107. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2


  • East Pakistan Disaster Relief

Attached at Tab A is a memo from Maurice Williams, the Chairman of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on East Pakistan Disaster Relief, on the status of U.S. assistance to the disaster area and needs which remain. Mr. Williams reports that:

  • —The United States has provided about $9 million in emergency relief assistance.
  • —U.S. military helicopters have air-lifted over 1 million pounds of supplies directly into the disaster area.
  • —Ambassador Farland and other Americans in the field have done a “magnificent job”.
  • —For all practical purposes, the short-term emergency relief requirements have now been met. The relief efforts may be entering a more difficult period since there is a danger that international interest and support will decline.
  • —The most critical need remaining is for’ food grain. At least 400,000 metric tons will probably be needed in the disaster area until another crop can be harvested a year from now.



In order to maintain the momentum of relief efforts, it is recommended that you approve a press release (Tab B) enumerating steps taken thus far and

  • —Announcing a grant contribution of 150,000 tons of food grain (valued at about $16 million)
  • —Expressing the hope that other countries, especially those in a position to provide rice, will join in the effort to feed the survivors
  • —Calling attention to the campaign of the Pakistan Relief Committee over the next few weeks to raise funds for use in Pakistan by U.S. voluntary agencies. (Mrs. Nixon is honorary chairman of this committee of prominent Americans and Mr. Finch’s office which is overseeing the operation strongly concurs in the statement.)

Since the initial emergency relief effort has been completed and our aid will now be processed through normal channels, it is recommended that you sign the letter to Mr. Williams (Tab C) commending him and his committee for their effective handling of the disaster relief effort. Ray Price concurs.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 624, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. III, 1 Oct 70–28 Feb 71. Secret. Sent for action. Haig signed for Kissinger. A notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it. Nixon initialed his approval of the recommendation. Attached but not published at Tab A was a memorandum from Williams to Nixon sent through Kissinger for the President on December 23 under a covering memorandum from Eliot. Attached but not published at Tab B was the proposed press release. Not attached at Tab C was the draft letter. The Pakistan Relief Committee was established on November 26 and chaired by former Ambassador Robert Murphy.
  2. Nixon approved the provision of an additional 150,000 tons of food grains to East Pakistan for disaster relief.