354. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1


  • Authorization to Sign the International Grains Arrangement

At Tab A is Nick Katzenbach’s memo recommending that you authorize the Secretary or Acting Secretary of Agriculture to sign the International Grains Arrangement.2 John Schnittker and Bill Roth concur in this recommendation. If you approve, a full power authorizing this is at Tab B for your signature.3

The International Grains Arrangement carries out the bargain on cereals we negotiated in the Kennedy Round. It will replace the International Wheat Agreement of 1962, which we signed. It is more advantageous to us than the old Wheat Agreement because:

  • —It sets higher minimum and maximum prices for wheat moving in world trade—which could benefit us as wheat exporters.
  • —It obligates other countries, for the first time, to share responsibility with us for food aid. The Arrangement provides for an annual 4–1/2 million ton food aid program. Our share is 42% or 1.9 million tons, in grain. Others will supply 2.6 million tons a year—either in grain or cash.

The Arrangement is open for signature until November 30. Since we pushed it, we should sign as early as possible. Other countries are waiting for our lead.

The Arrangement would be sent to the Senate as a treaty. Katzenbach will probably recommend that this be done early this month, but this is for your later decision. (We will still have a separate memo for you setting forth the issues.)

Schnittker and Roth do not expect serious difficulty in getting Senate approval.

  • —They discussed the Grains Arrangement at various times with Senators Carlson, Church, McGovern, Mondale, Young and Burdick. (Carlson said Fulbright has no problem with it.)
  • —They met Tuesday with Senators McCarthy, Hickenlooper and Carlson (the only members of the Foreign Relations Committee who showed up for the session). Carlson again indicated his support; Hickenlooper [Page 844] didn’t say no, and McCarthy told Schnittker afterward there would be no problem in the Senate.
  • —Only Senators Mundt, Curtis, Hruska and Miller are expected to actively oppose.

All the major farm organizations, except the Farm Bureau, support the Arrangement. The Farm Bureau opposes it—as they do all commodity agreements as well as domestic farm programs.

I recommend you authorize signing the Arrangement on behalf of the United States.

W. W. Rostow 4

(If you approve we need your signature on the Full Power at Tab B.)


Speak to me5

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Fried Files, Chron September 1, 1967–November 30, 1967 [1 of 2], Box 2. No classification marking. Drafted by Fried.
  2. To President Johnson, dated November 1, not printed.
  3. Not found, but see footnote 5 below.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  5. None of the options is checked. A handwritten note in the margin reads: “11/6/67—Hopkins secy said President approved.” William J. Hopkins was Executive Assistant in the White House. Subsequently, on November 8, President Johnson announced that Acting Secretary of Agriculture Schnittker had that day signed the new International Grains Arrangement for the United States Government, and he summarized its provisions. Text in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, Book II, pp. 1000–1001. On January 25, 1968, he submitted the treaty to the Senate. Text of the President’s statement is ibid., 1968–69, Book II, pp. 66–67. The Senate adopted a resolution of advice and consent on June 13, and the President signed the instrument of ratification on June 15. (Memorandum from Walt Rostow to the President, June 14; Johnson Library, National Security File, Fried Files, Chron May 2–July 31, 1968, Box 2) Text of the agreement is in 19 UST 5499.