93. Letter From the Permanent Representative to the Development Assistance Committee (Coffin) to the Administrator of the Agency for International Development (Bell)1

Dear Dave:

I am enclosing a letter I have written Hollis about his forthcoming trip,2 and—more important—about our airgram (CEDTO A–293)3 concerning the future role of DAC and how we might proceed to advance our common approach, assuming we can arrive at one.

I take it that we are as interested as ever in an increasingly effective relationship among the developed countries and, equally, an increasingly effective relationship between these countries and the developing countries. If so, I think DAC’s methods and orientation can stand some constructive reexamination.

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What I would like to urge is that there be a serious analysis of our airgram, involving yourself, Hollis, Bob Schaetzel, and others, in time for Under secretary Ball to include in his speech at the OECD Ministerial Meeting on December 2–3 the approach suggested in my letter to Hollis. The comments would include reference to the fifth anniversary, the need for reexamination, the core of our new thinking, and a specific suggestion that the DAC Chairman, the chairmen of the three working parties, and others as appropriate review DAC’s role in the light of the problems and opportunities which exist today, and bring their suggestions to the attention of a Ministerial meeting.

This, it seems to me, would do much to engage governments in facing, on a broader basis, their problems of dealing with the developing world. So long as isolated problems are referred back to them, they are all too likely to be negative or indifferent. This is the case today, on too many issues, with all the other major donors. The suggestions for Undersecretary Ball’s speech would not only give it some fresh material, but the initiative proposed fits into the present working party arrangements in DAC and would, we think, not be viewed as too radical.

Time being so short, you might be able to make enough progress to agree on the thrust of this part of the Ball speech. We would have time later to put flesh on the bones.

John Leddy is writing a letter to this general effect to Bob Schaetzel.4 I hope we can, by this intervention, add fuel to the fire we started at the High Level Meeting.

With best personal regards,


  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 286, AID Administrator Files: FRC 68 A 2148, PRM 7–1, Development Assistance Committee, FY 1965. Unclassified. A typed notation at the end of the source text indicates that a copy of the letter was sent via air pouch. A stamped notation on the source text reads: “Noted—WSG[aud].” Copies were sent to Gaud and Schaetzel.
  2. Dated November 3, not printed.
  3. Document 92.
  4. Not found.