139 Letter from Menzies to Gaitskell
London, 17 January 1951
In my reply to your letter of 9th January, 1951, on the finance of the Colombo Plan,1 I said that I was not in a position at the time to make any promise that the Australian contribution could be increased, but that I would have the matter looked into carefully and would inform you whether there was anything more Australia could do.
I should like you to know that your views were taken fully into account in my Government's deliberations on the size and form of Australia's contribution to the Colombo Plan. After considering all factors, however, including the size of the contributions promised by the other members of the Commonwealth, it was decided not to alter the previous decision to contribute ï¿½Stg. 25 million, with an initial contribution of ï¿½Stg. 7 million for the first year (1951/52) of the Plan. As you will know, my colleague the Minister for External Affairs has recently announced the allocation of this year's contribution and we are at present negotiating its expenditure with the Asian countries concerned.2
[NAA: A 1209, 1957/5406]
1 Document 137.
2 On 20 December 1950, Spender announced that: 'The Government has agreed to make available no less than 25 million pounds sterling (or 31ï¿½ million pounds Australian) for the period of the plan, viz. June 1951 to July 1957. During the first year, in view of the larger requirements of the programme in the earlier years, the Government would make available up to seven million pounds sterling (eight and three quarters million pounds Australian'. See Current Notes, vol. 20, 1950, p. 886.