6. Memorandum by the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Under Secretary of State
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness
  • The Director, Bureau of the Budget
  • Acting Administrator, Agency for International Development
  • Administrator-Designate, Agency for International Development
  • The Director, Office of Science and Technology


  • NSC Meeting of March 26, 1969, on Foreign Aid

Attached is the list of actions resulting from the meeting of the National Security Council on AID held on March 26, 1969, which has been approved by the President.

Because of the sensitive nature of the guidance contained therein, a formal NSDM will not be circulated. Rather, an “Eyes Only” copy is furnished for the retention and guidance of the principals who attended the meeting on this subject. No reproduction or circulation of this document is authorized.

Henry A. Kissinger
[Page 19]


List of Actions Resulting From Meeting of the National Security Council on March 26, 1969

The President indicated his continuing support for a foreign assist-ance program. However, since Congressional sentiment tends to be increasingly isolationist, it will be necessary to justify new programs in a more meaningful way. The humanitarian aspect should be emphasized in justifying economic aid (other than war-related programs in Southeast Asia); the long-run economic benefit to the U.S. of a higher level of economic development elsewhere is also important. The aid effort should not be built on expectations of immediate political returns to the United States.
The President decided that the requested authorization for foreign assistance in FY 1970 should be on the generous side, as an early reflection of the Administration’s attitude toward foreign assistance and of the likelihood that pressures on expenditures will be eased in subsequent years. Some Congressional reductions should be anticipated, and technical assistance should be increased, if possible. An effort should be made to reduce foreign assistance expenditures in FY 1970, recognizing that post-1970 expenditures will probably be easier to support. Accordingly, Budget Director Mayo, Secretary Kennedy, and Messrs. Hannah and Poats are to produce specific recommendations concerning both the requested authorization and expenditure levels for FY 1970.
The President indicated his support for a U.S. contribution to the proposed Special Fund of the Asian Development Bank,2 but desires a larger contribution from other nations, especially Japan.
It was agreed that the forthcoming proposal should: (a) give greater emphasis to transferring American technological know-how to the less developed countries thus giving greater emphasis to technical assistance3 (especially in the area of food production); (b) give AID a clearer mandate to emphasize private enterprise in the recipient countries; (c) set up a private investment corporation; d) permit continuing technical assistance to recipient countries no longer in need of development loans; and (e) retain the Military Assistance Program as part of the foreign assistance program.
The President directed that consideration be given to the establishment of a non-governmental commission which would review the foreign aid program during early FY 19704 and provide a basis for the [Page 20] President’s consideration of further changes in U.S. programs, especially contributions to multilateral agencies, during the 1970’s. The Commission’s report would be drawn upon in making the final response to the Javits amendment due March 1, 1970. Concurrently, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs was directed to initiate a governmental study effort designed to examine the relationship between foreign assistance and U.S. national security objectives.5
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 71 D 175, Box 129, 26 March NSC Meeting. Confidential; Eyes Only. On April 1 Kissinger sent the President a memorandum to which he attached the list of actions pursuant to the March 26 NSC meeting that had been “coordinated on an ÔEyes Only’ basis with the principals and has been agreed to by them.” Kissinger added that “your decisions to develop proposals for an outside study commission and continuation of our internal study of aid will be formalized by written follow-up Study Memoranda.” He concluded: “I do not believe an NSDM should be promulgated on these issues because the formal dissemination of such a memorandum could generate problems if it were leaked to legislators. Additionally, I believe you will wish to retain some flexibility on this issue as the FY 70 AID program crystallizes.” The President initialed his approval. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 193, AID Volume I 1969)
  2. See footnote 1, Document 2.
  3. See Document 3.
  4. Reference is to the Task Force on International Development; see Documents 119 and 120.
  5. Not further identified.