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Memorandum From the Acting Secretary of State (Richardson) to President Nixon, Washington, December 4, 1969

US Government State Department


Washington, December 4, 1969

Richardson outlined four basic courses of action on relief and indicated that the Department of State planned to proceed with the fourth one: increase U.S. support for humanitarian organizations that had existing airlift programs capable of ensuring a more adequate flow of supplies.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 742, Country Files, Africa, Nigeria, Vol. I. Secret. In a December 23 note to Morris regarding Richardson's memorandum, Jeanne Davis, Director of the NSC Secretariat, stated, “I agree, of course, that this was OBE as of the week following its receipt. However, since we received it on December 5, several days before it became OBE, we are in the embarrassing position of having interdicted a memo from the Acting Secretary of State to the President on an important item. If there was any follow-up action, or if there are mitigating circumstances, could you please do a small memo for the record as a fig leaf to cover our nakedness.” Morris responded in an undated, handwritten note, “This was OBE as a matter of policy substance in State before it arrived, let alone events in Africa being anticipated here. Those who know the substance of the problem, therefore, are quite clothed.”

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Biafran War Database.
Editor: Azuka Nzegwu.

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