7. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1


  • International Exchange of Persons

When we met on January 27,2 you recalled your visit to Latin America in 19723 and you expressed your high regard for programs which give individual Americans an opportunity to become acquainted with other cultures and societies.

We understand that your visit to Latin America was arranged by Partners of the Americas,4 an organization which has been highly successful in promoting exchanges with Latin America. Currently, 30 state Governors serve as honorary chairmen of “partnerships” between their states and countries of Latin America. The Governors are asked to promote new ties and strengthen existing linkages, and their visits [Page 20] to the Partner country are a key element in this program. With the assistance of the Governors, the Partners help encourage mutual trade and investment, educational exchanges, involvement by other private U.S. organizations, developmental programs in agriculture, nutrition and health, and assistance in international disaster relief emergencies. As part of this comprehensive program, six other state Governors also visited Latin America during the past seven years.

The Partners is one of many such programs to which the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs provides funds and assistance, pursuant to the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchanges Act of 1961 (Fulbright-Hays).5 Under the Act the Department seeks to strengthen patterns of two-way communication in order to increase mutual understanding and sense of community between the people of the United States and other countries throughout the world.

Listed below are some examples of similar programs funded partially or wholly by the Department. The FY 1978 budget request to Congress provides $70.5 million for continuation and slight expansion of these cultural exchange activities.

—The National Governors’ Conference conducts annual exchanges of State Governors with the Soviet Union and Japan. U.S. Governors travel to these countries in one year, and Soviet and Japanese delegations visit here the following year. In the latest round of these exchanges, we are extending an invitation to a group of eight Soviet Republic officials to visit here in July. The Governors’ Conference has also arranged occasional visits to other countries, including the People’s Republic of China in 1974.6

—The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the League of Cities similarly exchange visits with mayors of the Soviet Union and Poland. In the most recent exchange the mayors of Dayton, Denver, Lincoln (Nebraska), and Spokane7 spent two weeks in the Soviet Union last November meeting with local government officials in that country.

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—The Town Affiliation Association arranges direct exchanges between U.S. and foreign cities. Currently 610 U.S. cities and 800 cities in 76 countries have “sister city” relationships which organize a broad range of programs between the people and institutions of the participating cities.

—The American Council of Young Political Leaders conducts exchanges of young political leaders with the Soviet Union, Western and Eastern Europe, East Asia and Latin America. Two delegations of 12 Americans—6 Democrats and 6 Republicans, all under age 40—visit the Soviet Union each year for 18 days, five of which are spent in a seminar with young Soviet political leaders. In exchange, two groups of Soviets also visit the U.S. for a similar program. The participants on the U.S. side are active in politics on the federal, state and local levels. Since its inception in 1972, more than 150 persons have participated on each side. The U.S. Youth Council conducts similar exchanges with Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

—In the Middle East and South Asia the National 4-H Foundation and the Farmers and World Affairs have arranged exchanges of farm youth and farm families during the past ten years. Americans and foreign participants live with farm families, travel widely and exchange experiences with large numbers of people. In 1976, 4-H established a young farmers exchange with the Soviet Union.

—The Department partially supports three private programs which each year send American high school students abroad for a year and receive foreign students in the United States. Participants live with host families and attend local schools. More than 6,000 foreign and 3,000 U.S. students participate each year under programs conducted by the American Field Service, Youth for Understanding, and the Experiment in International Living.

—The African-American Institute, a Washington-based organization under contract to the Department, is planning to send 20 U.S. elected state and local government officials to Africa this summer for 30-day visits.

—The Department of State’s International Visitor Program is a central aspect of our people-to-people activity. Under it, each year we bring more than 2,000 foreign leaders to the United States for visits of approximately 30 days. The International Visitors spend several days in Washington and visit other cities in the United States according to their professional interests, meeting and exchanging views with U.S. counterparts.

—Home hospitality is provided these officially invited visitors by such organizations as the Atlanta Council for International Visitors, one of 90 local organizations throughout the United States which cooperate with the Department. More than 100,000 volunteers in these organiza [Page 22] tions help arrange programs in their communities, provide local transportation, and receive the visitors in their homes. Most International Visitors welcome the opportunity to see how Americans live in their homes, and they describe home hospitality as the high point of their visits.

