145. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State1
888. For Secretary and Wilcox. Re foreign economic aid. In view of President’s statement at press conference today2 supporting idea of multilateral fund for economic aid under auspices of UN, I recommend that US Representative at summer session of ECOSOC, which begins first week July, be authorized to announce US willingness to support creation of such fund. Proposal would involve no extra funds by US beyond those already appropriated for economic aid abroad, but would mean ear-marking 6 to 8 percent of annual appropriation for economic aid. At no extra cost, therefore, we would stand to gain much. I have assurances from Secretary-General that a US citizen would be appointed to administer program. Delay is dangerous because of possibility of Russians beating US to it and making similar offer first. US support of such a multilateral fund [Page 379]would, if proclaimed promptly, counteract present shift in USSR tactics. It should appear as genuine initiative and not last-ditch rearguard action. We must also divert energies now supporting SUNFED into realistic channels. All this argues for announcement not later than July session of ECOSOC.