157. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Mann)1
[Omitted here is a lengthy conversation on copper prices in Chile, concluding with a discussion of whom to send to Chile as an emissary.]
The President asked Mr. Mann what he thought of Rostow and Mr. Mann said he thought Rostow was useful to the President; had a liberal image, big head, the Latins love him. Mr. Mann said he thought by staying with Rostow we could keep him on the track. The President asked if he were a Johnson man and Mr. Mann said he never heard anything anti-Johnson. [2 lines of text excised by the Johnson Library under the donor’s deed of gift.] He was very close to Kennedy.
The President asked who Mr. Mann would put in Bundy’s place if he left.2 Mr. Mann said he did not know. The President asked Mr. Mann if he would do it. Mr. Mann said he did not think he was physically up to it. He asked if Mr. Mann thought Clifford could do it and Mr. Mann said maybe. [2 words of text excised by the Johnson Library under the donor’s deed of gift.] The President asked Mr. Mann if that job was essential and Mr. Mann said he did not know if it was essential to center it around one person.
Mr. Mann said that this was one thing that he wanted to talk to the President about next Tuesday.3 He said that the President needed somebody who can deal with Cabinet officials and speak for the President and make the right decisions for the President without bothering the President. The President asked who was handling this now and Mr. Mann said that Bundy was who usually turned them over to Bator. He said that it was too much for Bundy to handle because he works mainly on security. Mr. Mann said there are a hundred little day to day decisions that have to be made.
The President asked about Bill Bundy to succeed his brother. Mr. Mann said he did not know him well. He said he thought he was an opinionated fellow and he thought the President needed somebody who would do what the President wanted done and not what that person wanted done. The President agreed.[Page 366]
The President asked about McNaughton and Mr. Mann said he was an awfully bright boy. That was all he knew about him.
[Omitted here is discussion of Chile and the Dominican Republic.]
- Source: Johnson Library, Mann Papers, Telephone Conversations with LBJ. No classification marking. Prepared by Patricia Saunders, Mann’s secretary.↩
- McGeorge Bundy informed the President on November 8 that he had been offered the presidency of the Ford Foundation; see Document 159.↩
- November 16. Mann did not speak with the President on November 16, but he did meet with him alone in his office from 4:14 to 4:50 p.m. on November 15. (Johnson Library, President’s Daily Diary) No record of the conversation has been found.↩