70. Notes of a Telephone Conversation Between the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration (Crockett) and Dr. Charles Hitch 1

Call from Dr. Hitch to Mr. Crockett

Linc Gordon is completely willing to try to program his region as an experiment this year. Somebody will have to work out program element list for him. He would be glad to consult on it but he can’t do it. Think it important you and Rowen get together and join forces and work out common approach and program on that list. This is something that could easily then be applied foreign affairs-wide next year.

Mr. Crockett said did he think it is better to go regionally than to select some countries.

Dr. Hitch said yes, because country problem is only part of the problem. Only touches on the intra-country allocations and not inter-country allocations. If you do it for region, that gives experiment with both. This is one of your great problems in this programming that makes it different from Defense. Have to handle it both from country review and regional review end. Will be quite difficult problem. If you concentrate on three different countries, will not have any experience with that problem.

Mr. Crockett said BOB is filled with hostility. Don’t know whether—can try but have tried in past and not achieved very much satisfaction.

Dr. Hitch said he called Rowen this morning and told him pretty much what he had just said—must get together with you and work out… Having two rival systems is too much.

Mr. Crockett said he couldn’t agree more. Unless he has changed mind he sees no virtue in this system. This is part of our problem, whether we just go on our own or try to convert as we go. Dave Bell is [Page 158]another difficult one too. He thinks systems analysis ought to be an absolute integral part of the programming system. This is minimum of what he would buy.

Dr. Hitch said he has nothing against using a lot of systems analysis but it ought to be integrated—must get information first. He said Linc Gordon is, in effect, Asst. AID Administrator…

Dr. Hitch said he is coming to Washington next week to give lecture.

Mr. Crockett said he greatly appreciated his calling. He will move heaven and earth in this direction.

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, Crockett Papers, MS 75–45, Foreign Affairs Planning System 1966. No classification marking. Drafted in Crockett’s office. Copies were sent to Barrett and Sherman. Hitch met with Rusk, Lincoln Gordon, and a number of other Department of State officials in Washington on April 4 and 5 in connection with the possibility of his chairing a high-level advisory group on foreign affairs programming. Crockett informed Rusk by memorandum in late May that, before leaving Washington on April 6, Hitch told him “that he was not just willing, but very interested and anxious to help us develop a comprehensive and unified planning and programming system for foreign affairs.” (Undated memorandum from Crockett to Rusk, drafted May 21; National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Box 63, Folder G, Papers Relating to NSAM 341) The Hitch Committee was formed in June. For more information, see Documents 75 and 80 as well as Mosher and Harr, Programming Systems and Foreign Affairs Leadership, pp. 146–157.