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Approved For Release 2007/06/14: CIA-RDP84B00049R000802030036-5 New York Times, June G, 1982 A Quango for Democracy ? The British have minted a word quango - given surreptitious aid to a variety of democratic which America could now put to good use. Quango parties and publications. But because the aid was stands for quasi-autonomous nongovernmental covert its amount has been grossly exaggerated by organ, an example being the British Council. those determined, for example, to blame American Funded by the Government but directed by private subversion in Chile for the fall of an elected left-wing citizens, the Council does what bureaucrats are regime. If exposed, covert aid can leave a legacy of poorly situated to do: decide how much money to ill will and paranoia far outweighing any imaginable give to which groups for overseas cultural tours and benefits. talks. It has literally given Shakespeare the great Would not overt assistance also be politically Globe as a stage. fatal? Often, yes, but in the right circumstances, a The idea now percolating in Washington is to quango could make open funding acceptable. If aid create a quango to promote democratic values in came from a foundation with genuine autonomy, su- developing countries and, where possible, in Com- pervised by a board of respected American and for- munist countries. President Reagan is expected to eign figures, it could be as uncontroversial as that give the idea his formal blessing in a speech this already provided by private foundations. European week in London. It Is an appealing idea, but before Socialists and Christian Democrats have, without leaping forward, there needs to be some careful scandal, given generous help to political allies in the looking. third world. In normal circumstances, it is neither right nor There's a valuable principle here that needs wise to get openly involved in another country's do- clear definition. The United States ought to have bet- mestic politics. How would Americans feel if Saudi ter methods, say, for countering Cuban and Soviet Arabia - or Israel - tried to advance their policies intervention in Nicaragua. The danger is that some in this country by making campaign contributions to of Mr. Reagan's ideological troops may try to turn American politicians? But such aid might be right the principle into self-defeating chauvinism. and wise where other outsiders are assisting extre- The promise of a well-designed quango is that it mists of the left or right. In those circumstances, would advertise the very values of openness and strict nonintervention would amount to abandoning pluralism that Americans want to promote. The our ideological allies. prior task, however, is a careful and public study to For precisely that reason, the United States has Insure that it is well designed. Approved For Release 2007/06/14: CIA-RDP84B00049R000802030036-5