79. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation1


  • President Johnson
  • Mr. Mann

[Omitted here is discussion of the Dominican Republic and other Latin American issues.]

The President asked who is the best man for Mr. Mann’s job, Alexis Johnson? Mr. Mann said he thought he may be on the theory that nobody can do an effective job unless he has the complete confidence of the Secretary, and he thinks Johnson has it. This job is an assistant to the Secretary and if someone is in who he doesn’t select he will be out in left field. He said he thought the number 2 job should be a fellow that could some day take over and should be selected with more care than the number 3 job. Mr. Mann said he thought Cy Vance would be awfully good but didn’t know if he could be spared. The President asked what job, and Mr. Mann said either one. The President said the ideal thing would be to move McNamara in. Mr. Mann said he thought McNamara would do a good job, but he mustn’t jump too fast-rely more and more on staff. Mr. Mann said the Assistant Secretaries should be built up, get Congress to understand they are responsible-don’t expect one man to keep up. He said he thought Bundy was good, and Gordon, the others kick up problems to the 7th floor. The President said he needed someone to take Hare’s place, and Mr. Mann agreed. He (Mann) said he was not sure that Foreign Service Officers are the best people to select for Assistant Secretaries, he thinks you can get better judgment, better administration from the outside.

[Page 170]

The President told Mr. Mann to come over to see him, come in some Saturday and they can talk.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Mann Papers, Telephone Conversations with LBJ. Extra-Sensitive. Prepared by Patricia Saunders, Mann’s secretary.