Canberra, 20 January 1950
Technical Assistance for Economic Development
Reference is made to your memorandum 856/10/3 of the 12th December.1 I assume that if thirty experts are required, approximately six will be needed in each of the five fields specified, although the numbers may be greater or less according to the importance attached to the Australian contribution in any particular field.
While the Office is specially competent to assist you in the field of education, it may be that some of our national Co-operating Bodies (e.g. Natural Sciences, Radio) could provide advisory services in relation to any particular assistance which it was desired to give in their fields.
I think the most useful assistance that could be given in the field of education would be providing for educational authorities in under developed territories to receive consultative services of educational administrators with a sound knowledge of the organisation of school systems or of particular fields of education, such as technical education or teacher training. It does not seem unlikely that five persons could be provided in a year for work of this kind from the resources of State education departments and university faculties of education, as well as from Commonwealth resources such as this Office and the division of Industrial Training of the Department of Labour & National Service.
If it is decided to proceed with a plan of this kind I think that the most satisfactory approach would be to consult State Directors of Education. The Directors will have their annual conference in Melbourne in April this year. This conference is only attended by Directors, but I am a member and it would be possible for me, if you think it desirable, to arrange for the problem to be discussed with Directors, and for machinery to be established related to the method of securing the services of suitable experts on loan from appropriate State or Commonwealth instrumentalities.
[NAA: A1838, 716/1/1 part 5]