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Chapter VI


The principles of negotiating and the analysis of the type of individuals who should be entrusted with important negotiations as contained herein, have been proven effective by actual usage at many negotiating tables on behalf of government and private industry, both at home and abroad.  They cannot be faulted on grounds they will not work—they have worked—with considerable success.

No claim is made that they represent optimums, but they should be considered as irreducible minimums for the selection and training of first-class negotiators and the conduct of negotiations.

It is my sincere hope that those proven tests and principles of negotiating, will assist both government and industry to select, test and train potential negotiators which is not being done today.  Having been a government negotiator as a Naval Officer and as a civilian, I know from first hand experience that many people are carrying on negotiating functions in both private industry and government who need assistance and guidance in the fundamentals of negotiating.  My particular desire is to improve the caliber and ability of persons performing negotiating duties on behalf of the government of the United States.

More specifically, I feel we should have, within the Department of State, a hard core of trained, full time career negotiators who can properly put together the basis of a successful negotiation, go out from Washington and do a first team job and come home with no thought or desire of staying in a country and becoming well liked or popular.  Then, and only then, in my opinion, will the American people know that they are being capably represented at negotiating tables abroad.


Additionally, I would like to see an end to the practice of this country being represented at negotiating tables by part-time non-paid draftees from outside of government, no matter how able these men may be in their own company or law firm.

As stated at the outset, the Department of State exists for the primary purpose of engaging in diplomacy or the conduct of diplomatic relations with foreign countries.  Diplomacy is the art, science or practice of conducting negotiations between nations, as any dictionary will confirm.  This being so, the American people have a right to expect that in the Department of State would be full time, properly trained, career individuals who are highly skilled at conducting important international negotiations.

Yet when the United States needed a man to negotiate a Korean truce, a man to conduct disarmament negotiations and a man to conduct nuclear test ban negotiations with foreign countries, our Department of State had to call upon Wall Street lawyers, instead of being able to send their own experts at negotiating to those negotiating tables. 

This situation makes about as much sense as the Department of Justice having to call in non-paid lawyers to present the government's cases to the Supreme Court of the United States instead of having the Office of the Solicitor General to do so.

Moreover, without such recognized, full time, expert negotiators, the Department of State not only fails to put a first team at the negotiating table, but is unable to maintain the necessary continuity of personnel to negotiate.  Their best effort in this connection is in the field of foreign trade negotiations.

This point was raised by several witnesses during the hearings held on the Arms Control and Disarmament Act which was passed by the Congress in September 1961.  Senator Humphrey stated as follows:

"But, again, it is my view, and you have stated it very succinctly, that an agency, whatever may be its form, that has continuity not only of purpose and of objective under a statute, but also of personnel, would do very well.

"I have been impressed with the fact that when the Soviets come to these conferences one generally sees the same people, year after year.  These are people that are fully immersed in


complexities of these problems.  At the Surprise Attack Conference, the Nuclear Test Ban Conference, the General Disarmament Conferences—when one sees the Soviets there as technicians, as well as the Soviet
representatives, it is pretty much the same crew year in and year out.

"As indicated here this morning, while it is true that we have many competent technical people—and I am aware of their ability and of their presence—in the Department of Defense, the AEC, the Department of Commerce, the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the Department of State, the top two and three layers of personnel have fluctuated.  They come and they go, and this is too complex a matter for that kind of treatment."  (Italics added.)

Additionally, Senator Clark stated:

"Of course, one of the most important things about giving statutory status to this Agency is that it will have continuity.  "That has been said, and I infer it may be true, that really able men are becoming increasingly unwilling to come down here and involve themselves on an ad hoc basis in this search for peace through disarmament, and one only has to look at the unhappy record of the many, many individuals who have been brought down here on an ad hoc basis to take a temporary run for their money in this disarmament field to note how important the continuity is."

Interestingly enough, there was much discussion in the Congress when this Act was passed on the subject of negotiating disarmament agreements.  The legislative history of this Act shows that the Congress was unhappy with the way this subject had been handled and they agreed with the President that a new agency was needed to properly perform the research, back-stopping, coordination and to be responsible for the negotiating of the agreement themselves.

Unfortunately, it is clear from the hearings, debates and committee reports that everyone assumed there were qualified negotiators in the Department of State to actually conduct the negotiations.  No one asked if there were, who they were, or what training in negotiations is provided.

Had these questions been asked, a whole new field of need would have opened up.  In an effort to contribute to a betterment of that particular situation, the original of this work was given to the Director of the U. S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.


In addition to our lack of trained career negotiators, I feel that in most of the problem areas which confront us in the cold war today, we suffer from a failure to incorporate in our positions enough of that essential element to any negotiation, namely, flexibility.

When this defect is understood and corrected, we will show greater signs of maturity in foreign affairs and stop tabling black or white, rigid minimum positions which leave us with no fall-back position and no flexibility of movement.

Inflexible, non-negotiable, minimum positions can understandably be embraced and publicized by crusaders, pressure groups, former enemies, etc., but mature nations and statesmen have learned that there should always be fall-back positions which rigid minimum positions make impossible.

If we will provide the necessary flexibility and take steps to train a hard corps of full-time government negotiators, we will indeed move forward.  Needed, however, is a realization that negotiation is truly an art, and more importantly, that it is a vocation, not an avocation, as it has been considered in the past.

COPYRIGHT © Gordon Wade Rule 1962

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 62-21296








Cover, Contents, & Introduction

About the Author


I.  Introduction

II.  What is Negotiation

III.  Who Should Negotiate

IV.  Preparation for Negotiation

V.  Conduct of a Negotiation

A—Things To Do

B—Things Not To Do

VI.  Conclusions