264. Memorandum From the Deputy Secretary of State (Clark) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Allen)1


Attached is a rough draft of Jim Buckley’s suggested language for an NSC Directive on Population Study—it is advisory only for your consideration and issuance.

In that Jim Buckley is out of the country at the moment, feel free to call me if I can be of assistance in rounding out Jim’s thinking.

William P. Clark2


Draft National Security Council Directive on Population Study3

President Nixon assigned the State Department the central responsibility for (1) formulation of U.S. international population policies, and (2) efforts to enhance the effectiveness of U.S. international and national programs in this area.4 This responsibility has been exercised through the Coordinator of Population Affairs who reports to the Assistant Secretary for OES. The existing intergovernmental framework for policy development is an 18-member committee chaired by the Assistant Secretary for OES.

Population control programs administered by AID are authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act, which states, (Sec. 104) (b), that “the President is authorized to furnish assistance [authorized by Sec. 104],5 on such terms and conditions as he may determine, for voluntary [Page 739]population planning.” An executive order issued by President Carter delegated that authority to the Director IDCA.6

The population policies pursued by the U.S. Government in recent years have acquired a momentum of their own, and current programs may or may not reflect the views of this Administration. Moreover, they may ignzore a growing body of evidence that challenges some of the premises on which current programs are usually justified.

All of this suggests the need to place State’s existing international population programs on “hold” pending a reexamination by State in consultation with appropriate members of the White House staff to reexamine the broad area of population policy.

Accordingly, James Buckley is directed to chair a small group to include representatives of the Office of Policy Development, the NSC and others whom he may designate, to develop and define U.S. international population policy objectives for submission through you to the NSC.

That Peter McPherson be advised that AID population control programs involve sensitive matters of foreign policy direction, and that you will expect James Buckley to provide the necessary policy guidance.7

  1. Source: Department of State, Files of the Deputy Secretary of State—William P. Clark, 1981–1982, Lot 82D127, Memoranda To/From White House. Unclassified.
  2. Printed from a copy that indicates Clark signed the original.
  3. Secret.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–14, Part 1, Documents on the United Nations, 1973–1976, Document 113.
  5. Brackets are in the original.
  6. Reference is to Executive Order 12163 issued on September 29, 1979.
  7. In a November 6 memorandum to Clark, Buckley wrote that he had commissioned two studies to investigate the cost effectiveness of “population control programs.” (Department of State, Files of the Deputy Secretary of State—William P. Clark, 1981–1982, Lot 82D127, Memoranda to Other Agencies) In a December 12 memorandum to Clark, Buckley wrote: “AID’s justifications for the population program contains some arguments which I do not believe jibe with the facts as developed in recent studies. It is these, of course, that I am trying to develop and weigh in my policy review. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, the justifications defend expenditures the Secretary has in fact requested in his original submission; and given time constraints, I see little choice at this stage but to let AID set forth its arguments in support of programs under its direct jurisdiction.” (Department of State, Files of the Deputy Secretary of State—William P. Clark, 1981–1982, Lot 82D127, AID)