92. Report Prepared in the Department of State1

Presidential Directive of February 2, 19662

The following is an account of what the Department has done to carry out the directive of the President in his special Message on International Health and Education on February 2.

1. The Interagency Council on International Educational and Cultural Affairs, chaired by Assistant Secretary Charles Frankel recorded at its meeting on May 10, the following action in the relevant section of the minutes of that meeting. (Attachment 1)3

2. Assistant Secretary Frankel has requested that geographic offices in his Bureau urgently survey possibilities for holding regional seminars and colloquies abroad and report to him by the end of June. Meanwhile, he is reserving the sum of $1 million, part or all of which will be devoted to such seminars, provided the survey reveals significant possibilities. The subject of seminars has also been discussed at conferences of Cultural Affairs Officers. The Far Eastern officers have made the following suggestions which are now being reviewed:

(1) The inclusion of Southeast Asians in the highly successful Kyoto American Studies seminars, held annually, thus providing a new multinational dimension.

(2) A regional center for international seminars to be established in Bangkok to which scholars from the nearby countries of Laos, Viet-Nam, Cambodia, and Burma might be invited.

(3) If the binational foundation is established in India, seminars could be held there on various subjects and might include scholars from the Far East, as well as Near East and South Asia.

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The Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange Between East and West,4 a cooperative project of the U.S. Government and the University of Brazil, has sponsored small, multinational conferences in such subjects as world health problems, international development, and communications, and as a regular part of its academic program has brought together senior specialists from Asia and the Pacific, as well as the United States, to explore problems of common concern. These programs of the East-West Center will be continued and their applicability to other areas explored.

The Bureau will continue to cooperate with seminars, conferences, and international meetings held in this country of relevance to our exchange program (such as the International Conference on Social Work). This means timing the visits of international visitors in such a way that they can take advantage of international meetings of special interest to them.

3. The Department has continued to look to UNESCO, and the other U.N. agencies and regional organizations of which the United States is a member, to provide forums for seeking answers to the common problems of mankind. Following conversations held between the Secretary and the Director-General in November, 1965,5 and pursuant to the Presidential Message of February 2, Assistant Secretary Frankel has carried on the discussion verbally and in an exchange of letters with the Director-General. Technical problems affect the holding of such meetings. The Department and the Director-General have agreed to the meeting of legal specialists within the next two months to solve these problems. Also, discussions have been opened with UNESCO concerning the following two meetings:

International Meetings on the Use and Conservation of Resources of the Biosphere.

Meeting of Experts on the Creation and Development of Cultural Centers.

4. The Secretary and the Attorney General have issued instructions for new procedures with regard to visas for visitors invited to attend international meetings in the United States. As discussed in the attached press release (Attachment 2),6 these new procedures provide for blanket waivers to participants in international meetings.

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These procedures were first employed in processing delegates to the meeting of the International Congress of P.E.N. (organization of poets, playwrights, essayists and novelists) being held at New York University June 12–18. The application of the procedures was a notable success, and brought favorable recognition from officials of the organization at the opening session, as well as in the press. A request for the blanket waiver for participants in the XXVII International Congress of Orientalists, to be held at the University of Michigan in August, 1967, is now being processed.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Files, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Subject Files, 1965–1966, Lot 69D260, Entry UD UP 175, Box 21, 1966—EDU 3—Conferences & Organizations. No classification marking. According to an undated covering memorandum from Read to Rostow, the memorandum was drafted by Sandvos and Betz on June 17; cleared by Frankel and in substance by Simpson (SCA) and Parelman (OIC). An unknown hand wrote “June 18, 1966” on the covering memorandum.
  2. According to the Presidential Directive, which Johnson described in his February 2 special message to Congress (see footnote 3, Document 89): “We are ready to serve as host to international gatherings. I have therefore called on the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to explore ways to remove unnecessary hindrances in granting visas to guests invited from abroad.” (Public Papers: Johnson, 1966, Book I, p. 132)
  3. Not attached.
  4. Reference is to the institution, also referred to as the East-West Center, which was established by P.L. 86–472, Chapter VII, and signed into law by President Eisenhower on May 14, 1960.
  5. No record of these conversations has been found.
  6. Not attached.