72 Memorandum from Metcalfe to Burton
Canberra, 23 May 1950
Technical Assistance to South and South East Asia
With reference to your memorandum 708/10/1 of 26th April, 1950,2 and in confirmation of the telephone discussion between Mr. Bullock3 of your Department and Dr. Geo. H. Moore,4 the following comments are furnished in connection with technical assistance to South and South East Asia.
The interest of Australia in this region is appreciated, as is the need for Australian participation as a contribution in the expansion of its present programme of training in Australia, of nationals from this area.
It is also realised that there is a shortage of trained personnel in various aspects of medicine and public health in these countries.
Any approach to this subject, however, must be realistic, and due consideration must be given to the availability of training facilities in Australia having regard to the already overcrowded training schools and the general shortage of accommodation. In this regard it is considered that, only after a survey of such available facilities in each centre, would an accurate evaluation of opportunities for particular fields of training be possible. This course is recommended and could be undertaken. The fields mentioned in your memorandum readily come to mind and may be extended to include such subjects as tuberculosis, nursing, sanitation etc.
One further point which should not be overlooked is that of climatic living conditions in Australia approximating to the latitude of the region under consideration. This may necessarily restrict the opportunities for training available in Australia.
[NAA: A1838, 708/9/2 part 2]
1 A. J. Metcalfe, Director-General, Department of Health.
2 Document 53.
3 H.W. Bullock, Second Secretary, Economic Relations Section.
4 George Howard Moore, Senior Medical Officer, Department of Health. Record of conversation not published.