123. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1

Mr. President:

Inside your government I have two constructive things to report.

1. Nick Katzenbach is now making SIG move, and is getting a first-rate foreign service officer in to help him—Art Hartman. Today we reviewed Haiti and Bolivia. At your instruction, I had gotten solid work going on this and other Latin American insurgency problems; but it was good to see them reviewed at the Under Secretary level. We can expect, I think, steady initiative from now on. I have held back from doing it not because I’m shy, but I do not think this town works properly for the President unless State assumes its responsibilities. I now hope—and begin to believe—it will happen.

[Omitted here is discussion of a meeting of the Vietnam Group.]

I report this not because we solved any great problems for you today but because I felt better about the working of your government in foreign affairs than for some time.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, State Department, SIG, Memos & Misc., IV. Secret. The memorandum indicates the President saw it.