Congregation Address
Friday, May 26th, 1961
By The Right Honourable Sir Oliver Franks, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., C.B.E., Ll.D.
The University Of British Coluivibia
Vancouver, Canada

Mr. Chancellor, Mr. President, Fellow Members of the University of British Columbia, Ladies and Gentlemen:

First, I would like to say with what pleasure and pride I now find myself an accredited member of your Academic Society. I have known about the University of British Columbia for a good many years now, for I have worked in different capacities with a large number of Canadians, and I have yet to meet one who did not speak in terms of admiration, or — if they had been less fortunate — sometimes with envy, of this University on the West Coast. I am very proud to have entered your Society.

I want to talk to you for a little this afternoon about one aspect of the world that most of us live in, and the rest of you will be entering now that you graduate — an aspect which is international, and which came to my mind about sixteen months ago, when I was in India and Pakistan. I was there for about eight weeks as the guest of the two governments; I had been asked to go there to look at their plans for economic development, and try to form some understanding and some estimate of them. In the course of this duty my wife and I travelled over the length and the breadth, both of Pakistan and of India, and I want just to recall for a moment one particular day. This was in West Pakistan, and we set out from Lahore, along the line of the Great Trunk Road that Kipling once wrote about. You can forget about his political views and his attitudes, but he was a wonderful reporter, and if any of you have ever read 'Kim’, there is the gun, Zanzana, in Lahore, just as he describes it, shining brass today. Well, we left Lahore and went up through Rawalpindi to Peshawar. In the morning we went up the Khyber Pass right to the frontiers of Afghanistan, and stood on this astonishing road, through which the peoples of the world have entered India from pre-history through all history, until the days of the Mongols before the British were in India 250 years ago. Then we came back to Peshawar, and in the afternoon we went some 20 miles across the plain northwards until we came to where the hills — the great hills that lead on to the mountains of the Pamirs begin to rise out of the plain. There the Kabul River leaves the mountains, flows through the plains, until it joins the Indus, and there stands a great work of modern engineering a great concrete dam, the water behind it backing up 17 or 19 miles, down below the turbine house with its engines, nearly finished when we saw it — the work of Canadians, the gift of Canada to Pakistan.

What will it do? It will — produce power, first and foremost — power to enable the industries of that part of Pakistan to function; cement factories to build smaller dams for Agriculture; power for cotton factories, to spin and to weave the cotton they produce; sugar factories to convert the cane they grow, and so on; and with the spare water that they can canalize from the overflow, they will take it away and fertilize and irrigate thousands of acres of dry and thirsty land — good soil that grows nothing at present. And this is what you are doing — you in Canada — for your friends in Pakistan.

I met, and I talked with, your Engineers who were near completion of this job. You know, it's all part of the Colombo Plan, whereby the more developed countries of the Commonwealth help and assist those who are on the road to development and not so far advanced. I talked with the Canadian Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineers — they've been there two, three, four years. It's a vast thing that they're doing, and I found that they were interested and excited, as were the Pakistanis, in the prospects of what this dam, when completed, the power generated when it was working., the new water supply for irrigation -- what these things would do for the far northwest of Pakistan. Well, I saw all this, I looked and I marvelled, and I thought how wonderful it was that you here — right across the other side of the Atlantic from the Old World — were doing this, not for gain but because, you thought, that it was right that a part of your resources, in money and in manpower, should be devoted to this end, and these reflections came into my mind when I thought about this Canadian job on the Indian sub-continent.

First of all, you know it seems to me that in my lifetime, which is a little less than the years of the century, but not all that much — in my lifetime, I think that in the history of the world we've closed, not a chapter, but a whole book — a whole book of chapters. The book I'm talking about began when Henry the Navigator, King of Portugal, sent his Admirals and Sea Captains round Africa, towards the end of the 15th century to discover how to get to the East and to the Far East, without having to go overland, trying to break the monopoly of the Arab merchants who controlled the spice trade to Europe. Late 15th century — 450 years ago — and since then how much of the history of the world has been written from Western Europe outwards! The history of discovery and exploration, some kinds of exploitation, later of rule — often of influence, decisive influence. It is this book the book of the role of Western Europe in the world — begun under Henry the Navigator 450 years ago, — that has been closed in my lifetime.

