143. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter 1


  • Foreign Assistance Programs

A memorandum on organization of our foreign assistance programs will soon be reaching you from Jim McIntyre.2 Three of the issues particularly concern me:

—Moving responsibility for the multilateral development banks from Treasury to a new aid agency is unnecessary, would be disruptive, and could be damaging on the Hill. Better integration of our multilateral and bilateral approaches could be achieved through more aggressive use of the Development Coordination Committee.

—Moving responsibility for those UN programs which have a development purpose from State to the new aid agency would be a complex and confusing operation. It is extremely difficult to define which international organization programs are developmental, because most of them are only partly so. Dividing authority for dealing with UN programs would harm our efforts, which are making good progress, to tighten up management of our participation in the UN system.

—It is proposed that the development aid budgets go directly to OMB from AID or the new aid agency, rather than from the Secretary of State. In either case, both AID and State would have a chance to comment on the budget. I would strongly oppose such a change in procedure. If the AID/IDCA budget does not go through State, as at present, it would be much harder for us to analyze regional trade-offs between development aid programs and other forms of assistance, such as SSA.

In summary, while I would recommend a modest reorganization which would allow the creation of an IDCA, as indicated in the OMB memo, I do not believe that you should add a major foreign assistance reorganization to the Administration’s heavy agenda for the coming year. We should let the Development Coordination Committee continue to make headway on integrating bilateral and multilateral assistance, and maintain the budget relationship between State and AID, which worked well this year.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Official Working Papers of S/P, 1977–1981, Box 17, Sensitive, 1/1–3/31/79. Confidential; Nodis. Drafted by Farrar.
  2. Not found.