122. Memorandum From the Secretary of State’s Executive Assistant (Eagleburger) to Secretary of State Kissinger1


Some thoughts on odds and ends:

State Department Morale: I would imagine you are concerned about the spate of articles on secrecy in the State Department and low morale amongst the working stiffs. These are, in my view, all part of a campaign; I urge that you ignore them. As I indicated to you earlier, I am convinced that there is a problem at the office director level and below. It is not a new problem except in the sense that some of these people are now being excluded from meetings. The answer continues to be for you to develop a close association with the various assistant secretaries (and now that your own men have been appointed, this should not be a problem), and to rely upon them to keep the office directors and personnel below involved, productive, and satisfied. There is no way in the world for you to meet the problem headon; aside from the compelling fact that it is contrary to your working style, it would also be a terrible waste of time for you to try to be seen and heard by all the Indians in the building. The assistant secretaries are, and should continue to be, the key to the problem.

[Page 432]

You might want to consider a meeting at some point with some junior Foreign Service officers (I think Bremer talked to you about this) but I would not do much more.

Where I do think we have a problem is in the amount of time you have been out of the country since taking office. This, inevitably, makes it more difficult for you to force this building to work as you would like. Thus, I would strongly recommend that you give serious consideration to spending as much time in Washington as possible in January and February. This would mean postponing your Latin American trip and your trip to Moscow,2 but I think it is important that you get your new team broken in before you again leave town (barring, of course, some major Middle East blowup).3

Appointments: As I told you, I doubt that you can find a better candidate than Nat Davis for the Congressional job, and therefore recommend that you move on this one quickly. While I agree that Davis would be better than Porter at the Under Secretary’s job, I do not think he would be as good as Sisco. Therefore, I suggest you take one more crack at Sisco, and if that does not work that you decide to stick with Porter until such time as you can find an adequate replacement.

I also think you should move on the executive secretary change quickly, and hope you will be prepared to move with Springsteen. After much thought, I am back to my original belief that Pickering in the Director General job would give a host of good signals to the Foreign Service and would also protect Tom from any harm that might otherwise be done him by the Springsteen change.

  1. Source: Department of State, Files of Lawrence S. Eagleburger: Lot 84 D 204, Chron—January 1–23, 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only.
  2. Kissinger traveled to Panama on February 7 to sign a statement of principles for the negotiation of a new Panama Canal Treaty and to Mexico City February 20–24 to attend the Tlatelolco Conference of Latin American Foreign Ministers. For the text of Kissinger’s Tlatelolco speech, February 21, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXXVIII, Part 1, Foundations of Foreign Policy, 1973–1976, Document 28. He visited Moscow March 24–28 to discuss the upcoming Moscow Summit. Kissinger discussed his preparations for this trip in a meeting with Schlesinger and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on March 11. See ibid., Document 29.
  3. Eagleburger added the following handwritten postscript: “And always excepting vacation time—which I think you should take.”