283. Memorandum From the Secretary of the Cabinet (Watson) to President Carter1
- Formation of a Cabinet Level Task Force on International Health
I have been working with Peter Bourne regarding formation of a Cabinet level task force on international health.2 As in so many areas of interagency concern, the principal problem is the lack of coordination and focus among multiple departments and agencies (in this case, at least 16), with a consequent failure to maximize the beneficial effects of the dollars we have to spend.
As outlined in the attached memorandum, we propose formation of an executive overview committee consisting of State, acting as Chairman, Defense, Commerce, Treasury, HEW and AID. I will coordinate the activities of that group. Peter will chair a coordinating committee of all the affected agencies and will divide them into working groups to address the administrative and legislative policy options outlined on page 2 of the proposed memorandum.3 In doing the work, we [Page 940] will involve many private sector groups, including business, labor, foundations, universities and church groups.
In reviewing the situation, we believe that an outline of initiatives can be presented to you on or before August 15th.
- Source: Carter Library, Staff Office Files, Special Assistant for Health Issues—Peter Bourne Files, Subject Files, Box 34, International Health, 6/1/77–6/15/77. No classification marking. There is no indication that Carter saw the memorandum.↩
- See Document 281.↩
- As chairman of the coordinating committee, Bourne subsequently established four working groups: Strategy Development; Research, Development, Demonstration, and Application; Health Manpower; and Private Sector Involvement. The Strategy Development working group was further subdivided into four functional working groups: Development and Supporting Assistance; Health of U.S. Citizens and Scientific and Professional Cooperation; Commerce and Finance; and Foreign Policy and Medical Diplomacy. (New Directions in International Health Cooperation: A Report to the President, pp. XXVII–XXVIII)↩
- No classification marking. No drafting information appears on the memorandum.↩
- Fill, in a June 11 memorandum to Watson, noted that Hutcheson did not think the draft should go to Carter at that time; see Document 285. According to a June 24 memorandum from Watson to Califano, Christopher, Gilligan, Brzezinski, Cutter, and Bourne, Watson had not yet forwarded the memorandum to the President by that date. (Carter Library, Staff Office Files, Special Assistant for Health Issues—Peter Bourne Files, Subject Files, Box 34, International Health, 6/16/77–6/30/77)↩