Volume #22 - 690.|
RELATIONS AVEC LE COMMONWEALTH
PLAN DE COLOMBO
Extrait des conclusions du Cabinet|
le 28 novembre 1956|
. . .
COLOMBO PLAN; ASSISTANCE TO SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL
21. The Secretary of State for External Affairs recommended that a cash grant of $50,000 be provided from the 1956-57 Colombo Plan vote to assist in equipping a new Singapore Polytechnic School.
The government of Singapore had made available some $2.5 million for construction of the school and was seeking outside assistance for equipment and staff. Cost of equipment for the school workshops was estimated at $810,000. The government of New Zealand was prepared to provide $55,000 for this purpose in the form of a cash grant, as well as some teachers. The Australian government was also prepared to assist but the amount and the nature of the assistance was not yet known.
It was considered that a Canadian contribution could be put to good use.
An explanatory memorandum was circulated.
(Minister's memorandum, Nov. 28, 1956 - Cab. Doc. 234-56?)
22. The Minister of Finance pointed out that, up to the present, no cash grants had been made under the plan. The money would be spent by the government of Singapore and, no doubt, most of the goods would be purchased locally. He had no firm objections in this case, if it was considered desirable and the only method suitable, but would not like the action to set a pattern.
23. During the discussion the following points were made:
(a) There were special reasons for this as it was a co-operative action with other Commonwealth states. In Singapore, the Chinese were now taking over much more responsibility and were being tougher towards the communists. This grant would be an encouragement to them.
(b) There seemed to be evidence that the communist government of Red China was becoming more independent of the U.S.S.R. and, in connection with eastern European troubles, was showing sympathy with the Jugoslav attitude. Although it had publicly supported Moscow, this was in not too enthusiastic terms, and observations had been made in support of Jugoslavia and Poland and even of Hungary. A loosening of the ties in the communist empire seemed to be going on and the Chinese appeared to be trying to keep a foot on both sides. It was significant that in the U.N., recently, the Poles for the first time did not vote with the Russians. The Chinese government appeared to have done a very good job in building up the country's economy and morale. It seemed that, although China would maintain a communist government, this would not be under the direction of Russia. It should be noted also that, on the motion at the U.N. not to discuss admission of China, there were twice as many votes against as last year.
24. The Cabinet noted the report of the Secretary of State for External Affairs and agreed,
(a) that a cash contribution, from the 1956-57 vote for the Colombo Plan, be given to the government at Singapore for assistance to the Singapore Polytechnic;
(b) that the contribution be subject to the condition that the funds would be spent on equipment for a section of the school which would be identified with Canada, and that the equipment would be purchased in Canada to the extent that it was available and competitive in price and,
(c) that the leader of the Canadian delegation at the current Colombo Plan meetings in Wellington, New Zealand, be authorized to announce the terms of the assistance at the Wellington meetings or during his visit to Singapore in mid December.
. . .