308. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Rogers) to the President’s Assistant for Economic Affairs (Seidman)1

USG Policy Toward Common Fund

The United States is clearly on record as opposed to the Common Fund proposal. We have stated that we consider it economically unsound and inadequate to the real problems of economic development in general and commodities trade in particular. Given our well-known position on the issue, the Department of State sees no benefit in mounting an active campaign against the Common Fund. Moreover, a policy of active opposition would entail needless foreign policy costs.

Therefore, we favor for the time being a policy of passive opposition to the Common Fund. As the North/South dialogue proceeds and if the preparatory meeting on the Common Fund occurs in November as is now tentatively scheduled, we may find it desirable to detail again our objections to the UNCTAD Common Fund scheme and to make alternative proposals for buffer stock financing. If we decide that such action is desirable, we will of course return to the EPB for further consultation with the agencies concerned.

  1. Source: Ford Library, L. William Seidman Papers, Economic Policy Board Subject File, Box 50, Commodities—United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). No classification marking.