Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Truman
Memorandum for the President
Subject: Actions to Implement the President’s Proposal for Technical Assistance to Underdeveloped Areas
1. Unified Government Position
The first requirement for the program of increased technical assistance to other countries is a unified Administration position on organization and broad lines of policy. In order to formulate such a position, interdepartmental consultation is being initiated immediately through the Executive Committee for Economic Foreign Policy.1 The Committee’s membership will be augmented for these discussions by representatives of all non-member departments and agencies having a major interest in the program. Other interdepartmental machinery will be utilized where appropriate.
2. The Broad Aspects of a Program
In the light of experience with technical assistance programs financed partly or wholly by the United States Government* and the objectives stated in the inaugural address, recommendations will be made to the President concerning:
- The kinds of assistance and operating techniques likely to be most effective;
- The criteria and priorities to be taken into consideration in approving projects;
- The extent to which international organizations should be used in providing such assistance; and
- Any additional legislative authority and appropriations needed to carry out this program.
3. Organization Required
In the light of the policies approved, recommendations will be made concerning:
- A continuing interdepartmental organization for policy formulation;
- A small executive staff; and
- Decentralization of operations among the various appropriate government departments and agencies.
4. Consultation on Development of the Program and on its Operation
- Consultations should be undertaken with Congressional leaders as soon as the general outlines of this program have been approved.
- Advice should be sought from private business, organized labor, agricultural organizations, educational and other professional groups, etc., with particular emphasis on ways in which the sharing of scientific and industrial technology through private channels can be encouraged and facilitated. Support for, and supplementation of, the government’s program should be sought from these private groups and individuals, probably through a continuing advisory organization.
- The needs of other countries for technical assistance, their potential contribution to a mutually beneficial program, and the procedures to be utilized in exchanging such assistance should be discussed at an early stage with representatives of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, of the Organization of American States, and of individual foreign governments. The cooperative nature of the program should be stressed to the greatest possible extent.
5. Information Program
The information facilities of the Department of State should be fully utilized to publicize the purpose and nature of the President’s proposal, and its implementation.2
- The Executive Committee on Economic Foreign Policy (ECEFP) was an interdepartmental committee established on April 18, 1944, under authority of a letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Secretary of State dated April 5, 1944. Membership consisted of the Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Labor, and Treasury; the Bureau of the Budget; the National Security Resources Board; and the Tariff Commission. Also represented as appropriate were the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Export–Import Bank. A complete file of ECEFP minutes of meetings, documents, reports, decisions, etc., exists in Department of State Lot File 122.↩
- (including both bilateral programs—such as those under the Interdepartmental Committee on Scientific and Cultural Cooperation, the Institute of Inter-American Affairs and the Economic Cooperation Administration—and the programs undertaken by the United Nations and its specialized agencies and by the Organization of American States) [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- Notation at the end: “Approved Harry S. Truman.”↩