123. Editorial Note

NSSM 45 (Document 111) directed a study of the objectives of the U.S. economic assistance program and its relationship to overall U.S. foreign policy. On September 19, 1969, Under Secretary of State Richardson had informed members of the Under Secretaries Committee that Edward Korry, Ambassador to Chile, would assist him with the study. Oliver Troxel, Ambassador to Zambia, also joined the study.

On December 8, 1969, Korry met with Henry Kissinger, and Fred Bergsten followed up on December 9 with a memorandum to Kissinger providing him with a second draft of the summary to Korry’s report (Document 124). Bergsten told Kissinger that Richardson had been so impressed with the work to date that he had circulated copies within the State Department and elsewhere in the government to begin moving toward a government-wide position on foreign assistance rationale. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 324, President’s Foreign Aid Program)

On January 15, 1970, Treasury Assistant Secretary Petty sent a letter to Arthur Hartman, Deputy Director of the Planning and Coordination Staff at the State Department, providing Treasury’s comments on a December 17 draft of the Korry Report. Treasury saw many positive elements in the draft. (Washington National Records Center, Department of the Treasury, Files of Under Secretary Volcker: FRC 56 79 A 15, AID)

Following completion of the December draft, Ambassador Korry returned to Santiago, but he and Ambassador Troxel returned to Washington in mid-January and, following a meeting with Rogers, continued drafting their report under Nathaniel Samuels’ direction. No final Korry Report in response to NSSM 45 has been found.

[Page 293]

On January 29 Bergsten sent a memorandum to Kissinger informing him of a major feud within the State Department on reform of foreign aid that included a strong disagreement between Rogers and Richardson. Bergsten said the “donnybrook” arose when Rogers learned that Korry proposed that development lending be administered by a government corporation outside the Department of State. Reportedly, Rogers had already held two 2-hour meetings to work out a State position and another was scheduled that afternoon. Rogers reportedly had committed to two principles: “aid is wholly an arm of U.S. foreign policy, and that foreign policy must therefore be an operational responsibility of the State Department.” Bergsten reported that Rogers had “thrown out” Korry’s organizational approach and reminded Kissinger that Korry’s paper was prepared at Richardson’s request and that Richardson had approved its contents and authorized its transmittal to the Peterson Task Force, “which specifically displeased the Secretary.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 338, HAK/ELR Meetings 1/70-3/70)

On March 8, the same day the Peterson Task Force Report was released in Key Biscayne (see Documents 128 and129), a front-page story in The New York Times, with the headline “Report to Rogers Terms Aid Policy Self-Defeating,” dealt with the Korry Report, printing extensive excerpts. The Times reported that the report had so angered Secretary Rogers that he had ordered its major conclusions to be ignored.

On March 9 Ambassador Korry sent an Eyes Only telegram to Secretary Rogers expressing his distress over the Times article, which he had learned of from telegraphic press inquiries. Korry was distressed “that disclosure of a comparatively insignificant and incomplete document” might embarrass Rogers and the Department and was angered that “a maliciously timed and phrased article” would give an inaccurate and unfair account of his assignment and its status. Korry said he had discussed his project with no one outside government and with only very few outside the State Department. Korry closed by repeating his distress that “a first draft” had been used to embarrass State and sabotage the Peterson group. (Telegram 885 from Santiago; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, AID (US) 1)