Secretary’s Daily Meetings: Lot 58 D 609: March 19501

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Executive Secretariat (McWilliams)


Subject: Summary of Daily Meeting with the Secretary

Participants: The Secretary Mr. Nitze2
Mr. Webb3 Mr. Merchant4
Mr. Rusk Mr. Humelsine5
Mr. Barrett6 Mr. Hare7
Mr. McFall8 Mr. Battle9
Mr. Perkins10 Mr. McWilliams11

Item 1. Iran [Action: Mr. Reber12]

The Secretary asked for an explanation of the situation in Iran as reported in Telegram 330.13 Mr. Hare said that undoubtedly the situation was not good but that we periodically receive cries of “wolf” from that area and we are never quite sure when there is a genuine [Page 483] cry. In this case he explained the cries of “wolf” have been received before the facts of the situation.

The Secretary asked if this was not a case of corrupt and incompetent government which no matter how much equipment or money we put into it it would be doomed to fail. Mr. Hare said this was somewhat the case and that we think the seven year plan gives the best promise for helping Iran. He explained our assistance in this plan although it is to be carried out and financed by the Iranian government.

Mr. Rusk said he thought Mrs. Pinchot14 might help on this.

Note to Mr. Reber: I asked Mr. Peurifoy15 to see Mrs. Pinchot and see about giving her a job. I think we had better check up on this to see what, if anything, has been done.16

[Here follows summary of discussion on items other than Iran.]

  1. Lot 58 D 609 is a chronological collection of the records of the Secretary of State’s daily meetings with top Department of State officials for the years 1949–1952, as maintained by the special Assistant to the Secretary of State.
  2. Paul H. Nitze, Director of the Policy Planning Council, Department of State.
  3. James E. Webb, Under Secretary of State.
  4. Livingston T. Merchant, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs.
  5. Carlisle H. Humelsine, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Administration.
  6. Edward W. Barrett, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.
  7. Raymond A. Hare, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs.
  8. Jack K. McFall, Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations.
  9. Lucius D. Battle, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.
  10. George W. Perkins, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs.
  11. William J. McWilliams, Director of the Executive Secretariat, Department of State.
  12. James Q. Reber, Chief of the Committee Secretariat Staff of the Executive Secretariat, Department of State. Brackets in the source text.
  13. February 27, from Tehran, supra.
  14. The Department offered Cornelia Bryce Pinchot, widow of Gifford Pinchot, former Governor of Pennsylvania, an assignment as a Foreign Service reserve officer at the Embassy in Iran for three or four months to develop contacts with Iranian labor and peasant groups (letter, March 7, by Mr. Hare to Mrs. Pinchot; 123.1/1–1150). The editors have not found records in Department of State files to indicate she accepted and carried out this assignment.
  15. John E. Peurifoy, Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration.
  16. This paper bears the notation: “Assignment made Mar. 2. J[ames] Q. R[eber]. Hare asked by A to follow up.”