222. Note From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


A shrill scream on long staple cotton, which I just heard about from State (I do wish Francis would clue the rest of us on the things with political hooks attached).

NEA is terrified that our doing something we’ve never done before will be taken by Cairo as a clear signal that we’ve changed our policy—coming just after Eshkol visit.2 I gather Peru will scream too.

Can’t this decision be stalled until November? I realize that favorable market is reason for moving now, but how much net gain is there for US? Does LBJ need any more political support? And are the financial gains enough to justify?

At minimum, if we do go ahead, let’s be sure to explain first to Lima and Cairo why we’re doing so. This might help a little.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Trade—General, Vol. I [1 of 2], Box 47. Secret. An attached note from Bator to Buddy, dated June 8, notes that a meeting had been scheduled for Thursday, June 11, at 2:30 p.m. to resolve the dispute between the Departments of State and Agriculture over whether the Commodity Credit Corporation should be authorized to export domestic extra-long staple cotton at a subsidized price.
  2. Israeli Prime Minister Eshkol made an official visit to Washington June 1–3.