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

SUBJECT

  • FY 1972 Security Assistance Shortfall

In my memorandum of March 18, 1972, I discussed alternatives for addressing the problem of the shortfall in Security Assistance funds resulting from the serious congressional cuts in your FY 1972 requests.2 The options were: (1) an FY 72 supplemental request now (Secretary Laird’s preference); (2) use of Defense funds under Section 506 of the Foreign Assistance Act (State’s recommendation);3 or (3) an FY 73 supplemental or budget amendment later (the preference of your congressional relations staff).

Acting Secretary Irwin now advises that State has reconsidered its position (Tab A).4 State continues to oppose an FY 72 supplemental because of the serious risks of adverse impact upon your FY 73 requests now before Congress but no longer favors the use of Defense funds.

The Acting Secretary now favors a maximum effort to secure the earliest possible passage of the FY 1973 Security Assistance legislation at the levels requested. Following enactment of the FY 73 appropriations, he recommends we consider submitting an FY 73 supplemental covering both the 1972 and 1973 shortfalls.

As Secretary Irwin points out and as I noted in my March 18 memorandum, the choice is a difficult one and rests on a judgment as to the approach likely to produce the most favorable results on the Hill.5

You have agreed to discuss this issue with the Republican leadership and Senator Stennis in your next meetings with them.6

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 324, Foreign Aid, Volume II 1972. Secret. The notation “The President has seen” is stamped on the memorandum.
  2. Document 89.
  3. See Document 87.
  4. See Document 90.
  5. In reference to this, the President wrote: “MacGregor’s advice is critical.”
  6. See footnotes 3 and 4, Document 89. Presumably the President did not take it up during his meeting with the Republican leadership on March 28. According to the President’s Daily Diary, he did not meet with the Republican leadership or Senator Stennis during the week before that decision was made. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files)