110. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Katzenbach) to Secretary of State Rusk1


  • Idar Rimestad

I am attaching papers2 for the President to submit Mr. Rimestad’s name to head the Administrative Bureau. Alternate papers are attached designating the job as it presently is designated, Deputy Under Secretary, or as it was previously designated, Assistant Secretary. Whichever designation the President should approve, the job description would remain unchanged and the salary is the same.

As you know, I strongly prefer the designation of Assistant Secretary with respect to this job. I feel this way for the following reasons:

While I think Mr. Rimestad is a good administrative officer on his record, I don’t believe he has the personal or professional stature of Bill Crockett and I would be reluctant for this reason to designate him Deputy Under Secretary.
I would like to hold the Deputy Under Secretary’s job vacant for the next three or four months while I see if I can establish a policy programming exercise here in the Department, similar to what Mr. McNamara has accomplished in Defense.

I think it is essential that we program on a Government-wide basis if we are to get a more rational picture and control of our foreign policy objectives throughout the world. Performance of such a job would require a lot of interdepartmental work and for this reason it would be helpful to use the Deputy Under Secretary designation for the man responsible. It would also help to attract the right man.

It is clear to me that Mr. Rimestad could not begin to perform the programming function.

I had believed that Congressman Rooney3 would not feel strongly about the change of designation of the job, but in my conversation with him Friday, he indicated a strong preference to having Rimestad’s job designated as Deputy Under Secretary rather than as Assistant Secretary. The reasons he gave for this were not particularly relevant to the issue (mostly he objected to somebody being put between Rimestad and yourself, which would not occur under either designation) but he stated his views strongly. Since both Crockett and Rimestad know my views on the subject, and the reasons for them (as well as Rooney’s opposition), for the President to designate him Deputy Under Secretary inevitably undercuts some of my objectives.

In view of Rooney’s position, I can fully understand the reasons for designating Rimestad as Deputy Under Secretary, but I continue to oppose it.4

Nicholas deB. Katzenbach
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S-Katzenbach Files: Lot 74 D 271, Chron, Mr Katzenbach, 1966–67. Limited Official Use. Rusk initialed the memorandum at the top of page 1.
  2. Not found.
  3. John Rooney (D-New York).
  4. Rimestad was appointed Deputy Under Secretary for Administration on January 26 and entered on duty February 3. He served until October 2, 1969. In Programming Systems and Foreign Affairs Leadership, pp. 185–188, Mosher and Harr characterize his period as Deputy Under Secretary as “a return to administrative business as usual, pre-Crockett.” They note the death of the Comprehensive Country Programming System by summer 1967, the departure of the programming staff, and the demise of other Crockett innovations.