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The Political History of American Food AidAn Uneasy Benevolence$
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Barry Riley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190228873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190228873.001.0001

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The World Food Conference

The World Food Conference

(p.363) 16 The World Food Conference
The Political History of American Food Aid

Barry Riley

Oxford University Press

Just before leaving the White House to assume his duties as secretary of state, Kissinger alerted top Agriculture officials in Washington that the president was increasingly concerned with the growing world food crisis. Among the responses was word that the American food aid program was not going to be able to meet its global food aid commitments because of the combination of high food prices and budgetary constraints. Shortly thereafter Kissinger publicly called for the convening of a World Food Conference to consider the problem and propose long-term remedies. This chapter describes interagency debates over what the United States should—and should not—promise in the conference. It highlights the difference between domestic agriculture interests, represented by Secretary of Agriculture Butz, foreign policy interests, exemplified by Kissinger, humanitarian concerns, voiced by Senator Humphrey, and the perspective of the new president, Gerald Ford.

Keywords:   World Food Conference, Henry Kissinger, Earl Butz, Gerald Ford, Hubert Humphrey, food aid policy

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