140. Memorandum From Secretary of State Kissinger to President Ford1


  • Controlling and Reporting U.S. Employment in Embassies

Over the past four years, U.S. employment by all agencies in diplomatic missions abroad has been reduced by almost twenty-five percent, pursuant to President Nixon’s directive to cut the size of our overseas posts. The reduction has taken place under the aegis of the NSC Under Secretaries Committee (USC) personnel reporting and control system known as OPRED.

OPRED expired on June 30, 1974. The Chairman of the USC, Mr. Ingersoll, has now asked you to approve a new directive which would modify the old system in minor ways and extend it indefinitely (Tab B).2 The new system would be called MODE—Monitoring Overseas Direct Employment.

Mr. Clements does not agree with the MODE proposal (Tab D).3 He believes the reductions which the Department of Defense has made make MODE controls superfluous. While not adverse to the reporting functions in MODE, he believes that the control functions are too rigid and cumbersome. He also wants to exempt Defense Attachés altogether.

Mr. Ingersoll believes MODE should have both control and reporting functions. CIA and OMB concur in the MODE directive. (Tabs B and C).4

I believe that permanent machinery is needed to control the tendency of all bureaucracies to expand. Moreover, such machinery should embrace all elements of diplomatic missions. It should facilitate reporting both to you and to Congress, as necessary, and allow efficient reprogramming of personnel to priority functions within existing ceilings. Such controls are a critical foreign policy management tool as [Page 488] well as a buttress of economical operations. The USC which is in the best position to ensure prompt and objective adjudication of inter-agency disputes, should be charged with these responsibilities.

The proposed directive at Tab A5 would give effect to these views and approve the Under Secretaries Committee Chairman’s proposal.


That you authorize me to sign Tab A.6

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–276, Under Secretaries Decision Memoranda, U/DM 96–97. Confidential. Sent for action. Scowcroft initialed the memorandum on behalf of Kissinger. A stamped notation at the top of the page indicates that the President saw the memorandum.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Clements’s July 13 memorandum to Ingersoll expressing his concerns is attached but not printed.
  4. Attached but not printed.
  5. The October 14 memorandum to Ingersoll, as signed by Scowcroft on Kissinger’s behalf, is attached but not printed.
  6. Ford initialed his approval.