98. Information Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Industrial Development, Agency for International Development (Draper) to the Administrator of the Agency for International Development (Bell)1


  • Meeting of U.S. Government Experts with United Nations Commissioner for Industrial Development—Dr. Abdel-Rahman

This memorandum reports on the subject meeting which took place in the UN Secretariat Building in New York City on December 16.2


A telegram received from USUN on November 13 (Tab A)3 stated that the UN Center for Industrial Development had developed its plans for immediate future work program, that UN Commissioner Abdel-Rahman “would appreciate opportunity in near future to meet with experts in industrial development from U.S. Government (State, Commerce, AID) to discuss the Center’s program and get their technical suggestions for changes and improvements.”
At your Executive Staff Meeting on November 17, Ambassador Williams (U.S. Representative on the UN Economic and Social Council) stressed the U.S. position in opposition to strong pressures from LDCs en bloc for a specialized agency and stated it was essential that we take all appropriate steps to support and make effective the UN Center for Industrial Development—which the U.S. believes is a more appropriate mechanism. You agreed that the strong affirmative U.S. position on the Center made it necessary to look intensively at how best the U.S. Government can protect its interests and channel its support to the Center. (See Tab B—red underline.)

Action Taken

On December 3 the undersigned was requested to head the team, take the lead in organizing it and to arrange for the discussions in New York. [Page 272] The seven-man team (six AID and one Commerce) was firmed up on December 7, was targeted for December 16 in New York, had a briefing on December 9 and a review session on December 14 in preparation (Tab C). A confirming telegram from State/OES to USUN was sent December 15 (Tab D).4
The team, necessarily limited in size, was purposely heavy in AID participation, but strongly complemented by Mr. McGann, Assist-ant Administrator for Industrial Analysis of BDSA, Department of Commerce. (Future teams can be more balanced among the Departments.) Mr. James Gorman, State/OES accompanied the team.
Discussions were held with USUN at 9:15 AM and with the Commissioner and his senior staff the remainder of the day according to the schedule furnished by the Commissioner (Tab E).5 The USUN (Counsellor Clarence Blau) was host at a joint luncheon. The team uniformly agreed that the sessions were very enlightening and most useful and successful. Each expert member of the team has been requested to furnish a memo report covering his observations and suggestions (Tab F).6 These will be compiled and correlated in a subsequent report in January.

Preliminary Observations of Team Leader

The undersigned considers the following preliminary observations as significant:

Commissioner Abdel-Rahman was more concerned with getting support for his work program plans than in getting suggestions for changes. Although there was ample opportunity for discussion in each phase of the presentation, it seemed more like a briefing session. The Commissioner’s careful summary at the end of the day highlighted their presentation, did not touch on points made by the team, although they were acknowledged during the discussion. Perhaps more will be absorbed and applied than could be openly acknowledged.
The Commissioner and his key staff made excellent presentations and he devoted his entire day to this program. Because of the cry for a specialized agency, it is certain in my mind that the morale of the Center staff was aided by this amount of attention by the Commission and the U.S. Government.
A number of areas in which the U.S. may be helpful to the Center were identified and discussed in a preliminary way without commitments. [Page 273] The follow-up on each area requires coordination as well as effort. Team observations and suggestions will be summarized in the subsequent report.
The Commissioner and his staff have conscientiously tried to work into their plans most of the principal action paragraphs of the U.S.-initiated resolution for a dynamic program which has passed unanimously by both the UN Committee for Industrial Development last Spring and the Economic and Social Council last August, and is now before the UN General Assembly (Tab G).
The Center staff, although undermanned and subject to geographic and political “balancing,” demonstrated a surprising degree of competence in the eyes of the U.S. team, and meticulously avoided reference to any political doctrine or developmental philosophy.
The degree to which U.S. contributions of substantive resources, cooperation and suggestions will actually be forthcoming and accepted by the Center remains to be seen. However, there is reason for cautious optimism regarding acceptance—given the present leadership and substantial continuity of senior personnel in the Center for Industrial Development.
The U.S. team composition served to stimulate interest and support in Commerce as well as in AID bureaus and staff offices in this important activity area.

Frederick G. Draper 7
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 286, DAC Material: FRC 70 A 5922, E/CID—Center for Industrial Development (State, AID, Commerce, UN Mtg. Dec. 16, 1964). Confidential. Drafted by Draper on December 21 and concurred in by John F. Hilliard (DAA/TCR) on December 23. Copies were sent to Baumgartner (AA/TCR) and the Executive Secretariat. Draper also took “informal notes” at this December 16 meeting, which he had typed on January 5. (Ibid.)
  2. Another record of this meeting is in airgram A–807 from USUN, December 23. (Department of State, Central Files, INCO 10 UN)
  3. None of the tabs is attached and, except as noted in footnotes below, has been found.
  4. Telegram 1512 to USUN, December 15. (Department of State, Central Files, NCO 10 UN)
  5. Not printed. (Washington National Records Center, RG 286, DAC Material: FRC 70 A 5922, E/CID—Center for Industrial Development (State, AID, Commerce, UN Mtg. Dec. 16, 1964))
  6. Five of these memoranda, Paul G. McGann (Commerce) to Draper, December 22; Alan M. Strout (PC/PPD) to Draper, December 23; John O. McReynolds (NESA/ENGR) to Draper, January 5, 1965; Saul Nelson (AFR/CDF) to Draper, January 5; and George A. Wyeth, Jr. (DFPE/PI) to Donald W. Hoagland (AA/DFPE), January 5, are ibid.
  7. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.