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ment-Dr. Richard Neustadt and Dr. Robert Tufts. We have had the benefit of testimony from a number of distinguished retired and active ambassadors who have combined work abroad with service in key State Department posts.
We welcome, as our witness today, the Honorable William J. Crockett, Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration.
Mr. Crockett received his bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska. He served in the Army in World War II and the Korean war.
His oversea assignments have included tours of duty with the old U.S. Maritime Commission in Naples (1946-47), and with the Technical Cooperation Administration in Beirut (1951–52). He joined the Department of State as Administrative Officer in Karachi, serving in this post from November 1952 to March 1954. Subsequently, he held a similar post in Rome.
Beginning in August 1958, Mr. Crockett served the Department as Deputy Budget and Finance Officer, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget and Finance in the Bureau of Administration, and then as Assistant Secretary for Administration. In June of this year he assumed his present position as the State Department's top administrative officer.
Mr. Secretary, we appreciate very much your joining us today.
I understand you have a statement for the committee, and without objection, we shall include it at this point in the record.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM J. CROCKETT, DEPUTY UNDER
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ADMINISTRATION
Mr. CROCKETT. It is a privilege to appear before this committee which has rendered such distinguished service in the area of national security. Your findings will be most beneficial to the country at large and certainly to the Department of State. I wish to express our indebtedness to you.
I value also the chance to comment on the ideas and criticisms that have already been expressed before this committee, to identify a number of problems with which we are dealing and, finally, to explain certain measures we have taken and are contemplating taking in the Department of State to meet our obligations toward the national security of our Nation.
You have invited me to testify on the Department's role in the administration of national security at home and in the field. I need not remind you of the complexities and far-ranging responsibilities of this role.
We are deeply conscious of them. And we are aware that to discharge them we must never cease striving to perfect our organization.
In foreign affairs, as in any other field of management, good organization, however, is no guarantee of good results. Two even more basic requirements are sound policies and capable personnel. Nor can any organizational prescription substitute for the vital qualities of teamwork, good personal relations, and mutual understanding between individuals working toward the same ends.
But good organization, with a clear definition of duties and a clear fixing of responsibilities, can contribute to and pave the way for these
results, while poor organization, with overlapping jurisdictions, gaps in assignments, and ill-defined responsibilities, can throw almost insuperable roadblocks in the paths of even the most competent officials and seriously impede the attainment of important national objectives. I can report that we have removed many hindering obstacles and that we are diligently engaged in improving the route that lies ahead. any
discussion of the problems of foreign policy and the State Department's role in leadership, in decisionmaking, or in directing foreign policy operations, we should begin with a discussion of the Foreign Service and its capability.
Perhaps there had been a tendency in the Foreign Service to reflect on the supposedly dignified past of diplomacy when crises issued forth at a gentlemanly pace and when our task was compounded primarily by the fact that although we were to report on and about the international scene we really were not to get involved in it. Reporting and negotiations were tasks which our Foreign Service performed with polish and perfection, and with practically no recognition or awareness by our Nation, since what was international in character was foreign—and what was foreign was outside of our scope of interest and understanding:
And because of this traditional mode of operation, we—the Foreign Service and the Department of State—hesitated to realize or acknowledge the postwar broadening of the scope of foreign affairs and the rapid multiplicity of factors that could affect our national security. We did not recognize” many of these factors; we did not consider them within the diplomatic realm, and we consequently did not bother to develop among ourselves the capabilities to deal with them--be they agricultural in nature or, for example, of an intelligence or military character. In short, the diplomatic profession was not about to redefine its role nor was the oldest bureaucracy in the Government about to make any major changes in its structure.
This attitude, I can safely say, is of the past. There is less and less preoccupation with the traditional eminence of diplomacy, and more and more an awareness and real understanding of the complexities of the present and the potential difficulties of the future." Aid should no longer be referred to as a handout, and information service no longer labeled propaganda.
We are eager to grasp all the tools within our foreign affairs complex, anxious to cope with all the problems that affect our national security, and determined to take the lead in formulating and executing a foreign policy that reflects the hopes and ideals of this Nation.
The relationship between the President and the Secretary of State, the Secretary's coordinating role, his relationships with other members of the Cabinet, and his responsibility toward the Department of State are discussed with clarity and depth in the "Basic Issues” study prepared by this committee and in the various testimonies. I would like to move from this general level to more specific themes and discuss just how the Foreign Service must staff and organize itself in order to serve the needs of the Secretary of State and to fulfill our leadership role.
Our primary task is to develop and maintain a body of personnel, professional and keenly attuned to the changing and complex problems of our times, and with an esprit de corps that is welded to the highest standards of excellence in performance and conduct.
We bear great burdens, and the best is not quite good enough for our service if it is unable to cope adequately with the tasks these burdens present.
First of all, I would like to say that those who framed the Foreign Service Act of 1946—the organic act governing the present-day Service-were wise indeed. The objectives of that legislation, as stated in title I, were to develop and strengthen the Foreign Service of the United States of America so as:
(1) to enable the Foreign Service effectively to serve abroad the interests of the United States;
(2) to insure that the officers and employees of the Foreign Service are broadly representative of the American people and are aware of and fully informed in respect to current trends in American life;
(3) to enable the Foreign Service adequately to fulfill the functions devolving on it by reason of the transfer to the Department of State of functions heretofore performed by other Government agencies;
(4) to provide improvement in the recruitment and training of the personnel of the Foreign Service;
(5) to provide that promotions leading to positions of authority and responsibility shall be on the basis of merit and to insure the selection on an impartial basis of outstanding persons for such positions;
(6) to provide for the temporary appointment or assignment to the Foreign Service of representative and outstanding citizens of the United States possessing special skills and abilities;
(7) to provide salaries, allowances, and benefits that will permit the Foreign Service to draw its personnel from all walks of American life and to appoint persons to the highest positions in the Service solely on the basis of their demonstrated ability;
(8) to provide a flexible and comprehensive framework for the direction of the Foreign Service in accordance with modern practices in public administra. tion; and
(9) to codify into one Act all provisions of law relating to the administration of the Foreign Service.
