244. Letter From President Nixon to Secretary of the Treasury Shultz1

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Your report concerning means of replenishing the resources of the International Development Association and the Special Funds of the Asian Development Bank is most encouraging.2 I share your confidence that we can find a method that meets the urgent needs of developing countries and at the same time is fully consistent with the interests of [Page 854] the United States. I am pleased to know that you have already had numerous contacts on this subject with members of the Congress.

My view is that adequate funding of these institutions is vitally important, and that the United States should do its fair share. These organizations provide critically needed resources to finance development in many poor countries where the United States has important interests. More broadly, cooperative multilateral assistance of this sort is the logical and necessary complement not only for our own bilateral programs, but also for our initiative toward greater international cooperation in the monetary and trade fields.

The specific proposals you have described to me are, I believe, an appropriate response to the needs of IDA and the ADB. They are consistent with both the budgetary priorities we have established and the international financial position of the United States. I understand from your report that the United States share of IDA resources could be reduced from 40 percent to 33⅓ percent. Our contribution would be $1.5 billion with appropriations beginning in fiscal year 1976.

Regarding the Asian Development Bank, I understand that others are prepared to put up an additional $375 million over three years if we provide the $100 million contribution that is still pending before the Appropriations Committees, together with a further $50 million contribution. Altogether, the United States would then be contributing 20 percent of Asian Bank soft funds, with the Bank, in turn, guaranteeing at least $100 million3 in United States procurement. The budgetary outlay and balance of payments effects of both these proposals would be spread out over a 10-year period.

I trust you will devote as much time as is necessary in the next few weeks to Congressional consultations in order to obtain, prior to the Nairobi meeting of the World Bank, an indication of Congressional willingness to support legislation embodying the foregoing proposals. I believe they are compatible with the concerns of both the Administration and the Congress. Having concluded your Congressional consultations, you should be in a position to negotiate with other countries at the Nairobi meeting a firm international understanding for each government to submit to its legislature. Upon your return from Nairobi with such an understanding in hand, I plan promptly to submit [Page 855] legislation to the Congress to authorize you to enter into formal international commitments on behalf of the United States.

I look forward to your further reports and wish you well in your negotiations at Nairobi. A successful outcome there, and its translation into completed legislation, will go far toward assuring the developing world that the United States intends to maintain its traditional concern for economic and social progress in a peaceful world.


Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 333, Subject Files, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) (April 1969–August 1973). No classification marking.
  2. See Tab B to Document 243.
  3. An earlier version of the letter reads “$100 million a year.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 333, Subject Files, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) (April 1969–August 1973)) Another copy of the letter indicates that the White House was responsible for the phrase, “at least $100 million.” (Ibid., RG 56, Office of the Under Secretary of the Treasury, Files of Under Secretary Volcker, 1969–1974, Accession 56–79–15, Box 3, International Financial Institutions)