106. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Weinberger to President Nixon, Washington, June 19, 1973.1 2

[Page 1] [Page 2]


June 19, 1973


Subject: Establishment of a National Commission for the Observance of World Population Year, 1974

The United Nations has designated 1974 a World Population Year and has requested all Member nations to participate fully and to devote 1974 to appropriate efforts and undertakings in the field of population, suggesting the desirability of creating national commissions in each country. (The United Nations has called a World Population Conference for August 1974.)

As you have stated publicly, the continued growth of population will be one of the most serious challenges to human destiny in the last third of this century. The US has played a major role in UN and other activities to bring world population growth under control. The US also had a principal part in promoting the UN resolutions designating the World Population Year and calling the World Population Conference.

We believe that a small Commission, composed of distinguished private citizens, broadly representative of various elements of our society, would be a suitable and valuable instrument to stimulate interest in and organize programs in support of the Year, to enhance public understanding of world population problems, to indicateUS continued support of UN activities in this field, and to serve as a helpful example to other countries whose cooperation is essential if the world is to respond effectively to the challenge you identified. Specialists in various fields could be used by the Commission functional committees. In order to assure coordination of Executive and Congressional activites in support of the Year with private sector activities, we propose that the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (or their designees) and two Members each of the Senate and the House participate with the Commission.

It is not intended that the Commission would advise or recommend to the Government policies it should adopt or positions it should take in th World Population Conference. Arrangements for this purpose will be made separately.

We recommend that you sign the enclosed, Executive Order establishing the Commission, appoint tie members of the of Commission and invite the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House to designate Members to participate with the Commission. A list of suggested names, divided by categories, with suggestions for numbers to be appointed from each category, is enclosed for your convenience.

William P. Rogers

Caspar W. Weinberger Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, SOC 13. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Spengler, Claxton, and Allen; and cleared by De Palma and Murray. A memorandum from Rush to Nixon, December 10, recommended that Nixon approve the proposal (ibid.). Nixon’s January 17, 1974 Executive Order establishing the Commission is published in Department of State Bulletin, February 11, 1974, pp. 153–154.
  2. Rogers and Weinberger recommended that Nixon establish a commission for the observance of the 1974 World Population Year.