Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1979

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Author: Jimmy Carter  | Date: February 23, 1979

International Exchange-of-Persons Program
Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report.
February 23, 1979

To the Congress of the United States:

In response to Section 203 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (P.L. 95-426), I take this opportunity to inform you of the Administration’s current plans to increase exchange-of-persons activities administered by the International Communications Agency (USICA). A significant expansion of financial support for these activities is contained in the F¥ 1980 budget submission for USICA. The Administration’s review of the USICA administered cultural and educational exchange programs has also produced an agenda of important questions to be addressed in the year ahead. I enclose a detailed report on these matters provided to me by the Director of USICA.

As I stated in my message transmitting Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1977: "Only by knowing and understanding each other’s experiences can we find common ground on which we can examine and resolve our differences . . . As the world becomes more and more interdependent, such mutual understanding becomes increasingly vital." Because direct personal contact is such an effective and lasting form of communication, exchange-of-persons activities are fundamental to the achievement of these objectives.

Unfortunately, the vital long-term role played by these programs in our international affairs is too often obscured by more visible, more immediate, but frequently less fundamental matters. The recent administrative reorganization which established USICA affords an excellent opportunity to reexamine this important dimension of our international relations.

The reassessment is complex and difficult, but nonetheless essential to the development of a sound program. Because some critical data will require more time to collect, our reassessment will require a good deal of work beyond that already accomplished. However, some preliminary conclusions are reflected, already, in USICA’s plans for FY 1979, its proposed budget for FY 1980, and planning levels for subsequent years.

Including domestic and overseas staff costs, the USICA FY 1979 budget for exchange programs is approximately $75 million. The FY 1979 allocation represents a program increase of $4,350,000 over FY 1978. Over sixty percent of the increase is allocated to already established programs with particular emphasis on projects involving African and Middle Eastern Countries. Initiatives being financed from increased funds include new projects with the People’s Republic of China, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program, and additional counseling services for foreign students seeking admission to, or already attending, U.S. universities.

For FY 1980, an additional $4,450,000 is being proposed for the first full year of the Humphrey Fellowship program; an increase of $800,000 is being requested to extend and improve student counseling services; and an additional $350,000 is planned for exchanges with China.

For the period FY 1981-83, annual program increases of $5 million are currently being projected. The plan, thus, calls for a total increase in exchange programs of approximately $25 million over the period FY 1979-83. For this same period, further increases of over $30 million are projected to cover overseas costs increases.

This plan will, of course, be reevaluated on an annual basis. Final budget proposalsand areas of priority emphasis will be subject to our continuing assessment of these programs, as well as to international developments and the Administration’s over-all budgetary goals.

Finally, I should like to emphasize the Administration’s readiness to work with the Congress on strengthening these programs. We need your counsel; we welcome your advice; we look forward to your support.
JIMMY CARTER
The White House,
February 23, 1979.

NOTE: The report, entitled "Report of the Director of the International Communication Agency to the President on Plans for Expansion of the International Exchange-of-Persons Program," is included in the press release.

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Chicago: Jimmy Carter, "International Exchange-Of-Persons Program Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report.," Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1979 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1979 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.2300-2302 325. Original Sources, accessed August 17, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VXXIHNNHY2GQDK.

MLA: Carter, Jimmy. "International Exchange-Of-Persons Program Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report." Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1979, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1979 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.2300-2302, page 325. Original Sources. 17 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VXXIHNNHY2GQDK.

Harvard: Carter, J, 'International Exchange-Of-Persons Program Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report.' in Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1979. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1979 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.2300-2302, pp.325. Original Sources, retrieved 17 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VXXIHNNHY2GQDK.