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


  • Talking Points with Rudy Peterson

Secretary Rogers has spoken to Rudy Peterson, your first choice to replace Paul Hoffman as Head of the UN Development Program.2 Peterson is reported to be on the verge of a decision. George Bush recommends that you call Peterson urging him to accept.3 I agree. Your personal intervention at this point could well be decisive.

I believe your efforts should be concentrated in getting him to accept the UN position. You should know, however, that Rudy is also attracted by the possibility that you might ask him to be the Coordinator of Development Assistance proposed in the foreign aid reform legislation which you just submitted to Congress. No one has suggested the notion to him—in fact, no one has done any systematic thought about any of the new jobs in the new structure—but Rudy is aware that he is an obvious candidate for the position of Coordinator.

If you decide to call Rudy, you might make the following points:

  • —The job is one to which you attach the highest importance.
  • —We want to rely increasingly on multilateral institutions for our aid efforts, as Rudy’s Task Force itself recommended, but these institutions must be capable of handling the job. (You might note that you have just submitted the foreign aid reform legislation based on last year’s report of Rudy’s Task Force, and again thank him for coming up with such a new and imaginative approach.)
  • —The UNDP is central to this effort in the technical assistance area. It is currently undergoing encouraging reform and reorganization. This makes it especially crucial that we have a strong hand at the helm at this time.
  • —You believe Peterson is just the man, and would give him your full backing.
  • —If he agrees, we will move ahead. This will still entail getting U Thant’s agreement to appoint him and Paul Hoffman’s willingness to step aside. But we think we can do these things.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VI. No classification marking. A stamped notation reads: “The President has seen.”
  2. Secretary Rogers called Rudolph Peterson in California on March 30 at 3:18 p.m., and Peterson returned the call at 5:45 p.m. on April 12. (Private Papers of William P. Rogers, Appointment Books)
  3. An attached memorandum from Bush to H. R. Haldeman, April 19, is not printed.
  4. Nixon’s handwritten note at the end of the memorandum reads: “No—He must take it if he wants it—I shall not urge him—or anyone else on this position.”