37. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Under Secretary of State (Ball) and the President’s Press Secretary (Moyers)1

Just between Moyers and Ball, the President asked Moyers to spend a good bit of time trying to come up with a real Johnson appointee for the Assistant Sec for EUR. On the basis of reading a number of files, Moyers said he had about decided to recommend John Leddy. Moyers wanted Ball’s opinion.2

Ball said he had known him intimately for 20 years and he thought him the best in his field. He is the best in foreign economic policy but he has never had any real European political experience but he understands the background and he is sensitive to all of the problems. He is competent and would do a good job. Ball said he did not know whether he would take it or not because he might not feel himself sufficiently on top of the political question.

Moyers thought he seemed to have an abundance of natural talents, and that he seems to have been very active in the economic field and it seems to Moyers, the economic field in Europe will be one of our serious problems. Also he “knows the crowd back here”. Ball said Leddy knows the government thoroughly and he knows the issues thoroughly. He is lacking in experience in the political field.

Ball said his first choice, Bowie, is one he gathered is not universally popular. Ball said he thought some of the things said about him he just [Page 80]could not believe. Ball said Bowie had written a little book3 which he would like for Moyers to read in order to make an independent decision. Bowie would be the first choice of Acheson, McCloy, Bruce. Ball worked with him in the past and he has worked very closely with Bruce.

Moyers asked about Schulman4 in this regard and Ball replied that he knew him but went no further. Moyers asked if Ball thought Leddy could do it and Ball said he could. Ball would be happy with him. It could be considered as a strong appointment for the President. Ball asked if Bowie was out and Moyers replied no; that the Secretary had recommended him, but Moyers has not yet had a reaction. Ball asked that before a final recommendation is made he would like to send over to Moyers for his reading a copy of a book by Bowie; Bowie would be Ball’s first choice. Moyers said he would be happy to read the book first.5

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Ball Papers, People & Positions III. No classification marking. Drafted in Ball’s office.
  2. McGeorge Bundy telephoned Ball “on the QT” to discuss Leddy 3 hours later. A memorandum of the conversation is ibid., as is a memorandum of Ball’s telephone conversation with Macy regarding Leddy on April 30. The President appointed Leddy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs on June 4.
  3. Presumably Robert Bowie’s Shaping the Future: Foreign Policy in an Age of Transition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1964).
  4. Presumably a reference to Marshall Shulman, Professor of International Politics, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
  5. This paragraph is a “continuation” of the memorandum and was prepared by a second drafter.