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Coll 54/1A(S) 'Middle East (Official) Committee: Reconstruction' [‎14r] (28/323)

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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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(b) As far as the provision of loans by the International Bank
was concerned, there were a number of difficulties, of which
the most important was that neither Jordan nor the Sudan were
members of the Bank, and thus in present circumstances were not
eligible for loans’ from it. It was hoped that when Jordan
established an independent currency, they might be able to join
the International Monetary Fund and the Bank, but in the^case
of the Sudan there appeared to be both practical and political-
difficulties, When the question of the Sudan loan had been
raised tentatively v^ith the Treasury by the Sudan Government,
they had been advised to put their case in the first place to
the Foreign Office,
(c) The use of the United Kingdom 18 >o contribution for loans
to the Middle East Governments would involve unrequited exports,
in the same way as 'would the raising of a loan on the London
market. There was, of course, a case for arguing that
investment in the Middle East in the form of capital goods 'would
in the long term be of value to the United Kingdom in retaining
the market for future orders, and in ensuring that we had a
chance of balancing payments with the Middle East in fifteen
or more years’ time. On the other hand, we could not overlook
our present supply position, nor, of course, the essential
question of the customer’s solvency in any particular case,
(d) Any loan raised by the International Bank would entail the
raising of local currency funds either by internal loans or
taxation in the country concerned. The internal financial
position of the Middle East countries differed considerably.
The Bank could not raise a loan in any country for use in
that country.
The Committee then considered what advantage might be
taken of Sir Ernest Rowe-putton’s return to Washington to
put the United Kingdom views before the International Bank
in respect of possible loans to the Middle East, It was
pointed out that in the previous discussions with the Bank
recorded in M,3.(0)(49)36 it was envisaged that the dollar
element to be provided would be on a comparatively small
scale because of the difficulty which recipients would have in
servicing loans in dollars. The Treasury had, however,
suggested that they might prefer dollar loans to cover expenditure
in "the sterling area even with the inherent difficulty of
repayment, rather than sterling loans with the inevitable
consequences on our balance of payments position. The question
was raised whether the task of economic development in the Middle
East should be looked on as primarily a matter for purely
Anglo-American co-operation, and if we were over-zealous in
encouraging the International Bank to take an interest in this
matter we might be asked to state more clearly what sterling
contribution we ourselves were prepared to undertake. On the
other hand, both from the political and defence point of view
the Middle East w: s an area of crucial importance; the size
of the problem had been shown to be more manageable than
might prove to be the case with other areas, and United States
interest in it had already been stimulated. It was therefore
agreed that the line to be adopted by Sir Ernest Rowe-Dutton

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' [‎14r] (28/323), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/4757, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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