Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Robert E. Barbour
BARBOUR: The Italians put the best face on it, as they know how to do better than anyone else in the world and portrayed it as a very successful, pleasant visit between two chiefs of state, after which he also called on the Pope.
Q: Shall we stop here? We will end the Rome business in 1972 and move on to what you did after that.
Q: Today is March 16, 1994. Did you have anything to add about Rome?
BARBOUR: Yes, there were a couple of points I wanted to go back to. In 1969 I became head of the political section, working for an amazing Ambassador, highly controversial, about whom, as I once told him, no one has had mixed feelings, they are either very strongly for or very strongly against. That was Graham Martin. Graham Martin had a strength of personality that is very rare in the Foreign Service. He did not hesitate, when he felt strongly enough, to tell a Cabinet Minister that it would not be convenient for him to visit ..?.. at that time, tell another one that if he wanted to come at that time, he, Martin, would not be involved. On another occasion, this is purely anecdotal, after the Agricultural Attach� had been injured in an automobile accident and the medical bills were piling up and were not being paid to the great annoyance of the local hospital—the Department of Agriculture had shilly-shallied—Martin directed the Embassy to pay the bills and charge Agriculture. Then he sent the Secretary of Agriculture a telegram saying, “I have done this and I am sure had you known about it you would have done the same thing.” And the thing was finished. He was an amazing individual.