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

SUBJECT

  • Need for Your Intervention on International Financial Institutions Legislation

Our International Financial Institutions Bill (IFI) is in deep trouble, and Treasury recommends (Tab B)2 that your personal intervention is needed to make its passage possible during this session. Secretary Rogers endorses Walker’s recommendation (Tab C).3

The IFI bill includes authorizations for continued US participation in the Inter-American Bank and the Asian Development Bank. It also provides for our share in the expansion of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

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Senator Gore is using this legislation as the vehicle for his swan song vendetta against the Administration. The bill will pass easily if brought to a vote on the Senate floor, but Gore has succeeded twice in talking it off the calendar. It appears that only your strong personal intervention may be sufficient to induce Senator Mansfield to shut off Gore, with long sessions, persuasion, and a cloture vote if necessary.

The bill is crucial to our foreign policy in several respects, and I therefore urge you to intervene with Mansfield:

  • —The sharp increase in our Inter-American Development Bank contribution is the most important concrete demonstration of our deep interest in development in Latin America and is regarded by the Latins as our major contribution to the new “mature partnership” with them. It is particularly crucial now as we attempt to prevent Chile from mobilizing hemispheric support against us.
  • —The Asian Development Bank is the only concrete evidence of our interest in supporting Asian regionalism.
  • —The IMF quota increase must be passed if we are to get our proportional share of the next allocation of Special Drawing Rights. Failure of this legislation would cause us to lose $130 million in essentially free international reserves.

The authorization bill has already passed the House. Senate author-ization is needed now if the appropriations are to be available early next year, when they are needed.

More important, postponement into next year may delay the authorization significantly because the committee may then wait to see your whole new aid proposal before voting on it. In addition, early next year we must submit legislation authorizing our share in the doubling of the resources of the International Development Association, the soft-loan window of the World Bank, which is the most important single component of our multilateral aid theme. Linking that proposal with the other IFIs would present such a large sum of money that the Congress might balk. If we don’t get this legislation now, it will thus probably be much harder to get the larger package next session.

It would be tragic to let a single lame duck Senator stop legislation which constitutes a major element of your foreign policy. Senator Mansfield, however, has so far been very reluctant to stand firm against Gore. It is not certain that your intervention would succeed in getting him to do so, but it seems that nothing else has a chance.

Recommendation:

That you call Senator Mansfield urgently to try to persuade him to bring the IFI bill to an early vote on the Senate floor, using the talking points at Tab A. State and Treasury strongly support your making such [Page 106]a call. Bill Timmons opposes, on the grounds that Ken BeLieu has already spoken to Mansfield about the issue three times and that a further call is unlikely to change the situation, in view of the availability to Gore of further delaying tactics.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 289, Treasury, Volume I. No classification marking. A stamped notation on the memorandum reads, “The President has seen.”
  2. Document 43.
  3. Not printed; see footnote 1, Document 43.
  4. The President wrote “no” below the last paragraph. No additional documentation on this legislation was found but a compromise apparently was reached and the impasse broken. According to the President’s signing statement on December 31, the soft loan funds for the Asian Development Bank were dropped from the legislation and only a down-payment was authorized for the Fund for Special Operations in the Inter-American Development Bank. The President promised legislation to restore his requests early in the new Congress. See Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1970, pp. 1164-1165. That request was sent to Congress on January 26, 1971; see ibid., 1971, p. 72.