London, 4 October 1950
4829. CONFIDENTIAL PRIORITY
Final session of the Commonwealth Consultative Committee concluded this morning. Officials will have to spend a few days in tidying up report and there will be a meeting of officials on Technical Assistance tomorrow morning.
2. United Kingdom reported that the United States were favourably disposed to the inclusion of the Philippines in the scheme but would not like the invitation to be issued before they have completed the economic investigations they are making at present in that country. The question of the Philippines will, therefore, be left over until a later stage.
3. For the guidance of Ministers in dealing individually with the press, it was agreed that only two subjects which must be withheld at the moment are—
(a) the size of the gap in external finance,
(b) any plans for approaching the United States for their assistance in bridging the gap—
(c) It was, therefore, agreed that the following matters should not be disclosed to the public at this stage.
(i) The total amount of external finance required by any individual country.
(ii) The total requirements of external finance for the Colombo Plan as a whole.
(iii) Any reference to the sort of external finance to be made available by Commonwealth countries outside Asia except possibly for some reference to the sympathetic interest which those countries are showing in the needs of the area.
(iv) Anything that will suggest that the Commonwealth countries are now 'ganging up' in order to lay the Colombo Plan before the United States administration with a request that they should bridge the gap.
(v) Any detailed reference to the development programmes of another Government.
5. This list will permit the Ministers to give useful information on such topics as the general argument of the draft report and the means by which it had been formulated, technical assistance and the general aims of their own development plans.
[NAA: A9871, 2202/El part 1]