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Letter to the Chairman, Advisory Board on International Development, on Foreign Economic Policy.

November 24, 1950

Dear Mr. Rockefeller:

At the time I requested you to serve as Chairman of the Advisory Board on International Development, I expressed the conviction that any adequate and sound program of international economic development must be both broadly conceived in relation to our national interests and so formulated as to lend itself to realistic and continuing cooperation between private enterprise and government, here and abroad. I regard such a program as vital to the attainment of our goal of an expanding world economy and to the building of the security of the free world.

On March 31, 1950, I requested Mr. Gordon Gray to undertake a comprehensive study of the foreign economic policies and procedures of this Government in the light of present developments and conditions. Mr. Gray has now submitted his report. A reading of it reinforces my conviction that an effective program for international economic development must be integrated both as to policy and operations with all other governmental and private activities relating to the international trade and economic life of the nation.

Our policy in relation to the underdeveloped areas is one of the central points toward which the Gray Report is addressed. When that Report was made public, I stated that I was asking you to have the Advisory Board "as its first task, consider Mr. Gray's proposals concerning our policy toward the underdeveloped areas in the context of the full report, in order that this Board will be able to give us its views early in the coming year on the types and size of programs which it considers desirable for the United States to undertake in this field."

In accordance with this request, I should like to have the Advisory Board address itself specifically to the consideration of desirable plans to accomplish with maximum dispatch and effectiveness the broad objectives and policies of the Point Four program. In carrying out this task you should take into account existing governmental and private activities bearing on international economic development. You will wish to formulate your recommendations in the light of the Gray Report's comprehensive analysis of our entire foreign economic policy.

This is a special task which I am asking the Advisory Board to undertake for me in addition to the duties which are assigned to it under the Act for International Development. In carrying out this task, you may provide yourself and the Advisory Board with such assistants as may be required.

I am hopeful that you may find it possible to make your recommendations to me by the beginning of February of next year.

The various departments and agencies of the Government responsible for our foreign aid programs, in particular the Department of State, are as you know, now studying the problem of continuation and possible modification of those programs. Those departments and agencies will, of course, extend to you the fullest cooperation in your work.

I am most interested in the work you are undertaking and I know you will apprise me from time to time as to how the work is proceeding.

Sincerely yours,


[Mr. Nelson Rockefeller, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York]

Note: The report of the International Development Advisory Board, entitled "Partners In Progress," is dated March 1951 (Government Printing Office: 1951, 120 pp.).

For a statement by the President on the Gray Report see Item 282.
See also Item 294.

Harry S Truman, Letter to the Chairman, Advisory Board on International Development, on Foreign Economic Policy. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230464

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