267. Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (Malone) to Secretary of State Haig1


  • Your Meeting with the President to Discuss the FY 1983 Foreign Assistance Budget


The population assistance account was eliminated in the OMB FY 1983 passback of the Development Assistance Budget. The OMB proposal would completely reverse U.S. policy supported by six preceding Presidents and restated by President Reagan with other national leaders at the Ottawa Summit.2 It comes at a time when many LDC’s of key strategic interest to us have elevated voluntary family planning programs to a matter of national priority.

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The relatively small population account, which comprises only about five percent of total security and economic assistance, is among the most cost-effective component of our aid program. Small outlays for population programs at this time may save us the need to provide vastly larger sums for emergency food assistance and/or military peacekeeping assistance in the future. The Assistant Secretaries of AF, ARA, EA, EB, IO, NEA, and I strongly support restoration of the population assistance account.


Restoration of the AID population assistance account which was eliminated in the OMB FY 1983 passback.


—Program based on voluntarism and free choice. No funds for abortion, advocacy thereof, or even research on methods of abortion. Provides humane and accessible alternatives to traditional family planning methods, including abortion and infanticide.

Development alone cannot be relied upon to bring down birth rates, as it did in industrialized nations. Starting from much lower economic base, LDC’s have been experiencing over the past thirty years much higher population growth rates on a larger population base than in Europe or U.S. Population increases can greatly reduce economic gains and help perpetuate the politically dangerous gap in per capita GNP between more and less developed nations. Significant successes among countries in lowering population growth rates have only occurred in cases where family planning programs accompany, not follow, social and economic development and are regarded by government as part of development program.

CIA analyses point to growing potential for social unrest,3 extremism, political instability, and emigration linked with rapid population growth in number of critical countries.

—Strong broad-based support within Congress including Senators Percy and Mathias and outside from such people as David Rockefeller and General Maxwell Taylor. Unlikely that foreign aid bill would get through Congress without population program.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Country Files, Miscellaneous Population Files, 1974–1992, Lot 93D393, Background Papers 1980–1984. Unclassified. Drafted by Yates and cleared in OES/CP, AF/EPS, ARA/ECP, EA, EB, IO, NEA, S/P, and INR/EC. Sent through Buckley. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates that Bremer signed it into the Secretary’s office.
  2. See footnote 6, Document 266.
  3. See footnote 9, Document 266.
  4. According to the President’s Daily Diary, on December 18, Reagan met with Haig from 9:33 to 9:35 a.m., and from 9:35 to 10:05 a.m., and held a budget meeting from 10:08 to 11:05 a.m. (Reagan Library, President’s Daily Diary) The FY 83 budget request was reinstated to $201 million and finalized at $211 million.