294. Editorial Note

On January 13, 1964, at 1:11 p.m., President Johnson telephoned his Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, McGeorge Bundy, and asked his opinion of appointing the former Governor of New Jersey, John Meyner, as Ambassador to the Philippines. The President and Bundy discussed Meyner’s qualifications. The President then asked: “How sensitive is the Philippines post?” McGeorge Bundy replied:

“Very. But the principal thing in the Philippines is to establish a working personal relationship with Macapagal. Professional staff can be provided underneath it. That is where Stevenson has failed, and where I think Meyner would have a much better chance for success. He is temperamentally much more an outgoing man than his father-in-law [current Ambassador William E. Stevenson was Meyner’s father-in-law].”

Bundy and the President next discussed the possible reaction to Meyner’s appointment. Bundy promised to “take a temperature” reading at the Department of State “in an innocent way.” The President warned him not to mention Meyner’s name to anybody because he was “just so damned afraid it will be in the paper.” (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation between the President and McGeorge Bundy, F64.05, Side B, PNO/3) William McCormack Blair, Jr. was appointed Ambassador to the Philippines on June 8, 1964.