Transcript of Historical Advisory Committee Meeting, November
A scan of the original document is available for download (PDF, 5.3 MB, 234pp.)
Source: Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian, Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation Files, 1957-1990 (Lot File 96 D 292), Box 1, 1958-Min. of Meeting 11/7/58 and 1958-Min. of Meeting 11/8/58. Confidential. Hand-written corrections and annotations have been applied to the transcript below. See the pdf for the original revisions to the document.
Transcript of 1958 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States
Members of the Committee:
- Dr. Dexter Perkins, Chairman
- Dr. Clarence Arthur Berdahl
- Dr. Leland M. Goodrich
- Dr. Richard W. Leopold
- Dr. Philip W. Thayer
- Mr. Edgar Turlington
Representing the Department of State:
- Walter Spencer Robertson, Assistant Secretary, Far Eastern Affairs
- Edwin M. J. Kretzmann, [Deputy] Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs
- G. Bernard Noble, HD
- Josiah W. Bennett, CA
- Stephen J. Campbell, NEA
- G. M. Richardson Dougall, HD
- Ernest H. Fisk, FE
- William M. Franklin, HD
- Frank K. Hefner, E/EX
- William G. Jenkins, S/S-RO
- Miss Muna Lee, ARA/P
- Bruce M. Lancaster, EUR/P
- E. Ralph Perkins, HD
- Rupert Prohme, AF
- Ernest V. Siracusa, OSA
- Harold Sims, NEA
- Frank Stuart, ARA
- Gustave A. Nuermberger, HD
- Miss Marjorie M. Whiteman, L/ARA
- V. R. Voce
- H. C. Geis
- E. L. Koontz
[Omitted here is a table of contents]
[The meeting was convened at 10:00 a.m., Dr. Dexter Perkins presiding.]
MR. NOBLE: I think we had better call to order the Second Annual Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States. I think we all ought to be identified first for the sake of the reporter and everybody: Dr. Leopold, Dr. Goodrich, Dr. Berdahl, Chairman Perkins, Dr. Philip Thayer, and Edgar Turlington. I regret very much that the seventh member of our Committee can’t be with us. I had a telegram and a letter from him which I will read. [Mr. Noble read the telegram.]
I’d like to introduce Mr. Edwin Kretzmann, who needs no introduction, of course, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, and I’d like for him to greet the members of the Committee.
MR. KRETZMANN: Very briefly, I think we are behind in our work schedule and we will want to get on with the job, but I am very delighted to welcome this group for the Second Meeting here, especially now that you have all been properly sworn in and signed the papers that you are serving without compensation. We are very glad to have you with us.
Mr. Berding is sorry that he can’t be with you this morning. He will be with you for a time at noon today and hopes to be able to chat with you then. He has asked me to invite you, if you wish, to attend the Secretary’s Press Conference at 2:30 this afternoon and perhaps see history in the making—I can’t promise that, but sometimes it does happen. So if you would like to, we’d be very glad to take you to the Press Conference at 2:30. It won’t last more than a half hour. Generally it is confined to that time. How do you feel about that, so we can make the arrangements right now? Would you like to do that immediately afterward?
MR. BERDAHL: I would like that very much, if it won’t interfere with the work.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think that would be fine.
MR. GOODRICH: We are not allowed to ask questions, are we?
MR. KRETZMANN: No, you’re not. You’re not accredited correspondents. Otherwise, I shall be very brief; because you have a very large agenda with many important items on it.
I think, for the benefit of the group that are sitting around, the concept of this Advisory Committee is to assist the Department in its work of making available through the Historical Division the diplomatic papers that are necessary for the academic community, the research community to proceed with their labors. This has in its very concept, I think, a conflict of interest because the academic community likes to see everything as soon as it happens, as much as it can, and I think there is a certain interest on the part of the Department of State in keeping some of its secrets longer than five minutes, in the light of protecting certain delicate relations.
However, this is not an arena for conflict here, I trust, Mr. Perkins, but a forum in which these distinguished representatives of the academic community wish to discuss this problem, which is a mutual one. We recognize their legitimate interests in trying to get at the material which gives them the historical background that they need and I think they recognize our legitimate interest in protecting the foreign relations of the United States to the best of our ability. So I trust this will be a friendly and fruitful exchange here today of views on these various aspects of this problem.
I hope to be able to drop in from time to time and in the course of the day Mr. Berding hopes he can too, so that if you have questions you want to reserve for us that require some, shall we say, decisions on the part of the Public Affairs Bureau, we will be very glad to try to cope with them at that time.
MR. NOBLE: Thank you very much.
MR. KRETZMANN: We are very glad to have you all here.
MR. NOBLE: I trust I might express our appreciation for Mr. Kretzmann’s presentation of our problem. I am sure that everyone has left his brass knucks outside. What we want is to get mutual understanding about our problems and I am sure we would all be very frank in the process of doing that.
[Off the record remarks by Mr. Noble.]
MR. NOBLE: I’d like to say one other thing about the compensation side of it. With committees of this sort working with the Department, they are on a WOC basis. For instance, the U.S. Advisory Committee on U.S. Educational Exchange, the Board of Foreign Scholarships, the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, and the Advisory Committee on German War Documents Projects—those are some that are all on this same basis and for which the award for service is simply the satisfaction that you’re doing what I hope might be regarded as a worthwhile and perhaps patriotic job in promoting understanding on the subject of our foreign policy through the publications of Foreign Relations of the United States volumes, and giving the historians the benefit of your advice on related problems.
The Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Mr. Perkins, unfortunately can’t be here tomorrow and that affects the operations quite considerably, and I thought we ought to discuss that a little bit. My suggestion is that we ought to close our deliberations here not later than 5 o’clock so that the members of the Committee could have a meeting among themselves to have the benefit of Mr. Perkins’ advice and so that they might get started on a report and then if it’s agreeable to others we can meet tomorrow morning to carry the discussion on and give you some time also if you like to lay the foundation for implementing the report.
I’d just like to raise this question for your consideration, whether—and I want you to decide this—you might wish to make a report to us somewhat more in detail and perhaps more on a confidential basis since our discussions will be more highly classified today than they were last year. I might add parenthetically, of course, that the fact that you are now being rated as consultants to the Department, means for the purposes of this operation you are members of the Department, and that applies from the point of view of security controls, and everybody in this room is aware of that, I’m sure. It may be, therefore, you would like to make your report to the Department, to us, on a more detailed and confidential basis and that you might like also to make your report a shorter one for publication.
In that connection, I want to refer to the fact that the report you gave us last year was, as you of course know, published very largely in detail in the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of International Law and was summarized somewhat more briefly in the American Historical Review of the October issue. I think that was a very fine achievement, a very fine result of the deliberations, and we appreciated very much the report that you made. But please raise among yourselves the question whether you might like to present two types of reports as a result of our discussions here. I may say that your report was very helpful to us, particularly in connection with the hearings of the Senate, when we were able to make a statement for the benefit of the Committee at the Senate Appropriations hearings, and to quote somewhat from that report.
I. Report on Developments Since The Last Meeting
MR. NOBLE: I’d just like to refer briefly to the meeting of last year and perhaps help to put things in perspective as the basis for our discussion today. The Committee considered last year, as you will recall, the limitations, the difficulties which we suffered from in getting out the Foreign Relations volumes, and first we took up the question of the increased volume of documentation and the tendency to increase the number of volumes put out. And the question was how far we should go along this line. We considered various alternatives and the Committee recommended that first they favored the tightening of the selection, while using the same range of subjects, omitting somewhat more of the marginal documents. And, as a second alternative, possibly omitting some of the so-called marginal topics along with marginal documents. But in no case was it assumed that we would jeopardize the integrity of the story of our diplomacy.
