179. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1
Our National Security Staff is now reorganized in the wake of the departure of Howard Wriggins and Francis Bator.
The attached sheet shows the assignments of responsibility.
Rather than having a single deputy, I regard the senior men as my deputies, each in his own field. Filing their materials through Brom Smith, they have proved they can operate smoothly when we are travelling or I am otherwise absent.
In a number of cases they have junior officers working with them, as indicated.
I think we are now set up to cope with the tasks ahead. Specifically:
- —Dick Moose is not only serving to help link George Christian’s shop to State and Defense press operations, but also keeping an eye on quick responses to Congress by State and Defense.
- —Kaplan’s shop, under Bill Jorden, is beginning to function on Viet Nam public relations issues.
- —We should be capable of quick responses, speech drafting, and other foreign affairs backstop work in the course of the campaign; although that we shall have to prove.
I would greatly welcome any thoughts you have at this stage about improving the work of the shop.
If you can spare the time, one of these days, it might be useful for you to meet with them and give them your philosophy and their marching orders for the year ahead.2
Your meeting with them about eighteen months ago was not only memorable but inspiring.3
Have Marvin Watson set up meeting4
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President-Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 43. No classification marking.↩
- No record of such a meeting has been found. A meeting was scheduled for September 28 but not held. Rostow’s briefing memorandum for the meeting is at the Johnson Library. (Bromley Smith Papers, Memos Written by Mr. Smith, Signed by Others)↩
- See Document 171.↩
- None of the options is checked.↩