262. Memorandum From Marshall Wright and John Lehman of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1


  • Congress and the UNDP

Attached at Tab A is a memorandum from the State Department asking White House assistance in ensuring a U.S. voluntary contribution to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for fiscal year 1972. Attached at Tab B is a letter to the President from Rudy Peterson expressing warm appreciation for the treatment of the UNDP problem in the President’s recent State of the World Message to the Congress.2

We believe that State is absolutely correct on this issue. At the President’s urging, Peterson has just taken over the leadership of the UNDP and was assured before doing so of the President’s personal support for it. It is, therefore, hardly thinkable that the President would passively accept the Congressional gutting of the UNDP. Moreover, the UNDP is exactly the kind of UN operation we wish to encourage. It was our baby to start with. It is run by an American of our naming. It is controlled through a process of weighted voting and therefore subject to a large measure of U.S. control. It has caught on, and is now [Page 466]receiving very significant support from other members of the international community. That support is increasing at a very satisfactory pace, 17 percent in 1972, for example. We therefore believe that the White House Congressional people should be instructed to put the full weight of the White House behind the restoration of at least $86.3 million for the UNDP in the Conference Committee recommendations regarding foreign aid legislation. The importance of that figure is that it is the current level of U.S. support and any reduction from it would be totally inconsistent with the President’s Annual Report to the Congress and would be interpreted as a gesture of no confidence in Rudy Peterson.


That you ask Clark MacGregor and Bill Timmons to make a maximum White House effort to ensure a voluntary contribution of no less than $86.3 million for the UNDP in the foreign aid legislation for fiscal year 1972 and that you authorize John Lehman to ensure that White House views on this matter are presented with proper vigor.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. X. Confidential. Sent for action.
  2. Tabs A and B are attached but not printed. Tab A is a February 16 memorandum from Executive Secretary Eliot to Kissinger. Tab B is a February 16 letter from Peterson to President Nixon. President Nixon’s Third Annual Report to the Congress on United States Foreign Policy (February 9, 1972) is printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1972, pp. 194–346. The references to the UNDP are on pp. 330–331.
  3. Haig wrote “done Haig Feb 18” next to the approve option.