And on the subject of clearance, of which there was a good deal of discussion last year, the Committee recognized the difficulty of the problem, took note of the provisions in the Department Regulations for omissions under certain circumstances—that is, where the publication might interfere with current negotiations, or cause needless offense to other nationalities or individuals. Broadly speaking, the omission is recognized where publication would seriously damage our relations with other countries; it was recognized by the Committee that the problem of sensitivity of documents is more serious now than it was a quarter of a century ago, resulting from our changed position in the world, and it is obvious that decisions in this field are highly subjective in character.
One policy officer may clear a set of documents while another may feel unable to do so. Naturally, also in clearance matters, the Historians approach the problems in a somewhat different point of view from that of policy officers; while recognizing the entire validity of the Department Regulations providing for omissions, at times the Historians tend to press the policy officers to go farther in clearing papers than these policy officers are inclined to do. And the settlement of differences over clearance problems sometimes involves prolonged discussions back and forth. Seldom does the matter go beyond the level of Assistant Secretary, but in exceptional cases it may be referred to the Secretary of State, as was done in the case of the Yalta volume. We will come back to illustrations of this in the course of the discussion of the problem later.
There were a few problems of lesser importance which were discussed. I simply remind you of these because it might be helpful. First, the question of an index versus a list of papers. In times past, as you know, we had both a list of papers and an index, but we felt compelled for reasons of economy to discard one or the other and the presumption seemed to be that the index ought to be kept and the Committee feels that that was a wise decision, that the index is preferable. And I might mention in passing—I believe you referred to it last time—the fact that we are now trying to include names in the index as well as subjects. No volumes have yet come out with that except the Yalta volume. If you have any further comments on this subject, I hope you will feel free to make them toward the end of the session when other editorial subjects are discussed.
Another matter the question of identifying persons mentioned in the documents. The conclusion was reached that the identification should be given at the beginning of each story as is the practice today. That is regarded as a satisfactory practice.
Then there is the problem of organizing the papers in the volumes—that was also considered. Should it be on a strictly chronological basis or a subject basis, and the judgment of the Advisory Committee was that they should be organized according to the subject, or country, and put in chronological order within these classifications.
And, fourth, was the question that was considered about identifying persons with the production of a given paper. That is, should the drafter be identified, should the person who signs for the Secretary be identified, should anyone be identified below the level of the Secretary or Acting Secretary, or Ambassador or Minister in the case of Foreign Missions. And I don’t believe that this question was thrashed out very fully because of the pressure of time, but the report does state that the Committee is unanimously opposed to ascription. It says the responsibility must always be assumed by the higher political officer—higher political officer, it doesn’t say the highest political officer. I don’t know whether it means to imply that. This, I think, is still an important question which we ought to have a little further discussion on.
For instance, suppose there is a telegram and someone signs the Secretary’s name and signs his initials under it, should that person be identified, should the initials be spelled out? It was done in the Yalta volume and is being done, I believe, in the Cairo-Teheran and the Potsdam volumes, but I don’t believe it is being done in the regular annual volumes, and perhaps we ought to regularize our practice.
I believe a misunderstanding arose on the meaning of ascription in at least one political area where this word ascription was applied—not merely to those who signed or drafted a telegram but also to cases of intra-Departmental memoranda signed by someone below the Secretary—and in a number of cases it was proposed that we should delete the name of an individual signing a regular intra-Departmental memorandum. This political officer had read the report and misinterpreted, I think, the application of ascription, at least I believe you would agree that he misinterpreted it. If the memo is written, I think the name of the person writing it should be used, since there is no alternative of giving the Secretary responsibility for a memorandum drafted here in the Department and which does not go outside the Department.
Now, the Committee report recognizes that we are faced with a dilemma involving the fact that, while it is important to have an informed public on policy matters and important for historians to write an accurate history of our Department, it is also important to maintain confidential relations with other friendly countries and avoid giving needless offense. This question, therefore, arises sometimes in a case where there are certain highly sensitive papers of substantive importance to the story, is it better to publish the documents which can be published, leaving out sensitive papers, and thus failing to give a completely accurate account, or is it better to withhold publication of the entire volume on the ground that the published account without the document in question would be too misleading? That is the question we face constantly, at least we are facing it more frequently now than we have in the past and we shall refer to this later in the course of our discussion.
I have handed out some papers to you and they contain the report on the progress made during the past year. You might just glance over that. You will see that the record of our achievements since our previous meeting shows that we have released to the public four volumes: that is, 1939, Vol. V; 1940, Vol. II; 1940, Vol. III; 1941 Vol. I. This record doesn’t look very good. It certainly is not satisfactory to us. But there are reasons which I think you either understand or will understand why the issue of more volumes has not been made. The record also shows the equivalent of four volumes has been compiled in the regular Foreign Relations series. This represents work on a number of different volumes, and it includes the completion of six volumes for 1943 and pushing ahead with the compilation of volumes in the 1944-1945 period.
During this period the special China series has remained on the shelf so far as publication is concerned, but the work of putting all of them into galleys has continued so that they will be ready for the final stages of publication when the postponement of the publication is raised officially. As you will see they have been put on the shelf at the request of the Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs, with the approval of the Secretary. This we may discuss somewhat later.
As to the wartime conference volumes, the work has been largely concentrated on getting the Cairo-Teheran and Potsdam volumes cleared. And, oddly enough, the problems of the Cairo-Teheran volume at this writing seems somewhat more serious than those of the Potsdam. We will look at these a little bit later in more detail.
There has been little time for the other wartime conference volumes, though progress has been made, especially on the first Washington conference papers, though priority demands of the State Department and Defense has hindered progress on this particular work. At the present time, therefore, we are confronted with problems of clearance on all fronts. Aside from the 14 China volumes temporarily on the shelf, there are four wartime conference volumes, three Potsdam and one Cairo-Teheran, and four regular volumes: 1940, Vol. V; 1941, Vol. VI and Vol. VII, American Republics, 1942, Vol. I, including General, British Commonwealth and FE. They are in clearance, and two others are on ice: 1941, Vol. V, and 1943, China.
With regard to the prospects for this fiscal year, if we are lucky in clearance provisions, we should be able to put out four regular annual volumes and possibly one, possibly more, of the Potsdam volumes. There are three of these, as you know, in process. Then, if we are lucky, for the next fiscal year ending June ’60, we should be able to put out seven of the regular volumes and three or four of the wartime conference series, depending on whether we put out one of the Potsdam volumes this fiscal year. I looked back, in reading the notes of the last year’s discussion, and saw our forecast there of five volumes this year. We may not quite make that grade.
Now the clearance problems have been primarily responsible for the postponement of publication during the past year for this Foreign Relations series. The consequence is that the lag in publications is now 18 years and will soon approach 20 years unless the situation changes. Incidentally, Mr. Turlington in one of his letters to me, raised the question about whether it might be possible to put out some volumes, some papers, before we are able to put them all out. And one of the members of our staff has turned in a very interesting paper on the subject and I hope toward the end of the meeting we may be able to discuss this question—to see whether in any way we could do an end run on the publication of these volumes.
Mr. Perkins, that is my part of the story. I believe the next part, sir, is the review.
THE CHAIRMAN: Unless there are some questions of Mr. Noble. Are there any questions? [None] Well, the next thing on our agenda is a review of Foreign Relations volumes by Mr. Leopold and me.
