Abstract

The admission of Austria on August 27, 1948, brought the total number of Fund members to forty-seven.1 Austria’s quota of $50 million brought aggregate quotas, as of April 30, 1949, to $8,034 million, allowing for the increase of $10 million in the quota of Iran and the reduction of $2 million in the quota of Honduras, which became effective on July 21, 1948 and November 4, 1948, respectively.

Membership and Organization

The admission of Austria on August 27, 1948, brought the total number of Fund members to forty-seven.1 Austria’s quota of $50 million brought aggregate quotas, as of April 30, 1949, to $8,034 million, allowing for the increase of $10 million in the quota of Iran and the reduction of $2 million in the quota of Honduras, which became effective on July 21, 1948 and November 4, 1948, respectively.

Liberia applied for membership on June 7, 1948; the application was approved by the Board of Governors in a vote without meeting. The period in which Liberia may accept membership has been extended by the Executive Directors to October 1, 1949.

The members of the Fund, their quotas and voting power, and the Governor and Alternate Governor appointed by each member are shown in Appendix VII. Changes in the membership of the Board of Governors in the period under review are shown in Appendix VIII.

The Second Regular Election of Executive Directors took place at the Third Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in Washington in September 1948. The Executive Directors of the Fund and their voting power as of April 30, 1949 are shown in Appendix IX, and changes in the membership of the Executive Board in the period under review are shown in Appendix X. Mr. A. N. Overby, formerly Executive Director for the United States, was appointed on February 9, 1949 to serve as Deputy Managing Director and as Acting Chairman of the Executive Board in the absence of the Chairman.

Consultation with Members

With the Executive Board continuously available and meeting frequently, the Fund and its members are in consultation at all times. Information on developments is exchanged and reviewed and members are constantly advised of the changing situation. This is supplemented by direct consultation, formal or informal, with each member. There are few monetary problems which do not have both a national and an international aspect, as well as a short-term and a long-term significance, and knowledge at first hand of the member’s position and point of view is essential. In this respect, the interests of the Fund as a whole and of individual members have been well served by the many missions and visits of the past year.

By the very nature of these activities, much of what has been accomplished remains unpublicized. Representatives of the Fund have visited most member countries in the past year and have discussed with the appropriate authorities their current and anticipated problems. The last Annual Report stated that personal contacts with members would be increased. These contacts have proved their value; the Fund stands ready at all times to send its representatives to member countries, or to meet with members’ representatives in Washington, for the discussion of monetary problems and the formulation of solutions to them. The stationing of staff members in Paris, Cairo, and Bombay is expected to facilitate closer working contacts between the Fund and the technicians of member countries and of any international economic organizations in those areas.

By supplementing in this way the permanent conference of the Executive Board, the machinery for consultation is being steadily improved. But it is not enough merely to provide the machinery. The Fund will do all that lies within its initiative, but the opportunities for constructive consultation must to a great extent be supplied by members. Furthermore, there must be full participation and support of the Fund by all concerned. The Fund cannot make its full contribution on problems which are brought before it after positions have crystallized. There will be difficulties enough in any case; nothing less than the combined best efforts of the Fund and all its members can realize the purposes for which the Fund was established.

Relations with Other International Organizations

Cooperation with other international organizations is an obligation under the Fund Agreement. Even were it not, the interdependence of their activities with those of the Fund and the effects in one field of responsibility of actions taken in another make cooperation a practical necessity and require increasing attention to improving the machinery for coordination. The Fund’s primary interest in the exchange and financial field necessarily brings it into closest relationship with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development; coordination with the Interim Commission of the International Trade Organization (ITO) and with the Contracting Parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade is also continuous. Much of the work of the economic secretariat of the United Nations, of the Economic Commissions for Europe, Asia and the Far East, and Latin America, and of most other specialized agencies has equally immediate and important significance for the Fund. Members of the staff have attended and participated in their meetings, and in joint working parties, missions, and study groups, and have prepared studies in the financial and monetary field for their use. Inevitably the primary interests of these related international organizations tend to create some differences in emphasis and some conflict in priorities. These it is the task of constant liaison to bring into the best order.

The Fund looks forward to close relations with the ITO. The Fund’s participation in the meetings at which the ITO Charter and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) were drafted has been described in previous Annual Reports. At the Second Session of the Executive Committee of the Interim Commission of ITO in August 1948, a Draft Agreement on Relations between the Fund and the ITO was approved; this will be submitted to the first conference of the ITO and to the Board of Governors of the Fund.

