423. Memorandum From the Acting Secretary of State (Irwin) to President Nixon1 2

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  • Development Commission Report on Jamaica

In your meeting with Jamaican Prime Minister Hugh Shearer last August, you agreed to send a mission to Jamaica to examine development problems and ways in which the U.S. might help with them. A Commission headed by Ambassador Maurice Bernbaum visited Jamaica in December and has compiled the enclosed report.

The Commission recommends the USG consider selective assistance supporting development of the agricultural sector, manpower training and certain financial institutions to complement the existing and proposed efforts of the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and other assistance agencies. The Commission suggests continuing assistance to the successful Jamaican family planning project and A.I.D. study of the possibility of assisting the University of the West Indies. The Commission also recommends the USG foster favorable trade relations with Jamaica by sympathetically resolving outstanding issues on the inclusion of Jamaica under our proposed generalized preference system and eliminating the existing tariff discrimination against rum.

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A.I.D. is reviewing for possible financing this fiscal year loan requests for a farm-to-market road program that was accorded top priority by the Prime Minister, and assistance in establishing a secondary mortgage institution. The other recommendations are being actively studied.

John N. Irwin II
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 786, Country Files, Latin America, Jamaica, Vol. I. No classification marking. The “Report of the Commission to Jamaica” was not enclosed. Irwin’s memorandum was forwarded to Haig under a April 16 covering memorandum from Nachmanoff, in which Nachmanoff stated: “I am holding the full report in my files,” which he did not believe was worth sending to the President. Haig concurred with Nachmanoff’s decision by initialing and writing: “OK.”
  2. The Department of State reported on the inter-agency commission that had been sent to Jamaica to examine social and economic problems there. The commission recommended selective assistance through AID, trade relations, and international organizations.