The Nation: Writing Block

The rash of Washington leaks-by-Xerox may produce at least one beneficial side effect: a reduction in governmental paper work. Members of the White House staff have been instructed never to write a memo on a sensitive subject when a telephone call would serve equally well.

One presidential assistant concluded a discussion of the ITT affair (see story on page 86) by telling a junior staff member: "You know, the President doesn't like unnecessary memos like that [Lobbyist Dita Beard's] anyway." He then produced a presidential directive cautioning against treating mere memo writing as a sign of productivity. The present orders for increased...

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