Volume #22 - 659.|
RELATIONS AVEC LE COMMONWEALTH
PLAN DE COLOMBO
RÉUNION DU COMITÉ CONSULTATIF DU COMMONWEALTH SUR L'ASIE DU SUD-EST, WELLINGTON, NOUVELLE-ZÉLANDE, 4-8 OCTOBRE 1956
Bref à la délégation à la réunion|
du Comité consultatif du Plan de Colombo
CONFIDENTIAL||[Ottawa, October, 1956]|
A. General Orientation: The Colombo Plan is a cooperative venture in the economic development of South and South-East Asia. Anything which contributes to the economic development of the region can properly be discussed in the context of the Plan. Canada is one of the countries involved in this cooperative venture; the countries in the area are, of course, making a much greater contribution to economic development in the area than is Canada or all the other member countries outside the Area. It is therefore not appropriate to speak of donor and recipient nations. The Plan is not an exercise in charity. Nor is it at all appropriate to speak of the Plan as having the negative purpose of countering communism.
The Colombo Plan originated, or course, as a Commonwealth effort, as an attempt by members of the Commonwealth to use the well-tried techniques of consultation for a continuing purpose in the area. The Plan now includes many important non-Commonwealth countries, notably, the United States, which, though it has not joined the Council for Technical Cooperation, is a full member of the Plan. In a sense, however, the Commonwealth membership may be regarded as a nucleus and as one of the reasons that consultation at the annual meetings has become relatively frank and effective.
B. The Main Purpose of the Meeting is to prepare and approve the annual report of the Consultative Committee which is a summary and evaluation of progress in economic development in the area during the past year. Each of the countries in the area is the subject of a separate chapter which each country prepares following a questionnaire drafted in accordance with discussions at Singapore last year. Each draft chapter is considered by a conference sub- group during the preparatory meeting of officials. Canada will serve on the Malaya- Borneo sub-group (Mr. Carson) and on the Indo- China sub- group (Mr. Baudouin).
The general sections of the report (Chapters I and II of the 1955 report) deal with rather non-controversial subjects than do the counting chapters. They attempt to evaluate the development of the area and the work of the Plan in the past year, and to set out general goals for the next year. The delegation will endeavour to see that these chapters in particular present a realistic analysis and offend neither Canadian policy consideration nor the known views of Asian representatives. This section of the report will call for comments at the Ministerial meeting.
The preparation and approval of the annual report is the first item on the agenda of the Ministerial meeting. The other items are: (b) Technical Assistance (see para. G); (c) Colombo Plan Information Unit; (d) Form of questionnaire; (e) U.S. Proposal for Nuclear Energy Training and Research Centre; (f) Other business.
C. Last Year the two major questions on which the Canadian delegation had to take a position were (a) continuance of the Plan beyond 1957 and (b) the size of the Canadian contribution for 1956-57. As to (a), it was decided to continue the plan until 1961 with a comprehensive review of progress in 1959. As to (b) - Mr. Pearson announced that the Canadian Government proposed to ask Parliament to vote a significant increase in 1956-57 over the 1955-56 allocation. (It was decided later to ask Parliament to vote $34.4 million as compared with $26.4 million in the preceding year). Obviously (a) does not arise this year. As to (b) - the size of the 1957-58 contribution - this matter is now under discussion by Ministers;15 Cabinet authority will be sought for Mr. Martin to make an appropriate statement at the meeting of Ministers.
D. Aid to Newer Members of the Plan: The question of the scale of Canadian aid to the newer members of the Plan will likely arise at least in talks with delegations from those countries. This year we allocated roughly $1 million out of the additional $8 million voted. This was in addition to the technical assistance they were already receiving out of the $1.4 million set aside for technical assistance to the whole area. The scale of Canadian aid to these countries depends upon the decision to be taken by Cabinet as to the size of Canada's contribution in 1957-58.
E. New Members: This question is unlikely to arise. Briefing prepared for last year's delegation is attached as Appendix A.16
F. Position of Bureau for Technical Cooperation: Last year's brief is attached as Appendix B.17 The appointment of Mr. Nathan Keyfitz, of the Canadian DBS, as head of the Bureau has made it of more value. We would not be adverse to see Keyfitz's position strengthened though obviously we should avoid urging this openly.
It may be suggested by the Australians or Americans that the Bureau might become a Colombo Plan Secretariat and that such a Secretariat should review and evaluate development programmes and have some responsibility for awarding priorities to particular projects. If the issue was forced which seems quite unlikely, Canada would prefer to see the role of the Bureau enlarged rather than see a new and separate organization set up. But, in practice, we have a strong preference for mainly bilateral arrangements, and so do the Asian members of the Plan. Further, it would be unfortunate if the staff of such a Secretariat had to be stolen from among the few economic development advisors in the Asian countries of the Plan. We would seek Keyfitz's judgment on the availability of staff from the Asian members.
Still another problem that may arise in this connection concerns the role of the U.N. Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East in the Colombo Plan. Officially, ECAFE has an observer status, and we would oppose any enlargement of their role. Of course, we welcome their comments on economic developments and the many technical problems of aid. C.V. Narasimhan who will represent ECAFE, may tend to forget that he is merely an observer since in the past he has been head of the Indian delegation to the official meetings. Canada would oppose any suggestion that ECAFE should become co-ordinating group for the Plan. As ECAFE is a U.N. agency, such a role would be improper, both from the U.N. point of view and from the point of view of the Plan. However, use should be made of ECAFE's studies and statistics so far as appropriate.
G. Technical Assistance. The Technical Assistance Committee will consider last year's recommendations, review progress in technical assistance, and consider the report of the Council. Last year's report of the T.A. Committee should be studied by the Canadian representative on this committee. It would be useful if Keyfitz could take the chair at this committee - this would help to give Keyfitz and the Bureau a bit more prestige and further, Keyfitz is probably, in terms of personality and competence, the best person to have as chairman.
H. Nuclear Centre in Philippines: It is understood that the U.S. will make only a short verbal progress report on this subject, as the report of the Brookhaven team is not yet available and as there is still a conflict of views within the Administration between those who want a cooperative organization in which the Asians would have a voice, and those who favour a centre virtually controlled by the U.S. (It is likely that before the Brookhaven report is released there will have to be extensive bilateral talks with the U.S. and Canada. When these bilateral talks might take place cannot be foreseen as yet).
I. Statement by Leader of Delegation: In his general statement Mr. Martin will wish to mention the size of the Canadian contribution, the medical mission, comment briefly on major projects now moving ahead (Shadiwal, Dacca- Chittagong, Kulna, Kundah, Canada- India Reactor) and outline what views it will be possible to express on the nuclear centre in the Philippines. The speech will be prepared by the delegation.
J. The Delegation is authorized to state that Canada will
undertake to translate into French and reproduce selected
Conference documents and the report.