39. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to the Ambassador to the United Arab Republic (Battle)1
You have probably received by now extensive guidance for the Executive Review of Overseas Programs, which I recently discussed with Kermit Grodon. I am writing you to emphasize the fact that the President attaches considerable importance to the project and has a strong interest in its success. I share his view fully.
Two basic factors underlie both the concept and procedures of the Review. The first is the belief that the Chief of Mission, because he is in charge of the U.S. Mission in the country to which he is accredited and because he is in close and continuous contact with all of the programs and activities of the Mission, has a unique capability in the Executive Branch to assess the effectiveness of those programs and activities and assure their efficient management.
The second factor is that the Chief of Mission is the representative of the President. As such, he has special responsibilities that are not limited to the Foreign Service establishment, but rather extend to the entire U.S. Mission. His concern and perspective, therefore, must be as broad as his responsibilities. He must understand the purpose of and need for activities of domestic agencies in his country and scrutinize them with the same objectivity that he applies to the activities of the community of foreign affairs agencies.
These were the principal factors that led to the decision that the initiative for this project should be given to the Chief of Mission and that his recommendations for a comprehensive U.S. program for fiscal year 1967 will provide the foundation of the Review.
The scope and requirements of the Review make it a demanding and difficult task for you and your staff, particularly in view of the necessarily tight schedule, but I am sure that you will give it the priority attention it needs.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, ORG 1. Unclassified. Attached is a memorandum from the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration to Rusk, May 25, indicating that the same letter was sent to all 13 Chiefs of Mission participating in the Executive Review of Overseas Programs. For background on EROP, see Document 33. According to Mosher and Harr, Programming Systems and Foreign Affairs Leadership, p. 84, Rusk himself proposed sending this letter during a planning meeting on EROP with Crockett and Barrett in April.↩
- Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.↩