Monday, May 30, 2011

Diary Entry 98: Saigon, Monday Night, 6 December 1965

                                                                     Monday Night, 6 December 1965

Just got in and it’s 10:15 p.m. Had dinner with the Under Secretary of the Navy, Mr. [Robert H. B.] Baldwin, discussed the need for the barge contract in MACV and also talked a while about philosophy and politics. From 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. was in a conference with Mr. [Paul] Niederman (the Navy lawyer) [a U.S. Navy Military Sea Transport Service counsel], a Captain Jacques (USN) [commander of the U.S. Military Sea Transport Service, Vietnam], and Mr. Carl Gray (Assistant Secretary of the Navy) about port and coastal shipping problems.

From 3 to 6 p.m. met with the [Alaska Barge & Transport] contractor (Mr. Bullock), Captain Jacques, and Mr. Niederman to firm up the conditions of the contract. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. before that, I was getting guidance on how to proceed from General Crowley. Just before that I took 2 hours off from conferences to catch up on regular work at the office. All this morning I met with Mr. Gray and others on the barge contract.

Last night from 9 to midnight had dinner with a Mr. [Thomas L.] Ashley [Democrat, Ohio] and a Mr. [William S.] Moorhead [Democrat, Pennsylvania], both of whom are Congressmen. Very pleasant discussion. Congressmen are nice people, but they aren’t any smarter than most people and not as sharp as many I’ve known. Up until that time (9 p.m.) was with the usual group trying to come up with the contract.

Tomorrow the Under Secretary of the Navy [Baldwin] and Admiral [Glynn] Donoho [commander of the U.S. Military Sea Transport Service](the man who has to let the contract) come back for final discussions. Maybe we’ll come out all right.

Ever since Wednesday, it seems like I’ve lived with this problem of seeing the contract through and am tired of it. Maybe it will all be done tomorrow or the next day.

Don’t know whether the change of jobs will come about now even if this contract is nursed through. Gen. C is having second thoughts now and he may try to have me hold 2 jobs at once: the regular one plus supervising this special coastal shipping program even though I told him I can’t do it. Just one of those jobs has got me down; both of them will just overwhelm me. If I have to take over both jobs in the end, guess I’ll just have to go talk to him frankly and say that the hours and pressures are just too long and my health is more important. Have to have time to eat and sleep and in the last 2 days haven’t even had time to get a sandwich for lunch. T’ain’t worth it.

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