WASHINGTON — President Reagan today named White House lobbyist William L. Ball III to be secretary of the Navy as the Administration offered swift and strong support for Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci a day after James H. Webb Jr. resigned with a blast at his boss and his attempts to curb Pentagon spending.
"The budget restructuring under way at the Pentagon now is a difficult and painful process," said White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater. "Secretary Carlucci is doing an admirable job. He's quite capable and suitable to the task and he's carrying out the President's policies in that regard."
Ball's nomination requires Senate confirmation.
'A Strong Advocate'
Ball has been Reagan's assistant for legislative affairs since February, 1986. A one-time chief clerk of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Ball served at times as administrative assistant to former Sens. Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.) and John Tower (R-Tex.).
Discussing Ball's selection, Fitzwater said, "All of us who know him here at the White House know that the Navy is getting a strong advocate and a strong fighter both on the Hill as well as in any of the other courts of public opinion around the country."