870.00 TA/3–2051: Despatch

The Attaché at the Embassy in the United Kingdom ( Tibbetts ) to the Department of State 1

No. 4456

Subject: Recommendations of the Recent Session of the CCTA (Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara).

An officer of the Embassy has been given a summary of the recommendations adopted at the recent session of the CCTA which was held in Lisbon during the end of January.2 The recommendations have not yet been approved by any of the member Governments of the Commission nor by the Colonial Office. It is necessary, therefore, that the fact that the Embassy has been informed of the nature of these recommendations be held in strict confidence.

Of particular interest were the recommendations on the following points:

Scientific Council for Africa South of the Sahara. The Commission recommended that a meeting should be convened in London of representatives of the Governments who sponsored the establishment of the Scientific Council for Africa to discuss the form and content of the instrument establishing the Council and to clarify the relationship between the Council and the Commission. It was suggested that this meeting should also consider the question of correspondence by the Scientific Council with other organizations and agencies and with the United States Scientific Attaché in South Africa, when appointed.
Inter-African Labor Bureau. It was noted that the member Governments agreed in principle to the establishment under the auspices of the CCTA of an Inter-African Labor Bureau. A working party of representatives of member Governments is to meet in London next week to draw up proposals for terms of reference, budget and location of the bureau.
African region of the World Health Organization. The Commission recommended that the South African Government be invited to instruct its representatives at the World Health Assembly to be guided in discussion concerning the establishment of an African Regional Office by a memorandum, the text of which is enclosed.3
Inter-African Malaria Bureau. Note was taken of a proposal by the French Delegation for the establishment of a Malaria Bureau. The appointment of a working party to draw up detailed proposals is to be considered by the member Governments. In this connection a suggestion [Page 1217] of the Portuguese delegation for the establishment of an African Health Bureau under which would be grouped the present and future activities of the Commission relating to trypanosomiasis, malaria and other endemic diseases was also noted by the Commission and the Portuguese delegation was invited to elaborate its suggestions in a memorandum for future consideration.
The adoption of a unified procedure in connection with the submission and examination of the budgets of the technical bureaus was recommended. (The Foreign Office states that throughout the entire meeting the United Kingdom pressed consistently for economy in each technical bureau.)
The draft budget of the permanent Inter-African Bureau for tsetse and the trypanosomiasis was considered and suggestions made for a reduction. The need for economy was stressed by all delegations except the Belgian and French delegations who expressed doubts as to whether the Bureau would be able to function usefully if further reductions were made in its establishment. The next session of the Commission is to consider a statement showing the effects on the functions and operations of the Bureau of possible further reductions in the present budget of 1,650,000 francs (Belgian).

There is also enclosed a copy of the report by the Transport Committee to the CCTA on the question of continuing collaboration among the Governments concerned in the field of inland transport in Central and Southern Africa.4 It will be noted that the Transport Committee recommends a further transport conference in about two years time and the establishment of a Secretariat charged with preparing the work of the next conference. It will be further noted that Mr. Marshall Clarke, the Secretary General of the existing interim organization, is to be invited to be Secretary General of the new Secretariat. The Foreign Office doubts, however, whether Mr. Clarke will be willing to accept this post since the new Secretariat has very limited powers.

The discussion on the question of Italian-Ethiopian-Liberian membership was not incorporated in the records of the conference since if any of these Governments ever does become a member it would be highly embarrassing for their representatives to read the minutes of the discussion which preceded their joining the Commission. As the Department has already been informed, no progress was made towards inviting any of these Governments to become members of the Commission.5

Margaret Joy Tibbetts
  1. This despatch was approved by First Secretary of Embassy William C. Trimble.
  2. In January 1950 the Governments of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Portugal, South Africa, and Southern Rhodesia agreed to establish a Commission for Technical Cooperation in Africa South of the Sahara (CCTA).
  3. The enclosed memorandum is not printed here.
  4. The enclosed report under reference here is not printed.
  5. In despatch 3804, February 14, from London, Attaché Tibbetts reported having been given a hurried report on the recent meeting of the CCTA by an official of the African Department of the British Foreign Office. Tibbetts was informed that no progress was made at the meeting towards getting Liberia, Ethiopia, or Italy into the CCTA. The British would not agree to Italian membership with Ethiopia, and the other members, particularly South Africa, would not consent to Ethiopia joining. (870.00/2–1451)