Volume #18 - 624.|
RELATIONS AVEC LE COMMONWEALTH
PLAN DE COLOMBO
Le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
au haut-commissaire au Royaume-Uni
DESPATCH NO. E35|
le 19 février 1952|
CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE MEETING|
I attach a copy of a memorandum of instructions which has been prepared for the guidance of the Canadian Delegation to the Consultative Committee meeting.
2. It is in order for you to inform United Kingdom officials of the Canadian position on the various items of the agenda as outlined in the attached memorandum. I should be interested in receiving from you a report on your discussions with particular reference to any points on which United Kingdom views may differ from our own.
Memorandum of Instructions
Draft Instructions to
The following instructions relate to the items in the proposed Agenda, as circulated by the Pakistan Government by telegram No. 623 of February 6, 1952.
2. The preparation of periodic reports is the most important task of the Consultative Committee. The circulation of these reports is an important means of keeping people everywhere informed of the Colombo Plan and interested in its success; the preparation of the reports provides a valuable stimulus to the implementation of the Plan itself.
3. The meeting at Karachi will be preparing the first comprehensive report since the original "Colombo Plan" of September-October 1950. It will therefore set a pattern for the periodic reports to follow. Accordingly, emphasis should be laid on its interim character. It should be unpretentious and should not attempt to duplicate the original document in form or substance. It should seek to give to readers in every participating country a ready means of finding out what their own country is doing, and what others are doing. In particular, it should be made clear what the United States is doing.
4. These objectives can probably be best attained if the bulk of the report consists of individual chapters (or sections) describing the work of individual countries, of the International Bank and of the Bureau for Technical Cooperation, with a pithy, readable summary and general review in the introduction or the conclusion. However, while the Delegation should press for a report of this general type, its substance is more important than its form, and the Delegation may accept a report in any form that is satisfactory to itself and other Delegations.
5. The Delegation should beware of two dangers. First, the Report should not be over-optmistique about the future of the Plan or of the under-developed countries participating; over-optimism would lead to disappointment. Second, the Report must not, at any point, involve financial commitments for Canada beyond the fiscal year 1952/53, or beyond the amounts for which the government is now prepared to make recommendations to Parliament in connection with the Colombo Plan for that year: viz, $25 millions for economic assistance and $400,000 for technical assistance.
Role of the International Bank
6. It is most desirable that the Bank should be represented at meetings of the Committee and that there should be general, constructive discussions of its past and possible future activities. On the other hand, the Committee is not the proper forum for a general appraisal of the merits of the Bank, of its policies, or of its personnel. The proper forums for such appraisals are the annual meetings of the Governors of the Bank and the regular meetings of its Executive Board.
7. It seems likely that Pakistan will launch some sort of attack on the Bank in the Committee, together with detailed criticisms of its policies and personnel. The Canadian Delegation should not be drawn into any such discussions and should try to head them off by pointing out that they belong in other forums.
Future Organization for Continuing Consultation
8. It is assumed that this item refers primarily to the establishment of a continuing secretariat concerned with economic (capital) assistance.
9. A small continuing secretariat may prove useful as a centre for interchange of information, as a nucleus for the preparation of periodic reports, as a source of guidance for underdeveloped countries in preparing programmes and compiling statistics, and possibly for other purposes. If other countries, including the United States, accept proposals for a modest secretariat for such purposes as these the Canadian Delegation may do so.
10. However, the Delegation should use its best efforts to be sure that the secretariat is kept small. Further, the secretariat should, if at all possible, be set up as an adjunct of the Bureau for Technical Cooperation, rather than an entirely separate and independent international organization. It seems most desirable that, whether or not the new body is formally associated with the old, they should be set up side by side and with the same Director. It is questionable, however, whether the Council for Technical Cooperation in Colombo should become responsible for matters relating to economic assistance, because of the different type of work involved.
11. The most appropriate and effective way of securing coordination, not merely between the activities of the countries contributing under the Colombo Plan but also with the various U.N. agencies in the field, would be the establishment of appropriate arrangements in the national capital of each recipient country. The Canadian Delegation should promote this sort of coordination. However, it should recall that the Canadian Delegation to the last meeting of the Consultative Committee (in Colombo in February, 1951) received similar instructions but found that at least one Asian country was vigorously opposed to any sort of coordination in its national capital. No such coordination can be useful without the cooperation of the recipient countries concerned, and the Delegation should not try to bring any pressure on any of those countries. Nevertheless, there may well have been some change in their positions since last year, and the Delegation should explore the ground again.
Liaison with ECAFE
12. Under this item a proposal may be made that a representative of ECAFE should attend meetings of the Committee. The Delegation should scrutinize this proposal carefully.
13. The policy of the Canadian Government is that work under the Colombo Plan should be carried on in close collaboration and consultation with the U.N. agencies concerned; on this ground representation from ECAFE might seem desirable. On the other hand, there is a danger that, if ECAFE was represented, there would be a demand for representation from a large number of other U.N. agencies and this might prove embarrassing to the Committee. (The International Bank appears to be in a special position vis-à-vis the Colombo Plan.) Moreover Colombo Plan activities are so different in nature from those of ECAFE that it is difficult to see what useful purpose would be served by liaison at the policy-making level.
14. The Canadian Delegation should be guided by these considerations and by any others that may emerge from Mr. Cavell's visit to the recent ECAFE meeting in Rangoon. In any event, the Delegation should not support ECAFE representation in the Committee against the opposition of any major Asian or non-Asian member of the Committee.
15. While there may be serious objection to ECAFE representation in the policy-making organ of the Colombo Plan (i.e. the Consultative Committee), there would appear to be a good deal to be said for coordination on the secretariat level. Should the Committee decide to establish a small continuing secretariat, the Delegation might explore with others the usefulness of coordination between the ECAFE and the Colombo Plan secretariats in relation to such matters as guidance to undercountries in preparing programmes and compiling statistics.
Colombo Plan Exhibition
16. No instructions required.
Informal Participation of non-Commonwealth Governments in Colombo Plan
17. The Canadian position is the same as it was at the last meeting of the Committee: if it is proposed that countries such as France and the Netherlands should take some part in the work of the Committee the Canadian Delegation should raise no objections; but such countries should only be included with the agreement of the Asian countries.
18. If any other question of importance appears on the Agenda, the Delegation should seek instructions from Ottawa.