Canberra, 5 August 1950
171. PRIORITY CONFIDENTIAL
1. We have considered your 1471 in relation to schedule of London meetings suggested to us by your High Commissioner.2
2. We are most anxious that every opportunity be given to the non-Commonwealth Governments of South and South-East Asia to prepare development programmes and to have them included in the report that is issued by the London Conference. For this reason we would approve of a postponement of the date for the submission by them of their completed questionnaires. We question, however, whether an additional two weeks will be of any assistance in view of the slow progress so far. We therefore suggest that the extension be for three or four weeks.
3. It would follow, however, that while Commonwealth Programming Committee might proceed according to present schedule the subsequent London meetings of Ministers would have to be deferred by a somewhat similar period if the non-Commonwealth programmes were to be included in the report. We note the importance which the United Kingdom Government attaches to the date October 20th but in all the circumstances we suggest that you consider whether some postponement is possible.
4. (For Singapore only). Please pass to Commissioner-General.
[NAA: A9879, 2202/El part 1]