27. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann) to the President’s Special Assistant (Valenti)1

Mr. Valenti:

The Secretary and Mr. Ball have decided to rearrange their meetings with the senior officers of the Department.

One feature of the new arrangement is that Mr. Ball will meet twice each week with the Assistant Secretaries for geographic areas and a very few other key officers. The reduced size of the meeting should make for better security. And this in turn will make it feasible for Mr. Ball to speak frankly to the Assistant Secretaries about assuming their full responsibilities.

The first of these meetings will be held today.

We are considering ways in which we can get a better control of State Department officers’ contacts with the press. As soon as we have explored the various possibilities and the Secretary has reached a decision, we will let you know.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, White House Central Files, Confidential File, FG 105. Confidential. Attached but not printed is a second memorandum from Mann to Valenti, March 2, explaining how a news reporter may have learned that Assistant Secretary of State Harry McPherson would be going to the White House on temporary assignment. Also attached but not printed is a note from Valenti to the President, March 3, that states: “Tom Mann sent these over. You might want to see them.”