9. Editorial Note
On March 14, 1969, Cabinet Secretary John C. Whitaker sent a memorandum to all members of the Cabinet asking their opinions on Cabinet Committees established by Executive orders of previous Presidents. Whitaker noted that President Nixon thought there were too many such committees, which duplicated those established by the Nixon administration or no longer served a useful purpose. On the foreign economic policy front Commerce Secretary Stans was given responsibility for making recommendations on the Export Expansion Advisory Committee, which provided guidance to the Export-Import Bank on allocations to promote export expansion, and Treasury Secretary Kennedy was to make recommendations on the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policy (NAC), whose functions were to coordinate the activities of the U.S. representatives to International Financial Organizations and the Export-Import Bank. (National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 73 D 288, Box 839, NSC/MTS) On April 14 Secretary of State Rogers wrote to Secretaries Stans and Kennedy supporting their committees as presently constituted. (Ibid.) Both committees continued to meet during the Nixon administration.
On June 2 Whitaker sent a memorandum to all members of the Cabinet transmitting a revised list of Cabinet committees and subcommittees, including the following committees that dealt with foreign economic policy:
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy, whose members were Vice President Agnew, White House Counselor Burns, Treasury Secretary Kennedy, Agriculture Secretary Hardin, Budget Director Mayo, Labor Secretary Shultz, Commerce Secretary Stans, and Council of Economic Advisers Chairman McCracken, who was responsible for staff support;
The Economic “Troika,” which comprised Treasury Secretary Kennedy, Budget Director Mayo, and Chairman McCracken;
The Economic “Quadriad,” made up of the Troika plus Federal Reserve Chairman Martin; and
The Committee for Comprehensive Review of Oil Import Controls chaired by Labor Secretary Shultz. Other members were Interior Secretary Hickel, Treasury Secretary Kennedy, Defense Secretary Laird, Secretary of State Rogers, Commerce Secretary Stans, Office of Emergency Preparedness Director Lincoln, and Phillip Areeda who provided staff support. (Ibid.)
The Cabinet Committee on the Balance of Payments, which had played an active role in balance-of-payments policy during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, was not mentioned in either of [Page 23] Whitaker’s memoranda. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs John C. Colman commented in an April 17 memorandum to Under Secretary Volcker that the committee might be beyond the scope of Whitaker’s inquiry because it had been initiated by a June 7, 1962, memorandum from President Kennedy to Treasury Secretary Dillon, not by Executive order. Colman noted that as the balance-of-payments problems became more pressing and the various programs of restraints and incentives became more detailed, the Deming Group, now the Volcker Group (see footnote 1, Document 109) increasingly shaped policy rather than the “unwieldy” Cabinet Committee. The conclusion of Colman’s argument was that balance-of-payments issues should be taken up in the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy and the Volcker Group. (Washington National Records Center, Department of the Treasury, Office of the Assistant Secretary for International Affairs:FRC 56 75 101, Cabinet Committee on the Balance of Payments, US/3/106-113, Establishment and Representation) Regarding the establishment of the Cabinet Committee on the Balance of Payments, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume IX, Document 10.
No formal record of the Cabinet Committee on the Balance of Payments’ demise has been found, nor any record that it met during the Nixon administration.