The Congress gave us a concept that provided, in my opinion, an excellent Foreign Service personnel capability at that time and still does. The authors of the act of 1946 established a Foreign Service Officers Corps founded upon several basic ordinances that have changed but little over the intervening years.
I would like to emphasize my personal conviction that the corps concept is as valid today as it was in 1946. It is also my conviction that the Foreign Service Act, as conceived by its framers—Foreign Service officers, officers of the Department of State and other Government agencies concerned with the Foreign Service, and Members of Congress—is broad enough today to encompass the personnel needs of all agencies operating in the foreign policy field.
There are many people, both inside and outside the Service, who say “Leave the Service alone, let it get over the various prunings and graftings that have been made over the past few years before new ideas are tried.” As a matter of fact, things we plan for the months ahead are not intended to change the basic concepts of the Service. All they attempt is to improve and update techniques designed to strengthen the operation of the Service. Therefore, we do propose to move ahead.
The things that make the Service strong and unique, in my opinion, are the following:
1. COMPETITIVE INTAKE
We have had, for a number of years, a college relations program designed to acquaint representative colleges and universities across the land of the career opportunities in the Foreign Service and to encourage outstanding young men and women to interest themselves in taking the Foreign Service examinations.
The majority of our Foreign Service officers enter the Service at the bottom through examinations that are held semiannually across the country.
There are no quotas by state, no official endorsements or nominations are required, and there is no stipulation regarding formal level of education. We want only the best. And when only a few hundred are accepted out of several thousand applicants in a given year, then it might be assumed that we are meeting our standards. Yet we are not certain. Are enough people taking the exams? And are we attracting a proper cross section of our society or do we appeal only to those who feel they can afford the Service!
We therefore are making intensive efforts to publicize the Foreign Service and the examinations with the hope that we not only get more applicants but that they come from all quarters of our society and from all parts of our Nation.
We are looking at the examination itself, which consists of a daylong written general examination, followed-for the successful—by an hour and a half oral examination, which is then followed by physical, security, and suitability examinations. We hope to develop an examination that not only evaluates the intellectual breadth of an applicant but also searches for potentials of managerial and executive ability and leadership.
2. PERSONAL GRADES
Another basic strength of the Foreign Service is the concept of personal grades. In a system where personnel attain personal grades and carry with them their grades and salaries, we have a greater mobility and flexibility in the assignment and movement of people, enabling us to demand more of the individual because, whatever the circumstances of the job, or the location, or the environment, we can still expect the officer to perform in accordance with his personal grade.
3. WORLDWIDE SERVICE
Although we do have regional specialists, language specialists, and other kinds of specialists, the Foreign Service is based upon the concept that the individual is available to serve anywhere that he is needed in the Foreign Service. This enables us to have a highly mobile operation. It enables us to share equitably hardship posts as well as the better posts.
4. DISCIPLINED SERVICE
This, of course, goes hand in hand with worldwide service. Members of the Foreign Service pride themselves on being disciplined, on • being available for service anywhere for the benefit of the United States. Certainly, the desire of the individual is taken into consideration, as well as the problems of family, family health, schooling needs of children, and the career development opportunities for the officer himself, but in the end an officer goes where he is assigned.
5. SERVICE IN WASHINGTON
Prior to 1954 relatively few of our officers had any period of service in the United States and became virtual expatriates with the result that they lost contact with the flow of life here. The present concept is that an officer serves about 40 percent of his Foreign Service career in the United States, enabling him to be current on what we are doing in the fields of social improvement, culture, art, business, et cetera. I believe this duty at home is vital to the Foreign Service and, although we have been criticized occasionally for having too many officers in Washington at one time, the United States will be better represented by officers who know and understand the United States as it is today rather than as it was when they left school 15 or 20 years ago.
6. COMPETITIVE PROMOTION
Again, job level and job assignment are not as important in this as in the ability and the initiative of the individual in developing himself for greater and greater responsibility. We give a great deal of attention to our promotion system, to the selection of officers who serve on promotion panels, to the precepts that we expect these panels to follow in judging officers competitively, and in the selection of prominent private citizens to serve as public members on these boards.
Competition is an important motivating factor in any corps and it is particularly so in the Foreign Service. This is not inconsistent with nor detrimental to the esprit de corps of the Service. Each year,
officers of the same class are rated and ranked in relation to each other. Each year the promotion panels sift through each officer's personnel file and come up with recommendations regarding promotion, retention in grade, or selection out of the Service. I am convinced that this is a system that can operate effectively to assure the upward flow of our capable officers and the outward flow of the less capable.
In this regard we are giving considerable thought to revising the techniques of performance ratings and the standards by which the promotion panels operate.
We are aware that the value of an officer's efficiency rating depends as much on the capabilities of the rating officer as it does on the officer being rated. We are looking for ways to assure greater objectivity in this rating procedure.
We also have instructed the promotion panels to emphasize the promotion of outstanding officers and to disregard the outdated concept which required an officer to spend a specified time in his grade before being promoted.