285. Memorandum From Richard Levine of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Poindexter)1


  • Population Paper

Over the past few days—since Bud and Baker met and Shultz weighed in with Baker in support of the NSC paper—I have been meeting with Jim Cicconi.2 Bud had asked me to meet with Cicconi in order to graft some sections of the Svahn paper to the NSC paper as a sop. This was per Bud’s agreement with Baker. Cicconi and I are in agreement with the abortion language. I, in turn, grafted the first four pages of the Svahn paper to a shortened version of our draft. (I first, of course, had to edit those pages of the Svahn draft.) I gave this rough redraft to Bud and Cicconi. Bud thought it was excellent for it made [Page 800]good policy sense, while at the same time made it look like the whole policy statement was derived from the original Svahn draft.

Cicconi, however, acting in a manner contrary to Bud’s agreement with Baker, put back into his version 90 percent of what I cut from the Svahn draft, while at the same time removing all but one page of the NSC draft. Cicconi will present his redraft to Baker and Svahn on Monday, July 1 [2]. McPherson, I understand, is telling Baker that he can support any draft. McPherson just doesn’t want to take any more flak from the conservatives.

We must ensure that this new Cicconi draft is not endorsed by the Administration as policy. By Monday afternoon I will forward to you my final effort at grafting as much of the Svahn paper unto ours as practical from any kind of policy perspective.

I recommend we delay a final decision by Baker on this matter until Bud returns. I do not feel Cicconi has dealt with me in good faith, but I realize that we (the NSC) must take more accommodating steps, in order that we not be branded as the liberals on this matter. (I see a lot of irony in this case.)


That you take appropriate action on this matter.3

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC: Subject File, Population—Too Late to File (18 Jun 84). Secret. Sent for action.
  2. In a June 26 memorandum to McFarlane, Levine provided criticism and corrections to the NSC paper. (Ibid.)
  3. Poindexter initialed the approve option. A stamped notation on an undated set of talking points, entitled “Talking Points for Baker meeting—Population Issue Paper,” reads: “I am happy that we were able to work out appropriate language on abortion. Clearly, no U.S. funds should go to this practice,” and “I thus can support use of Jim Cicconi’s latest draft, with our noted changes.” The July 3 revised draft statement is attached but not printed. (Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC: Subject File, Population [1])