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Coll 54/1A(S) 'Middle East (Official) Committee: Reconstruction' [‎7r] (14/323)

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The record is made up of 1 file (161 folios). It was created in 2 Dec 1949-12 May 1950. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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Suggested Fields of Activity for the Expanded
Technical Assistance Programnes in the Middle East.
( a ) Research and Technical Survey by Foreign Experts
in the Middle 5as£7
20. The United Nations Economic Survey Mission, in
Appendix III to their Pinal Report, have summarised the
•'research and technical survey requirements in the Middle
' ast countries" and, after pointing out the vital importance
of basing development on sound surveys has stated that:
"Unfortunately the Middle East countrie-s (except Israel) have
a serious lack of the type of trained specialists competent
to conduct such surveys, not only on the higher but on the
technical foreman level .It is clear that, although more
use can be made of local ability, most of the technicians to
survey, plan and design the development schemes essential for
the Middle East, will have to come from abroad",. The fields
in which such technical assistance is required can for
convenience be divided into six major heads:
(1) Study of the basic elements land and water, and
their products, the basic industry of agriculture in
its broad sense;
(2) Examination of the second primary source- mineral
wealth; •
(3) Survey of industrial development;
(4) Technical advice on transportation;
(3) Study of economic and administrative implications
of development;
21. The following list of the subjects in which technical
surveys and advice are generally required is the.n given:
Cartography, Soil Chemistry, Erosion Control, Land tenure.
Meteorology, Hydraulic engineering. Geology, Irrigation,
Engineering, Hydroelectric engineering. Crop Husbandry, •
Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Plant Pathology, Veterinary
Science, Entomology, Agricultural Economy, Fisheries,
Forestry, Industry and industrial processing -.e.g. chemistry»
sugar refining, textile production, dairy processing, etc., . '
Transport: -Ports, Rivers, Railways, Roads, Airfields,
Statistics, Administration, Finance, Labour, Health,
Education, Police.
22. We suggest that survey and research generally may
conveniently be divided into the following categories:
(i) Initial exploratory surveys in the fields of both
economic 'and social development to examine in general
terms what is required and draw up general plans of
.action. These have hitherto been carried out by
private firms of Consultants (e.g, the Gibb Surveys
of Syria and Lebanon, the Overseas Consultants*
Survey of Persia); by specially appointed
Commissions (e.g. the Haigh Irrigation Commission in
Iraq, the recent United Nations Survey Mission);
and by individuals, including the Advisers to the
Development Division of the British Middle East
(ii) Detailed surveys of specific capital development
projects. These are normally carried out by

About this item


The file contains papers received or created by the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO) relating to the Middle East (Official) Committee. It mostly consists of papers circulated to members of the Committee, received by the CRO. The file also includes: a few items of CRO correspondence with the Cabinet Office and the Offices of the United Kingdom High Commissioners in Karachi and Pretoria; and a register of papers relating to the Committee received or sent by the CRO, with internal CRO correspondence relating to the file, at the back of the file.

The circulated Committee papers consist of:

  • The agendas for, and minutes of, the Committee meetings of 3 and 17 January 1950, at which was discussed Washington discussions on economic and social development in the Middle East, the utilisation of surplus oil revenues in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , technical assistance to the Middle East, and possible requirements of Middle East governments for sterling assistance for economic development.
  • Papers prepared by the Working Party of the Committee on economic and social development in Sudan, the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. States, and technical assistance to the Middle East.
  • A paper stating the Committee’s general policy regarding the promotion of social progress in the Middle East, entitled ‘The Social and Internal Political Implications of Economic Development in the Middle East’, prepared as a brief for the discussions of the Committee Chairman, Michael Wright, with the United States State Department.
  • A record of discussions between Wright and the State Department, on long-range development in the Middle East, held on 14 and 17 November 1949.
  • Minutes of meetings between Wright, and other Foreign Office and British Embassy representatives, and the International Bank, held on 21, 22 and 23 November 1949, and a joint memorandum summarising the result of the discussions.
  • The final report of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East, entitled ‘An Approach to Economic Development in the Middle East’.
  • The United Nations Resolution of 8 December 1949 to set up a Relief and Works Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East.
  • Other papers relating to technical assistance to the Middle East, and possible requests by Middle East Governments for sterling assistance in connection with their development projects in 1950 and 1951.
Extent and format
1 file (161 folios)

The papers are arranged in reverse chronological order from the front to the rear of the file.

Numbers in red pen on the top right hand corner of each item in the file (apart from one item which does not have a number in red pen) refer to entries in the register of papers received and sent by the Commonwealth Relations Office at the back of the file. The copies of papers listed on the register as being sent to the Economic Registry or Mr Thomson (Economic) are not included in the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 161; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 54/1A(S) 'Middle East (Official) Committee: Reconstruction' [‎7r] (14/323), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/4757, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 October 2019]

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