291. Memorandum From the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Population Matters (Claxton) to the President’s Special Assistant (Cater)1


  • World Leaders’ Declaration on Population

John Rockefeller 3rd is, of course, very pleased by the President’s decision to sign the Declaration.2 He is anxious to follow the President’s wish that further efforts be made to obtain the signatures of other leaders. I have worked out with him and his assistant, Mr. Raymond Lamontagne, the following procedure:

A. Rockefeller will:

Work out with U Thant an arrangement for a second announcement of additional signers in the late summer like the announcement last December. This would include the President and all other signers who can be accumulated by that time.
Renew his requests to the Prime Ministers of the UK and Japan as a matter of priority. He has already talked to their Ambassadors at the UN, both of whom are confident that their PM’s will sign. He has written Prime Minister Sato.
Renew his request to Kosygin, telling him the President has signed. I have spoken to Ambassador Thompson about this. He believes the President’s signing will have some favorable influence on Kosygin. Rockefeller wrote Dobrynin a few days ago offering to talk with Kosygin on this subject. Kosygin replied through a Washington Embassy Counsellor that he was “terribly grateful” for Mr. Rockefeller’s invitation; he could not accept on this visit; he is interested in the matter; it will receive his attention and Rockefeller will hear from him in the near future.
Renew his requests to the Prime Ministers of Australia, New Zealand and Canada. All these have given him favorable personal reactions but have not signed because of concern within their governments. [Page 515] Now that France is repealing its anti-contraceptives legislation, it is possible the atmosphere may change in Canada.
Renew his requests to the leaders of Norway, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand, Liberia, Jamaica and El Salvador, most of whom have not replied either way. He talked to the King of Thailand here. The King said he was personally sympathetic and would speak to the Prime Minister.
Probably approach the President of Costa Rica who in April announced family planning services would be provided in government health clinics.
Talk to the President of the Philippines on a visit there in August.
Consider writing President DeGaulle.

Rockefeller will send each of our Ambassadors a copy of his new message to the local leader.

B. The State Department will:

Send special messages to our Ambassadors in the UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, informing them that the President has agreed to sign and instructing them to tell the Prime Minister the President would welcome the Prime Minister’s joining him. Messages are attached for your concurrence (Tab A).3
Send a circular airgram to our Ambassadors in Norway, Turkey, Pakistan, Liberia, Jamaica and El Salvador to the same effect. The circular is attached for your concurrence (Tab B).
Inform our Embassy in Thailand of Rockefeller’s discussion with the King.
Ask our Ambassador in the Philippines to coordinate his approach to the President with Rockefeller.
Follow up with our Ambassador to Costa Rica and to France as appropriate.

Rockefeller tells me he has received from each signing leader a short letter to him which he has given, or will give, to U Thant as a means of official notification of signature. He would like such a letter from the President, possibly with some appropriate brief expression of personal feeling. A draft of a proposed letter is attached (Tab C).4

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, SOC 13. Limited Official Use. A covering memorandum, also June 23, from Read to Rostow states that Claxton had been working with Cater on the President’s request that additional efforts be made to induce British Prime Minister Wilson and Japanese Prime Minister Sato plus other world leaders to sign.
  2. The date on which President Johnson actually signed the declaration has not been determined; for information on its public release, see footnote 2, Document 292.
  3. Tabs A and B were not found.
  4. Not printed.