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


Attached are two memos: one from Ken Rush (Tab A) and one from Joe Sisco (Tab B) describing how they believe functions should be divided amongst the Seventh floor principals.2 (Sisco’s memo deals exclusively with his position.) While I think you neither should nor need to make any decisions now, I do think it would be worth reading through the memos at your leisure.

Rush’s memo makes the following points:

—The Assistant Secretaries should be the major operational actors.

—They must have direct access to you and the Deputy Secretary, and should not be forced to go through successive layers on the Seventh floor.

—It is both impossible and unwise to delineate “too precisely” a division of labor on political matters among Seventh floor principals.

—The Deputy Secretary should:

  • —be your alter ego;
  • —cover both functional and regional matters, and be a final court of appeal on both substance and management on issues that do not merit your attention;
  • —be the Department’s representative on NSC committees, and should determine “the tentative position of the Department of State . . .” State Department positions should not necessarily be previously cleared by you;
  • —continue as the Chairman of the Under Secretaries Committee and be responsible for coordinating inter-agency working group activities on issues such as MBFR, SALT, etc.;
  • —be the principal point of contact with other Departments when you do not wish to become involved.

—The Under Secretary for Political Affairs should be:

  • —the focal point for Assistant Secretaries to bring political problems not normally within the purview of other Seventh floor principals;
  • —the coordinator of basic Department liaison with Defense (keeping PM informed);
  • —the intelligence coordinator and supervisor of INR’s activities within the Intelligence community;
  • —the coordinating point for State and official visits, and senior liaison below you and Rush for inter-department coordination on political issues;
  • —the pater familias for the Foreign Service;
  • —available for trouble-shooting missions and the conduct of bilateral and multilateral negotiations. (On this latter point Rush believes Sisco should have primary responsibility for the Icelandic, Azores and Spanish negotiations.)

Rush believes the Under Secretary for Security Assistance is so busy with energy and security assistance that he should be relieved of oversight responsibility of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Bureau of Oceans and Technology.

—The Counselor should be the Senior Adviser to you and Rush on Soviet and East European Affairs, as well as SALT, MBFR, CSCE and the Year of Europe. He should also be the principal coordinator with ACDA.

Sisco’s memo makes the following points:

—The Under Secretary for Political Affairs should be your Political Chief of Staff, assuring that you are “apprised in a timely manner of all important political matters that require your attention. He must also ensure that needed action is taken expeditiously and effectively.”

—The job can be most effective when the Under Secretary is given a mandate by you to act as “principal substantive political adviser, on the model of the Permanent Under Secretary of the UK Foreign Office.”

—The Under Secretary’s responsibilities should not be focussed exclusively on intelligence activities and political-military relationships with the Defense Department. His mandate should range to all political matters, with his primary objective being to organize more effectively the Seventh floor’s decision-making process on political issues.

—This concept can be implemented slowly in order not to create major bureaucratic problems on the Seventh floor.

—The Under Secretary should be given over-all supervision of the upcoming base negotiations, with Bob McCloskey acting as principal negotiator under him.

Sisco wants to remain in the Middle Eastern picture, but assures you that he will not substitute for the future Assistant Secretary of NEA.

Sisco makes one procedural recommendation: that you meet at 9:30 a.m. every Tuesday with your principal staff to plot activities over the course of the week, and to give preliminary guidance on policy and operations.

  1. Source: Department of State, Files of Lawrence S. Eagleburger: Lot 84 D 204, Chron—February 1974. No classification marking.
  2. Rush’s undated memorandum at Tab A and Sisco’s January 31 memorandum at Tab B are attached but not printed.