14. National Security Decision Memorandum 321


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of The Interior
  • The Secretary of Agriculture
  • The Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Administrator, Agency for International Development


  • Water Development and Middle East Policy

With reference to the memorandum of September 9, 1969, from the Chairman of NSCIG/NEA to the Chairman of the NSC Review Group entitled “Desalting in the Near East—NSSM 30,”2 the President has made the following decisions:

He has agreed that decisions on broader policy for overall water development in the Near East should be deferred until early next year.
He has approved the following Administration position on the Israeli desalting plant to be used with the Government of Israel and with appropriate Congressional Committees:
Budgetary constraints make it impossible for the Administration to proceed now with plans to build a desalting plant in Israel.
Budgetary considerations apart, the Administration believes that intermediate experimentation with new technology is necessary before a large operating plant can be built anywhere. The Administration believes that there are compelling advantages in doing this work in the U.S.
The Administration is keeping open the possibility of later cooperation in the Israeli project.
The Administration intends to press ahead with research in desalting technology and will insure close cooperation with Israeli technicians.
He has asked that the Director, Bureau of the Budget in cooperation with the Science Advisor to the President coordinate a recommendation on whether a module to test the new technology should now be built in the U.S.

The Secretary of State will coordinate appropriate actions to inform the Government of Israel and the Congressional Committees concerned.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–212, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 32. Confidential; Exdis. Copies were sent to Mayo and DuBridge.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 9.