29 Memorandum from Brown to Spender
Canberra, 16 February 1950
Economic Assistance to South and South East Asia
(1) considered and approved the recommendations2 of the meeting of British Commonwealth Foreign Ministers at Colombo in regard to economic assistance for South and South East Asia, that the participating governments should–
(i) examine the possibility of making financial assistance available for essential productive purposes in South and South East Asia, taking into account their existing commitments;
(ii) support as high a priority as possible for projects presented to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development which would contribute to the economic well being of the area and would be in accordance with the Bank's objectives;
(iii) contribute to the technical assistance work of the United Nations and its Specialised Agencies, and support in these organisations as high a priority as possible for the needs of South and South East Asia;
(iv) examine the possibility of making supplementary bilateral arrangements in appropriate cases for the provision of direct technical and other assistance;
(v) generally, consider proposals for the economic development of the area, keeping in view the possibilities of mutual assistance.
(2) accepted the proposal that a Consultative Committee consisting of representatives of British Commonwealth Governments should meet in Australia in the near future to consider the economic requirements of countries of South and South East Asia and to examine means of co-ordinating economic assistance to the area.
It was suggested that the United States of America should be invited to send an observer to this conference.
[NAA: A1838, 381/3/1/3 part lb]
1 Allen Brown, Secretary, Prime Minister's Department.
2 See Document 19.