You know what has happened. You probably think first of the emergence of the two giants of our age, the United States and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, and you think of that tension which exists between the Atlantic nations on the one hand, with their focus in Washington — and the Communist countries on the other, with their centre in Moscow. This is one of the changes, for through nearly all the periods, that I have been talking about, these two peoples — the Americans and the Russians — were almost wholly absorbed in pursuing their own destiny within their own vast realms, and took but little interest, often not much part, in the general ordering of things in the world.

But you know, I don't think that this — the emergence of the two great giants — is a new thing, that makes the book that I’ve talked about ended in my lifetime. What has really ended the book is something which I’m sure that — when the historians look back 100 years from now — will seem to them more significant, more fruitful in consequences, for good or for evil, than the emergence — that emergence which the prophet foresaw more than 150 years ago, of the United States and of Russia. What I mean, is the uncovering of the globe from the dominance of Western Europe — the emergence, not by ones and twos, but by tens, by scores of the new peoples, the new nations, who now assemble in New York at the United Nations, all of whom — full of national sentiment, keen, lively ambition, seek to develop themselves and move along the path of industrial development, Look at Africa, look at the Middle East, look at South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Archipelagos of the Pacific. This is the new thing, that many, many nations in my lifetime have set themselves on the road of development; independent, proud, sensitive, wanting to got on and to build themselves up, and I am quite sure that this is the first chapter of a new book that, in my lifetime, and your working lifetimes, will begin to be written.

I sometimes think of the problem of the two giants — the problem of the relations between us on the two sides of the Atlantic, with the peoples that gather around Russia, as the East-West problem. Here we are, to the west; there they are, to the east; and you all know how difficult that problem is, and how we — we in Canada or in the United Kingdom or in the United States — are gathered together in the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, trying to defend ourselves where. ever it’s necessary, against the tension that exists between these two poles. But this other thing I'm talking about, I give a different name to; I call it the North-South problem. If you think of it, the countries which are advanced in industrialization nearly all happen to be to the north of the globe — you here, the Americans, the North American continent, the Swedes, the British, the French, the Germans, the Italians, the Russians, the Czecho-Slovakians, the Japanese all advanced on the road of industrial development. Now, you place yourself in your mind's eye up at the north pole. Have a look. What's to the south of us all? The underdeveloped peoples of Central America and Latin America, Africa, Asia, all around underneath, to the south. The North-South problem is the new problem, when the new nations have come up and the world is uncovered, and the problem is that of the right relationship between the industrialized countries to the north and the developing peoples to the south. This is the problem that came into my mind — the problem of 'aid' when I looked at what you Canadians were doing on that Kabul River, where it came out of the mountains onto the plain, and it's this that I want just to talk about for a little bit this afternoon.

A hundred years ago everybody would have thought it absurd that a country with high standards of living, relatively industrialized, should suddenly begin to think it should give aid to another country. It would have seemed absurd; it really wouldn't have entered anybody's head. Why should we think of it now? It's a new idea — new in my lifetime, new in the latter part of my lifetime — this last twenty years; it's rather queer. If you look at it from the point of view of the new nations, they want to get on and develop, they want industrial and economic development, and quickly. They feel — and who are we to say they are wrong — they feel that developing their economy, that having the things that we have, is just part of being a nation, part of the definition of their nationhood; and what's more, their peoples expect it of their governments; their governments won't stay in power unless they can begin to do this for them. They need it they need it quick. But how do you do it, if you're an underdeveloped — a developing people and nation? Nearly all the millions who live to the south of us are on the margin of subsistence; it’s the few who are not. Development means capital; capital means savings. How do you save, if you're living on the margin — the margin of subsistence? Two ways — the forced savings of dictatorship — tyranny can always push down the level of the standard of living that little inch further to screw the savings out to produce development, to produce that flow of capital which brings industry and strengthens the economy. But if you don't want tyranny, if you don't want dictatorship, then what alternative is there to get people out of this vicious circle, where low standards of living mean that you can't save, and because you can't save you can't better the standards of living, because you can't do the capital development that only the savings will give. How do you get out of it? Well, if you don't take the line of tyranny and forced savings, then that capital flow has got to come from outside, for the time being, until the particular people, the particular nation, has generated its own steam, so to speak, and has reached the standard of life whereby it can achieve its own savings, and move ahead under its own steam. That's from the point of view of the developing peoples. But what about us? Why should you in Canada, or we in the United Kingdom, or they in the United States, why should all of us be interested? I don't think this is a matter of sentiment; I don't think it's just a matter of moral obligation. I think it's more than that, or less than that; it's a matter of enlightened self-interest. After all, it's a platitude to say nowadays that the world's becoming one; but there are lots of ways in which it's not. It's certainly not less quarrelsome than it was, but there is a sense in which it is. Think of the places where things have gone wrong recently. Algeria go back a little — Suez; Cuba; Laos. What happens in any one of those places matters to us all. We don't know, ever, when something burns up somewhere in the world, that the fire there will stay there.