At the Second Session of the Contracting Parties to GATT in August 1948 their Chairman was authorized, when the Contracting Parties are not in session, to initiate requests for consultation with the Fund. An informal arrangement designed to serve as a basis for cooperation and consultation between the Contracting Parties and the Fund was concluded by exchange of letters between the Chairman of the Contracting Parties and the Managing Director of the Fund.1

Prior to the Third Session which convened on April 8, 1949, a Committee on Special Exchange Agreements of the Contracting Parties met in November 1948 to draft a special exchange agreement designed to ensure that certain safeguards of exchange stability and orderly exchange arrangements would be respected by those Contracting Parties who are not members of the Fund. At the conclusion of the period under review, this draft agreement was under discussion by the Contracting Parties.

The Fund also participated in interagency discussions, initiated in March 1949 by the United Nations, on expanded programs of technical assistance for economic development. In these discussions it was pointed out that the Fund’s technical assistance to its members was a major and continuing activity which would be expanded as members required and as the availability of competent technicians permitted. The text of a statement issued by the Fund at the conclusion of these discussions is contained in Appendix XII.

Information

Subject to confidential considerations, the flow of information to the public continues to be an important activity. The publication of the monthly bulletin International Financial Statistics was reported last year. This bulletin has been steadily expanded and is widely circulated throughout the world. Within the past year the Fund has issued International Financial News Survey, a weekly summary of material published in newspapers and other publications which bears directly on the business of the Fund.

To these two publications there was added in July 1949 the first Balance of Payments Yearbook, containing data on a uniform basis for 51 countries and for two regions, Europe and Latin America. In general, the data cover the years 1938, 1946, and 1947, with, for certain countries, preliminary information for 1948. The volume also presents some new concepts on the most effective presentation of the balance of payments from the stand point of international exchange problems. In future issues, the Fund expects to broaden the coverage and expand the detail of the balance of payments information shared with the public. In the preparation of its publications, the Fund has had a gratifying measure of cooperation from the statistical authorities of member and other countries and of other international organizations.

Silver

At the Second Annual Meeting, the Board of Governors adopted a resolution requesting member countries to submit data relating to silver and its uses pursuant to Resolution No. 3 adopted at the First Annual Meeting, and instructing the Fund to assemble whatever data might be submitted and make them available to all members. In accordance with this resolution, a report entitled “Information on Silver as Submitted by Member Countries” was circulated to the members.

Administration

On April 30, 1949, the staff numbered 421, of whom 378 held regular appointments. This represents an increase of 18 persons during the fiscal year. There were nationals of 29 member countries on the staff.

The Staff Retirement Plan became effective July 1, 1948. It provides for retirement, total disability, death, and withdrawal benefits. Participants are required to contribute to the Plan six per cent of their remuneration. The remainder of the cost and expenses of the Plan is contributed by the Fund. Based on actuarial computations the Fund’s contribution, exclusive of administrative expenses, is slightly less than two thirds of the cost of operating the Plan. The normal retirement age is 65. As of April 30, 1949, approximately $605,100 had been paid to the Retirement Fund by the Fund and participants, of which approximately $354,900 was in respect of services prior to the inception of the Plan; approximately $594,100 had been applied to the purchase of investments. Audited financial statements of the Staff Retirement Fund are presented in Appendix XVI.

Certain modifications of the Rules and Regulations are submitted separately to the Board of Governors for their review.

An Administrative Budget for the period May 1, 1949 to April 30, 1950, as approved by the Executive Directors, is presented in Appendix XV.

Upon the request of the Executive Directors, Mr. Zaki Bey Hassan, Chartered Accountant, Mr. P. J. Curtis, Deputy Director of Audit in the Exchequer and Audit Department, and Mr. Gilbert L. Cake, Associate Commissioner of Accounts, were nominated by Egypt, the United Kingdom, and the United States, respectively, to serve as members of the Audit Committee. The report of the Audit Committee is submitted separately. The Auditors’ certificate, with the audited balance sheet as of April 30, 1949, and audited statement of income and expense, with supporting schedules, are presented in Appendix XVI.

1

Raised to forty-eight when Thailand accepted membership on May 3, 1949.

1

For the text of these letters, see Appendix XI.