Volume #27 - 459.|
EXTRAIT DES CONCLUSIONS DU CABINET
Extrait des conclusions du Cabinet|
le 13 septembre 1960|
CANADIAN AID TO COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES IN AFRICA
1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs outlined a proposed programme of aid for Commonwealth countries in Africa, in the form of direct aid on a bilateral basis and assistance through international organizations, would be of advantage to reach decisions now in advance of the meetings of the Commonwealth Economic Consultative Council and the United Nations General Assembly.
In keeping with the decision of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers meeting of May, 1960,89 the C.E.C.C. would be examining next week the possibility of establishing a programme of aid for Commonwealth countries in Africa. The needs of both the new Commonwealth countries, and others, were so great and so pressing that they were bound to call forth action soon from one part of the world or another. If Canada could take the lead in proposing an effective programme at the forthcoming meeting, this country would be in a strong position to influence the form and magnitude of any programme that might emerge.
The fact that aid for Africa was discussed by Commonwealth Prime Ministers would have led new members to expect substantial assistance from their Commonwealth associates. These countries, and non-Commonwealth nations, will also expect increased aid from the U.N. Contributions to U.N. programmes could not, however, be earmarked for Commonwealth countries, although Commonwealth countries could expect to receive U.N. assistance, nor would such a method of giving aid accomplish what the Commonwealth Prime Ministers presumably intended when they asked for a study of co-operative action by the Commonwealth to assist Africa. A Commonwealth programme would also have more appeal in Canada.
A commitment to provide $5 million each year for the next three years would represent a reasonably effective Canadian programme. This amount would make it possible to continue and expand ordinary technical assistance, to help establish training institutions, to contribute to the improvement of communications facilities and perhaps conduct resource surveys and contribute to capital projects such as the Volta River project.90 As a general rule, aid should be given to Commonwealth countries which have attained independence or were about to do so, although a certain amount in the field of education might be provided to dependent territories in Africa.
As regards aid through U.N. channels, it seemed likely that unless there was a general increase in contributions from donor countries, African demands would not be met. The most attractive channels were through the U.N. Special Fund, for which increased contributions from Canada had already been requested, and the U.N. Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance. Enlarged programmes in this direction would enable Canada to provide technical assistance for, and to receive trainees from French-speaking territories in Africa as well as from Commonwealth countries. Proposed expansion of certain other special U.N. programmes also deserved Canadian support.
He recommended that, at the Commonwealth Economic Consultative Council, the Canadian Delegation be authorized to state that Canada was prepared to participate in an economic assistance programme for the Commonwealth areas in Africa, and that $5 million for this purpose be provided in the fiscal year 1961-62 and each of the two succeeding years and that Canada's contribution to a number of the United Nations assistance programmes be increased.
An explanatory memorandum had been circulated, (Minister's memorandum, Sept. 12 — Cab. Doc. 287-60).†
2. The Minister of Finance elaborated on the recommendations which had been made and supported them. Proposing a programme of assistance for a three-year period would ensure that the programme got properly started and would enable demands for more aid to be resisted, at least for a time. The U.N. Special Fund was an especially useful vehicle for aid, because it was well run and winnowed out impractical and extravagant requests. It was true that there had been complaints in Canada over the magnitude of gifts abroad in comparison with what could be done at home, but it had to be remembered that the bulk of the funds appropriated was spent in Canada on grain, industrial raw materials, machinery, etc.
3. During the discussion the following points emerged:
(a) The new proposals would about double the amount of money provided for aid to Africa and for contributions to the U.N. programmes; from $5 to $10 million annually.
(b) Western farmers were severely criticising India's purchases of U.S. wheat and demanding that Canada have a larger share in this outlet. On this however it was noted that U.S. sales were largely a disguised gift. The Western farmer benefited more than any others in Canada from the Colombo Plan and other aid programmes.
(c) Some said that $5 million for Africa was too large. This figure had been proposed because it was felt that only by a contribution of this size could the intentions of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers be adequately fulfilled. It would appear to be in line with Canada's general views of what should be done for Commonwealth countries in Africa.
(d) Several Ministers said that the increased aid for African Commonwealth countries could be accepted but that U.N. contributions should not be increased.
(e) On the other hand, increasing U.N. contributions now would turn aside pressure for additional claims in the U.N. forum.
(f) A U.N. assessment could be expected to help pay for U.N. operations in the Congo. At the moment, expenditures were up to $35 million and Canada's share would be of the order of $1.2 million so far.
(g) The three-year increase in the Colombo Plan was due to expire in 1961-62. If the Cabinet was disposed to reduce aid expenditures abroad, that would be the time to make adjustments, having in mind the new and growing claims of Africa and The West Indies.
(h) If the proposal were not accepted, the Commonwealth connection would be impaired. However, instead of $5 million for each of the three years, the figure might be $3 million or $3.5 million.
(i) The increase for the U.N. programmes should be reduced too.
4. The Cabinet agreed,
(a) that the Canadian delegation to the forthcoming meeting of the Commonwealth Economic Consultative Council be authorized to state,
(i) that Canada was prepared to participate in an economic assistance programme for the Commonwealth areas in Africa, especially for the emergent and newly-independent Commonwealth countries, if such a programme received support from other members of the Commonwealth;
(ii) that, subject to Parliamentary approval, the Canadian Government would be prepared to provide aid in the amount of $3 million for this purpose in the fiscal year 1961-62 and in each of the two succeeding fiscal years, in addition to the $0.5 million now being provided each year;
(iii) that in the administration of the programme advantage should be taken of the experience and facilities of existing international organizations, if in particular instances this were considered in Canada's interest;
(iv) that the Commonwealth Economic Consultative Council at subsequent meetings should review the African aid programmes of Commonwealth countries and the progress of economic development in Commonwealth countries in Africa;
(b)(i) that Canada's contributions to the United Nations Special Fund and to the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance for the fiscal year 1961-62 be $2 million each, subject to the addition of $0.5 million allocated to one or the other, or divided between them, however, the Secretary of State for External Affairs and the Minister of Finance may decide;
(ii) that Canada be ready to support a reasonable increase in the United Nations Regular Programmes for Technical Assistance, which are financed by budgetary assessments by the United Nations General Assembly, involving an increase of the order of $150,000 in Canada's assessment;
(c) that Canada plan to provide $120,000 in the fiscal year 1961-62 to continue technical assistance to Commonwealth countries outside the scope of other Canadian aid programmes, for example, British Guiana and British Honduras; the assistance financed from these funds to be given in selected fields, with the emphasis on education.
89 Voir les documents 360 et 367./See documents 360 and 367.
90 Voir la section suivante./See the following section.