Review of Foreign Relations volumes, by members of the Advisory Committee.
A. 1939, Volume V, American Republics
THE CHAIRMAN: I think you must realize that it is not very easy to comment, for after all we don’t know of course what was not put in, and I think I shall have to confine myself to a question or two. And one of the questions that interested me in looking over the volume—I want to know what the answer to this is—there is no material on the reaction of the Latin American Governments to the outbreak of the war in Europe in a literal sense of the term. Now, I think that would have been interesting. Was there a reason for that? You understand what I mean?
MR. NOBLE: Yes. Well, Ralph, I think we will let Mr. Perkins answer that question, since he is immediately responsible for that.
MR. PERKINS: Well, of course one of the reactions was the Declaration of Panama, which we have covered. That was the one definite, concrete action taken. Beyond that, I think that all we would have would be reports on the reactions without any definite U.S. policy being directly involved.
THE CHAIRMAN: I understand what you mean. I may not speak for anyone but myself, but it would be interesting to me and I don’t know what the reaction of Brazil or Argentina was to the events of the fall of 1939 from the standpoint of the study of the period and of our own policy. It may be your volume is a long one, of course, as I recognize. And possibly this kind of thing would not be of interest to them.
MR. LEOPOLD: I’m going to raise that point in the same way. Perhaps we might defer that because in talking to Mr. Perkins he has a definite policy here he adheres to.
THE CHAIRMAN: All right. I’m perfectly willing to do that. The part I read was an interesting part of the volume on the conference of Panama. This is not a total record, is it? There must have been preliminary conversations, were there not, before the conference?
MR. PERKINS: Well, we put in what we considered to be the significant documentation on it.
THE CHAIRMAN: As I say, it’s very hard to comment on the question of that. I recognize your difficulties and your problem of space. I was just curious to know if there were some other aspects of the preliminary conversations in regard to the conference and confidences that might have been made in the course of the discussion by individual diplomats or one or another or the representatives at the conference. Of course the fundamental decisions of the conference I recognize are included.
MR. PERKINS: I may make one remark in this connection that may be of some interest to you as to the length of time involved in the process of getting out the Foreign Relations and, while my memory may be a little hazy on detail, this volume which just came out recently was compiled in 1950 and ’51. Compilation was completed in 1952. So six years have gone by since I worked on the compilation.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think one of the advantages—
MR. PERKINS: And the man who compiled it is no longer with us.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think one of the advantages of this meeting—I’m not being critical, I’m just raising some questions—
MR. PERKINS: I think the answer to that is that a mere reporting where policy is not directly involved, we do not generally cover that.
THE CHAIRMAN: Generally put in, are they?
MR. PERKINS: And the positive action there, of course, was the Panama conference.
THE CHAIRMAN: I understand. I have much more to say on that volume. I found myself missing the material in the front which was suspended in 1937 by which the documents were described one by one. I recognize that when we had to choose between the two we chose the index, but I now feel a little astounded that that isn’t there. And I think possibly the question ought to be reconsidered. But those are the only points, really, I would wish to raise. I don’t feel, as I say, like sitting in judgment on the volume into which so much work has gone when I don’t have the data.
MR. NOBLE: You felt that there was continuity in all the stories, but there are no gaps ?
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t think there were any gaps, no. Of course if there was a problem of abridgement, I suppose the question might be raised with regard to the abortive that were put in the volume. I don’t know just how interesting it is, but each government would like to have us spend a little money in Haiti and we turned them down on that. But I don’t like to judge that kind of thing without much more material than I own and I now have. I think the volume does underline the fact that we have got a massive job ahead of us here over the years and that we have just got to agree upon the principle of selection. If we can’t do anything else, this Committee can spell in some degree the illusion, or the total record if possible, and consider what the problem is that you face. But I wouldn’t want to sit in judgment on the choice. I think on the whole the material is interesting. This was not an exciting period, but what was there it seems to me is useful.
MR. TURLINGTON: Mr. Chairman, would you have in mind perhaps the possibility that the same course of development of public opinion that occurred in this country during 1940 and ’41 may have occurred In Latin American countries and may have been assisted by our diplomacy?
THE CHAIRMAN: It is conceivable, yes. Leslie, I am glad we were going to discuss that question for some time.
MR. PERKINS: I might say one other thing in regard to that. Of course you people are well aware that we were living in a completely different attitude back in ’39, an isolationist era.
THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.
MR. PERKINS: And it was a considerable time before we began to evolve any positive policies in regard to the war except the idea of neutrality. So that we did not have that leadership in supporting the allies and opposing the Axis as early as ’39, which becomes very evident, of course, in 1940.
THE CHAIRMAN: The kind of thing I mean is, here is a declaration creating a neutral zone probably beyond the limits of any previous period. I’d just like to know the rationale of that that appears in the documentation. So much goes on, I’m sure, now in conferences which is not recorded that one can’t tell always. And I don’t intend to be critical about it, but there are some questions I would like to have answers to that I don’t find in the volume. It may be feasible to include them.
MR. GOODRICH: I’m a little bit puzzled by what you just said about there not being a definite policy. I hadn’t thought of Foreign Relations as being a record of development policy. I was thinking it was more of showing how policies have developed. I sympathize very much with Dr. Perkin’s point of view that much more attention should be given to the background and less emphasis upon the actual results.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think Mr. Goodrich has a point. I wonder how much the Panama conference in the volumes of 1939 adds to what would be discovered currently, so to speak. It seems to me the decisions of the conference would have been certainly publicized at the time. But there is a difficult problem there I know.
MR. NOBLE: There is no question, I think, that the policy is to put in the necessary background, is there, Ralph? I believe that is stated clearly.
MR. PERKINS: I think if we had found a really significant documentation to add to it we would have put it in.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is just it.
MR. LEOPOLD: I think the answer, Dexter,—and certainly I found in going over this volume—is that a good deal of the American foreign policy in the formative planning stage was either made outside the State Department or perhaps at the top levels where the consultation or recommendations may not have gotten on paper, and this is the basic thing that we have been up against. I notice that Mr. Perkins has been aware, because I have been complaining about the lack of these materials in book reviews for many years now, and apparently they either do not exist or they do not exist in sufficient quantity. But I would share your feeling and Mr. Goodrich’s, and I fear this is curiosity of the Historian and of a political scientist of things that may not exist or can not easily be found.
THE CHAIRMAN: What do you want to say? Can you speak for your volume?
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes.
II. Review of Foreign Relations Volumes, by Members of Advisory Committee
B. 1940, Volume III, BC, USSR, ME, Africa
MR. LEOPOLD: Let me say first off that I share Prof. Perkins’ feelings that it is an almost impossible task for somebody on the outside who hasn’t worked with these documents closely or in our capacity to really judge the completeness of the record, which I think is one of the things the Historical Division wished us to do, and I would say offhand I am afraid I can’t give you very much help or make any suggestions there. Mr. Perkins told me this morning the fact that he just mentioned earlier about how long these volumes have been in process.
So far as Volume III for the year 1940 is concerned, I do not see at the moment whether the volume would have differed very much if it had been compiled a year ago or two years ago. The delay is obviously unfortunate and unhappy, but so far as the documents that are involved, I don’t think that if you had done it later you would have changed your editorial policy, added or deleted; so I think that fact, while important, doesn’t bear upon the volume itself. All I propose to do, Mr. Chairman, is say a few brief words on the description of the volume, what I think its contributions to the historians and the political scientists and international lawyers are, to comment briefly on what I think we are all aware of now, some of the editorial problems, and then come back to essentially the problem you raised, the larger problem of the contents.
