359. Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Samuels) to Secretary of State Rogers and the Under Secretary of State (Richardson)1

SUBJECT

  • Commercial Attachés

Late last Thursday (October 23) I met with Secretaries Stans and Hardin2 at the latter’s request to discuss “attachés.” Secretary Hardin opened by saying that he had had some discussions with the President about overseas staffing of agricultural attachés (presumably in connection with OPRED). He noted his satisfaction with the present arrangements regarding agricultural attachés (although he said that they might be more effective if they had a little more rank).

Secretary Hardin went on to say that the President had asked him to bring Secretary Stans and me together to take up the question of [Page 784]whether commercial attachés should be placed under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department. He then read from a follow-up memo addressed to him by John Whitaker (we have since learned he talked to the President on September 293 and the memo was dated September 30)4 and I quote “Will you please discuss with Secretary Stans and Deputy Under Secretary of State Samuels the subject of placing overseas economic attachés under Commerce rather than State.” He noted that while “economic attachés” was mentioned, it undoubtedly referred to commercial attachés. At this point he said his task was done and he turned the meeting over to Secretary Stans.

Secretary Stans emphasized once more his own concern for export promotion and expressed the view that perhaps we could make more progress if the commercial attachés were under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department. He suggested that each of us assign someone to prepare a list of pros and cons that we might review together in about 10 days. I have asked Gene Braderman to do this for me. Because this is a sensitive question, Secretary Stans asked that as few people as possible be involved at this stage. However, this is an important issue for all of us.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, ORG 1. Confidential. Printed from an unsigned copy. Drafted by Deputy Assistant Secretary Eugene Braderman (E/CBA). Copies were sent to Macomber and Trezise.
  2. Reference is to Clifford Hardin, Secretary of Agriculture from January 1969 to December 1971.
  3. Hardin; John Whitaker, Secretary to the Cabinet; and Bryce Harlow met with the President from 4:40 to 5:25 p.m. on September 29. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)
  4. A copy of the memorandum has not been found.