216. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Ball) to President Johnson1


  • Review of African Development Policies and Programs Pursuant to Your Speech of May 26
Ambassador Edward Korry has completed the review of African Development Policies and Programs as you requested, and I enclose for your consideration his report of July 27, 1966.2 He has, within a very short time span, reviewed an extremely complicated subject. His report, consisting of a proposed policy for development in Africa, a brief summary [Page 350] of strategy, and sixteen categories of recommendations, will be extremely useful to the United States Government as we move ahead on the implementation of your speech of May 26. Assistant Secretary Palmer and I suggest that you send Ambassador Korry a note of appreciation.
The Department, in conjunction with AID, has urgently reviewed this report. The recommendations range widely through a series of proposals involving action by the Executive, the Congress, international organizations and other nations. This diversity is reflected in the various kinds of action required. In general, they include:—
Recommendations which are either on their way to implementation or which the Executive can on its own authority accept and pursue.
Recommendations which we can support in principle, but whose implementation rests at least in part with international agencies, notably the IBRD, with donor nations, e.g. the UK and France, or with African organizations and nations. These will require amplification and negotiation before they can be put into effect.
A very few recommendations requiring examination or Congressional action which must be considered further before we can wholeheartedly endorse them.
Within this framework, we are in general agreement with the report and recommend that you approve it as a basis for action.
There are, in my opinion, compelling reasons for not publishing this report at this time. The report recommends negotiations with international agencies and foreign governments which would be jeopardized by publication. There are frank comments on policies of other nations and international organizations which would sour relations if released. Finally, detailed statement from you, or from the White House staff, could not give sufficient additional information to have a public impact without getting into the matters subject to negotiation. Instead, we recommend that we focus on a date this autumn, such as November 15, by which time we would hope to complete enough of our discussions with international agencies, donors and Africans to permit a more meaningful statement, and to take sufficient steps on those recommendations which we can implement ourselves to present a progress report.
This tactic need not preclude a short announcement, which notes the receipt of the report and indicates some of the areas of implementation.
Pursuant to the Summary of Strategy in the Report, we are thinking along the following lines:
A sounding with Mr. George Woods of the IBRD was taken before his departure from Washington on July 28 to obtain his preliminary reaction to the proposals relating to the IBRD. He was sympathetic to them and thought they presented no serious problems if the US could [Page 351] help line up support among donor nations. Based on this initial encouragement, we are elaborating the lines along which an expanded IBRD participation in African development might take.
Within the framework of these ideas, we are planning early approaches to certain donor nations, after which the IBRD would approach the UN Development Program, the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa, and possibly other institutions whose support is desirable for an expanded IBRD role.
The discussion with Africans will be exceptionally complex, since no one organization effectively reflects the continent in such important matters. The IBRD has indicated in principle that it would take the lead in this. Talks between the IBRD and the heads of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank will follow US diplomatic efforts with donors. The IBRD annual meeting in September provides an excellent opportunity for discussions with African national representatives. We would try to get our own actions completed before then, with a view to asking Mr. Woods to initiate discussions of the new IBRD role with the African group of the Bank at this meeting. It is likely that certain additional African leaders should be approached, in addition to the Finance Ministers, and we would time these approaches to follow immediately after the Bank discussion.
It will also be necessary, in due course, to discuss other aspects of the Korry Report with interested nations. For example, the educational recommendations will involve the United Kingdom, and possibly France. There are also subjects outside the realm of IBRD activities which should be discussed with African nations. The substance and timing of these talks will require further thought.
It is likely that a coordinated follow-up within the Government can best be initiated by means of a National Security Action Memorandum.
Meanwhile, within the Department of State and AID, Mr. Gaud and I are examining our own activities to be certain that policy guidance and operations are smoothly meshed to press ahead with both plans for the above and implementation of those recommendations falling within our immediate jurisdiction. Assistant Secretary Palmer will inform me if additional measures are required to carry forward this task.
George W. Ball
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Africa, General, Vol. V, 6/66–1/69. Confidential.
  2. Not attached; see Document 215.