With regard to the description of the volume, it’s one of five for the year 1940 and it deals with the British Commonwealth. The title, as you can see, is “British Commonwealth, The Soviet Union, the Near East and Africa”. That means that the general material on international conferences and the like in Volume I have not yet appeared.
Volume II has appeared, containing the rest of Europe, other than the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union and one volume on the Far East has appeared. The volume on the American Republics has not. This is the record for 1940.
There are cross references, as there must be, in the footnotes of this volume to volumes that have not yet appeared. This is unfortunate for us now. But time, I take it, will clear up the meaning of these references. So far as coverage in organization is concerned, I don’t think there is anything novel about this volume that has not been done by way of coverage or organization in the other recent volumes, which I assume you are all familiar with.
With regard to the particular contribution of the volume to the historian, the political scientist and the international lawyer, here I’m afraid anybody reporting reflects his own interest or his own ignorance and on some things I may say this doesn’t tell us very much new. That may mean that I know a little bit more about an area where this tells us a lot that is new. And I would indicate that I was less impressed by the documentary evidence, not that it’s incomplete, not that it’s misleading, but in what it tells us about the policy of aid to England in 1940, about the antecedent of the destroyer bases deal. This coverage, it seems to me, is complete but not very novel and one reason it isn’t very novel is that the records here compiled were used and used conscientiously and fully in what I think, the more I read it, is the magnificent volumes of Langer and Gleason, the more I look at them and see what’s now in the record, how well they used this material. So I would say that for us—at least for me, I really ought to say—the aid to England, the destroyer bases deal, those materials are not very novel.
I was struck by some very interesting documents on Ireland and our relations with Ireland. It was new to me and then I found that Langer and Gleason had a very nice summary of it anyway. The documents on Russia perhaps have been less used. There are some excellent reporting on Russia from the outside by our foreign diplomats and by members of the Foreign Service. There is a good deal of what was going on in Washington between the Russian Ambassador, whom some of the members of the Department of State didn’t like or didn’t trust, but it had a great deal to do with trade relations, economic relations, the question of the moral embargo following the Finnish war, during the Finnish war, and whether it should be lifted. This, I think, was interesting and useful.
There is a good deal of documentation on the war between Greece and Italy. Mr. Perkins told me yesterday that Greece is sort of like a roving line backer-up. In a particular year, Greece may appear in the European volumes if the number of pages so dictate; in another year Greece may appear under the Near East. And the inclusion of Greece in this volume, I take it, was simply an editorial and publishing convenience which so far as I am concerned is quite all right.
The documents I found the most interesting—but I suppose here this represents my colossal ignorance—are the documents dealing with the Near East, what today we might call the Near East, there are some very interesting reporting from our representatives in Iran, Iraq, Palestine, and Turkey. I’m sure that a special list in this area might not be so impressive to me as I was impressed by the usefulness of these documents. But to me I found them very interesting.
There is one qualification I would make with regard to a larger problem of editing, but I’d like to leave that until the end.
Those, then, would be the contributions of the volume as I see them, and it’s a very personal approach.
Now with regard to some of the editorial problems which we have discussed in our meeting last year, I would just comment briefly on this, that there is a limited use of these materials outside the Departmental files. I think I noted about two or three photostats from the Hyde Park Library. There was one instance where a personal letter was sent by the Ambassador in Russia to a member of the Department here and this personal letter was used in a memorandum that some other member of the Department used. But for the most part, in contrast to say the Yalta volume, there has been less drawing upon outside materials. And I think if I recall properly, this was pretty much in accord with what the Committee felt last year was desirable or possible. So I mention that not by way of criticism.
There is a very intelligent use—and I think one that will become increasingly important—of cross references to material already printed either in the Department of State Bulletin and I think looking very far ahead as we get down, if we get down, to the 1950’s, and we can draw upon this other publication of American foreign policy documents of 1950 to 1955, this will solve a good deal of problems. Unfortunately that solution, I take it, is quite a few years away.
I looked carefully, being suspicious by nature, for omissions and extracts, not of documents only because I couldn’t possibly tell, but omissions within the documents. And I think I had a list of not more than six or seven that caught my eye. Most of them were slight omissions and therefore were not indicated at the heading of the document as being extracts. The longer omissions there had a heading “Extracts”, so everybody was warned.
I talked a little with Mr. Perkins yesterday afternoon about one or two of those. I would say that one of the omissions that I saw constituted, as I’m sure you don’t need to be assured was any attempt to cover up in any way, but there was one brief omission, I remember, a reference to cryptographic material or a code, which one might expect. There were other omissions where the document was very long in itself and it omitted portions that could be spared without sacrificing. These were generally reports from our agents abroad about some particular conditions.
I found very little duplication. This is one of the problems, I take it, that the editor faces with respect to duplicating materials. There were two interesting examples where Mr. Perkins might be accused of wasting the taxpayers’ money where Mr. Welles apparently made two memoranda of the same episode and they were filed under different headings, so we have two pages in the whole fat volume where there might be a slight and identical duplication.
So far as the index is concerned, I found the index quite useful for locating people and trying to find the identification of people throughout the footnotes where this individual first is named. I must say, as a personal view, asking always for the impossible, that I do miss, as Mr. Perkins misses, the list of papers at the front of the volume. I have had occasion this past summer to go rather carefully through the volumes of the early ’30’s and I found it a great joy to have the list of papers. I think, Mr. Chairman, if we are to raise that question again, however, we may want to consider if we are to risk this very great task, and I am not sure we are, that there are still other ways of rearranging those papers in the front rather than having them appear in the same order as they appeared in the text. This is the different procedure used in the documents on German foreign policy where they have a complete—well, I guess the other way around, they have the topical where the documents appear chronologically.
And, finally, there is not in this volume, as there was in the Yalta volume, as there was in the volumes for the early ’30’s, a list of participants, the members or the people who appear frequently. This we have discussed last year. I think I cast a dissenting vote against the omission of that list. I find the list at the front much more useful than the photostats and, with this added thought that—and this may seem very insignificant to most of you here—if we have a list of the names, particularly with diplomats involved in the Middle East, even the Balkan countries, this presents an editorial standard to which men of good will can repair. In other words, if you want to have some authoritative source of how this person or that person spells his name, I’d be glad to have a list here which would tell us.
Finally, with regard to one or two larger problems and Prof. Perkins has already touched upon them, I think, there are definite limitations in this volume, as I think there have been in almost all of the volumes. This is not new to the Historical Division or to the editor in particular.
With regard to telling how American foreign policy evolves before it gets to the action stage—there Ralph Perkins has made the point that June 1940 represents a watershed in the evolution of our foreign policy, presumably the State Department as well as the Executive branch becomes more active, more directly concerned. Yet I think as a historian, I would wonder whether you can make quite as good a case for June 1940 as a watershed. This raises the question, therefore, if the State Department was not as actively concerned as were the other branches of the Government. And I say myself in 1938-39 a good bit of what was to become our foreign policy was being made in the Navy Department, the War Department, plans for hostilities. And this is what I, and Dexter to some degree, think is something that is really larger than the Department of State.