—The Department also promotes improved two-way links with foreign countries through the Fulbright academic exchange program which it administers. Each year approximately 3,000 U.S. and foreign students, research scholars, teachers and lecturers are exchanged with over 100 countries. In Western Europe, our Allies consider these programs of great importance and share their funding with us on an approximately equal basis. Through these programs we are able to take cognizance of the long-range needs of the industrial democracies in the sciences, arts and humanities, and to help establish permanent linkages between centers of higher learning. Academic exchanges are also conducted with the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe. As a result, there is a new generation of scholars who have lived and studied here and abroad, and thereby have a better understanding of other countries, and their own.

I will ask Joe Duffey to review these programs to see whether there is more that we can and should be doing in the areas described above. Joe will also be seeing Reverend Wayne Smith of Atlanta here in Washington on Friday, February 11, to discuss the “Friendship Force” concept.8

  1. Source: Carter Library, Office of the Staff Secretary, Handwriting File, Presidential File, Box 9, 2/24/77. No classification marking. Under an undated covering memorandum, which Aaron initialed, Brzezinski sent the President a copy of Vance’s memorandum. (Ibid.) The President wrote: “cc: Rosalynn” in the top right-hand corner of Brzezinski’s memorandum. Attached to these memoranda are a February 24 note from Hutcheson to Brzezinski indicating that the copies of both memoranda were forwarded to Brzezinski for his information and a handwritten note by Inderfurth: “cc Brz also RSC—if we haven’t already sent her one—I believe we have.” (Ibid.) Copies of both Brzezinski’s and Vance’s memoranda are also in the Carter Library, White House Central Files, Subject File, Foreign Affairs, Information-Exchange Activities, Executive, Box FO–35, FO–5 1/20/77–9/30/77. A notation on the copy of Brzezinski’s memorandum in this file indicates that the Vance memorandum and the Brzezinski covering memorandum were sent to Carter on February 22.
  2. The President met with Vance, Christopher, Benson, and Habib in the Oval Office from 2 until 2:30 p.m. on January 27. (Carter Library, Presidential Materials, President’s Daily Diary) No record of this conversation has been found.
  3. Carter recalled his 1972 trip in his 1975 book entitled Why Not the Best?: “We have a sister state in Brazil named Pernambuco. After Rosalynn and I visited its capital city of Recife in 1972, we helped to arrange for an annual exchange of private citizens between the two states. Each year a planeload of about 200 Georgians fly to Pernambuco and a similar number of Pernambucans come to visit us. All of these visitors live for a couple of weeks in private homes and participate in a series of special events designed to teach them about the character and customs of their hosts. This has been an exciting experience for hundreds of our people and has reminded us anew that we share one world where peace and friendship can be a natural part of international life.” (Carter, Why Not the Best?, pp. 124–125)
  4. Established within the Agency for International Development (AID) in 1964 as Partners of the Alliance, the organization coordinated “people-to-people” exchanges as part of the larger Alliance for Progress. During the Nixon administration, Partners of the Alliance became a private sector organization and assumed the name Partners of the Americas.
  5. Kennedy signed into law P.L. 87–256 (75 Stat. 527), the FulbrightHays Act, on September 21, 1961. The Act consolidated earlier legislation on cultural and educational exchanges.
  6. In April 1974, the White House announced that six governors—Marvin Mandel (D-Maryland), Calvin Rampton (D-Utah), Philip W. Noel (D-Rhode Island), Daniel J. Evans (R-Washington), Arch A. Moore, Jr., (R-West Virginia), and Robert D. Ray (R-Iowa)—had been invited to tour China that May. The National Governors Association had selected the six governors after consulting with White House and Department of State officials. (Karlyn Barker, “Mandel Invited for 10-Day China Tour,” The Washington Post, April 27, 1974, p. A3)
  7. James H. McGee, William H. McNichols, Jr., Helen Boosalis, and David H. Rodgers, respectively.
  8. The President announced the establishment of the Friendship Force program during a March 1 White House dinner, honoring governors attending the National Governors’ Conference winter session. Referencing his 1972 trip, Carter stated: “It was a tremendous exhibition of the yearning of people in another country who spoke Portuguese—none of the Georgians spoke Portuguese—to learn about us and for us to learn about them. So we’re going to try to do this on a nationwide basis and ask those of you who are interested, either the Governors or their spouses, to be thinking about it, and later on you’ll get a letter concerning it. And perhaps your own State this first year would like to just take one airplane, and we’ve asked the State Department to give us advice. And we would like to have somebody go, maybe a couple of hundred folks go from, say, Idaho, to perhaps Morocco, and let 200 Moroccans come back.” (Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, p. 270) Carter also explained that Smith “was the one who had the idea for our first exchange. And he’s going to just volunteer to kind of coordinate the whole effort.” (Ibid.)