Canberra, 14 September 1954
192. CONFIDENTIAL PRIORITY
Japan and Colombo Plan.
Your 1512 and 1543. Canadian authorities have no objection to your notifying Japanese of members reactions (reference paragraph 4 of 151).
2. Position has been complicated by information received from Japanese Embassy, Ottawa. Embassy has on own initiative this week asked External Affairs if Japan could join Council for Technical Co-operation without joining Consultative Committee. Canadian reply was that it is understood that this would be possible but Canada would not want to give a positive answer without consulting other member countries. Embassy further volunteered that Japanese Government has not yet decided whether as a member of Consultative Committee it would wish to be a donor or recipient and that in the Embassy's opinion Japan would be interested in joining Consultative Committee only if this would be necessary for becoming a member of Technical Co-operation Council. Canadians replied that there was no formal distinction between donor and recipient countries. Canadians realise that Japanese approach made without knowledge of outcome of your soundings in Asian capitals and that favourable result obtained may well affect Japanese attitude. Also appreciate that Embassy here may be acting on instructions now out of date.
3. Embassy has further enquired today regarding the procedure for applying for membership of the Technical Council in particular whether application should be made the Technical Council or the Consultative Committee. Canadians have stated they will try to get an answer. They are, therefore, seeking views of member governments. They would appreciate Australian views on this point.
4. Canadians suggest that in the light of this development it would be of help to member governments if the Japanese would make clear exactly what they are applying for.
5. Canadians are disposed to think more favourably about full membership of Consultative Committee in view of Asian reactions. They will circulate to member countries the Japanese application and propose that it be placed on the Agenda. Question whether Canada should propose Japan will be decided later. They would appreciate your views on possibility of decision being reached at officials meeting having regard the need for official delegates being sufficiently instructed to enable final decision.
[NAA: A1838, 2080/13]