Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Donald McConville
Q: That was in '79.
McCONVILLE: That was '81. That was my second supervisory role, and they had just expanded the section out there by one officer because of the fact that they had just recently reached a tin agreement which established an international tin administration or authority - I can't remember what the name of it was. It was a body to administer a tin agreement, and it was headquartered in Malaysia, so that was just going to come off the ground and the economic section there would have a great deal to do with helping get this organization off the ground, and that was what the extra person was assigned to us for. It was also at that time though that the commercial function was split off and it was established under the commercial service at Commerce, so we no longer had the commercial function under the State Department economic counselor, which was something that I was not happy to see go because I had always taken a pretty strong interest in commercial work and liked working with American business. But that was what the arrangement was, so when I got out there I immediately set about to develop a very good working relationship with the new commercial counselor, who was actually a State Department officer who had taken the opportunity to convert to Commerce.
Q: You were in Malaysia from when to when?
McCONVILLE: From '81 to '84.
Q: What was the situation, both politically and economically, when you went out there?