Volume #24 - 431.|
CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE MEETING, SEATTLE NOVEMBER 10-13, 1958
Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs |
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
October 24th, 1958|
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CANADIAN DELEGATION TO THE SEATTLE COLOMBO PLAN CONFERENCE|
I attach for your approval a memorandum of instructions to the Canadian Delegation to the forthcoming meeting of the Colombo Plan Consultative Committee. The purpose of the memorandum is to summarize in convenient form the more detailed conclusions set out in a series of commentary articles.86
The instructions cover not only subjects included in the formal agenda for the meeting but also a number of issues that may be raised either in the context of the meeting or in informal discussions with other delegations.
Many of these issues are less substantial than they are sensitive, stemming as they do from the nature of the Colombo Plan as an association between donor and recipient countries from different areas (i.e. the admission of potential new members, the appointment of a Director of the Colombo Plan Bureau, and the venue of the next Consultative Committee meeting). The only issue affecting Canada's programme directly arises from the decisions taken by Ministers last month concerning the nature of our aid to non-Commonwealth members of the Colombo Plan.87 This is the subject of a separate commentary article, a copy of which is also attached.
Note des instructions à la délégation à la réunion du Comité consultatif du Plan de Colombo à Seattle, 1958
Memorandum of Instructions to Delegation to the Colombo Plan Consultative Committee Meeting, Seattle, 1958
The Canadian Delegation to the Colombo Plan Conference should be guided by two general considerations:
Item 1 of the Agenda - Speeches by Leaders of Delegations
Depending on the order of business agreed upon by Ministers, it is possible that leaders of delegations will address the Conference twice. The opening speech would normally be the major one; observations on the special theme selected for this year's Conference, Regional Impact of National Development Programmes; Experience and Problems, may either be part of it or may have to be made the subject of a separate speech. Speeches by Ministers representing donor countries invariably incorporate some record of the contributions made by the country concerned over the preceding year, coupled with some reference to the prospects and scope of further contributions to be made in the year to come. This portion of the Minister's speech at Seattle might with advantage be expanded to include some reference to the very important developments that have taken place this year in the general realm of economic assistance to under-developed countries, notably the results of the Montreal Conference, the decisions taken at NewDelhi88 and the creation of the new Special Fund by a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Thought is being given to developing two themes in the context of the opening speech. One of these would revolve around the mutual benefit which both donor and recipient countries derive from the operation of the Colombo Plan. The second theme would relate to the impact on the South and Southeast Asian region as a whole of national development programmes in the area. This is a matter of interest to several member countries and has been placed on the agenda as a separate item. Other themes may emerge in the course of the preliminary discussions at the official level. Canadian officials attending these meetings should take on the responsibility of preparing final drafts for one or two speeches, as the case may be.
Item 2 of the Agenda - Presentation of the Draft of the Annual
The Canadian Delegation should seek to ensure that the report is as objective and analytical in tone as possible.
Item 3 of the Agenda - Regional Impact of National Development Programmes; Experience and Problems
This is a theme which might be developed in the Canadian speech to the Conference. The fact is that resources available for economic development are limited and this suggests the desirability of using such resources as are available to maximum advantage. So far many countries in South and Southeast Asia have evolved development programmes largely in the context of their own national economies. There may be a case, therefore, for having a look at the development of the region as a whole to see whether there are instances where closer co-operation between countries in their national planning would serve the interests of some overall economy in the commitment of resources for economic development. Indeed, some aspects of this problem are already under consideration in ECAFE.
Item 4 of the Agenda - Technical Assistance; Report of the Sub-Committee on Technical Assistance
As far as Canada is concerned, the Technical Co-operation scheme is operating reasonably well, principles and procedures are basically satisfactory and generally understood, and no major changes are contemplated. We are, of course, prepared to accommodate, as far as possible, minor procedural changes generally agreed by other participants in the Technical Assistance Programme.
It seems likely that funds will be available over the next year or two to finance our Technical Co-operation Programme on the current scale, and probably to provide for some modest expansion. While avoiding commitments, the Delegation can, therefore, feel reasonably free in encouraging representatives of other countries to put forward sound, practicable requests for technical assistance from Canada.
Item 5 of the Agenda - Colombo Plan Information Unit; Report of the Sub-Committee on Information
We are satisfied with the work of the Colombo Plan Information Unit as reflected in its 1957-58 report. We are also prepared to endorse the conclusions and recommendations agreed upon at the Conference of Information Officers which was held in Singapore from September 9-12 to review Colombo Plan publicity. These recommendations are set out in the attached report of the Conference and will be presented to the Seattle Consultative Committee meeting for approval.
Item 6 of the Agenda - Arrangements Relating to the Next Meeting
Malaya has indicated its intention of issuing an invitation to hold the 1959 Colombo Plan Conference in Kuala Lumpur. It seems likely that Indonesia also will make a bid for the Conference. There are substantial reasons for supporting both Indonesia and Malaya and either country would appear to be suitable. The Delegation should not take the initiative in discussions on this matter (particularly as the 1959 host probably will be a recipient country) and in the final analysis, the Canadian Delegation should fall in line with the wishes of the majority of the Asian nations.
Item 7 of the Agenda - Other Business
There may be a number of topics raised at the meetings or brought up informally between delegations. A list of such possible topics is set out below, with brief indications as to what attitude the Canadian Delegation should adopt:
86 Note marginale:/Marginal note: approved S.E. Smith
87 Voir/See Document 413.
88 Le Fonds monétaire international a tenu sa réunion annuelle à
NewDelhi en 1958, et les nations membres ont résolu d'accroître leurs contributions au Fonds. Voir le document 175.