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Historical documents

187 Halligan to Burton

Memorandum CANBERRA, 29 March 1949


I am attaching a copy of the Report of the Australian
Commissioners who attended the Second Session of the Commission.

The Rev. Dr. Burton has the original of the Report and will
doubtlessly submit it through the normal channels. In the meantime
I am forwarding this copy for your information.

Attachment (extracts)

Nothing was more enheartening in the Second Session than the
dominant conviction that the real work of the Commission-the
welfare and development of the peoples resident within the area-
must be entered upon with the least avoidable delay. With this in
view the Commission divided its projects into three categories:-

A. Those that could be proceeded with immediately without waiting
for the formation of the Research Council e.g. the collection of
information regarding existing air and sea transport, with
investigation into further needs and improvements, the supply of
essential goods from areas having a surplus to areas in need; the
review of human quarantine measures and the prompt exchange of
epidemiological information; the mechanization of the copra
industry and the study of byproducts; the collection and
dissemination of information on the control and eradication of
plant and animal pests and diseases; health problems, particularly
infant and maternal welfare; fisheries research in order to
improve the nutrition of local inhabitants; surveys of food
potentials with the object of raising dietary standards and of
increasing exports; and the pooling of information generally.

B. Subjects which call for early action but which cannot be
completed for some time, e.g. contact with agencies doing
experimental work in agriculture and in industries; collection and
dissemination of information on the technical and professional
training of islanders; development of an adequate library on the
South Pacific; preparation of a file of scientists and of research
organisations having relation to Pacific problems; investigation
of radio-broadcasting and visual aids in the education of
dependent peoples; studies in vulcanology and seismology;

improvements in pasture land, especially research into fodder
grasses and weed control; research into main objects listed in the
agreement and the convening of a conference of educationists to
give urgent attention to the needs of Pacific peoples.

C. Subjects which can be placed for the time being in a lower
category of urgency, e.g. problems associated with the nutrition
of resident populations; problems of conservation, including local
reserves for indigenous flora and fauna; preservation of
archaeological sites etc.; problems arising from the impact of
modern civilization upon indigenous culture; publication of a
periodic bulletin; and study of labour conditions within the
territories with a view to improvement.

[matter omitted]

This subject had caused much discussion. Both the French and
United Kingdom Senior Commissioners had previously taken what some
thought to be a somewhat restricted and legalistic interpretation
of the 'two-thirds majority' and had limited its application to
ordinary budgetary expenditure. The opposed points of view were
thoroughly discussed in Committee and a happy solution agreed
upon. This is so important a question that we quote the resolution
in full:

'WHEREAS the Commission has found it necessary to clarify the
meaning of Clause We) and (d) the Agreement creating the
Commission and Rule 14 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission
in implementation thereof, by adding an interpretive subdivision,

BE IT RESOLVED that Rule 14 of the Rules of Procedure be amended
by adding a subdivision (f) thereof which shall read as follows:

(f) For the purpose of this rule, the annual administrative budget
shall include provision for all necessary administrative functions
and needs of the Commission, the Research Council, the Secretariat
and the South Pacific Conference, and shall include expenditure
not exceeding Stg.5,000 on research undertakings, conferences of
experts, and special projects, which have not already been
included in a supplementary budget covering such undertakings,
conferences and projects. Expenditure on each separate
undertaking, conferences, or project under this rule shall not
normally exceed the sum of Stg.500.'

[AA:A10847, 1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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