290. Letter From the President’s Special Assistant for Science and Technology (Hornig) to President Johnson1

Dear Mr. President:

I am pleased to send you an advance copy of the report on the World Food Problem which was prepared by a Panel of the President’s Science Advisory Committee.2 The report will be released by the White House on Sunday, June 18. This report defines the magnitude of the food problem, describes the reasons why the United States should be concerned, and outlines and recommends what must be done if the problem is to be solved.

I believe the scope and significance of the report are apparent from its four basic conclusions:

The scale, severity, and duration of the World Food Problem are so great that a massive, long-range, innovative effort unprecedented in human history will be required to master it.
The solution of the problem after 1985 demands that programs of population control be initiated now. For the immediate future, the food supply is critical.
Food supply is directly related to agricultural development and, in turn, agricultural development and overall economic development are critically interdependent in the hungry countries.
A strategy for attacking the World Food Problem will, of necessity, encompass the entire foreign economic assistance effort of the United States in concert with other developed countries, voluntary institutions, and international organizations.

If you have any questions concerning the report or its recommendations, please feel free to call my office.

Sincerely yours,

Donald Hornig
  1. Source: Minnesota Historical Society, Papers of Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice Presidential Files, 1965–68, 150.E.14.8(8), Box 931. No classification marking.
  2. Not printed. The President tasked the Science Advisory Committee to undertake the study in his Food for Peace message on February 10, 1966. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966, Book I, pp. 163–169) The June 17 White House announcement of the release of the report is printed in American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1967, pp. 134–135. The report, which was published in late 1967 as The World Food Problem, consisted of three volumes; for a summary of volume III, “Resource Papers,” see Department of State Bulletin, December 25, 1967, p. 874.