254. Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Diplomatic Posts1

24223. Subject: U.S. Participation in IDA.


Action addressees requested deliver following letter from Secretary of Treasury George Shultz as U.S. Governor of International Development Association (IDA) to host country Governor of IDA (dated February 5, 1974): (Embassy Bern: Please provide to Minister responsible for IDA affairs):

Dear Mr. Governor:

I would like to express my deep concern, which is shared by the President and Secretary Kissinger, at the recent action of the U.S. House of Representatives in rejecting the administration’s bill providing for U.S. participation in the fourth IDA replenishment.2 The replenishment arrangements negotiated at Nairobi are, I believe, reasonable and fair, and deserve to be implemented. Let me assure you that the administration is firmly committed to continued U.S. support for IDA and will be making the strongest efforts to overcome this legislative setback in the shortest possible time.

I shall be keeping in touch with Mr. McNamara as our legislative situation develops.

With best wishes, sincerely, George P. Shultz, Secretary of the Treasury and US Governor, International Development Association.

Above letter intended reassure other participants in IDA fourth replenishment that U.S. administration intends continue efforts toward Congressional passage of legislation authorizing U.S. participation, notwithstanding House defeat of IDA bill on January 23. USG hopes that other participants will proceed with the process of obtaining their own legislation required for participation in replenishment. In this connection, Embassies may wish to call to attention of host governments [Page 885] that President’s State of Union message (full written text submitted separately from speech text)3 contained following: “… The Congress must continue to authorize and appropriate our fair share of both bilateral and multilateral economic assistance, including a substantial contribution to the International Development Association which helps the poorest countries. In 1973 we successfully negotiated a reduction of the U.S. share from 40 percent to one-third of IDA funds. We cannot let the action of the House in voting against IDA stand as our final answer. We will work hard with the Congress to ensure that this country continues to play a leadership role …”
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Unclassified; Priority. Drafted by Treasury staff member J. Finkel and approved by Director of Office of Development Finance Richard Benedick. Sent to Canberra, Vienna, Brussels, Ottawa, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Paris, Bonn, Reykjavik, Dublin, Rome, Tokyo, Kuwait, Luxembourg, the Hague Wellington, Oslo, Pretoria, Stockholm, London, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Belgrade, and Bern. Repeated Priority to USUN.
  2. On January 23, the House of Representatives voted against the proposed $1.5 billion U.S. contribution to the IDA.
  3. President Nixon delivered his State of the Union message on January 30. For the text of the message, see Public Papers: Nixon, 1974, pp. 56–100.