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170 Noel-Baker to Australian Government

Cablegram 5 5 LONDON, 20 February 1948, 11.16 a.m.


As you will be aware, Economic Commission for Asia and Far East
decided at second session in Baguio to hold its third session in
India and to defer until then recommendation as to its semi-
permanent headquarters. In view of possibility that this question
may be raised at Economic and Social Council we have since
considered it further and have reached following conclusions.

2. We think that for various reasons acceptance of offer of a site
in China or India each of which seems possible would not be
satisfactory. Apart from other considerations India and China are
on periphery of Commission's geographical area. We have therefore
examined question whether as an alternative we could offer
Singapore which is geographically well-suited to be centre of
activity of the Commission. Site at Singapore would help to keep
European and British elements of Commission in foreground and
establishment of Commission in same place as headquarters of
Organisation of Special Commissioner for S.E. Asia would
facilitate co-ordination in connection with such of latter's
present responsibilities as might eventually be transferred to
E.C.A.F.E. Security aspect has also been considered and conclusion
reached that there are no objections on this ground. We therefore
propose at next Session of Commission to offer Singapore as semi-
permanent headquarters. This would not of course commit us to
acceptance of Singapore as a permanent headquarters if semi-
permanent headquarters proved unsatisfactory.

3. United Kingdom Delegation have been authorised should matter be
raised in current session of Economic and Social Council to seek
to have question postponed till after E.C.A.F.E. has made a
recommendation but if this fails, to offer Singapore if this is
desirable in the light of any alternative proposal such as

[AA:A1838, 701/9/1, 1A]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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