However, to become even more specific than that, the question of reporting from abroad—and you were asking with regard to the internal event in Brazil, and so forth, Mr. Chairman—I‘m told that the policy in the Foreign Relations is not to report at length what our diplomats abroad have to say. That is not to print in the Foreign Relations volumes the reports from foreign capitals unless they directly involve the United States, are directly concerned with the immediate American foreign policy, or in a few instances such as the Soviet Union, both before and after 1933, with regard to the Nazi Germany at the beginning of 1933, these have been included as important reports from abroad, or until you get down to the outbreak of the war.
Now, what I think we are asking, or let me say perhaps I’m asking, is for the editor of the Foreign Relations series to see ahead and tell us that ten, fifteen years from now the historians are going to want to know about this information. In other words, to be more specific, I miss a good deal of background reporting on the Middle East and particularly cross references to earlier events. Now, actually, the reporting on the Middle East in this volume, I think, is full and excellent. When I look back to the Foreign Relations volumes for three or four years previous, it wasn’t there and there are references to treaties involving not the United States but involving three or four nations of the Middle East with whom by 1940 we were interested in that doesn’t appear in the earlier volumes of the Foreign Relations. That is not criticism of this volume, but it indicates I think the nature of the problem with regard to just presenting reports of our diplomats abroad where the United States is not directly concerned.
One other thing, Mr. Chairman, and I think I will be finished—and once again I was disappointed. It’s the same problem that Prof. Perkins raised. There seems to be a minimum number of papers, of policy papers, within the State Department on evolution of possible policy. Now, there are some excellent ones. There is a long report within the Eastern European or whatever covered Russia at this time on, in effect, how we cannot trust the Russians. This covers three or four or five pages, and it’s a very useful document as the type of thinking that was going on in the Department of State at that time. I rather wish there were more of those. Maybe they don’t exist. I’m inclined to think, from what Mr. Perkins tells me, they do not exist.
But I would say this final thing, that in connection with some of the earlier volumes, say the volumes of 1931 and ’32, where I had one of my students going through on a dissertation involving the planning stage of the World Disarmament Conference of 1932, he found a good deal of material in the Departmental files that was not printed in the volumes for 1931-32 that involved memoranda coming from the War Department, from the Navy Department, which would involve this particular problem. So perhaps there is more material or at least I’d be very interested to hear what the editor has to say on this problem. That’s all, Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Dr. Leopold. Do you want to comment, Mr. Perkins?
MR. PERKINS: Well, I think that Prof. Leopold has stated our policy pretty well, that we are printing Foreign Relations of the United States, that our regulations tell us we are to cover all major policies of the United States with pertinent background and that a brief field which we do omit are the reports which come in on domestic developments in a country or relations between third parties in which we are not involved. If at the time we are involved that would be covered, as in China, you go through the China volumes down through the years and you find a mass of material on developments in China because we were in China—extraterritoritality and other conditions brought us in a situation where we were directly concerned in those domestic developments.
MR. PERKINS [Cont.]: Now the correction we have to consider is, are the developments reported of sufficient significance for American foreign policy to need to be put in? I remember when we came to the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. We felt that Nazi control of Germany became so significant for American foreign policy that we should show what was the reaction of our diplomats to that situation as it developed, and we did put in documentation on that. We haven’t with the Soviet Union because obviously the development of the Soviet Union has had a great effect on our policy, but we haven’t felt we can do that down the line for other countries. In some cases those reforms are sufficiently covered in the press. What our diplomats send in are merely reports not really of confidential conditions but of conditions that are known and which you can get just as well by reading the press. For example, we don’t put in developments from the reports from the London Embassy, political developments in England. There is no need of it, yet doubtless our Embassy does send in reports.
Now you bring up the other question of the development of policy within the Department, and that is rather hard to document. There is more material now, I think, available than there was for some earlier years, but what you have is a lot of memos by lower offices. These memos cannot be taken as Department policy. It shows the thinking at division levels perhaps, and in some cases it does at the Department level. For example, you have a memo by some desk officer and then perhaps you have another memo on that subject by a division chief. Well, later you have a telegram going out to an embassy giving an instruction which is based on these earlier memos. Well, the Department policy is stated in the telegram. Is there any need to print these preliminary memos by lower offices?
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I think there is always a question involved for the historian where a policy is made. For example, the Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine originated far down in the Department and moved up. It is an interesting fact. These are all problems of discrimination. I don’t think there is any absolute rule.
But, going back to 1939, I just wonder whether the three hundred million limit adopted in Panama, saying maybe it ought not to be, or what they did, I can’t find that out. I would just like to know. Maybe the documents aren’t there. I know your problem is going to get more difficult because with the telephone and our means of private communication I think we may not always be able to answer.
MR. GOODRICH: It seems to me the question is two different things. One is a development of policy within the Department itself through the preparation of memoranda and that sort of thing. The other is development of policy in diplomatic exchanges. I had that second in mind originally. I think it would be pretty nigh impossible for you to put into Foreign Relations—and I don’t think it appropriately should be there—the story of the evolution of a policy within the Department or within the Government, I had thought primarily of formulation of relations with the United States and foreign countries, and so far as the diplomatic correspondence reports coming from abroad bears upon the development of a policy or an agreement, that I thought this background ought to be covered. I don’t think you want to get into this business of internal memoranda and that sort of thing.
MR. NOBLE: Did you mean to suggest the differences of view within the development?
THE CHAIRMAN: Not normally, but I think there may be particular cases where it may be wise to do so.
MR. TURLINGTON: In the absence of our colleague, Dr. Bailey, I would like to refer to diplomatic history, Senate debates and all sorts of articles. Historians would like to get all they possibly can get about the development of these things in discussions, but there are more and more people in the Department and I think it would become an impossible task to keep on publishing very much of that kind of material.
MR. PERKINS: With regard to the declaration of Panama, it is my impression—as I said this is a long time ago—we compiled that but that was done largely by President Roosevelt himself. He took a map and drew lines, and that was that. When it came to any naval matter he was likely to do that personally. I remember, for example the evacuation of Americans from Europe. Some ships could not go to Cobh. David Gray, our Minister, begged them to allow a ship clearance from Germany to have all the facilities of an American line. Roosevelt picked out a place on the west coast of Ireland where a ship had to anchor three miles out and have a tender to help take people off. David Gray wrote and said, “Don’t do that to me again.” That, I think, is the answer on that, that Roosevelt himself did it and you don’t have the document in the Department.
MR. GOODRICH: I have just one further comment I would like to make. Dick Leopold, in his very interesting comments on this volume, which is the volume I have looked at more carefully, seemed to suggest that one test that one should apply is the amount of further light it throws upon subjects. He mentioned the Lang or Gleason volumes as being sources of information. I thought he suggested they should be supplemented by this. I don’t think that is quite fair either. I think Foreign Relations should be as complete a volume of foreign relations as possible, quite apart from the fact that some research has had some access to documents before that publication. I am sure you didn’t intend to suggest that you found a little added to Lang and Gleason.
MR. LEOPOLD: I merely suggested what the reviewer or somebody is likely to say. I think we have here, though, what may be a more basic disagreement even within the members of the Committee on the question of what is the task of Foreign Relations. I am not sure this is the time to talk about it. I suggest that probably at least some of the historians have been so in love with Foreign Relations over the years and have found it so useful that they rather look to the Foreign Relations series to tell them everything they want to know about the formative stages of American foreign policy. I think what Dexter and I have in mind, perhaps more discussion within the State Department which you feel, and I gather Mr. Turlington feels, is outside, is perhaps the real difference of opinion.
THE CHAIRMAN: There are differences of opinion. I think they ought to be resolved in our private discussion. I don’t mean to close off comment if anybody wants to comment further.
