295. Telegram From the Department of State to All Posts 1

219240. Subj. Population/Family Planning Programs. Joint State/AID/USIA message. For Ambassadors, USAID Mission Directors, Public Affairs Officers.

We do not wish to engage in any public discussion of the Papal Encyclical2 and you should decline to comment if asked. If answers to questions on U.S. policy toward population/family planning activities are called for, they should be along the following lines:
The U.S. Government is deeply interested in the economic development and social progress of developing countries and in the health and well-being of individual families in those countries.
It is of course for each country to determine its own policy on population and family planning matters.
It is also for parents to decide voluntarily whether they wish to accept family planning services.
If any country wishes assistance that we can provide for a voluntary population/family planning program it decides upon, we will be glad to offer it.
If appropriate, it might also be pointed out that the U.S. has a national policy and program to provide family planning information and materials to its own people through the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Office of Economic Opportunity, and many State and local programs.)
CA–4609 of December 19663 continues to apply.
For ARA Posts: We are told that both OAS SYG Galo Plaza and PAHO Director-General Horowitz have told their staffs to go ahead with their respective population programs previously planned.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, SOC 13–3. Confidential. Drafted by Claxton; cleared by Gaud, Brown (S/S), and Pauker (USIA), and Poole (ARA/LA) for paragraph 3; and approved by Secretary Rusk.
  2. See Document 294.
  3. Dated December 20, 1966. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1964–66, SOC 13–3)