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I was very much impressed in recent years by the great development that has taken place in the international studies in almost all of our important universities. If there is to be money appropriated by Congress, I hope that Congress wouldn't neglect interest in this development.
I understand the Academy bill introduced provides for the contribution to the universities which will stimulate not only their academic work but also the research that is done. There is very important research being done in a number of universities, which is a contribution to our sum total of knowledge, and, therefore, assists in developing judgments.
Senator Jackson. We do have outstanding educational institutions in both the undergraduate and the graduate field to assist in improving the knowledge of our citizens in the field of foreign relations, do we not, and they need to be encouraged?
Mr. HARRIMAN. Yes, I think so. I think concerning the courses in the foreign field as well as the research that is being done-and I will not mention the universities that I have been to--I have been amazed in the developments in recent years.
In saying this I don't want to minimize the importance of having a central focal point, if it is properly balanced, and giving not only postgraduate work but also work for officers at different periods in their lives.
It is possible to give classified material to such an institution as the men and women in the institution will be specially screened, and, in many cases, drawn from the services. I think the work done in such an institute here in Washington can be of assistance in extending work into other parts of the country.
Possibly graduates of that institution wouldn't always necessarily go to Government. They may go to other institutions of learning, which will produce scholars who can carry forward work in still other institutions. There is, I understand, a shortage of qualified people in this field. Therefore education both in Washington and in universities, I think, should be stimulated.
Senator JACKSON. Senator McGovern.
Senator McGOVERN. Governor Harriman, in your statement you made the observation that occasionally there are people in the State Department or in Government who have a quality of independence of thought who are held back, and those who are more cautious are sometimes rewarded.
Do you think it is a fair statement that one of our major problems in Government is that we spend so much of our time and energy devising tactics to meet day-by-day developments that we seldom get around to examining the basic assumptions on which the tactics are based ?
Mr. HARRIMAN. In the State Department, of course, there is a Policy Planning Council, and also a Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Of those two neither has to take any action. They are not responsible for action.
They are responsible for developing information and applying judg. ments to that information. They do review, as I am sure from your question you would want them to, all policies, and point out the need in some cases for a fresh look, if we happen to be going too definitely in one direction.
Of course the senior officers, the Secretary of State, and the President can contribute a great deal to stimulating that type of thinking, and very frequently the President does, because he has a broader view of his responsibilities than any one department focusing on one subject. His questions in the National Security Council stimulate action in the State Department, and elsewhere, to constantly review policies.
Whether it is perfect or not-well, obviously, it isn't perfect-I think the machinery is there if properly staffed.
Senator McGOVERN. I read an article a few days ago entitled "Reconsidering Our Foreign Policy.” In the course of this article, the author draws attention to the fact that we are currently preoccupied with reacting to Mr. de Gaulle's actions in Western Europe, that our automatic reaction is how to save our investment in the NATO alliance, and that maybe what we ought to be asking ourselves is whether or not at this stage a reexamination is not in order of the whole NATO concept?
Mr. HARRIMAN. In other words, when Mr. de Gaulle tries to upset what we are doing, we are to do what Mr. de Gaulle wants us to do. That is what he says, if you correctly define it. I don't think that is correct, sir. But, at the same time, it is perfectly appropriate to try to analyze what President de Gaulle has in mind, and to see whether there is anything valid in it, or to see whether his proposals should be opposed. Where we feel they should be opposed, then we must find out what other countries do share our views or can be encouraged to share our views.
I certainly think that every policy should be reviewed, but you cannot review every single act of government over and over and over again.
As far as I am concerned, I think the success of the Marshall plan and the success of NATO are such that we are on the right track. We may improve machinery to carry them out, but the success and strength already achieved is enormous.
The strength of Europe is developing the North Atlantic Community, and I think that if we try to pull every plant out by its roots, before it grows into a mature tree, we will not get very far. I think this is rather an extreme. I didn't read the article, but, if you described it accurately, I think this is an exaggerated type of suggestion.
Senator McGOVERN. I do not want to give an improper interpretation of what the author had in mind.
Mr. HARRIMAN. I am sure the point is not directed to this particular article but to the theory which I have heard expressed by others of
Senator McGovern. I have one other question, Governor. When a new administration comes into power, as happened in 1961 when President Kennedy came into office, what happens in terms of job changes within the Department of State, not just on the Secretary level? How far down in the echelons of the Department is that change in administration reflected ?
Mr. HARRIMAN. I can speak in my own case. Well, No. 1, it does affect the senior staff, of course. Any Secretary of State coming in wants to review very carefully the senior jobs, such as the Under Secretary, or the two Under Secretaries, the Assistant Secretaries. Some of them are kept on.
As a matter of fact, some of them have been promoted, in this case, from the Foreign Service to be Assistant Secretaries. As I say, some Assistant Secretaries are kept on.
In the other positions below the Assistant Secretaries, they are apt to want to pick their own deputy. They usually have two deputies
. The new Assistant Secretaries may be satisfied with the deputies or he may pick his own deputies. Then, the other officers are not usually changed.
The next layer below is the office director, which has a smaller area of responsibility. There is a certain turnover, and as that turnover takes place the judgment of the Assistant Secretary finds expression in the men that he picks. And that goes on down to the desk officer.
In addition to that, of course, the President takes a personal interest and so does the Secretary of State in the men who are sent out as Ambassadors. After all, the Ambassador, historically, represents the person of the President. It is very important in my judgment that an Ambassador should have the confidence of the President.
The more ambassadors that the President knows personally and has confidence in the easier it is for him to act on the advice which comes from that embassy.
To answer your question specifically, there is usually but not always à change in the top layer, and then the layers below that are affected by the judgment of the officer who is picked as the Assistant Secretary. A Foreign Service officer can be loyal, and I think should be loyal, to any changing administration. If he cannot be loyal to what is being done in the office, he often asks to be transferred to the field, or it is done in some other way.
