156 Press Statement by Department of External Affairs

16 May 1948

VISIT OF MR. W. MACMAHON BALL TO SOUTH EAST ASIA

The Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt) said today that, as a consequence of the decisions of the Government made known some time ago to offer scholarships and relief supplies to countries in the South East Asia area, he was arranging for Mr. W. Macmahon Ball, accompanied by an educational and supply officer and an officer of the Department of External Affairs, to visit the countries concerned to arrange for the selection of scholars to come to Australia and, in some cases to arrange for the sending of relief supplies.

Australia is carrying out the recommendations of the United Nations and its agencies. In the case of the scholarships, the scheme was being set in motion as part of the world-wide programme of UNESCO designed to bring about greater understanding between nations. On relief matters the United Nations has decided that countries should make their contributions direct by agreement with the recipient countries where the need is greatest.

Dr. Evatt emphasised that he attached great importance to these positive steps to promote international understanding, and hoped that Mr. Ball's visit would strengthen the ties of friendship between Australians and the peoples of South East Asia.

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