417. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of State Rogers and the Administrator, Agency for International Development (Hannah)1 2

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  • Commission to Examine Caribbean Development Needs

During his recent conversation with the President, Prime Minister Shearer of Jamaica suggested that the United States send a mission to Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to examine (a) their development problems and projects, particularly in the social field, and (b) ways in which the U.S. might help with them. The President agreed to do so.

The President wishes to follow up on this commitment. He has in mind a high-level inter-agency commission which would (a) examine social and economic development needs and problems in the English-speaking Caribbean, with special emphasis on Jamaica and in the context of the general political and economic situation and general U.S. interests and goals in the region; (b) determine wherein the U.S. may be able to help bilaterally or through multilateral entities; and (c) recommend specific implementing measures we ought to take.

The President has asked that within this general guidance—and following any further exploration with Prime Minister Shearer which you may wish to undertake through appropriate channels—you construct specific terms of reference for such a mission and proceed to designate and send to Jamaica and such other Caribbean countries as you determine appropriate a high-level interagency group to carry out that mission. If you believe it desirable also to include in the group individuals outside of government, you are authorized to do so.

The President asks that you give him a report as soon as practicable on the action taken to carry out this directive.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 786, Country Files, Latin America, Jamaica, Vol. I. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
  2. Kissinger forwarded a directive from President Nixon to form a high-level inter-agency commission to examine social and economic development in the Caribbean, with special emphasis on Jamaica.