71 Department of External Affairs to Mackay
Cablegram 462 CANBERRA, 6 November 1947
Your 577. I.L.O.
You should endeavour to avoid participation in any debate on- (a) immigration of labourers;
(b) training in industrial establishments.
If drawn into discussion on training you might emphasise that Australian educational institutions and training establishments are very overcrowded and that, while Australia grants facilities for the admission of Asiatic students who wish to attend Australian Universities or engage in special courses of training at technical colleges and will continue to do so, rehabilitation courses for Australian ex-servicemen make it impractical to provide other than limited facilities for Asiatic students and trainees in Australia at the present time. We are looking into the possibility of taking increased numbers of overseas students at universities and technical colleges when conditions improve but in the meantime feel that Australia can best contribute- (a) by planning to make available greater opportunities for graduate and post graduate work by Asiatic specialists; it is expected for example that a number of Asiatic students will be admitted on UNESCO fellowships;
(b) by encouraging Australians to proceed to Asia as teachers and instructors;
(c) by providing particulars of courses of instruction followed in Australia.
It would, in fact, be quite impracticable to offer to train Asiatic apprentices whether in private establishments or in Government institutions, and any approach towards this end should be actively but discreetly discouraged. In this connection you can state that the war has created a back-log of Australians requiring technical training.