Memorandum from the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/
/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 641, Country Files, Middle East, South Asia, Vol. II, Jan-Oct 1971. Confidential. Sent for action. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
South Asian Relief
AID Administrator, Hannah, is proposing a FY 1972 budget amendment of $250 million to the foreign assistance appropriation for our South Asian relief programs. Mr. Shultz is sending you separately and without a recommendation a memorandum on the pending alternatives. [Tab A]/2/
/2/ All brackets in the source text. The memorandum was dated September 30; attached but not printed.
proposal rests on estimates by Maury Williams following his recent trip to both
framework is an estimate that total costs in both countries will reach $1.1
billion this year-$300 million of that for avoiding famine in East Pakistan./3/
Grant food shipments would amount to about half-$590 million. Of the remaining
need for cash assistance-$390 million for refugees and $150 million for East
Pakistan-Williams proposes that the
Kissinger and George Shultz discussed the memorandum Shultz was about to forward
to the President in a telephone conversation on September 29. Although he was
sending his memorandum without a recommendation, Shultz felt that the proposed
$250 million appropriation was "a hell of a lot of money" and a
complicated way to get the problem of hunger in
Mr. Shultz presents three options without recommendation:
-Go to the Congress in two tranches, $125 million now and possibly another $125 million early next session. Everyone agrees this buys the worst of all worlds: we would probably end up doing $250 million but would lose the political impact of doing it.
-Go for $200
million now rather than the $250 million recommended. Williams could live with
this, but what this would do is remove all contingency cushion
for an increase in the number of refugees or a breakdown in the distribution
-Go for the whole $250 million as recommended by Williams.
Mr. Shultz's concern, understandably, is the budget impact of a program of this size. In those terms, the real choice is between going ahead with $250 million and doing something very little. It might be possible to shave $50 million from the $250 million if that would help, but the overall problem is so large that one could argue that the $50 million saved would not be that significant and that if we are going to pursue an all-out effort to avert famine and war, it should be done right. On balance, I recommend $250 million, but point out that you have a real alternative of $200 million.
If you approve this program, I strongly recommend the attached statement for release when the appropriations request is transmitted to Congress. Senator Kennedy has begun hearings on the refugee issue. Maury Williams will testify Monday (October 4). If you wished to make such a statement, optimum timing would seem to be Friday./4/ Williams would then be in a strong position to defend a record that is already sound and a plan that had been announced and submitted to the Congress. Since only your press conference comment is on the record on this issue, I feel this statement would be a good idea. It would be released on a natural occasion and directed exclusively at a humanitarian problem. [Tab B]/5/
/4/ October 1.
/5/ The attached draft statement was released to the press on
October 1 in Key Biscayne,
1. That you
approve a program of $250 million to be submitted to the Congress tomorrow.
Approve $250 million/6/
/6/ Nixon initialed this option.
Approve $200 million
2. That you approve the attached statement for release tomorrow. [Text cleared with Mr. Price. Tab B]
Document 155, volume XI,