82. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Irwin) to the Administrator of the Agency for International Development (Hannah)1


  • Your program for reform of the U.S. Economic Assistance Program2

Your reform program goes a long way toward implementing the thoughts which both we and the Administration have expressed in recent years on economic assistance. It is impressive in both scope and content.

As I understand your program, it does not affect the relationships which currently exist between the Department of State and the Agency for International Development. The new organization does, however, suggest that in the near future the appropriate officers from State and AID should review our coordinating mechanisms in order to ascertain what adjustments if any should be made in them. For example, we may wish to consider a more formal link between State and AID by assigning a senior State officer to sit on your Administrator’s Advisory Council.

I have also received comments and suggestions from officers in the Department of State with reference to supporting assistance, public safety, humanitarian assistance, and our population programs.

There is general agreement that a concerted effort should be made to gain enactment of the International Security Assistance Act as rapidly as possible, although not at the expense of a prolonged delay in obtaining a FY ′73 security assistance authorization. David Abshire is exploring this question and will report back to us in the near future. In the meantime, I would recommend delay in the full integration of the Supporting Assistance Bureau into the reorganized Agency for International Development.3 Even if we are unable to obtain passage of a bill formally transferring supporting assistance to State, I believe that [Page 196]serious consideration should be given to a delegation of authority under which the Supporting Assistance function would have a clear chain of command from the Under Secretary and the Coordinator for Security Assistance.

I also believe that we should have a thorough review of the relationship between Public Safety and Supporting Assistance to determine the ultimate placement of public safety programs.

As you know, the President in his message to Congress on April 21, 1971 on the reorganization of foreign assistance expressed his desire to create a Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance within the Department of State and included such a proposal in his draft legislation on International Development and Humanitarian Assistance. It is my understanding that the organizational changes contemplated for AID in no way preclude the future creation of such a bureau in State. This point should be made in any discussions with Congress and outside interested groups.

Because of the substantial interest both in the Department of State and within the Congress in our various population programs, I would like to suggest that you consider the establishment of a Population Assistance Bureau, or a Bureau of Human Resources Development as an alternative to the placement of population programs in the Bureau for Population and Humanitarian Assistance.4 A possible grouping of functions in a Bureau for Human Resources Development could include manpower, health, education, and housing as well as population programs.

In the event that neither of these arrangements should prove feasible, we would stress our understanding that population programs will continue to be treated as an essential element of economic development, and that the coordination of population programs will be such as to make them mutually reinforcing with education, health and nutrition, and manpower employment programs.

Finally, I would like to stress the necessity of treating our bilateral assistance programs as an integral part of our overall foreign policy effort. There should be no implication in our presentation of these administrative improvements that there has been change in the Administration’s policy as expressed by the President in his message to Congress on April 21, 1971 where he states that these programs are “… of major importance in promoting the national security and foreign policy of the United States …”.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, AID (US). Confidential. Drafted by J.K. Wilhelm (S/PC) on January 22 and forwarded to Irwin under cover of a January 24 memorandum from Arthur Hartman, which noted that Hannah’s reform package had already gone to the Secretary and Congress and included four sets of comments received from within the Department to help guide the Under Secretary’s decision.
  2. Reference is presumably to the program outlined in Document 81, a copy of which was attached.
  3. Issues related to the Supporting Assistance Bureau were raised in January 21 memoranda to Hartman from Thomas Stern (S/PC) and Thomas Pickering (PM), attached to the January 24 memorandum from Hartman (see footnote 1 above).
  4. Issues related to population and humanitarian assistance were raised in January 21 memoranda to Hartman from Philander Claxton (S/PM) and Frank Kellogg (S/R), attached to the January 24 memorandum from Hartman (see footnote 1 above).