MR. PERKINS: May I at this time perhaps just say one more thing, and it is a problem that will come up in this connection. I haven’t commented on, for the early years’ periods, the lack of policy development documents very often in the Department. Well, of course, now for a good many years we have had a policy planning committee, and undoubtedly a policy planning committee does lots of long-range thinking and perhaps documents which are not directly attached to operational policy would arouse a question of whether that kind of documentation merely in the Department and not directly tied in with policies that we are covering should be printed. I have an idea we can run into some serious difficulties on that.
MR. LEOPOLD: This comes with 45 volume?
THE CHAIRMAN: Forty-six.
MR. PERKINS: Just around that period. What I meant is there is a definite category of documentation that we have not had in earlier years.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is a question for us to discuss, a very important one.
MR. NOBLE: Will you be sure to take up this question?
THE CHAIRMAN: I certainly will. Shall we pass on?
MR. NOBLE: I would like to ask the value of what we have been doing. It seems to me it has been most valuable. Is this specific volume a good thing?
THE CHAIRMAN: It certainly is from my point of view. It seems to me it is important. I think we should constantly re-examine the question of philosophy involved in these volumes. It becomes more complex rather than less so as time goes on. I think the question Mr. Perkins raises is a very intriguing one. It is a good thing we can in this case add simply what happens to be an important decision before very long.
MR. NOBLE: I would like to make one reference to the 1939 volume. In the interest of complete frankness I would like to refer to the fact that after the volume had been bound a few things were taken out. I believe there are representatives here, Miss Lee and Mr. Siracusa, and incidentally there are members of the other areas here. Mr. Simms is here from the Near East area and Mr. Prohme from the African area and Mr. Fisk from the Far East and Mr. Lancaster from EUR. I think they ought to be free to speak up if they want to at any time.
I would just like to point out in the case of the 1939 volume V, after it had been cleared in the galley stage and came up a couple of years later for publication it was reviewed with regard to release and it was decided that some things were going to change in the situation down there and it was a little bit too sensitive to be published. So we were presented with the unfortunate situation of having to tip in a few pages because there were some items which had been previously cleared but owing to change in the situation could no longer be published. Those were deleted and pages tipped in. If any of the members of the Committee are interested in seeing these, they are welcome to do so. In one case we resorted to an editorial note on pages 350 and 351. The portion was deleted and we put in an editorial note to explain.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t know whether I am speaking for all the Committee, but I would be very much interested in seeing all that.
MR. NOBLE: They are very concrete illustrations.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course this is a problem, whether there is oversensitiveness in the Department in some respects or not.
MR. NOBLE: I don’t know whether Mr. Siracusa would like to speak on that. I think you are fairly familiar with it.
MR. SIRACUSA: I was concerned mostly with the section on Brazil at that time.
MR. NOBLE: Yes, most of these are on Brazil, as a matter of fact.
MR. GOODRICH: Caffery’s report?
MR. NOBLE: Yes, and our financial relations. The Ambassador in Brazil to the Secretary of State said “that Brazil must obviously make a debt settlement with the United States. Insisted also that settlements with the various interested countries should be made on the basis of respective balances of trade. I observed that the negotiations were not making much progress.” This portion, it was felt, would have to be omitted.
THE CHAIRMAN: That doesn’t seem to me very incendiary.
MR. NOBLE: That was left in. “I said that it had been clear to me that the Minister was taking advantage of the war threat in this situation. I then said ‘What is this that some of your people are putting out about paying in milreis?’ ‘That is nonsense,’ he said ‘no attention need be paid to that’.” That was the comment on individuals who are pretty heavily involved on that. Would you like ta speak to that?
MR. SIRACUSA: This has been a long time ago since I read these documents. I can’t remember them in detail but I can remember some of the principles that were involved and the objections we had. In the first place, one of principal Brazilians we were dealing with was Oswald Aranha at the time we were considering these documents. He has returned in the public limelight as the head of the Brazilian delegation to the United Nations. He is quite a respected figure in Brazil. In this particular negotiation if I remember correctly, Aranha seemed very much to be on the side of the United States. He seemed almost to be an advocate of the United States in the Brazilian Foreign Office, rather than the Foreign Minister of Brazil representing the interests of Brazil. He was opposed, actually, to the opinion of the President and of other members of the Cabinet with whom he was quite critical in discussions with our Ambassador. A number of sentences and statements and asides appearing throughout this thing gave a picture of Aranha which in Brazil today is what they call an “entreguista” and the atmosphere of strong nationalism in Brazil today, that is sort of a dirty word. There are a lot of people in the foreign office who want to cooperate with the United States and we felt that publication of that type of thing would hamper and hamstring them. For that reason we had very strong feelings about removing some of this material from publication at that time.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we discussed that specific problem at our last meeting.
MR. SIRACUSA: This is another observation I might make in connection with all this, and that was that Ambassador Caffery has a custom of reporting people in direct quotations. He would have a long discussion with the Foreign Minister and others and throughout his telegrams and despatches you find their words in quotation marks. He thinks it is somewhat questionable how somebody else might react to somebody putting a direct quotation, not just a statement of what he said but attempting to quote him directly after a long conversation. Also involved in this picture was the fact that for the first time, I guess, that we had submitted galleys for—I forget which volume—the next upcoming volume from the Foreign Office for clearance they had flatly refused to clear any of them. They had a new Inspector General in the Foreign Office and he was totally opposed to the idea of publishing this type of record so soon after the fact. We were involved in a very long negotiation there and we raised a question of principle as to whether we should proceed and publish what we ourselves felt was some questionable documents of the year before when the Brazilians had now raised the principle of publication at all.
MR. TURLINGTON: Mr. Chairman, perhaps that would indicate the general desirability of the policy of excluding anything that would discredit anybody on the chance that he might subsequently become prominent. [Laughter]
THE CHAIRMAN: I suppose it depends on how long the interval is or what the chances are.
MR. LANCASTER: The question is whether you are dealing with current affairs.
MR. LEOPOLD: Certainly up until recently the attitude of most historians, if you can’t get the record out in five years you are concealing something. I think perhaps we have to make a better case as a committee if we believe it.
MR. NOBLE: That very question in connection with the 1941 Volume V—I wish that someone were here—oh, Mr. Fisk is here.
MR. FISK: I was hoping the officers involved would be here. If you don’t mind would you wait a few minutes? I can only discuss it in very general terms.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to go in the order you have here?
MR. NOBLE: What Mr. Siracusa said raises that question and we might take that up out of order, if Mr. Siracusa would like, this basic question of memoranda of conversations.
III.C.l. The Problem Presented by Memoranda of Conversations
MR. SIRACUSA: I didn’t come prepared to speak directly to this point. I notice in our agenda that that problem has been raised by another area, ARA. I think we did run into it precisely in the Brazilian case last year when Mr. Soares(?) expressed his objections. Mr. Soares objected not only to the method or directly quoting a man, but also to conversations. I think I can understand the point of view that there is an accepted diplomatic procedure to record a conversation officially, and that is in the memoire and when you deposit an aide-memoire. When you go to publish a memorandum of conversation, somebody saying what the other man said, and it may not be the picture he would agree with, I think that if we were to make it a practice to do this that you might find that the confidence of officials of other embassies coming in and discussing frankly with you their points of view sometimes may be at variance and you may simply be developing an idea, not the official point of view of their Government. They would be much more restrained in discussing their views with you if these things are going to appear in the history book as something that someone says they said.
