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Wednesday, 25 November 1959

Mr CASEY - by leave - I lay on the table the following paper: -

Report of the Fulbright programme in Australia for the years 1949 to 1959. 1 remind the House that to-morrow, 26th November, is the tenth anniversary of the commencement of the Fulbright programme. Ten years ago to-morrow, the Fulbright agreement was signed by the present Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) in his then capacity as Minister for External Affairs, and the then United States Ambassador to Australia.

I believe that this report will be of value and interest to honorable members generally. lt covers a period of very successful implementation of the mutual reciprocal exchange of academic persons, teachers and the like, between Australia and the United States of America. I pay tribute to Senator Fulbright, now the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate, who was the originator of the legislation which enabled the Fulbright programme to be carried out with Australia. The programme is worldwide in its operation. I think that over forty countries enjoy the privilege of exchanging academic and teaching personnel with the United States.

The programme in Australia was commenced by the agreement of the United States that about 5,000,000 dollars of surplus lend-lease funds remaining in Australia at the end of the war should be used for this purpose. In 1949, it was believed that the fund would last about ten years, but, through prudent management by the council of the Fulbright scheme, the funds are now believed to be sufficient to carry on the scheme for about another five years. Without wishing to give precise figures, I would say that over the last ten years about 500 Australians have been able to visit the United States and continue their studies there for the best part of an academic year, whilst about the same number of Americans have been able to visit Australia for the same period.

One can say with truth that the Fulbright scheme has been a great success, and that it must have resulted in the diffusion of a good deal of knowledge among individuals of some substantial intellectual capacity in Australia and the United States. I think that I can express, on behalf of all honorable members, the gratitude of the Government and the Australian people for this generous gesture by the United States Administration.

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