33. Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Reinhardt) to the Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance (Benson)1


  • USIA Support for U.S. Nonproliferation and Nuclear Export Policy

When the President submits the Administration’s comprehensive energy program to the Congress on April 202 we understand that it will contain the draft legislation on nonproliferation and nuclear export which Secretary Vance promised in his testimony before the House International Relations Committee on March 1.3 Indications are that advancing these policies will make considerable demands on many of the resources of American diplomacy. Public affairs, I believe, will be prominent among the resources required, since a good deal of our effort will involve explaining our positions in the face of hostile or indifferent receptions.

To provide proper public affairs support for U.S. nonproliferation and nuclear export policies abroad, I believe that USIA needs to work closely with State and the other substantive agencies involved in devel [Page 91] oping guidance and support materials and that this cooperation should begin as soon as possible.

In general terms, we envisage two sorts of support approaches. The first includes materials providing guidance as well as historical and technical background for use before the President’s April 20 announcement. The second includes the preparation of supplementary guidance and programs for follow-on support in the near and long term. We would expect to use the full range of Agency resources as appropriate. These would include international broadcasts over the Voice of America, speakers, printed matter, press placement materials, video tape recordings and motion pictures. Specific materials would be differentiated for use by general or highly specialized audiences as needs require.

If you agree that this sort of cooperation could usefully contribute to the support of the U.S. nonproliferation and nuclear export policies, I suggest that your staff and mine get together as soon as possible to plan and develop a systematic program of public affairs support.

Since time is of the essence, I look forward to your early response to this proposal.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P770068–0165. No classification marking. Mink sent a copy of Reinhardt’s memorandum to Nye under an April 19 action memorandum, requesting that Nye sign a proposed response to Reinhardt. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P77068–0167) Nye’s April 20 response to Reinhardt is printed as Document 40.
  2. During his February 2 “fireside” chat, broadcast live on nationwide television and radio networks, the President stated that one of the administration’s “most urgent projects” was the development of a national energy policy. He indicated that Schlesinger had the responsibility for directing this effort: “On April 20, we will have completed the planning for our energy program and will immediately then ask the Congress for its help in enacting comprehensive legislation.” (Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, p. 70) For the text of Carter’s April 20 address on a national energy plan, delivered before a joint session of Congress, see Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, pp. 663–672.
  3. The full text of Vance’s March 1 statement is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, March 21, 1977, pp. 267–271. Vance indicated that the administration favored renewal of the Export Administration Act of 1969 in order to retain the Secretary of Commerce’s control of exports for reasons of national security, foreign policy, and short supply. He stated that the administration would, as a result of the comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear export and non-proliferation policies, “develop legislative recommendations” by the end of March, regarding the bills designed to renew the Act. He continued: “We believe this approach would have significant advantages. It would clarify U.S. nonproliferation policy and provide a sound basis from which to assure U.S. leadership in this field. Meanwhile, we suggest that the concerned congressional committees not enact legislation in the non-proliferation area before giving full consideration to the executive branch’s recommendations.” (Ibid., pp. 270–271)