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73 Letter from Spender to Menzies

Canberra, 26 May 1950

I refer to my letter of the 4th May, 19501 regarding the contribution which the Commonwealth Government is to make to the United Nations Technical Assistance Programme and to the conditions which are to be attached to the contribution which is made. My letter also proposed certain departmental arrangements for the administration of the Programme insofar as it will affect Australia. It is important that a decision be reached upon these questions as soon as possible. The Technical Assistance Conference, the main purpose of which is to determine the amounts Governments are prepared to contribute to the Programme in respect of its operations for the first eighteen months, has been postponed until 12th June, 1950 but certain informal meetings of interested Governments are being held at the present time in New York to prepare the ground for the Conference. One such meeting was held on 23rd May and another will be held on the 31st May, 1950. Other Governments concerned will be expecting the Commonwealth Government to give an indication of the amount of the Australian contribution at the meeting on 31st May.

At the first informal meeting the following offers of contributions were made.

United States$12� million, subject to increase if the total contributions exceed $20 million.
United Kingdom�600,000 Sterling.
France$ 1,200,000 subject to increase if the total contributions exceed $20 million.
Netherlands$600,000.
Pakistan500,000 Pakistan rupees.
Sweden$96,000.
Norway$35,000

Judging by the amounts of these contributions the amount which I mentioned in my letter of the Australian contribution, namely, $600,000 for an eighteen months' period, appears adequate and reasonable. This amount would be paid in Australian currency.

I shall be glad if you will kindly let me know as soon as possible whether you are in agreement with the contents of my letter of the 4th May, 1950.

[NAA: A1209, 1957/5406]

1 Document 60.

Last Updated: 10 January 2017

Category: International relations

Topic: History