31. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant (Flanigan) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

The President’s message on Foreign Aid is being drafted on the basis of National Security Decision Memorandum 76 (Tab A)2 which sets forth a number of agreed new approaches to the subject. Among these new approaches are 6(d) and (e), which repeal the restrictions relating to the Hickenlooper Amendment and the “barnacles” provisions (i.e., aiding countries that assist countries unfriendly to the U.S.) and replace them with provisions directing the President to “take into account” certain actions by AID recipients.

NSDM 76 is based on the July 14 Memorandum to the President attached at Tab B.3 While this covers a large number of the points in NSDM 76 it does not refer to the Hickenlooper Amendment or the “barnacles” restrictions. The July 14 memorandum is apparently based on a July 13 memorandum to Dr. Kissinger numbered 11208 (attached at Tab C)4 and an undated memorandum to Dr. Kissinger numbered 11208A (attached at Tab D).5 In 11208 decisions by Dr. Kissinger are indicated on all issues except the Hickenlooper Amendment and the barnacles provision, while in 11208A the decision that is set forth in NSDM 76 is indicated, presumably by Dr. Kissinger.

In May of 1969 the Hickenlooper and barnacles provision were also under attack, and Dr. Burns brought them to the President’s attention (in the memorandum attached at Tab E).6 [Page 72] When focusing directly on these problems at that time, the President determined not to repeal them (as opposed to repealing the provisions and having “the President take into account”). As Burns points out, repeal would be contrary to the President’s campaign policy statements and to the general foreign policy enunciated by the Republican Party. At that time a discussion with Ross Adair indicated that he felt the restrictions were essential to any AID legislation.

After the meeting on the Trade Message I discussed with Mr. Harlow the proposed new approach to the Hickenlooper Amendment and the barnacles provision. His immediate response was that “this is very poor politics. It could become extraordinarily controversial on the Hill and poison the whole package.” By their nature “AID bills become hotter than trade bills.”

Based on the above, I recommend that:

You be entirely satisfied that the President has focused on these two issues. He should be fully aware that he is reversing his previous position. The fact that he must “take into account” (as he obviously would anyway) will not alter the fact that he is repealing the Hickenlooper Amendment and the barnacles provisions; and
If the President wants to go forward with these changes, they be fully discussed with Senator Aiken and Congressmen Adair and Frelinghuysen before the Message is sent to the Hill. These are only two relatively minor provisions among a long list of major new initiatives. It may be that it will be decided not to endanger the whole package for these two changes.

One final consideration, though perhaps not major, is the predictable reaction among the business community. However unsophisticated they may be in this area, businessmen generally feel the government gives them no help in their efforts abroad. They deplore the lack of support when their properties are nationalized. If the President repeals the Hickenlooper Amendment and the barnacles provision, their enthusiasm for AID will be even further diminished and their support for this Administration somewhat impaired.7

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 194, AID, Volume III 8/11/70-9/10/70. No classification marking.
  2. Document 136.
  3. Document 134.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Document 135.
  6. Document 9.
  7. The message that went to Congress on September 15 did not address these issues. See Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1970, pp. 745-756.