2. Memorandum From the Assistant Director for Legislative Reference, Bureau of the Budget (Rommel) to the President’s Counsel (Ehrlichman)1


  • Federal contribution for expansion of the UN Headquarters

The Department of State is proposing legislation to authorize a special grant of up to $15 million to cover a portion of the estimated $60 million cost of expanding the United Nations Headquarters in New York on land to be made available by the City of New York. The remainder of the cost would be financed by the City of New York, the Fund for Area Planning and Development, Inc. (composed of private foundations and businesses in the area), and the UN regular budget.

In the attached memorandum to the President, State recommends that the President transmit this legislation to the Congress. For this purpose it has prepared the attached Presidential transmission letter, accompanying back-up letter from the Secretary to the President, and a draft joint resolution.2

Justice has no legal problems with the draft resolution and defers to State on the policy issue. The package has been cleared informally with NSC staff (Moose). We have no objection to the proposal.

State plans to ask for the appropriation in its 1971 budget, but seeks early action on the authorization in order to facilitate the raising of the balance of the funds.

We should like to call to your attention the final paragraph of the attached transmittal memorandum of May 10, 1969, from the Secretary to the President which reads as follows:

“The Department’s preliminary notification to the Congress of the Headquarters’ expansion problem has elicited, on the whole, mildly favorable reactions. However, it would be advisable to inform appropriate Congressional members in advance of your submission of the legislation, should you decide to do so. We would especially need to alert Congressman Ross Adair, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who has told us of his strong reservations to the proposal. If your decision is favorable, we should therefore very much appreciate having a few days advance notice to permit these important preliminary consultations.”

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Also, Carl Marcy, Chief of Staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has indicated to State that this bill might become the occasion for focusing in general on U.S. policy toward the UN.

We are forwarding State’s proposal to you for appropriate action.

Wilf Rommel
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 298, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. I. No classification marking.
  2. Attached but not printed; regarding this memorandum and its attachments, see footnote 2, Document 1.