280. Action Memorandum From the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Population Matters (Claxton) to Secretary of State Rusk1
- Statement of Policy on Population Matters
This memorandum reviews where we are on population policy and summarizes some of the increasing dangers of population growth [Page 496] to economic progress, sufficiency of food and political stability. It argues that excessive population growth is the most serious single problem facing most of the LDC’s and that despite the very real advances made by the Department and AID in this field during the last two years, substantial additional attention, planning, staffing, persuasion and action are now essential to make the publicly announced policies of the President on this subject effective and to forestall enormously dangerous future crises. It requests your approval of steps to establish and carry out a policy of more positive action by the Department and AID to encourage and assist family planning programs in AID-assisted and other developing countries.
[Here follow two sections entitled “Discussion” and “Policies and Actions Required.”]
Recommendations That you approve:2
- The attached airgram (Tab A).3
- The development by AID of necessary plans and programs and provision of personnel and material to encourage national public and private population control programs in AID countries and to assist them upon request—as a matter of priority.
- Preparation by State and AID geographic bureaus of joint regional policy papers as guidelines for population activities in the individual countries in their areas.
- Enlisting the assistance of the Peace Corps and USIA as outlined above (p. 28, at clip).
- A renewal of efforts by the Department to increase action by UN related agencies to encourage and assist population programs in LDC’s and to fund such activities adequately.
- The development by the Policy Planning Council of a general long-range policy guideline in this field.
- A briefing along the lines of Tab4 to be set up on a Saturday morning in late October or early November.
- The establishment of a Working Group on Population Matters to be composed of appropriate representatives of State, AID, USIA, and the Peace Corps to be chaired by the Special Assistant for Population Matters.
- The establishment of an Interdepartmental Working Group on Population Matters composed of representatives of State, AID, USIA, the Peace Corps, and such other agencies as Agriculture, HEW, Defense, Bureau of the Census, Bureau of the Budget, the Office of Science and Technology, and the White House, also to be chaired by the Special Assistant for Population Matters. (Specific proposals for the membership and duties of such an Interdepartmental Working Group will be considered as a first order of business by the Working Group referred to in Recommendation 8 and the necessary letters to request heads of other agencies to designate members of this Working Group will be submitted to you later.)
- That you approve the idea of an Advisory and Coordinating Committee on Population Matters, subject to later decision by you on a list of members and description of duties. (Specific proposals for the membership and duties of such a Committee will be considered as a first order of business by the Working Group referred to in Recommendation 8 and the necessary action papers submitted to you later.)
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1964–66, SOC 13. Confidential.↩
- All recommendations were approved and initialed by Rusk on December 20 except for recommendation 7, which was labeled “previously approved.” A handwritten comment by Gaud reads, “I agree with all the recommendations on pages 32–34, but not all the prefatory discussion and comments.” These are the recommendations printed here.↩
- Not found.↩
- No specific tab is indicated on the source text.↩