81. Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Marks) to President Johnson1

Our offices in Europe report the need for continuing efforts in informing responsible audiences of developments in Vietnam and the extent of U.S. participation.

To carry out this responsibility, I have arranged with the Department of State to send teachers, writers, and others capable of interpreting our policy.

At the same time, we have sent American experts from other U.S. Government agencies using PL–480 funds for travel.2 For example, a [Page 234] senior AID official who formerly was in charge of Vietnamese affairs in Washington has just completed a very successful tour, and the deputy chief of the USIS mission in Vietnam will be used for this purpose on his way to Washington for home leave.

Based upon these experiences, I would like to suggest:

(1) That State, AID, Agriculture, HEW, and USIA each assign one man to a traveling task force to meet with important policy-determining groups in Europe for the next several months.

(2) That individual members of the task force be assigned at the earliest possible date to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, and Austria for speaking engagements as soon as suitable arrangements can be completed.

If you approve, I will undertake to coordinate this assignment.3

Leonard H. Marks
  1. Source: Johnson Library, White House Central Files, Subject Files, Federal Government Organizations, EX FG 296, Box FG–315, FG 296 4/25/67–6/15/67. No classification marking.
  2. Reference is to the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, which President Eisenhower signed into law on July 10, 1954. (Public Law (P.L.) 480 (68 Stat. 454)) The law established the Food For Peace program. Under its provisions, the United States could make concessional sales of surpluses grains to friendly nations, earmark commodities for domestic and foreign disaster relief, and barter surpluses for strategic materials.
  3. The President did not approve or disapprove the recommendations but below the recommendations Johnson wrote: “Send to Rusk direct for his decision. L.” A notation in an unknown hand below Marks’ signature reads: “Msg Relayed to Mr. Marks Mar 15 12:30 p.”