219. Memorandum From Jessica Tuchman and Leslie Denend of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1
- World Food Project
The attached memorandum (Tab A) fulfills your direction to produce a joint NSC-Domestic Council-OSTP-Bourne proposal—except that Bourne’s people do not agree with it.
Since our meeting with you,2 we have held two meetings, produced two drafts,3 and incorporated two sets of comments. Throughout all this, NSC, DPC and OSTP have been in fairly complete agreement, and all are happy with the final draft. Also, throughout the whole process, talking to Jerry Fill and John Daly has been like talking [Page 691]to a stone wall. Fill staged an angry walkout from the second meeting in response to some perfectly reasonable comments by one of the other participants. The core of the disagreement is that Bourne’s people look upon the substantive work that needs to be done as a minor sideshow to a major effort to build a public constituency for hunger, while everyone else believes that it makes little sense to solicit support for a policy before you know what your policy is.
Bourne’s comments (prepared in response to an earlier draft) are attached at Tab B, along with final comments by the others. Many of Bourne’s comments, such as the suggestion to add Transportation, Labor and ERDA to the list of addressees were discussed by the group and, I thought, disposed of. However, Bourne’s office declined to produce comments to the second draft.
In sum, we made a good faith effort to produce a consensus proposal—but ended up as far apart from Bourne’s office as we were at the first meeting. Frankly, all of the rest of us who participated in this effort (including Hormats, Hansen, Huberman and Denend) were amazed at Jerry Fill. I am sure he has honest convictions on this issue, but he has been totally unresponsive to our efforts to reach consensus and move forward.
I don’t know where to go with Bourne’s people from here (or even whether Fill’s convictions are shared by Bourne himself), but I believe that the attached proposal provides a sound basis to proceed with further work.
If you approve of this proposal, I would suggest that we draft a memorandum to the President explaining what we have done and what we are proposing. Specifically, we would want him to understand that under this plan, major Presidential initiatives on this issue would be postponed until the PRM is completed—probably around the end of the year.4[Page 692] [Page 695]
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 92, Food: 1977. No classification marking. A July 8 memorandum from Press and Omenn to Tuchman indicating that they “fully support the process, participants, and preliminary plans for the proposed PRM”; a copy of the fifth page of the “Toward a PRM on World Food Policy” memorandum (attached below) annotated by Hansen; and a typewritten note indicating that the Domestic Policy Council had approved Tuchman’s memorandum are ibid. Another copy of Tuchman and Denend’s memorandum is in the Carter Library, White House Central Files, Subject Files, Box HE–6, Executive, 1/20/77–9/29/77. According to the attached NSC Correspondence Profile, Tuchman and Denend’s memorandum went to Brzezinski on July 11. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 92, Subject Chron, Food, 1977)↩
- Presumable reference to a meeting Daft and Tuchman planned to have with Brzezinski following the first meeting of the “food drafting group” on June 29. See Document 217 and footnote 2 thereto. No record of either meeting has been found.↩
- The first draft was not found. The second draft is Tab A.↩
- There is no indication that Brzezinski approved or disapproved the recommendation.↩
- No classification marking.↩
- Daft transmitted a copy of the “Toward a PRM on World Food Policy” memorandum to Eizenstat under a July 9 covering memorandum, in which he indicated that he supported “the general thrust of the proposal, though much work on the detail remains.” Eizenstat wrote on the memorandum: “Lynn: Is a jt. NSC–DC management idea feasible? Shouldn’t we defer to NSC & simply participate & let them chair? Let’s talk.” (Carter Library, Staff Office Files, Domestic Policy Staff, Eizenstat Files, Box 324, World Hunger )↩
- Documentation on PRM 8, issued on January 21, is in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, volume III, Foreign Economic Policy.↩
- See footnotes 8 and 9, Document 216.↩
- No classification marking.↩
- See footnote 3 above. Reference is to an earlier draft of Tuchman’s PRM proposal, which has not been found.↩
- See footnote 2 above.↩