273 Australian Government to Australian Delegation, World Health Assembly

Cablegram 5, CANBERRA, 24 June 1949, 2.30 p.m.

RESTRICTED

Your No. 2. Regional Organisation.

1. We should like further particulars of Philippine proposal before considering whether we would join region formed in this area. In case deferment on the lines you suggest fails, please advise exact terms of proposal. We are primarily concerned at the moment to safeguard Singapore's present position as epidemiological centre, but question of Headquarters of a large Regional Organisation in this area should be gone into carefully in collaboration with U.N. and other Agencies in accordance with established practice in this matter.

2. On the other hand, it should be made clear that we do not wish to stand in the way of establishment, on Philippines initiative, of a regional organisation which can, in the eyes of countries concerned, serve a useful purpose. If such region were established, however, we would naturally wish to consider it in relation to our association with health work of South Pacific Commission with whose programme in this field you will be familiar.

3. We are advising N.Z. who have approached us on this question, in above sense, and will advise you further, if necessary, after getting their reactions 4. Please cable regular reports on progress of discussions generally.

[AA : A1838, 362/1/2]