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Historical documents

224 Minute from Tange to Casey

Canberra, 18 March 1952

Karachi Conference: Development of Australian Training Programme

This side of our programme is going well. Out of 260 fellowships and scholarships offered to India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ceylon, and the 5 British territories, we have received 194 nominations, made 116 awards, and 98 persons are in Australia or have completed their course. More are arriving every day as it is early in the year, and some Governments, such as Ceylon, are only just making nominations for the second year programme.

2. In addition to these, we have at present in Australia, or have already trained, 53 people under group training and selection of special individuals. These figures are up to March, 1952, and are set out in more detail in the attached revised table.

3. The details and the policies of the technical training scheme are handled by the Technical Co-operation Council in Colombo. Nevertheless, there are a few general aspects of this programme which you might well raise in private discussions with Ministers to clear the ground for favourable decisions when officials later meet in the Technical Cooperation Council.


4. Among these subjects the most important is accommodation. It would be helpful if you were able to convince the Ministers of the serious obstacle which accommodation shortages in Australia present to the absorption of an increased number of trainees and indeed to maintenance of the present rate of intake. You could point out that we are under greatly increased pressure from United Nations organisations to take an adequate number of Asian trainees to help employ the Australian contribution to the United Nations Technical Assistance Fund. We are greatly concerned that we will not be able to offer such facilities. The Government has no legal powers nor hold over accommodation itself. It is dependent on the private hotel or boarding-house keeper, and these institutions are notoriously inadequate in Australia to cope with the expansion of population. Provision of funds by the Govt, for such accommodation would be strongly criticised by groups in the community, such as ex-servicemen, who are suffering shortages. You might then say that the Australian Govt, proposes to spend �100,000 out of its contribution of approx. �3m. for the provision of hostels run by suitable academic institutions. The amount contributed by the Govt, will be related to an annual quota for students from Asia. In the short run, these will be primarily C.P. [Colombo Plan]1 nominees; as and when the tech. asstce. prog, is terminated the facilities would continue to be available to private students who come from Asian countries. It would be tactically wise to act on the assumption that we expect no objection from the Asian countries, particularly as the Austn. contribution is a very substantial one, and there is no indication that we will be able to spend all of it on even the present high rate of assistance.

Types of training and assistance

5. You might mention our belief that the training programme would achieve best results if two general criteria were adopted:

(a) The Asian countries themselves moved away from requests for academic training and sought more asstce.2 in the field of applied technology. (This is equally relevant to requests for technical equipment and experts.)

(b) If a greater proportion of nominees were in the more senior category of Fellows whose term in Australia would be normally something less than six months and who can be paid emoluments by the Australian Govt, which would enable them to occupy the more expensive types of accommodation. (It is in the field of cheap accommodation suitable for university students and other scholars that the greatest shortage of accommodation exists.) To put this into effect, we, for our part, would have to offer a larger number of fellowships and a lower number of scholarships.

6. You could safely indicate that, although we are anxious to increase the rate of intake, the present housing situation as such will prevent us doing so, and we will next year have to consider seriously reducing our past offer of 150 places for individual training.

Group training schemes

7. We have formed the impression that greater concentration on group training will be beneficial from two points of view:

(a) To impart knowledge to a selected group of key people in a particular field who, upon their return, will disseminate widely the knowledge they acquire.

(b) We could make use of the facilities of agricultural, teachers', university colleges during long vacation periods (primarily December to February) and so overcome some of the difficulties of accommodation and placement in institutions. The New South Wales Main Roads Department tells that it can train a group of 12 with much less strain on its resources than is involved in training four groups of two nominees. It is believed that similar considerations apply in the fields of agricultural and veterinary science where placement of individual nominees is becoming increasingly difficult.

Specific suggestions for group training

8. It is too early to make firm offers in the following fields (we have yet to consult authorities other than COE3); but they could be mentioned to the Asian Govts, as ways in which we believe group training could be provided if sufficient notice is given by the participating countries of their interest.

(a) Agricultural and veterinary science: e.g., dairying, wheat growing, horticulture,
mechanical farming, animal husbandry, and veterinary pathology.

(b) Road construction: (In 1951 no Asian Govts, showed any interest in group
training, but subsequently individual nominations for training of road engineers are
being received from the participating countries. There is probably some lack of coordination
in the countries concerned).

(c) Water supply and sewerage: (Again, many individual nominations are being received.)

(d) Public health: we are asking the Health Dept, to advise us on the possibilities of
group training of health inspectors and nurses, as well as training of the more
elementary kind which you yourself suggested.

(e) Teaching: It is thought that, if there were 20 to 30 students available,
arrangements could be made with one or other of the State Teachers' Colleges to
provide specialised courses in fields such as handcraft teaching, science teaching, and
technical teaching.

(f) Broadcasting: The A.B.C. might provide schools in this field.

(g) Film production: The Film Division may be able to assist in group training.

9. The prime purpose in group arrangements of this kind is not the training of an individual, but the training of teachers–persons selected with a view to their returning to their home countries to train a large number of persons in their particular fields.

10. These are all matters upon which we could communicate subsequently with the Asian Governments, but you might like to open up discussion with the Ministers at Karachi.


Country Fellowships, scholarships offered Nominations received at 1.3.52 Awards made Students in Australia or completed course 1.3.52
India 95 70 40 35
Pakistan 65 39 26 20
Indonesia 45 46 21 16
Ceylon 30 15 14 12
Malaya 24 24 15 15
Philippines 10 10 2 1
Thailand 8 8 - -
Burma 7 - - -
Indo-China 3 - - -
Nepal 3 3 - -
Reserve 10 - - -
Total 300 215 118 99

1. This column includes offers made in both 1950–51 and 1951–52 (150 places offered in each year).

Special schools and selected individuals

No. in Australia
or completed
course 1.3.1952
Social services seminar ... 4
Library services seminar ... 6
D/G, Civil aviation ... 1
Factory inspectors ... 2
Public Administration School ... 24
Public Service Commission ... 1
D/G, Civil Aviation ... 1
Social Services Seminar ... 4
Library seminar ... 4
Library seminar ... 6

[matter omitted]

Comparative costs of technical co-operation

Scholarship holders �360. p.a.
Junior fellowship holders �540. p.a.
Senior fellowship holders �770. p.a.

Travelling allowance payable at rate 10/- sterling per day.

Fees for tuition payable to universities. Average �50 per annum.

Form of travel. Air to Australia and sea on return trip.

1 Training of an individual in a university course.
Estimate cost per annum.
Scholar �520.
Junior fellow �800.
2. Number of people brought to Australia in category 1.
3. Estimate cost of training a senior fellow for 6 months.
Note: Training can be arranged at research institutions, agricultural colleges, universities and/or government departments or other organisations.
4. 'A' Cost per individual for attendance at a seminar
'B' Number of people brought to Australia in category 4.
5. 'A' Cost of sending an expert from Australia to Pakistan.
For 2 months.
'B' Number of experts sent under technical co-operation.

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A10299, Cl3]

1 Editorial insert.

2 That is, 'assistance'.

3 Commonwealth Office of Education.

Last Updated: 10 January 2017
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