre
Director, Institut National Agronomique
Paris, France

Dr. P.C. Ma
Joint Commission for Rural Reconstruction
Kweilin, Kwangsi, China

Mr. K. Ramiah
Central Rice Research Institute
Nayabazar Post, Cuttack, India

Sir James A. Scott Watson
Chief Education and Advisory Officer
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, London

Dr. H. Wexelsen
Agricultural College of Norway
Vollebekk, Norway

Dr. José Norberto de Macedo
San Francisco Valley Commission
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In addition to these members, it is proposed that the presidents of international scientific and agricultural organizations having close contact with the work of the Agriculture Division be approached in their capacities as presidents to serve for the period of their tenure of office as members of the Standing Advisory Committee. This arrangement would ensure the closest possible contact with these organizations, thus complying with another desire formulated by the Council and the Conference.

It would also ensure a certain rotation in office and would give the Agriculture Division an opportunity to make use of the current information of these specialized bodies on questions of common concern. Because of the automatic rotation resulting from changing office, it will be necessary for the Council to give authorization to the Director-General to change the individual members of the Committee between sessions of the Council, insofar as their appointment is in respect of their presidency of the selected scientific bodies.

So far, the following organizations have been approached and have responded in the affirmative:

International Dairy FederationDr. R. Burri
International Seed Testing AssociationDr. W.J. Franck
International Society of Soil ScienceProf. C.H. Edelman*
International Federation of Agricultural ProducersDr. H.H. Hannam
International Veterinary CongressSir Daniel A.E. Cabot

* up to August 1950

The Director-General hopes that it will be possible to include also the presidents of several other international scientific and agricultural organizations, subject to the approval of the Council at future sessions.

In view of the wide membership of the Standing Advisory Committee, it will be impossible to convene the Committee as a whole. Since it is felt that the general policy of the Division has been established on a fairly permanent basis, the need for such meetings is less pressing than heretofore. It is therefore proposed, and has been approved by the Chairman of the Committee, that in future more frequent consultations will take place by correspondence and that members of the Committee will be assembled only in small panels for discussion of specialized subjects.

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