262 Evatt to Chifley

Letter, CANBERRA, [27][1] October 1949

The General Assembly of the United Nations is currently discussing a recommendation that six international organizations together give technical assistance to under-developed areas, by way of fellowships, visiting missions, demonstration of agricultural and scientific methods, etc. A large part of the work will be carried out in areas of direct interest to Australia such as South East Asia. Australia has taken an active part in planning the procedure for implementing this programme.

It is expected that immediately after the General Assembly there will be a meeting at which Governments will be asked to announce the share which they will bear of the costs of this programme costing in 1950 about 20 million dollars. Provision is made for contributions to be made wholly in local currencies.

The United States, which originated the proposals under President Truman's Fourth Point, is expected to be a heavy contributor. The United Kingdom and New Zealand have already announced their willingness to contribute.

A more equitable contribution by Australia will result if the conference makes a definite decision on the share by each Government than if the size of each contribution is left for subsequent decision by Governments separately. I would therefore recommend that the Australian delegation be authorized to support the establishment of a definite scale of contributions for 1950, and to offer a contribution (in Australian currency or sterling or equivalent supplies and facilities) in accordance with an equitable scale worked out by the conference, but not to exceed ´┐ŻA.200,000.

[1] The copy on the file is dated 10 October 1949 but a file note, dated 19 October, indicates that Evatt delayed signing the letter.

[AA : A1838, 716/1/1, IV]