MR. NOBLE: This is a question which we have under discussion right now. I discussed this on the telephone with Mr. Osborn yesterday and he said he would not be able to be in today and so perhaps the question can’t be fully discussed. At least he requested that we reach no decisions on it.
MR. SIRACUSA: This Mexican one is more directly involved in specific cases.
MR. GOODRICH: I wonder if we could be illuminated a little on the history. Is this practice of making memoranda comparatively new?
MR. NOBLE: As Mr. Siracusa says, this came up first in acute form last year with Brazil in the 1940 volume.
MR. GOODRICH: I am not referring to that. He makes the distinction between aide-memoire and memoranda.
MR. NOBLE: They objected to the publication of confidential exchanges of views between our diplomats and their officials. The only finally agreed decision was that only final agreements were to be published. We had a good deal of discussion back and forth on that and pointed out that it had been Department policy since 1861 to publish memoranda of conversations. There wouldn’t be any specifically quoted items in it, but it had been the policy to publish them so we couldn’t very well abandon that policy. Happily, with the change of personnel in the Foreign Office, they have now receded from that position. I believe that is correct, Mr. Siracusa.
MR. SIRACUSA: I am not sure. I left my association with Brazil before we finished that.
MR. NOBLE: We are now going to be able to get out that 1940 volume with perhaps some reasonable adjustment. But on the general point, of course, it has been Department policy to publish these memoranda of conversations, and in many cases negotiations have been carried on in Washington. If we didn’t have memoranda there would be no record of the discussions.
MR. LANCASTER: There is a general sense of malaise on the part of a number of European foreign offices in what they regard as an unusual distinction between history and current affairs. We are reminded of this quite frequently, sometimes in a joking manner, but I do think the real problem here is not the category of documents that you are going to put in but what your time limit is and whether you are going to be printing things about people who are still active in public life. We were brought into this with a number of European countries where leading figures have been very active for 20 or 25 years. Anthony Eden is a good example of a person we have had acute problems over in our area in going over some of these memoranda.
MR. FRANKLIN: May I add something that the members of the Committee may not have caught on this discussion? Memoranda of conversations are not submitted to the foreign government for clearance. They are our documents, although they may actually say a great deal more about the foreign nations’ policy than documents of their own origin. That is the point that is at issue here, whether they should in some cases be submitted for clearance.
THE CHAIRMAN: But they have to be cleared.
MR. FRANKLIN: Within the Government here, but they have not traditionally be submitted to the foreign government on the theory that they are our own papers by our own people and if the foreign official does not agree he is at liberty to say so. He is not obligated by it. But in some cases the reporting is so accurate that it probably couldn’t be denied.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would think it would at least represent what they thought was the conversation. It may not be a completely accurate record, but be part of his reaction to the problem.
MR. TURLINGTON: But an oral communication can be just as important as a written communication. I can see why they would want to control it when they are really apart.
MR. THAYER: May I say just a word on that subject of memoranda. It seems to me there is a practical difficulty in that they necessarily are two parties to the same conversation, both of whom presumably prepare memorandum according to their individual recollections. It is very rare indeed that any of us would have a chance to see both memoranda. Sometimes it has been possible for me to see both. I have never seen a case yet in which were not in some degree inconsistent, because with the best good faith in the world each party wants to put the conversation up in the best light possible from the point of view of his own country. They are almost invariably likely to be inconsistent. That presents a really practical obstacle to the question of any kind of publication.
MR. NOBLE: The memorandum of conversation by our official would presumably be the basis for the action of our Government, would it not?
MR. THAYER: That is where the difficulty comes in; it would be.
MR. NOBLE: That does give you the background of the decision-making process in our Government.
MR. THAYER: I remember one in which the President of Chile was involved and had a conversation with our Ambassador and he didn’t, theoretically at least, know a word in Spanish but he got himself involved in this rather long conversation because he was sitting next to the President at a luncheon and the President promptly went back to his office and called for the memo of internal consent which came to a totally different conclusion than that to which the Ambassador had come. That caused quite a bit of trouble at the time.
MR. PROHME: I have one comment that our department wanted to raise, and that as a matter of principle we feel that it is an undesirable practice to submit to foreign governments for clearance our memoranda of conversations, just as a matter of principle. The decision, if there is any doubt, is better to be withheld rather than to submit it to another government for approval or disapproval. In current affairs we happen to have had some unhappy experiences that led us to think it is still-15 or 20 years from now this is still an undesirable practice. I certainly agree with what Mr. Siracusa and Mr. Lancaster pointed out about the sensitivity. We didn’t feel that the Bureau should establish any practice of clearance before they are published. It should be done by us.
MR. BERDAHL: There is a very special problem, too, where Ambassador Caffery put it in quotes. Is there any ethical way of dealing with this editorial? [Laughter] If you publish a memorandum I suppose it necessarily has to be published the way the memorandum reads.
MR. NOBLE: If it is a quotation, that does raise a presumption it might be submitted to them for checking, the presumption being that this is made on the basis of stenographic notes, or something of that kind. I would hate to see a rule that even that would have to be submitted to the foreign government. I think the discussion of our political offices ought to be pretty good in a case of this sort. If they say it must go out, it goes out. Mr. Prohme has said it shouldn’t be submitted to the foreign government. If it is a very hot subject the individual, the subject of the exchange of correspondence, is seriously involved.
MR. BERDAHL: Is it at all appropriate to further reduce such a memorandum editorially to a sort of an abstract which would simply record the nature of the memorandum without repeating direct quotes, and so forth?
MR. TURLINGTON: Indicating what the Department understood to be the fact.
MR. BERDAHL: Since this is a very special problem I take it this doesn’t occur generally.
MR. LEOPOLD: I wanted to say I recognize this impossible problem of distinguishing between current events and history, and I think that certainly American scholars, and some people who pass for scholars in America, are much too eager to narrow the date. On the other hand, I hope we are not going to accept the definition that the British and the French have made with regard to current events and history, where you can’t get into the British Foreign Office records for 50 years, and you can’t get into the French Foreign Office records since 1880.
THE CHAIRMAN: When we talk about this question of memoranda we have to bear in mind we are talking about documents which are probably 18 years old. I think it would be very unfortunate to take the position that we didn’t publish memoranda. It seems to me we come back to the old problem of discretion here, which I think all of the people on the Committee recognize. There will be documents even of that date which perhaps ought not to be published. But I think we don’t want to jump to the conclusion that the memoranda ought to be excluded.
MR. GOODRICH: I think the conclusion we came to last year is that the decision has to be made within the Department as to whether it is necessary to postpone publication of the volume in its completeness or whether the document can be cut down.
MR. NOBLE: One question is whether the representatives of the areas now are here. Mr. Jenkins, I see, has just arrived from Southeast Asia.
THE CHAIRMAN: The next one is Potsdam on the agenda.
MR. NOBLE: EUR is represented by Mr. Lancaster. Are there any other areas represented here?
MR. SIMS: The Far East is here.
MR. NOBLE: That would justify our taking it up. Let’s take up the Far East, Volume V, 1941 and the China series.
THE CHAIRMAN: All right.
III.C.5. 1941, Volume V, The Far East; and the “China Series”, 1943-1949
MR. NOBLE: This Volume V, 1941 was completed in 1956, so it has been on the shelf now something over two years and largely because of the references in the total situation in Thailand involving the Prime Minister, Pibulsonggram, and now Sarasin is Prime Minister, and the question is whether it is appropriate to publish the volume. I discussed this yesterday with Mr. Bushner and he felt that the situation was still too unstable.
