Trip 1982 – Introduction

September & October.  My wife, Pat, accompanied me on an official business trip around the world visiting my Library of Congress overseas.  This took place after Pat received her law degree and before beginning her legal career clerking with Judge Peter Wolf of the District of Columbia Superior Court.

The trip was supported by Public Law 480 funds from India.  The Library of Congress (LC) was able to benefit from these funds by having offices (or representatives) in India (lots), Pakistan (lots), Indonesia, Nairobi, Brazil, Poland (soon exhausted), Israel (soon exhausted), Egypt, among others perhaps.  LC was able to purchase books, etc. for its collection as well as copies for other research libraries.  It benefitted authors and publishers from these countries.  We who administered these funds often referred to them as “funny monies.”

On this trip we had stops in Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Rangoon, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Bhutan, Karachi, Cairo and Nairobi.  In those that had offices, I met not only with the staff but also with the Ambassador.  Some of the ambassadors where intent on reducing their staff.  My job was to convince them that the LC offices and/or representatives were vital to libraries throughout United States.

Public Law (P.L.) 480

On July 10, 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act — or Public Law (P.L.) 480 — an action which simultaneously created the Office of Food for Peace. By signing this legislation, the President laid “the basis for a permanent expansion of our exports of agricultural products with lasting benefits to ourselves and peoples of other lands.” The bill, a solution for food deficient, cash-poor countries, created a secondary foreign market by allowing food-deficient countries to pay for American food imports in their own currencies instead of in U.S. dollars. The law’s original purpose was to expand international trade, to promote the economic stability of American agriculture, to make maximum use of surplus agricultural commodities in the furtherance of foreign policy, and to stimulate the expansion of foreign trade in agricultural commodities produced in the United States. – Wikipedia

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