196. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Battle) to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • Support for the UN Bond Issue

As you requested of Mr. Wallner on behalf of the President, here is an outline of State Department activities designed to arouse public support for the UN bond issue. They are designed to make use of existing private organizations to supplement the major effort going into Congressional testimony and constant liaison with key members of the Congress.

The United States Committee for the United Nations, under the Chairmanship of Robert Benjamin, is circulating material to 20,000 community leaders suggesting letters to Congress; offering supplies of the President’s message2 and other materials to 136 member organizations; and planning spot announcements for local radio stations.

The American Association for the United Nations has distributed copies of the President’s message, an editorial by Norman Cousins, and a Fact Sheet to 10,000 small town dailies and weeklies; sent a similar packet to all AAUN chapters with suggestions for local campaigns of support; and sent a background piece on the Congo, tied to the bond issue, to both local chapters and the 10,000 newspapers. In response to a letter from the AAUN, former President Truman will hold a press conference in Kansas City, probably the week after next, to announce his support of UN bonds. Funds are being sought for newspaper ads.

A briefing session has been held in Washington for officials of twenty-three national organizations representing labor, professional, farm, veterans, womens’, educational, church, and student constituencies. Some have started alerting their members through mailings, house organ articles and other means, and others are expected to do so. Some of these organizations are urging local chapter members to call on Congressmen home for Lincoln and Jackson Day events.

Regional briefing sessions, held by the Department of State in Chicago and Minneapolis last week, including a presentation of the case for the bond issue.

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Copy for newspaper ads, hopefully to be sponsored by a group of businessmen, is under preparation. State will consult with Ralph Dungan re financing and sponsorship.

USUN is working with NGOs in New York and Ambassador Klutznick briefed a group of New York businessmen last week. Governor Stevenson’s television program last Sunday was devoted to the bond issue.

Personal calls have been made on a number of organizations, including the Committee for Economic Development, the U.S. Council of the International Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, seeking support from the organizations, their executive committees, or their officers.

It is clear from efforts to date that the principal problem lies with the business community. It is indicative that in private sessions, the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce approved unanimously the UN bond issue, but the Government Operations Committee unanimously disapproved, thus throwing the issue to the Board of Directors, which meets in April.

You also asked about the possibility of an announcement of purchase of UN bonds by Germany during the course of Congressional hearings. The Secretary discussed this with the German Ambassador last Friday prior to his return to Bonn yesterday.3 He strongly urged a maximum pledge to purchase UN bonds and a prompt public announcement in the interests of Germany, of the United Nations, and of the Administration’s effort to secure Congressional authorization. An informal aide-memoire along these lines was presented to the German Ambassador.4 Mr. Eugene Black previously urged the head of the Central Bank to support German subscription to the bonds. The Department will continue to press for favorable German action, but it is uncertain at this time what success we shall have. A complicating factor is Chancellor Adenauer’s desire not to appear at cross purpose with General DeGaulle at this time.

MH Manfull5
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Subjects Series, United Nations (General), 1/62–2/62, Box 311. Official Use Only.
  2. For text of the President’s message to Congress on January 30 transmitting a bill for the purchase of UN bonds, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, pp. 81–82.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. Not found.
  5. Manfull signed for Battle above Battle’s typed signature.