346. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Harriman) and the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Vietnam.]

Bundy wanted the Gov to know that the President sent a memo to the Secretary2 saying how strongly he feels about getting a first-rate deputy for Lodge.

Harriman mentioned Nes.

Bundy said he got the Gov’s memo of conversation with Lodge.3

Harriman said he rather agreed with Lodge about the military. Harriman said he was told Nes is a very good man—it is between Nes and Anschuetz.

Bill thinks of the two, Nes is the better. Harriman said he talked to Yost. Yost said he was good with military problems and confirmed what Lodge said about Libya. Harriman said Bill said what happened when he was there that caused confusion is that Lodge was taking things into his own hands. Harriman said if Lodge wants Nes, Nes is [Page 666] the best man to do the job. Harriman said he wouldn’t support Nes unless he had satisfactory reports. A DCM job is an awful job to take. Nes would have the advantage of being Lodge’s choice.

Bundy said Lodge didn’t distinguish himself in his interview with the President. Bundy said he thought he was nervous. He thought Lodge may know that the President never thought much of him.

Harriman said it is too bad.

Bundy said he doesn’t have the operation going.

Harriman said he was concerned about it. Harriman said he hoped Bundy wouldn’t blame Trueheart.

Bundy said he had a high opinion of Trueheart. In the context of the circumstances everybody thought it was better to have a change.

[Here follows discussion unrelated to Vietnam.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Harriman Papers, Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Dolores Perruso of Harriman’s staff.
  2. Not found.
  3. A memorandum from Harriman to Bundy, December 3, describes the Harriman-Lodge discussion as follows:

    “I am attaching a copy of a memorandum of my personal talk with Cabot Lodge, which for obvious reasons I am not distributing.

    “You may want to show the President the last paragraph which relates to Cabot’s personal political thoughts. (Sounds as if Cabot doesn’t think much of the Republican chances next year.)” (Library of Congress, Harriman Papers, Bundy, McGeorge)

    The memorandum of conversation between Lodge and Harriman has not been found.