We're all concerned; we all mind; because the world is one, and you don't know how wide the consequences of trouble anywhere may spread; you can't get out of it; this world is one, in that sense.

Industrialized nations want to export; they mike a lot of things, manufactured articles. Who to? They can't live entirely by taking in each other's washing; they've got to find other customers too. They'll only find them as their production increases if the developing peoples increase their standards of living, want to buy more, can buy more. There are markets in this — this is enlightened self-interest. It's part of the reason why the industrial nations of the north want to do something about the peoples in the south, which is of mutual interest. The peoples of the south want to develop; we want them developed, to enter the world trading community — for our sake as well as theirs. There's the basis of an agreement there. And then, lastly. You know, it matters what sort of a world we live in. It matters that tyranny and dictatorship should not spread further than they now are, that governments which are relatively free, that institutions and practices which are relatively free, should flourish and abound, that we should have friends up and down the world, that the continents should not be separated from another by great ravines of difference in political systems — and all this is bound up in the relationships of the developed, industrialized countries of the north to the developing nations to the south. This is why it matters. This is why the North-South problem is so important, why it's the problem of the rest of this century, and I think there's no greater mistake than to begin muddling it up with the other the East-West problem. The North-South problem, how we deal with the developing peoples, how they deal with us — this is not a department, a sub-department of the East-West problem of how we get on or fail to get on with the Russians and the Chinese. If what we do with the developing peoples is done simply as a means to an end of scoring a tactical point in the struggle with the Communist world, do you think that the developing peoples are such fools? Do you think they can't see when they're being. used as tools, as a means to an end, and do you think that this operation of mutual self-interest will go through, if it is not mutual at all, if people are simply being used as pawns in the great game of the world? No, no, that's how to lose it. It's no good at all. You're dealing with nations, with peoples as independent as you are, or as we are, in spirit and in feeling, and they have to be dealt with — surely — in terms of their own being, their own interests, their own rights, and not as a means to this other great problem, the East-West problem. That’s got to be sorted out as best it can, and so has North-South — each on its merits.

Why aid? Why not trade? Well, there's got to be both, but I'm talking, remember, about capital development — the flow of capital, to enable industry to be built, plants to rise.. machines to begin working. Suppose that we wore thinking of a country that isn't developed at all. Suppose that what they want most is communications some roads., some railroads, some harbour installations — all the things that go to-clay by the fashionable word 'infrastructure'., if you've heard it. I don't know what it means — it belongs to a younger generation; I expect you do. But all these things that you've got to have, in order to move about and do anything — these things pay for themselves slowly. They pay off in the general development if the economy. You can't, from the outset, lend money, and get your capital and interest paid back fast, if this is what's needed, and it is what's needed. A lot of what you have to do at the beginning is aid — not trade; that comes along in rows as economies develop, and it takes over when they reach a certain stage, but if you think you can do it all with trade to begin with, and all your loans are short term, they've got to be paid back — capital and interest — quick; all that happens is the economy seizes up, there's a balance of payments crisis, you didn’t get your money, they don't get their development; it doesn't add up. There's got to be aid, and there's got to be trade, and aid comes in quite large early on.

