Abstract

I gather that there was some feeling in outside circles that this year the annual discussion of Fund affairs might be unremarkable. That was never my own view; nor is it the impression with which I am left as these sessions draw to their close. During this last difficult year, much solid progress has been made toward restoring stability in the world monetary system, but there is no cause for complacency. The discussions during the last few days have reflected keen awareness of this fact and have properly laid stress on work still to be done. Some stimulating ideas and suggestions have been advanced, and Governors may be assured that these will be given careful consideration in the Fund.

Statement by the Chairman of the Executive Board and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund—Pierre-Paul Schweitzer

I gather that there was some feeling in outside circles that this year the annual discussion of Fund affairs might be unremarkable. That was never my own view; nor is it the impression with which I am left as these sessions draw to their close. During this last difficult year, much solid progress has been made toward restoring stability in the world monetary system, but there is no cause for complacency. The discussions during the last few days have reflected keen awareness of this fact and have properly laid stress on work still to be done. Some stimulating ideas and suggestions have been advanced, and Governors may be assured that these will be given careful consideration in the Fund.

In these closing remarks I should like to touch briefly on a few of the recurrent themes heard this week. There was general satisfaction that agreement had been reached on the special drawing rights facility and that the Proposed Amendment had been overwhelmingly approved for submission to members. The facility will represent a most important advance and will constitute a stabilizing influence in the international monetary system. I was therefore very gratified to hear from so many Governors that the legal procedures for acceptance of the Amendment by their countries were well advanced.

A number of Governors commented on the place of gold in the system and on the need to remove some present uncertainties in this respect. I believe that the discussions on this subject during this meeting have been constructive. Two points in particular have been stressed in the debate and on these there is, I believe, no dissent. The first is the recognition of the major role that gold plays, and will continue to play, in the international monetary system. The second is that all countries should stand ready to make their contribution toward a satisfactory solution of the gold question. Given these common attitudes, it should be possible to reach an understanding that would reflect the mutual confidence of all concerned and their common desire to collaborate toward strengthening the international monetary system. In my view, such an understanding would not only be in the interest of the system but would also be beneficial to every member of the Fund.

Much emphasis has been placed—and very rightly so—on the problems of the developing countries. Governors have addressed themselves in particular to the work currently being done by the Fund and Bank in the area of commodity price stabilization. I share the view that any contribution made by the Fund toward arrangements for ironing out disruptive price fluctuations should be soundly conceived; and I hope that, in conformity with the purposes and provisions of the Articles, the Fund will find it possible to make such a contribution. Having in mind the work already done on this matter, I voiced the expectation in my opening statement that the Executive Directors would be able to make any recommendations to the Board of Governors well before the Annual Meeting next year. It has now been agreed that they should do so by June 30, 1969, and I am confident that they will meet this deadline.

Action in this area can be important but, of course, it will meet only part of the basic difficulties with which the developing countries are grappling. It is therefore vital, as many Governors have urged, that renewed efforts be made on a comprehensive front by all member countries to speed the process of development. The Fund, for its part, will continue to assist not only through the provision of financial resources to support policies designed to establish a sound basis for economic growth but also through its consultations and its rapidly expanding work in the field of technical assistance. This is valuable work capable of paying substantial dividends.

All these efforts will be greatly facilitated if they can be made in the over-all context of steady expansion in world economic activity and trade. The smooth functioning of international payments adjustment is essential to such expansion. Many speakers have underlined the significance of a successful adjustment process, and I was particularly glad to hear the assurances of Governors whose countries play a major role in the world economy that their policies are being framed with this in mind. This is important for the immediate future; it will remain important in the years ahead. As I mentioned at the beginning of these sessions, the Fund will continue to study means whereby the operation of the adjustment process might be improved and the world monetary system strengthened.

Mr. Chairman, I should like to end by thanking you for the admirable manner in which you have conducted these meetings. And I should like to join you in extending best wishes to the new officers of the Board of Governors for the coming year, in particular the Governor for Argentina who succeeds you.

Statement by the Governor of the Fund and Temporary Alternate Governor of the Bank for Argentina—Adalbert Krieger Vaseria

It will be the privilege of the Governors for Argentina to act as Chairmen of the Boards of Governors during the period 1968-69, and I take this opportunity to express the deep appreciation of the Government of my country for so signal an honor.

We are on the threshold of a new era of development and financial cooperation among countries. Some solutions have been found for the preservation of the international monetary system, but great responsibilities lie ahead for all in raising the economic and social levels of the developing world. I know that the management and the staff of both institutions will help us accomplish this challenging task.

Our Chairman this year, and his predecessors, have set a very high standard for us to meet, and I hope that we shall justify the confidence you have placed in us when we assume the traditions and responsibilities of this high office.

Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen, on behalf of my colleague and myself, thank you very much.

Statement by the Chairman of the Boards of Governors, the Governor for Ceylon—U. B. Wanninayake

These meetings which are concluding have given us a great deal to think about. No worthwhile endeavor is ever free of problems and difficulties. But we can take heart from the sense of hope and determination that has been expressed here and from the continuing evidence of the flexible performance and demonstrated abilities of these financial institutions.

Both the Fund and the Bank have charted new paths for the years ahead. Governors have discussed the problem of stabilizing commodity prices and, generally, how to improve the relative position of the developing countries.

Governors of the Fund have reviewed the Fund’s role in the world economy; they have supported a policy for the use of the Fund’s resources which will safeguard uniform and equitable treatment for all members; and, in particular, they have supported Mr. Schweitzer’s stress on the need to establish the facility for special drawing rights with minimum delay.

Governors of the Bank have spoken of the need for greater and more sustained lending to the developing countries, of the need for program as well as project lending, for an expanded program of technical assistance, and for exploitation of the potentialities of today’s agricultural revolution. Mr. McNamara has forcefully expressed his determination to expand and broaden the Bank’s effort.

To all those who have helped to make these meetings a success, including those who have worked behind the scenes to ensure a smooth-functioning organization, I give my sincere thanks. To the Governors and their delegations, I extend my special thanks for their cooperation in our proceedings.

And now I wish you all a safe journey home and declare these Meetings adjourned.

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Delivered at the Closing Joint Session, October 4, 1965.