162. Editorial Note

McGeorge Bundy’s resignation as the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs was effective on February 28, 1966. At 7:20 p.m. that evening he telephoned Secretary of State Rusk. According to a February 28 memorandum of the conversation, prepared by Rusk’s secretary, Carolyn Page, “B wanted to be sure Sec knew Pres planned to keep freedom of choice with regard to what he does with B’s job and has asked Komer to hold the staffing together as of now; B asked Sec’s help in keeping things in line; B had lectured Komer on procedure. Sec said ok.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telcons) In a February 19 memorandum to the President, Bundy had stated that if there was to be an “interregnum” before a permanent successor was named, his inclination was “to deal with this problem by saying unless and until you make another appointment, Bob Komer should act in my place and have the same authority over members of the NSC staff that I have had.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President-McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 20) Komer acted in Bundy’s place until the appointment of Walt W. Rostow on April 1. On March 28 Komer himself was named [Page 374]President’s Special Assistant in charge of U.S. non-military programs for peaceful construction in Vietnam.