67. Letter From Acting Secretary of State Irwin to the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Weinberger)1
Thank you for your reply of September 20, 1971 to my letter concerning the reduction of foreign assistance by ten percent.2 It is very helpful to have your confirmation that the reduction will be made in expenditures rather than appropriation requests. This will permit us to plan the implementation of these measures on a more orderly basis.
We are uncertain, however, with respect to the $222 million figure. The $118 figure I had used was related only to AID development activities and did not include either supporting assistance or our contributions to international lending institutions. It has been our understanding that a ten percent reduction, amounting to $38 million, would be made in our contributions to the multilateral agencies. On the other hand, we have always been of the view (since the briefing at the White House in the afternoon of August 15) that there would (and should) be [Page 160] no reduction in supporting assistance expenditures. However, AID believes that the only way we can reach the figure of $222 million is to include a cut of $66 million in supporting assistance.
A cut in supporting assistance as I wrote earlier will cause major difficulty in funding for Southeast Asia. Our supporting assistance requirements are mounting and the situation could be tight toward the end of the year. The prospect is that requirements will be even greater next year. It would thus not appear feasible even to postpone expenditures from this year until next.
Please let me know when you would like to discuss this issue.