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Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report on the International Educational and Cultural Exchange Program.

October 11, 1972

To the Congress of the United States:

I transmit herewith the Annual Report on the International Educational and Cultural Exchange Program conducted during Fiscal Year 1971 by the Department of State under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-256, the Fulbright-Hays Act).

Mutual understanding between our own people and the people of other countries is an essential ingredient of the peace we seek. The exchange program is directed at increasing world understanding at the most basic, people-to-people level. It likewise aims to develop and strengthen enduring unofficial relationships between institutions, organizations, private businesses and professional societies here and abroad.

One measure of this program's impact is that, in 25 years, more than 142,000 people have taken part in exchanges, including over 36,000 Americans. During 1971 more than 5,000 scholars and leaders in various fields took part in exchange visits.

In this manner, the exchange program has created in the United States and abroad reservoirs of mutual understanding and empathy among a cross-section of leaders in many professions. These vital reservoirs are drawn upon more and more frequently as the number of people who influence foreign policy decisions increases both in this country and abroad.

This report presents a brief summary of the exchange program over its first 25 years. Limited at first to scholarly exchanges, the program now includes observation-study visits by outstanding foreign leaders and professionals. This aspect of the program has progressed to the point that the chief of state or prime minister of one out of every 10 countries of the world has visited the United States before assuming office. The present-day program also encompasses presentation abroad of some of the country's top performing artists, with special emphasis on reaching important areas ordinarily missed by regular commercial performing arts tours, such as the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

The program also includes exchanges of outstanding young people with leadership potential, as well as special projects designed to enrich the experience of foreign students coming to the United States under private sponsorship, many of whom return home to rise to positions of leadership.

In particular, this report pays tribute to the hundreds of private agencies, business corporations, and other organizations as well as to the thousands of individuals who, from the very beginning, have voluntarily contributed funds, time and effort to make this exchange program not only truly representative of the people of the United States, but a unique example of citizens' diplomacy in action.

I commend this report to the thoughtful attention of the Congress.



October 11, 1972.

Note: The report, entitled "Educational and Cultural Exchange: People's Diplomacy in Action" (31 pp. plus addenda), was published by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.

Richard Nixon, Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report on the International Educational and Cultural Exchange Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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