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British and American policies in tropical Africa

A Press release by the Provost
14-16 June 1962
 
The three-day conference at Ditchley on policies in Tropical Africa, under the Chairmanship of the Earl of Perth ended today [Saturday 16th June 1962].

After the conference the Provost of Ditchley, Mr. H. V. Hodson, gave the following outline of the discussions:

1. British and American policies were reviewed with particular regard to their effect on Anglo-American relations: the giving of aid and the position of those British territories not yet independent were given special attention.

2. Generally it was recognised that basic American and British interests in Tropical Africa were identical, namely, to help the African peoples of all races, in line with their own wishes, to achieve and maintain, in peace, effective independence on a sound economic basis.

3. To the extent that the U.S.A. and the U.K. were affected by particular commercial and strategic interests in that part of the world these were complementary and were not in conflict with the interests of truly independent states.

4. In Central Africa judgments in the two countries might differ on the timing and method of achieving independence. In this connection, it must be remembered that the U.K., unlike the U.S.A., has direct responsibilities which govern her policies.

5. Government aid should continue to take many forms, international, multilateral and bilateral. But knowledge and co-ordination of what the several Western countries were doing was of great importance, and the need for some central clearing house for such information was expressed.

6. In the sphere of aid the importance of providing personnel was emphasised, with special reference to education end technical and agricultural training. It was necessary to ensure that such aid was suited to local requirements.

7. Non-governmental aid was of great importance, for example, the work of the churches in education, and that of commercial and business concerns, which played a vital part in teaching the peoples ordinary skills and providing jobs and economic advancement. Stability was essential for business investment, and the study of insurance against political and other risks was welcomed.

8. Tribute was paid to the value of these frank and confidential exchanges in dissipating misunderstandings on either side and in leading to constructive ideas.

The Provost, at the invitation of the conference, undertook to consider how work in this important sector of Anglo-American relations might be continued under Ditchley auspices in the future.

The conference was attended by thirty British and American experts, drawn from the official, Parliamentary, business, academic ad other fields concerned with Africa, and by a representative of the World Bank.

Press cutting: The Times, 15 June, 1962
BRITISH, U.S. AIMS IN AFRICA CONCUR:
INDEPENDENCE AND PEACE

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT

OXFORD, JUNE 14

Britain and the United States have the same interest in tropical Africa—to help African peoples of all races to achieve and maintain in peace effective independence on a sound economic basis.

This is one of the conclusions reached at a three-day Anglo-American conference on tropical Africa at Ditchley Park, Oxfordshire, which ended today.

The conference, attended by 30 British and American experts drawn from Parliament, business, the Civil Service, the universities, and other fields of interest in Africa, took place behind closed doors. But an outline of the discussions was given later today by the Provost -of Ditchley, Mr. H. V. Hodson.

He said that in discussions of British and American policies the giving of aid and the position of British territories not yet independent were given special attention. It was generally recognized that the interests of Britain and the United States in tropical Africa were identical. Their strategic and commercial interests in these countries did not conflict with the interests of truly independent states.

TIMING DIFFERENCES
In central Africa judgments in the two countries might differ on the timing and method of achieving independence. In this connexion it must be remembered that the United Kingdom, unlike the United States, had direct responsibilities which governed her policies. Coordination of the various forms of aid given by the western countries was thought to be of great importance and the need for some central clearing house for information about this was emphasized.

“In the sphere of aid”, the statement continued, “the importance of personnel was emphasized, with special reference to education and technical and agricultural training. It was necessary to ensure that such aid was suited to local requirements.

“Non-governmental aid was of great importance; for example, the work of the churches in education, and that of commercial and business concerns which played a vital part in teaching the people ordinary skills and providing jobs and economic advancement. Stability was essential for business investment, and the study of insurance against political and other risks was welcomed.”

Tribute was paid, the statement added, to the value of these “frank and confidential exchanges” and at the invitation of the conference Mr. Hodson agreed to consider how work in this important field of Anglo- American relations might be continued under Ditchley’s auspices.

The chairman of the conference was Lord Perth, a former Minister of State for the Colonies.