34 Note of Discussion Between Department of External Affairs and Commonwealth Office of Education
Canberra, 9 March 1950
Note of discussion concerning facilities available for training of foreign students under expanded programme of technical assistance and Australian bilateral proposals
The discussion centred on a memo of this department to COE regarding an estimate to the physical limits on the numbers of trainees which could be handled in Australia in any one year. Mr Hook said that as far as training facilities went there would be no difficulty in accommodating the number of students estimated. However he thought that the problem of funding sufficient living quarters might be difficult of solution but thought that it could be met. He was in general agreement with the estimates put forward in our paper but thought that the bilateral programme might be expanded at the expense of the expanded programme.
There was general agreement that the emphasis of any bilateral [assistance]4 would be on intensive training for short periods not the extended periods associated with scholarships. Mr Hook suggested that in future attention might be given to providing training in selected fields for a number of students [instead of] tying up the activities of field missions with the type of training given. Mr Tange was in general agreement with the idea but pointed out a number of difficulties particularly that field missions would be under the control of international organisations which might result in considerable delay and complication.
It was thought that in the specialized agencies and ECOSOC Australian delegations should ensure that allowances to UN and agency students were in no way disproportionate to those paid by the Australian Government to students selected under our bilateral programme.
It was thought that a cost for ad hoc courses provided by governmental bodies and private institutions might be imputed and changed to the Australian contribution to the expanded program. It was also considered that increased costs to the COE arising from both schemes should be estimated for the counselling, administrative and other facilities required.
Mr Hook stated that in their reply to our memorandum COE would also offer some suggestions in regard to machinery for the securing of Australian technical personnel for service in under developed countries.
The following recommendations are submitted for Cabinet consideration:
1. The Amount of the proposed Australian Contribution
(a) $400,000 (EA 180,000) as a first offer in the negotiation
(b) Authority for the Minister of External Affairs is to raise to $500,000 (ï¿½A225,000) during the course of the negotiations of the Conference if the responses by the other Governments are considered to warrant this.
2. Conditions to be attached to any Australian contribution
That the Australian contribution should be in pounds Australian convertible in whole or in part to certain specified soft currencies.
3. Administrative arrangements in Australia
(a) that the Department of EA should supervise the expenditure of the contribution in Australia and be the sole channel of communication for receiving requests and formalizing negotiations between the participating organizations and Australian instrumentalities.
[NAA: A1838, 716/1/1 part 5]
1 Harold Bullock, Second Secretary, Economic Relations Section, Department o f External Affairs.
2 James C. Ingram, Third Secretary, UN Division, Department of External Affairs.
3 E.J. Hook, Assistant Director, Commonwealth Office of Education.
4 Editorial insert.