122. National Security Decision Memorandum 314, Washington, November 26, 1975.1 2

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November 26, 1975

National Security Decision Memorandum 314

TO: The Secretary of State
The Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Agriculture
The Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare
The Administrator, Agency for International Development

SUBJECT: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for United States Security and Overseas Interests

The President has reviewed the interagency response to NSSM 200 and the covering memorandum from the Chairman of the NSC Under Secretaries Committee He believes that United States leadership is essential to combat population growth, to implement the World Population Plan of Action and to advance United States security and overseas interests. The President endorses the policy recommendations contained in the Executive Summary of the NSSM 200 response, with the following observations and exceptions:

AID Programs

Care must be taken that our AID program efforts are not so diffuse as to have little impact upon those countries contributing the largest growth in population, and where reductions in fertility are most needed for economic and social progress.

Research and Evaluation

An examination should be undertaken of the effectiveness of population control programs in countries at all levels of development, but with emphasis on the LDC’s. The examination should include an evaluation of AID program efforts as well as other efforts by national or international groups. The study would attempt to determine the separate effect of the population program, taking account of other economic or social factors which may have also influenced fertility.

Research on broader issues should be undertaken examining the factors affecting change (or lack of change) in the birth rate in different countries.

Funding for Population Programs

The President desires that a review be undertaken quickly to examine specific recommendations for funding in the population assistance and family planning field for the period after FY 1976. The President wishes a detailed analysis of the recommended funding levels in the NSSM 200 study bearing in mind his desire to advance population goals. This analysis should include performance criteria to assure that any additional funds are utilized in the most effective manner. The appropriate level of funding of multilateral programs which effectively support this objective should be included in this review. The Chairman of the USC is responsible for preparing this analysis which is due 60 days from the date of this NSDM.

The Role of Other Countries:

Emphasis should be given to fostering international cooperation in reducing population growth in pursuing the recommendations of the World Population Plan of Action. It is important to enlist additional contributions from other developed and newly rich countries for bilateral and multilateral programs.

Basic Approach to Developing Countires’ Population Programs::

Leaders of key developing countries should be encouraged to support national and multilateral population assistance programs.

The objective of the United States in this field is to work closely with others rather than to seek to impose our views on others. Our efforts should stress the linkage between reduced population growth and the resultant economic and social gains for the poorest nations. In all these efforts, we should recognize the basic dignity of the individual and his or her right to choose freely family goals and family planning alternatives.

National and World Population Goals:

The President believes that the recommendation contained in paragraph 31(c) of the Executive Summary dealing with the announcement of a United States national goal is outside the scope of NSSM 200. Of course, domestic efforts in this field must continue in order to achieve worldwide recognition that the United States has been successfully practicing the basic recommendations of the World Plan of Action and that the nation’s birthrate is below the. replacement level of fertility. In order to obtain the support of the United States citizens for our involvement in international population programs, it is important that they recognize that excessive world population growth can affect domestic problems including economic expansion as well as world instability.

Concerning the consideration of World Population Goals in paragraph 31(b), it should be understood that the general goal of achieving global replacement levels of fertility by the year 2000 does not imply interference in the national policies of other countries.

The Under Secretaries Committee, in conjunction with all appropriate agencies of the Executive Branch, may wish to make further recommendations to the President on these subjects.

Coordination of United States Global Population Policy:

Implementation of a United States worldwide population strategy will involve careful coordination. The response to NSSM 200 is a good beginning, but as noted above, there is need for further examination of the mix of United States assistance strategy and its most efficient application.

The President, therefore, assigns to the Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee, the responsibility to define and develop policy in the population field and to coordinate its implementation beyond the NSSM 200 response.

The Chairman is instructed to submit an initial report within six months from this date on the implementation of this policy, with recommendations for any modifications in our strategy, funding programs, and particularly, the identification of.possible deficiencies. Thereafter the Chairman is instructed to submit reports to the President annually.

The Chairman is authorized to request other appropriate bodies and agencies to assist him in this task as required. For the purpose of implementing this NSDM, the Under Secretaries Committee should include, in addition to the addressee members, ex officio representatives of the following agencies:

Council on Environmental Quality Office of Management and Budget The President’s Science Adviser

Brent Scowcroft

cc: The Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee
The Director, Office of Management and Budget
The Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Director of Central Intelligence
The Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSDMs File, Box 1, NSDM 314. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the National Security Council Under Secretaries Committee, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality. NSSM 200 is published as Document 113. The NSSM 200 response is published as Document 118.
  2. The President issued several related directives designed to foster a coordinated governmental approach to international population policy issues.