A lot of people — when they talk about aid — talk about Marshall Aid. I was a recipient of Marshall Aid in my country; I received it from you and from the United States, 1948, ‘49, ‘50, ‘51 — my country, and the countries of Western Europe, and in four years we were back on our feet — flourishing., prosperous, hard at work, wealthy. A lot of people think of this North-South problem, of aid to the underdeveloped, just as if it was like that -- make a great effort, you'll be over and done with it. Nothing could be less true. Think of the differences. What have you got across the Atlantic in Western Europe? Old industrialized countries — one, the cradle of the industrial revolution; tons of thousands of skilled workers, skilled management, all the human facilities you needed. What was missing? Food, raw materials., steel, cotton, aluminum. Where were they at the end of the Second World War? They wore in the North American continent, waiting fox dollars to buy them. You provided the dollars — you and the United States; the peoples of Western Europe got food and raw materials; they wore able to recover, because they had this enormous shot in the arm; they could got working quickly, but the difficult things, the slow things, the building up of managerial skills, of administrative skills, of great bodies of skilled workmen, that they had all the while; that's why it was fast, that's why it was quick; that's why Marshall Aid could be a four-year program, but don’t let us fool ourselves. When you're dealing with the recovery of the developed who are down, it's a different thing from dealing with the development of the under-developed; that's long term. Just think how long did it take the United Kingdom to become industrialized: I'd say sixty years — two generations, from about the beginning of the 19th century to round about 1850. Germany — another sixty years; the United States — 1850 or 1860 to about 1900, about sixty years again, two generations. Why should everybody else be able to do it that much faster? You know, it's not true, it's not true. The difficult things are not the provision of machines, they're not the blueprints for industrial plants, they're creating a body of skilled workers, a body of managers, a body of scientists, a body of technologist s, who have not merely learned things out of books, but can use what they've learned, understand the stuff, can apply it; and this means whole revolutions in attitudes of mind, in ways of thought, in the whole approach to living, and this is what takes time. The development of the under-developed countries, the solution of the North-South problem — this is going to take all the years that remain of this century, and probably more.

So what I want to say to you on this is, you've got life in front of you; this is one of the things you're going to live with all your working lives; it's going to need a lot of patience. You'll want to be over and done with it; so will your friends to the south of. the border, who like to be over and done with things and in with the next; they'll not be done with this, nor will we over in Europe; it'll go on and on, and the first requirement of statesmanship from the industrialized nations of the north is a whole lot of patience. One other point. Not only patience, but wisdom — a scarce property, difficult to acquire and, when acquired, difficult to keep, but have you thought — suppose that we were a developing country — you Canadians, we English, the Americans — how would you like to be told, look, you'd do much better, if you'd just take over some of our institutions you know — and have a market here, an international market, have a free economy, have a Parliament, or a Congress, do these various things that we do; we've found they work; you try them; they'll be quick with you too. What could be less true? You cannot take institutions out of the living context of one political body and graft them onto another, and think they'll live and that they'll harmonize with that system. Just think what would happen in London if you tried to swap our Parliament for the two houses of the U.S. Congress; or the opposite; or set either of them up in Ottawa. Wouldn't do at all, you know. You've got your own way of doing things — so have we and so have the Americans. This springs out of history; this springs out of political, cultural, geographical, climatic factors; every nation is it's own self, and you can't begin taking limbs off one and transplant it to the other. People have to grow up their own way and so have new nations, and this means they will set about their problems not in the way we think is best but in the way that comes natural to them and it will often be different, and it will be different in one particular way for certain. I said their peoples will certainly expect their governments to got on with the job of development. If they are going to stay in power they have got to do it, and this means the government must got into the game. They've got to, to survive. There is going to be a lot of governmental management in most developing countries, not because they have taken a political view, not because they think it is the best way of doing things, but because it is the only way they can do it, and it is no good us — England, Canada, the United States — saying, "We don't like it that way; you take your government out of it". They can’t, they won't, they shouldn't. They are in this generation, not in the earlier one, and their governments have got to get into it. Otherwise they would be thrown out, and the government that was put in — was elected — would be into the game at once; you would get no change. This is just a fact and it takes wisdom to live with it, just as much wisdom as it takes a father and mother to live with a daughter or a son between 17 and 21, and you will learn not now but a bit later that that amount of wisdom is unlimited and rarely achieved. Now the relation between the industrialized countries to the north and the developing peoples to the south, is not that of mother and child or father and son. Not at all. We are dealing with a community of free and independent nations, but if you take the relationship and the wisdom involved, this alone is much the same.

