115. Letter From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration (Crockett) to the Under Secretary of State (Katzenbach)1

Dear Nick:

Today is my last official day in this job and I write this note to say goodbye, to thank you for your interest and support, and to express my personal keen regret that we did not have an opportunity to work together longer.

I have the impression that from the managerial and organizational standpoint at least, our aims and interests have to a large degree coincided. My efforts over these years in the Department, particularly during the last three and a half years as Deputy Under Secretary for [Page 256]Administration, have been directed at freeing up the organization, decentralizing authority, encouraging independence, enabling people to fulfill the horizons of their jobs and, hopefully, to expand them.2

The State Department may have some of the aspects of the jelly bowl or the fudge factory,3 but at the same time it is also a group of remarkably intelligent, capable, and dedicated people. I am convinced that there are means by which we can make them more effective, more satisfied with their jobs, and more productive in the interests of our country.

I know you have devoted considerable time and thought to the problems and I feel sure you will be able to go a long way toward solving them. I’m confident that Idar Rimestad and the O staff will give you the maximum cooperation and support.

For my part, if there is any time in the future when you feel that I could be of any use, I would be delighted to serve in a consultant capacity or in any other way that you consider suitable.

I am leaving my friends and colleagues here with a great deal of nostalgia, but firmly convinced that change is in itself a stimulating factor in organizational development and that new faces will bring with them new and valuable ideas. I am confident you will find the ways to use them.

With warm regards and the good luck without which none of us would ever survive.

Sincerely,

Bill
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S-Katzenbach Files: Lot 74 D 271, Administrative & Personnel. No classification marking.
  2. Before leaving office, Crockett prepared for publication a manuscript of approximately 240 typed pages entitled “Management in the Department of State and the Foreign Service.” In his introduction Crockett wrote that the “Department of State and the Foreign Service, although they may have been late in joining it, are now in the forefront of the management revolution” and thus he prepared the manuscript “in order to give to the public, and to our own people, a description in layman’s language of what the management of the Department and the Foreign Service consists.” Crockett circulated the 13 chapters among members of his office for review, comment, and approval. The manuscript was never published. A copy is in the Kennedy Library, Crockett Papers, MS 74–28, Book-Personal, W.J. Crockett.
  3. President Kennedy called the State Department a “bowl of jelly” in 1961. (John Franklin Campbell, The Foreign Affairs Fudge Factory. New York, Basic Books, Inc., 1971, p. 6) Joseph Kraft called the Department a “fudge factory” in a May 20, 1966, Washington Post column that stated: “The fact is that the Department has not been run primarily as a decision-making instrument. It has been run as a fudge factory. The aim has been to make everybody happy, to conciliate interests, to avoid giving offense and rocking the boat.”