23. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford, Washington, June 29, 1976.1 2
- BRENT SCOWCROFT [BS initialed]
- PL-480 Programs for Jamaica and Afghanistan
June 29, 1976
MEMORANDUM FOR: THE PRESIDENT
Secretary Kissinger has proposed small PL-480 programs for Jamaica ($2.5 million) and Afghanistan ($2.6 million). The Secretary discusses the need for these programs in the memorandum to you at Tab A. At Tab B is a memorandum to you from Jim Lynn recommending against these programs.
Secretary Kissinger’s memorandum points out the importance of these two small programs.
- — In Jamaica, we wish to extend a highly successful humanitarian program for an additional year to avoid giving radicals further anti-U. S. arguments during the current highly-agitated political campaign. Jamaica supplies over half of our bauxite needs, and investment disputes between the government and U.S. companies are in a delicate negotiating stage.
- — In Afghanistan, we wish to remove the irritant of a program which was not completed in 1973 — albiet because the Afghans moved slowly. You will meet on July 1 with Mohammad Naim, brother and chief advisor to the Afghan President; he would be pleased to know this small problem had been resolved.
OMB argues that these two programs illustrate an undesirable trend toward proliferation of PL-480 recipients. OMB believes these programs are of low political priority, have little developmental justification, and will be hard to terminate. Specifically, OMB argues:
- — that in the case of Jamaica, severe balance of payments problems should not obscure the country’s wealth relative to other LDC’s, and that the political impact would be both small and counter [Page 2]to our suspension of development lending as a result of the ongoing investment disputes;
- — that in the case of Afghanistan, the country has high foreign exchange reserves even though it is one of the poorest of countries, that our AID reduction is temporary, and that the program would probably have no impact on the country’s stability. I strongly support Secretary Kissinger’s proposals for the following reasons:
- — Secretary Kissinger is not requesting additional funding for the programs, which would be included within the currently approved PL-480 budget. It is the Secretary’s judgment that this allocation of available PL-480 resources represents the most effective programming in terms of our foreign policy objectives. I concur.
- — Although OMB’s arguments against “proliferation” of PL-480 programs raise a broader policy issue which could be prepared for your review and decision, neither paper adequately develops this broader issue. While it does not seem to me there is anything inherently wrong with small programs, I believe you should at this time review only the specific cases of Jamaica and Afghanistan, on the respective merits. (I should note that even with these two programs, the total would still be considerably below the average of the last 10 years.)
That you approve the PL-480 programs proposed for Jamaica and Afghanistan.
Approve____ Disapprove_____[Page 5]
- Source: Ford Library, National Security Advisor, NSC Staff for Middle East and South Asia Affairs, Convenience Files, 1974-77, Box 1, Afghanistan (2), Mirror File. Confidential. Sent for action. Attached at Tab A is Kissinger’s June 17 memorandum to the President supporting both PL-480 programs. Also attached is a July 6 memorandum from Staff Secretary James Connor to Director of the Office of Management and Budget James Lynn reporting that the President approved the Afghanistan program and disapproved the Jamaican program. (Ibid.)↩
- President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Scowcroft reported on Secretary of State Kissinger’s proposal to create a small PL-480 program for Afghanistan. The President approved the program.↩