That is about all that I wanted to say to you this afternoon, but if you've got strength, I am going to give you about four more minutes on this.

A lot of people say well this sounds fine. Aid, yes. Trade, yes. More trade as development goes on, it is very important, but how can we ever meet the bill? Surely, when we think of all the peoples to the south in the whole sweep from east to west, we the relatively few industrialized countries of the world, we can't take this on. Is it true? Now I am going to do a little piece of phoney arithmetic in front of you. It is phoney because it is wildly over simplified; it is not accurate, but I think it gives the dimensions of the problem I am talking about. And in this sense it doesn't lie.

When I was in India — and Pakistan — the sub-Continent of India — I was among more than five hundred million people. If you take all the developing nations I have been talking about — Central and Latin America, Africa, Middle East, South Asia, South-East Asia, Pacific, all of them; they are about one thousand., two hundred and fifty million. So, first exercise in easy arithmetic, the Indian Sub-Continent — India and Pakistan — two fifths of the whole in population — five hundred million out of twelve hundred and fifty million.

The Indians are just starting their third five year plan. Five-year plans, you know, have a certain popularity, practised in a number of countries. The Pakistanis are starting their second Five-year plan. Each of these asks for quite a lot of foreign exchange.

This is the aid you see — expressed in terms of money. The things they want from abroad — the machines, the facilities, which costs dollars, sterling, Deutsch Marks, whatever it is. Now, what the Indians are asking for over five years — two Billion sterling using Billion in the Trans-Atlantic sense; two thousand million in my language — the Pakistanis 0.6, or in dollars — 5.6 Billion for India — 1.7 for Pakistan--dollars. 7.3, altogether, billion dollars. Now this is an asking price. This is what these two countries think that they can actually live with, and use if it was given. Probably they can't use it quite all. Everybody tends to over estimate what he can do. Even students preparing for an examination. But what would this come to in dollars a year? Roughly, 7.3 divided by five.

National Income--Gross National Product of countries. U.S. five hundred million plus, U.K. seventy million slightly plus, West Germany seventy million slightly plus, — yourselves, you know better than I, 32-33 million, something like that.

Put it all together, roughly speaking, the U.S. National income, two thirds of the whole, the rest of us one third. Suppose you take a proportion of the aid asked for and split it among the relative national incomes of the industrialized countries. What are the shares? Well I make it simply by this arithmetic — no serious considerations taken into account, just arithmetic — I make it that the U.K. would have to produce about three hundred million dollars a year, Say, one hundred and twenty million pounds sterling. That you would have to produce something like one hundred and forty million dollars a year, forty-five million pounds sterling. Very roughly a half of one percent of the national income. Now all of us reckon to grow and most years we do, by one, two, or three per cent per annum. The issue here is whether we are prepared to forego a fraction of the annual increase of our prosperity, not more than that.

Therefore if we decided, putting these figures together, that we wanted to do this, we could. That is what came into my mind when I looked at your dam on the Kabul River, in Pakistan. I venture to talk to you because I think that for you this problem of development, this problem of the relation of the North and the South of the industrialized peoples and the developing peoples — the problem of aid — the problem of developing trade between them — the problem of whether the money can be found, to enable the things that are needed to flow. All these things are one of the great problems of your lives. No nation in the industrialized North will be able to live to itself alone, nor within its own group — the industrialized society. It will live with this problem I have been trying to describe, every month of every year — for the next forty or fifty years — and I suggest to you in all humility, that it is one of the things, that in the busy press of life, earning a living, getting on with things., you might spare a thought for occasionally, because if you don't, it will thrust itself upon you; you won't be able to escape it. Anymore than you can be unconcerned when a torch begins burning in South-East Asia, or down in the Caribbean, or away there at the Junction of Asia and Africa. It could mean anything and everything for any of us, and so can the right resolution of the North-South problem the problem of the developed and the under-developed — and the right relationship. Not one of subservience, but one of co-partnership, between those who have gone further along the road and those who are beginning to tread it, and want to move surely and certainly and more speedily along it.

Mr. Chancellor, Mr. President, follow members, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you.