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December 10, 1984
Over to the E.O.B. Rm. 450 twice today. Once for the Pvt. Sector Initiative group. We’re starting a new program to honor businesses that do outstanding charity & public service work. Each yr. a number of them will receive “C” flags—akin to the wartime “E” flags. C is for commitment. The 2nd time was a talk & signing ceremony proclaiming this “Human Rights Week.” It will be interesting to see if the press (they covered the event) will carry my strong words against S. African apartheid. They’ve covered every charge that I haven’t criticized S. Africa.
A Red Cross delegation including Chuck Heston reported in on their trip to Ethiopia. Chuck who is a very fine sketch artist had sketched an 11 yr. old boy—a famine victim who only weighted 16 lbs. I need to remind our people the Red Cross can use donations directed to the famine in Africa.
We’re still spending hours on the budget. Today was Caps turn to tell the Defense story. He’s done a fine job and found all manner of savings, still Defense is being denounced as the spendthrift in Govt. It really isn’t true & we’re getting a good measure for every $ they spend. He will propose several more billions he can squeeze out without any major damage to our defense effort. I’ll bet the same Congress that will try to raise our requests for Social funding will try to cut defense even more than Cap has done already. Another N.S.P.G. meeting, chewing over our strategy for the coming arms talks with the Soviets. We’re trying to get clear what we cant give up & at the same time what we must get from the Soviets.