300. Memorandum From the Chairman of the NSC Ad Hoc Group on Population Policy (Green) to the President’s Special Assistant for Health Issues (Bourne)1


  • Foundations for a New U.S. International Health Policy

Among the recommendations in the chapter on Medical Diplomacy of the subject report2 is one to establish “an interagency committee to coordinate international health activities of the various agencies relating to foreign policy” (p. 329). The recommendation goes on to say: “Ideally this committee would replace the NSC Ad Hoc Group on Population Affairs.”

Obviously, health and population are closely related, and the delivery of integrated health, family planning, and nutrition services is the key element of any health strategy for the developing world. However, population concerns extend far beyond the health field. They relate to, and interact with, such issues as food, environment, employment, migration, the status of women, education, social security, age at marriage, village organization, and social/economic development generally. Health relates to some of these issues, but there are many divergencies and differences. Hence, I do not see how a single committee could do justice to the many facets of health and population.

Thus, while I support the establishment of an inter-agency committee on international health, I favor preserving a separate population policy committee (i.e., the NSC Ad Hoc Group on Population Policy) and would expect that there would be close coordination between the health and population committees, with each being represented at the other’s meetings.

I would greatly welcome an early opportunity to discuss this and related matters with you. Please let me know when it would be convenient.

Marshall Green
  1. Source: Carter Library, Staff Office Files, Special Assistant for Health Issues—Peter Bourne Files, Subject Files, Box 34, International Health, 1/9/77–12/1/77. No classification marking.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 299.