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255 Cablegram from High Commission in Colombo to Department of External Affairs

Colombo, 20 June 1953

UNCLASSIFIED

My telegram 131.1

1. In the presence of Cabinet, heads of departments and a large gathering, tractors were formally presented to Mr. Jayewardene2 on June 19th.

2. Following aspects were stressed by me:

(a) Colombo Plan grand example of cooperation and goodwill amongst friendly nations.

(b) Giving and receiving of these tractors a family affair as both countries in Commonwealth.

(c) When Ceylon in urgent need to increase food production at critical time Australia able to give speedy aid in tangible form.

(d) Reference to Ceylon's past when three million acres under paddy.

(e) Reference to D.S. Senanayake's plan for re-conquest of dry zone. Australian tractors help to fulfil the plan.

3. One tractor was then driven through the ranks of the other 99 to official table where I finally handed over the tractors by indicating and reading inscription.

4. Jayewardene and Kumaraswamy3 thanked Australia for vital aid extended at crucial time and praised the shining example of the Colombo Plan and the Commonwealth. Jayawardene said Australia's generosity was like her cricket as it was in centuries.

5. The tractors are being moved today from the wharf to Colombo depot for servicing and onwards movement to Anuradhapura next week.

[NAA: A1838, 160/11/1/1 part 2]

1 18 June. It stated that the tractors donated to Ceylon arrived in good condition on the 18 June 1953 and that the Australian High Commissioner was scheduled to present the tractors to Ceylon's Minister for Finance on the afternoon of 19 June 1953.

2 J R. Jayewardene, Celyonese Minister of Finance.

3 Ceylonese Acting Minister of Agriculture and Food.

Last Updated: 10 January 2017

Category: International relations

Topic: History