Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with William A. Crawford
CRAWFORD: On the raising? No, we didn't get into the questions of specific negotiations and so on. What we were really focusing on at that time was how we were going to get into the same boat with our European friends in pushing things along. What actually resulted was that we wound up with an agreement dealing largely with economic matters. It was really America's first major response in this field to an Eastern European nation since '56-'57, when we'd put Poland under special general license arrangements which enabled them to purchase more or less what they pleased without having to go for a particular license each time. We did the same thing for the Romanians, and also okayed some specific licenses on more sensitive installations—such as the rubber plants—that they were especially interested in. All this, in a sense, was sort of a tardy reward on our part for the many actions which they had been taking in asserting their independence of the Russians. So though they may have got more out of it than we, they had contributed more initially. But we did wind up with a few important benefits we had sought: agreements to negotiate a new consular convention and to expedite the reunion of separated families; and certain promises to facilitate the operation of our embassy through the acquisition of a new embassy building and residence if we wanted one, and the establishment of a U.S. trade office in downtown Bucharest. There were a few other things of that kind, but that's all in the public domain.
Q: Yes. Let me ask you this as sort of a closing question, I guess: How would you compare your experiences under the three administrations, Eisenhower [Dwight D. Eisenhower], Kennedy and Johnson [Lyndon B. Johnson]? What stands out in your mind for each one?
CRAWFORD: Of a personal nature or...
Q: Personal or general policy, what have you, whatever occurs to you.
CRAWFORD: Well, I suppose under Eisenhower it was the strong role played by Secretary Dulles [John Foster Dulles] and the latter's very proprietary way of handling his own foreign affairs, so to speak, and the feeling, at least down the line, that you didn't have very much contact with the top echelons, nor was your advice greatly solicited. However, the Department worked along in its regular fashion, and of course, I was more junior then.
Q: I'm curious, and it's off my subject, but was there a difficult period of adjustment then when Dulles died and Herter [Christian A. Herter] took over?