ECAMSA Executive Assistant’s files, FRC 55 A 79, box 186, “W. Averell Harriman”

Memorandum by the Director of Mutual Security (Harriman) to the President 1

  • Subject:
  • Transition to the Incoming Administration2

This is in reply to your memorandum of December 31, 1952, with respect to the steps we have taken with representatives of General Eisenhower to facilitate an orderly transition to the incoming Administration.

As soon as Senator Lodge and Mr. Dodge were designated as General Eisenhower’s representatives, I telephoned both of them [Page 569] and offered to help them in any way I could. I later had two fairly extensive meetings with Mr. Dodge to outline for him some of the issues which would be coming up in the Mutual Security Program. I also made documents available to him for his background information.

When it was announced that Mr. Stassen was to be the new Director for Mutual Security, I telephoned him, and also wrote to him, offering to do everything possible to make the transition a smooth one.

Since then Mr. Stassen and I have met several times to discuss the problems he will face as Director for Mutual Security. In addition, he has met with most of the senior members of my staff on specific problems in their fields of responsibility.

We have provided Mr. Stassen with considerable material, both classified and unclassified, including briefing books on the substance of the problems which are likely to arise, a statistical data book, and memoranda concerning the key personnel of Mutual Security and administrative orientation.

Additional material is being developed which will be made available promptly to Mr. Stassen at his earliest convenience.

All of our personnel are standing by to give oral presentations to the new Director, as he may desire, and all of Mr. Stassen’s requests for specific information, of which there have been several, have been promptly satisfied in full.

In addition, we suggested to Mr. Stassen that he allow us to begin security checks on anyone he desires to bring with him, so that they could begin working with him on classified materials just as soon as he takes office. These necessary security checks are now being made.

To sum up, I believe we have done everything we could to make it possible for Mr. Stassen to assume office with the minimum loss of momentum in the execution of the Mutual Security Program.

W. A. Harriman
  1. Drafted by Sheppard.
  2. For documentation on the transition of administrations between November 1952 and January 1953, see pp. 1 ff.