314. Memorandum From the Special Representative for Economic Summits (Owen) to President Carter 1
- Common Fund
Attached are memoranda from Secretaries Vance and Blumenthal concerning the Common Fund.2 They differ about its merits and the form that it would take, but agree that there are serious Congressional obstacles. Under the circumstances, I believe the most useful next step would be intensive Congressional consultation about the advantages of the type of Fund that Cy proposes, in the course of which variants such as Mike proposes could also be explored. After that consultation we can judge better whether changes in US policy are feasible and desirable. Accordingly, I recommend that:
1. You authorize us to proceed with intensive Congressional consultation about the Common Fund as soon as the foreign aid bill has been passed (probably in late September). This timing will leave little time for fixing the U.S. position before negotiations begin in early October; we will try to accelerate consultations.3[Page 995]
2. You direct that U.S. representatives at informal international meetings in the meantime indicate that we will consult intensively with the Congress about the unresolved issues and will frame our positions on these issues in light of the results of that consultation and of on-going international discussions.
3. You direct that the results of Congressional consultations be reported to you and that the PRC be asked promptly to give you agreed or divergent recommendations as to U.S. policy, in light of these results.
- Source: Carter Library, Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary, Presidential File, Box 100, 8/28/78. Confidential. Carter wrote at the top of the page: “Be cautious w/Congress. J.” Brzezinski also initialed the memorandum.↩
- Blumenthal’s memorandum is printed as Document 313.↩
- Carter indicated his approval of all three recommendations in this memorandum.↩
- Secret. Cooper sent a draft of this memorandum to Vance for his signature under cover of an August 15 memorandum. (National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Secretariat Staff, Records of the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Richard N. Cooper, 1977–1980, Lot 81D134, Box 3, Common Fund—1978)↩
- The Ministerial meeting between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the United States took place in Washington August 2–4. For Vance’s statement at the opening session, the transcript of a post-meeting news conference, and a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting, see the Department of State Bulletin, September 1978, pp. 19–25. For a statement issued by the White House on Carter’s participation in the meeting, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1978, Book II, pp. 1378–1379.↩
- In an August 29 memorandum to Vance, Cooper noted “that the President took favorable note of Secretary Blumenthal’s position that we could fashion a more limited approach to a Common Fund based on contributions to a contingency reserve fund.” (National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Secretariat Staff, Official Working Papers of S/P Director Anthony Lake, 1977–January 1981, Lot 82D298, Box 17, S/P-Lake Papers—Sensitive 7/1–9/30/78) For Blumenthal’s position, see Document 313.↩
- Carter indicated his approval of this recommendation and wrote: “See H Owen Memo. J.”↩