But since most of what we are doing hasn't got a political connotation but is the application of judgments, there doesn't seem to be, by and large, any difficulty in Foreign Service officers serving one administration after the other. He may be more enthusiastic about one administration than another, and it is usually those who are en: thusiastic about the attitude of the new administration that do put more enthusiasm into their work and, therefore, get promoted for that reason.
Senator McGOVERN. Thank you.
Mr. HARRIMAN. May I add this: There is almost no political consideration given to who is selected for these senior jobs, and absolutely none when it comes below the top level. Men are because their superiors think they are the best men to serve them.
After all, to a man who has a job, his own performance is affected by the men he selects to work with him, and, therefore, the man is anxious to get, of course, the best talent he can to help him. That is true in any field.
Often a man does well in one job and not in another. These are important considerations in staffing.
Senator Jackson. I have one or two other comments, Governor, and then we will terminate.
You made reference earlier to the role of the Assistant Secretaries of State. I am wondering if there might not be something that could be done to further strengthen their role so that maybe their services
could play a bigger part in the Department. Is there any area there that could be improved ?
Mr. HARRIMAN. In the Assistant Secretaries?
Mr. HARRIMAN. I think that is the work habit of the Secretary of State. Everyone has their own interest. The Secretary of State has so many things to do he has to decide his own priorities. His delegation to his Assistant Secretaries very frequently is based on his own sense of priority.
In other words, if he gets a volume of things to be done, he says, "Well, I have to leave that to" so and so. I understand my function as Under Secretary for Political Affairs is to coordinate the five regional bureaus and to see that as many decisions as possible stop at my desk. That is a question of the confidence between the Secretary of State and me and the confidence he may have in different Assistant Secretaries.
He may feel that some Assistant Secretaries need somewhat more supervision than others. He also may feel that some subjects need his own careful consideration. It is å question of personal decision by the Secretary of State.
I think the machinery as it is now set up gives the Secretary the fullest authority to delegate where he wishes to, and yet assume responsibility where he feels that he and the President should become involved.
Senator JACKSON. As the new Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, I assume that you can call on the Assistant Secretaries in the appropriate areas for help and assistance ?
Mr. HARRIMAN. Yes. That will be my job.
This position primarily is to coordinate the activities of the five bureaus and also the 10—the Bureau of International Organization, United Nations. Those are the six most active. And, in addition to that, there are other bureaus and functions which are available to assist me, such as policy planning.
They don't report to me. They report directly to the Secretary. Then there are INR, Intelligence and Research, the Legal Division and other special advisers. All of them will be available to me for advice and assistance.
But, my job will be to see that people take action where it is indicated and where action needs some stimulation or higher judgment or where there is a requirement for coordination between the different bureaus, I will be involved.
You see, so many things fall between two bureaus. You take the west New Guinea affair. That was between the Dutch and the Indonesians, so the European Bureau as well as the Far East were directly involved and required constant daily contact.
Very frequently, both bureaus have a point of view, and their differences go to the higher officer. In this particular case, the head of the European Bureau and I agreed that we would decide things between ourselves wherever possible.
But that is a question, again, of personalities and readiness to work together and being able to work together. It so happened that the head of the Bureau of European Affairs was an extremely wise man whose judgment I have frequently accepted.
Senator JACKSON. In our initial report on basic issues, the staff made this observation which relates to coordination.
“Also, it is worth asking what would have happened if the Executive Committee of the NSC had had to maintain the pace of the Cuban crisis for 2 or 3 more weeks, with other important issues piling up, and a whole new system of Executive Committee subcommittees beginning to blanket the executive branch."
This is, of course, a prospective question. I think it points up a problem as to how far we can go, what balance is needed and so on. I wondered if you had any general comments, not with relation to the particular issues of the Cuban crisis, however.
Mr. HARRIMAN. It is of the nature of things that the Secretary and the Under Secretary in serving the President become immersed in crisis that comes along on specially important situations, in addition to which they have to travel.
The idea of my job, I think, is when others are not available, I will have to, in my position, make decisions even though I might prefer to consult higher authority. When the President is so occupied, so many of the senior staff are occupied, on a crisis, I think the idea is that I should be there and make decisions, even though under normal circumstances it would go to higher authority.
That is true of almost everything, Mr. Chairman. In business and otherwise, if the senior is preoccupied, his subordinates have to assume greater responsibility. I think in a way it is a good thing, because it gets the junior officers in the habit of making decisions for themselves, and not to always run to higher authority.
Senator Jackson. Governor, I just want to close with this comment.
I want to compliment you on your testimony. I think it has been very helpful. I know it will be very useful to the committee in its deliberations.
There is one thing that is central in all this, and that is that with a strong Department of Defense, it is important that we have a proper balance with a strong Department of State. The Secretary of State has the job of being the orchestra leader in handling all of the instruments of national security in his advice to the President.
This committee has felt from the beginning that in order for the President to be properly advised and have available to him the best possible information, there needs to be a good balance between the two very important Departments of the Government-Defense and State.
General Norstad last week mentioned just one illustration where we probably could have avoided some trouble over the Skybolt affair. We sometimes think of a weapons system as a weapons system alone, without due reference to foreign policy. It so happened that Skybolt was involved with an understanding and an agreement between Mr. Macmillan and President Eisenhower that the British would have certain opportunities in connection with the development of this new weapons system.
Unfortunately, while the problem had certain national aspects, as indicated by statements of various Congressmen and Senators, it also did raise some international problems. You mentioned very properly the importance of coordination between State and Defense.
I just wanted to close on the note that I think it is vital and essential that there be this proper balance between the two great Depart