226. Memorandum From Guy Erb of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Hunger Initiative

At a meeting today on the hunger initiative, Jerry Fill presented his latest draft of a memorandum from Peter Bourne to the President.2 Although this version still tends to confuse policymaking and the drafting of a message on hunger, it is an improvement over earlier versions. Specifically, it provides for full participation by interested agencies and can, if redrafted along the lines discussed this afternoon, allow for the preparation of, and decisions on, policy options prior to the drafting of a message.

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Bourne also proposes consultations between private experts and the Interagency Working Group. If such consultations are informal and do not involve a “public review” of the options to be considered, I believe we can accept this suggestion.

In Bourne’s proposal, his office alone would chair the Working Group. I have proposed that NSC co-chair the Group in order to ensure that its work is fully related to other aspects of US development assistance and foreign economic policies. Unless you inform me to the contrary, I will continue to try to reach agreement with Bourne’s office on a co-chairing arrangement between Bourne and NSC.

We have asked AID to ensure that the redraft of the DCC study (see my memorandum on that study, PRM 8–III, and the Brookings study) take hunger issues into account. In addition, you may want to review the treatment of hunger in the President’s UNGA speech. I believe Bourne’s office might consider a reference to hunger in the UNGA speech to be premature. However, in view of the set-aside decision3 and our interest in seeing hunger placed in the context of the total US development assistance effort, I recommend that a statement on hunger be retained in the speech.

  1. Source: Carter Library, White House Central Files, Subject Files, Box HE–6, Executive, 1/20/77–9/29/77. Limited Official Use. Sent for information. Copies were sent to Hormats, Thornton, Denend, Owen, and Schecter.
  2. Presumable reference to the Working Group on World Hunger’s efforts to produce a memorandum for the President outlining various policy initiatives for an expanded world hunger program. An August 5 draft memorandum from Bourne to the President with an attached “Potential Goals of U.S. Food Policy” outline is in the Carter Library, Staff Office Files, Special Assistant for Health Issues—Peter Bourne Files, Subject Files, Box 34, International Health, 8/1/77–8/31/77. The final version of the memorandum is printed as Document 227.
  3. See Document 225.