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


  • White House Conference on International Cooperation


That you agree in principle to the proposed program of the White House Conference on International Cooperation2 scheduled to be held November 28 through December 1, 1965.3
That you make remarks at the final plenary of the Conference on December 1, 1965. (Text to be provided.)4
That following the final plenary there be an early evening reception at the White House.5
[Page 485]


Following your designation of 1965 as International Cooperation Year (ICY), you appointed a Cabinet Committee to coordinate the Government’s participation. The private sector was engaged through the United Nations Association.

In response to your public requests (excerpts enclosed),6 the Cabinet Committee and the United Nations Association created joint committees on various areas of international cooperation. We expect a number of the committee reports will contain proposals worthy of consideration for your State of the Union message. You will recall that this was discussed when you recently joined us for a luncheon in the Department.

It may be desirable for you to release some of the recommendations before the opening of the Conference. We plan to make specific suggestions to this end.

We have developed the enclosed tentative program of the Conference which would personally involve you, high government officials and congressional leaders.

You would participate in the final plenary session of the Conference on Wednesday, December 1, by receiving the reports and recommendations of the Conference and making appropriate remarks. This would be followed by an early evening reception at the White House.

The Congress passed a concurrent resolution7 supporting the ICY program and designated six Senators and six Congressmen to attend the Conference. Other legislators will also participate. We expect about 1200 top citizen leaders and 300 government officials to participate. The Conference will, therefore provide you and the United States Government with the opportunity to present graphically the efforts of the Administration to achieve peace and cooperation in the world.

George W. Ball
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Vol. 15. No classification marking.
  2. The attached proposed program is not printed. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the United Nations, 1965 was designated “International Cooperation Year.” On October 2, 1964, President Johnson announced U.S. participation in the ICY. He told the representatives of the more than 200 bipartisan participating groups that international cooperation was “a clear necessity to our survival.… The greater the nation the greater is its need to work cooperatively with other people, with other countries, with other nations.” The President also announced his intention to call a White House conference in 1965. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963–64, Book II, pp. 1186–1188) On November 24, 1964, Johnson named a Cabinet committee under the chairmanship of Harlan Cleveland to coordinate U.S. participation. Three objectives designated by Cleveland for the ICY included: “1. An inventory of ongoing projects and programs involving international cooperation. 2. An intensive public relations campaign in the U.S. to stress the magnitude and effectiveness of international cooperation. 3. A series of suggestions for future international cooperative projects.” (Memorandum from Joyce to Pollack, February 17; Department of State, SCI Files: Lot 68 D 152)
  3. The “approve” line is checked. A handwritten note by the President reads: “If I’m available which I doubt.” In a September 23 memorandum to the President, McGeorge Bundy “warmly” supported the recommendations, but added, “I would put all this even more affirmatively if I did not feel that you were wary of additional engagements.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Vol. 15) Gordon Chase commented to Bundy in a September 28 memorandum that the President’s hesitancy “probably” reflected a “general reluctance to get tied on firmly to anything so far in advance.” (Ibid.)
  4. The “approve” line is checked. A handwritten note by the President reads: “See above.”
  5. The “approve” line is checked. A handwritten note by the President reads: “See above.”
  6. Not printed.
  7. Senate Concurrent Resolution 36, agreed on June 22, 1965. (79 Stat. 1429)