65. Editorial Note

In telegram 1623 from Geneva, March 8, 1966, Joseph Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, expressed his concern that his bureau was not represented in the new organization created by NSAM 341, even though it was “intimately involved in the substance of the work of all of the geographic bureaus.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, ORG 8) Earlier, in a March 3 memorandum to Deputy Under Secretary for Administration Crockett, David Popper, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, had raised much the same objection. (Kennedy Library, Crockett Papers, MS 75–45, Senior Interdepartmental Group, 1966) In a March 10 memorandum to Crockett and U. Alexis Johnson, Popper elaborated on the “serious gap” in the new structure. “In modern diplomacy, there is an increasing tendency to engage the interest of the entire international community in crisis situations anywhere, through the UN or in other ways.” Popper proposed the creation of an International Organizations Interdepartmental Regional Group. (Ibid.) In a March 18 memorandum to Under Secretary Ball and U. Alexis Johnson, Sisco seconded Popper’s proposal and claimed the right to participate in SIG and regional group meetings when UN matters were under consideration. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S-Ball Files: Lot 74 D 272, SIG Miscellaneous) On March 18 Popper and William Buffum of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs met with SIG Staff Director Harry Schwartz and reached an agreement. An International Organizations regional group would not be formed, but IO would be included in regular IRG meetings when UN matters were under discussion and, as far as participation in SIG meetings was concerned, [Page 152] would be given the same consideration as all other bureaus. (Memorandum from Schwartz to U.A. Johnson, March 18; ibid.)