80. Letter From the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (Frankel) to the Director of the United States Information Agency (Marks)1

Dear Leonard:

I am glad to know that you are back, and trust that the many missions you have been performing leave you still as full of bounce as ever.

I have waited to respond to your letter of December 202 about the flow of communications from CU to the field until your return. Meanwhile, however, I have talked to Bob Akers about your letter, as well as about communications that people on my staff have been receiving from Howard Chernoff.

The general problem of excessive communications to our posts had concerned me long before I took this post. Immediately on entering it, I asked that procedures be introduced to cut down this flow wherever possible. Our progress is attested by the fact that our Executive Director, Theo Hall, recently received a nomination for an honor award from the Department because CU has had a better record since September in controlling communications than any other Bureau of the Department.

You will see, then, that we are entirely on the same road. With regard to the specific matters you put before me, I must say that the record is mixed. While we hear complaints, some of them justifiable, we also hear only too often from the typical Embassy PAO that he “appreciates the guidance and support received from the Department and has no suggestions for improvement” (to quote a recent report3 from PAO Cyprus). But I am not satisfied, and will never be satisfied, until I can be sure that we have done everything possible to cut down communications that are unnecessary. I am sure that you in USIA are making the same effort.

In this connection, we have found that some of the bulky items sent out from this office consist of reference material. No one expects the posts to read this material in its entirety. It is essential, however, that they have this material at hand if they are to be able to answer [Page 233] questions that come up in connection with their administration of exchange programs.

However, we have found instances where such material was broadcast much too far and wide, and we are trying to cut down on it. We also are working steadily at eliminating wordiness.

I suspect that in many cases procedural and informational material could be communicated to the posts more effectively by improving our use of the Foreign Affairs Manual. We are looking into this possibility urgently. Meanwhile, it is good to know of your progress in USIA about communications and I am sure you will be glad to know of ours. We shall work together on this.


Charles Frankel4
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1963–1967, Entry UD WW 101, Box 4, Government Agencies—State—Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs 1966. No classification marking.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Not found.
  4. Frankel signed “Charles” above this typed signature.