Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Douglas G. Hartley
HARTLEY: We felt that it was none of their business, and we were living together. We felt for the children's sake, for the four children, that the only thing we could do was sort of tough it out. We also felt that in a small diplomatic community like Belgrade, if the truth got out, there would be a lot of gossip. Anyway, when the dust cleared, I became the children's custodian. How I could deal with this situation? I couldn't stay on in Belgrade. My time had come up there. And there was either a choice of going to the States or maybe going to England because my two other girls were already there. By the way, the only person in the embassy who knew about this was Dick Johnson. Dick and Pat Johnson were our confidants and they were wonderful and helped us get through this time. So I, through some friends in Personnel (They do come in handy sometimes), the State Department arranged for me to be transferred to London. My wife went one direction - to marriage to a Canadian diplomat - and I went the other. I started off as an assistant commercial attache in the commercial section in London. By the way, my ex-wife returned to Belgrade as wife of the Canadian ambassador in the late 1980s!
Q: You were in London from when to when?
HARTLEY: From 1974 to '78.
Q: I would have thought that a commercial attache' in the United Kingdom would be sort of almost an oxymoron, our ties are so close.
HARTLEY: London was still an enormous embassy. I was one of four assistant attaches, there was a commercial attache and there was a minister for commercial affairs! My specialty was the engineering and industrial sector which after a while I managed to gain the offshore oil sector which was interesting as it was a time of rapid development of the North Sea oil. The economic section was very jealous lest the commercial section get involved in matters that were economic in nature. So we ended up by sticking pretty close to the commerce-mandated programs such as WTDRs [World Trade Directory Reports], Agency-Distribution searches, and, of course, support of the Trade Center, which had its own rather ample staff and its own building about a mile away from the embassy. The commercial function at that time was still in the hands of the State Department.
The Commercial Minister in the beginning was Archie Andrews. He was an old-line commerce type. Later, fortunately for me, Andrews was replaced by Cal Berlin. My immediate boss for a good part of the time was Larry Williamson. After having had a fairly free reign in Belgrade, I didn't really initially certainly find it at all challenging.