226. Memorandum From Harold H. Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson1

SUBJECT

  • Supplementary PL 480 Sale for Israel

In March you approved a $30 million PL 480 sale to Israel. We thought that would take care of them for this year.

Now, however, their crop is coming in smaller than either of us estimated because of drought. They have asked for a supplement to the March agreement adding another 70,000 tons of wheat ($4.6 million). [Page 443] Secretary Freeman, Bill Gaud and Charlie Zwick recommend approval.2

The main advantage in the broader US-Israel context is that going ahead shows a general willingness to help them out at a time when they’re studying our every move for signs of how firm our support is. We have an interest in moving the grain, and this would be a 100% dollar credit.3

Hal
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68. Confidential. A handwritten notation indicates that the memorandum was received at 5:45 p.m.
  2. Freeman and Gaud sent a joint recommendation to President Johnson on July 19. Zwick sent a supporting recommendation to the President on July 29. (Ibid.)
  3. The President approved the sale.