240. Memorandum From Jeffrey Garten and Carol Lancaster of the Policy Planning Staff to Acting Secretary of State Christopher1


  • Peter Bourne’s World Hunger Initiatives

We know Tony has been discussing the Bourne initiatives with you and we wanted to keep you posted in his absence.

On December 23, we received a draft memorandum for the President on the World Hunger campaign (see attached).2 Bourne’s staff has requested comments by January 3. We understand that EB has arranged for an extension for State. But work on a response has not yet begun.

Bourne’s memo raises several major problems:

—it poses the option to the President to reorganize AID by establishing a separate “Ministry of Development”, an International Research Foundation, etc., proposals which are under consideration in the Henry Owen circuit and by no means ready for decision now.

—it asks the President to commit the US to eliminate poverty in the world by the year 2000, the feasibility of which is highly questionable and needs close examination.

—some of the proposals are unclear (e.g., seeking legislation to make food aid more human needs oriented) or insufficiently considered (e.g., offering financial assistance to an International Food Corps).

—some of the options presented to the President could imply large budgetary expenditures; yet no estimates of budgetary costs are available for any of the options.

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—finally, the President is provided no pros and cons on which to make judgements on the individual options.

We know that one of Tony’s concerns has been that State has been quite negative in its responses without offering alternative approaches. To ensure a timely, effective and constructive State reply to Bourne’s memo you may wish to talk to Jules3 or Dick Cooper and suggest their personal attention to this issue. You may also wish to see the State comment before it is forwarded.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Policy and Planning Staff—Office of the Director, Records of Anthony Lake, 1977–1981, Lot 82D298, Box 3, TL 12/16–12/31/77. No classification marking. Drafted by Lancaster. Sent through Kreisberg, Acting Director of the Policy Planning Staff. Vance accompanied President Carter to Poland (December 29–31), Iran (December 31–January 1), India (January 1–3), Saudi Arabia (January 3–4), Egypt (January 4), and France (January 4–5). Vance then traveled to Hungary (January 5–7) and Ireland (January 7) before departing for Washington. Christopher served as acting Secretary in Vance’s absence.
  2. Not attached. A copy of Bourne’s December 22 draft decision memorandum, sent to members of the World Hunger Working Group, is attached to a January 7, 1978, covering memorandum from Tarnoff to Bourne transmitting the Department of State’s comments on Bourne’s draft. (National Archives, RG 59, Bureau of International Organization Affairs/International Development Assistance/Agriculture Division, Subject Files of FAO, US Mission, International Food Organizations, Lot 88D305, Box 2, World Hunger Initiative)
  3. Reference is to Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Julius Katz.