MR. JENKINS: I certainly concur in what Mr. Bushner said yesterday. I think this would be a particularly unfortunate time for these quite derogatory statements of this volume to come out when conditions in Thailand at the present time are as unstable as they are. Sarasin made his recent move by sort of overthrowing his own government. He took some ready actions which seemed quite promising, but in more recent days has not shown a very clear idea of his plans for the immediate future and we feel that the situation there is a bit shaky. Of course the political scene in Thailand is one of shifting scenery from time to time. There are people always waiting in the wings. Pibulsonggram is certainly one of those.
We are sort of posting at the moment, his being in our country, and there is no assurance as to just what is going to happen politically in the near future, and it is not at all inconceivable that he would come back to power. So we feel that it would be in our clear disinterest to publish some of these things at the present time. We may well have to be dealing with this gentleman again in the high capacity that he had until fairly recent times. So we think it would be a disservice to our interests at the present time to release it.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is the case of a single document that is involved?
MR. JENKINS: No, it is a series.
MR. GOODRICH: Particular references to an individual that are essential to the telling of the story.
MR. NOBLE: I think it is important to distinguish this case from the 1949 Volume V. Here we were able to take out nine or 10 pages by taking out a few phrases or brief paragraphs here and there on matters which weren’t really fundamental to the story of our diplomacy, Aranha’s peculiar attitudes and some statements he made with regard to payment of debts, and so forth and reflected internal political difficulties in Brazil. The 1941 Volume V is very different because there are a considerable number of papers involved and all of them concern the policy of the head of the Government through Pibulsonggram, who was Prime Minister at the time. There is no way of deleting a passage here and there that would effectively remove the problem, as the Southeast Asia area now interprets it, without falsifying this end of our diplomacy because the essence of it is that Pibulsonggram is playing with the Japanese as they are moving south, and that is the policy of the Government. So this is fundamentally different from the 1939 Volume V situation. Until those items—even though there were only two or three of them we couldn’t subject them to the same treatment as in the case of the 1939 Volume V because it is fundamentally substantive in the most effective and realistic sense of the term.
MR. PERKINS: May I add just a bit? I do hope that some of you people will take a look at the volumes—the changes we made in the American Republics volume, and I think you will agree that the omission of those documents doesn’t subtract anything of any real importance from the documentation on American foreign policy. I think you may question to some extent why they needed to be taken out. I don’t think they are too important either way. I am a little doubtful if we had left them in that we would have had any serious or bad effect. The American Republics people might be right. Certainly leaving them out did not destroy the validity of the story. We did regret that the decision to take out had to come after the volume was bound and so the pages had to be tipped in. If they had come up in the earlier clearance stage we wouldn’t have been bothered much about it.
Now in regard to this Far Eastern volume, that is a very vital volume because it deals with the year that we became involved in World War II. It is a vital document on the origin of World War II as far as we are concerned. A very important part of that was Japan’s move into Southeast Asia and the collaboration they received as they moved in is involved. So there you have—if we tampered with that we will be tampering with the record of World War II on important developments. So we do feel that we have to put that volume on ice rather try to tamper with the record. I might say that all these things are nothing new in that volume except official reports of what was known at the time. Cordell Hull expresses his opinion very strongly in his memoires on Thai collaboration with Japan. We aren’t giving something new, but the question is what its effect would be to officially publish it.
MR. TURLINGTON: Is all this material in the particular section devoted to Thailand?
MR. NOBLE: It is spread over a considerable number of pages.
MR. PERKINS: It is difficult.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is known?
MR. PERKINS: Yes. For one thing it is treated by Cordell Hull, who expresses his opinion in no uncertain terms.
MR. NOBLE: This brings out the interesting attitude of the policy officers, which may be entirely justified. We often say these things are presented here and here and here, and in essence, but the position is, and I say it may be entirely justified, that it is a very different thing from being printed in Cordell Hull’s own and some other memoires and our Government putting out the official document. Am I right, Mr. Fisk?
MR. FISK: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would be interested to hear reactions from members of the Committee on this particular problem.
MR. GOODRICH: My personal feeling is that I think we probably have to bow to the judgment of the policy officers, but I suspect if we were in that position we would decide differently. [Laughter]
MR. LEOPOLD: It seems to me this is what we went over last year. I think our opinion was then that however much we might regret these decisions, they were the ones that had to be made. The discouraging thing is that I don’t see that these problems are going to get fewer. They are going to get more. As I listen to this discussion it seems to me that one of the basic functions of the Committee we will have to talk about later is to make a better case if we believe this case has to be made for a slower program of publication. I don’t think that our report last year necessarily made that as strongly, if we have to make it, if that is our decision. I see these problems continuing.
MR. GOODRICH: I think clearly in this case the volume should be held up until this material can be included.
THE CHAIRMAN: How do you feel about it?
MR. BERDAHL: I quite agree with Leopold, there is a basic issue here of publication. We did discuss this pretty thoroughly last year. We may personally quarrel with policy officers at the desk. It is easy for us to do that in that position, but naturally I am sympathetic with it. I don’t see how we can do anything much but accept it. I think our colleagues are somewhat critical if we don’t expedite publication without making a good case for this.
MR. TURLINGTON: Publication of this material I don’t suppose would affect the chances of these gentlemen becoming prominent again.
MR. PERKINS: I would like to make one comment here on the reason for some of the difficulties we have. Part of them are purely personal. Certain politicians are in at a certain time and may be out and then come in again. Fundamentally I think our difficulties have been greatly increased by the fact, as we are all aware, there has been a diplomatic revolution in the alignment of world powers. If our enemies of yesterday could always be our enemies, and our friends of yesterday could always be our friends we would have difficulty, but our enemies of yesterday are now our friends and our allies of yesterday are now our enemies and so when you go back over the record of past times when the alignment was very different we run into difficulties, as you can see. This, of course, is a case in point where you have a country that was playing with Japan at one time and now we want them to be on our side against our new enemy.
THE CHAIRMAN: How old is Pibulsonggram anyway?
MR. JENKINS: That is an interesting question.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is he in good health? What do we know about him?
MR. JENKINS: He is in better health than the present incumbent in Thailand. This is a very safe statement. He is in fairly good health. He is getting along in years. I would hesitate to say exactly because I don’t remember.
THE CHAIRMAN: We are really up against a tough proposition. If what this means is that, I think we have to face with considerable resolution the problem of deletion from time to time if these volumes are not to be delayed indefinitely. If Pibulsonggram is going to live for another decade we are going to have a lot of trouble. I recognize the point of view, I think we are all agreed, it is not desirable to publish at the present time.
MR. NOBLE: There is a rather comical aspect of it. First, when he was in office, we couldn’t publish because he was in public office. Now he is out of office we can’t publish because he may come back. Anyway we don’t want to beat a man who was formerly a friend.
MR. GOODRICH: Can we be sure there won’t be another argument advanced when he is dead?
MR. BERDAHL: Some of this problem would be avoided if there were immediate publication. You would avoid the problem of realignment.
MR. PERKINS: Cordell Hull had no compunction at all about saying what he did in his book.
MR. BERDAHL: It seems to me if there were publication of the facts by a responsible official of this sort this might raise the question of another view.
MR. FRANKLIN: Just the point I want to raise exactly. That point ought to be considered a little more. I don’t know the answer, but this comes up all the time with the bureaus and ourselves, naturally. We tend to feel that when Hull has stated it in no uncertain terms it is also in Sherwood, Churchill, King and that there isn’t a perceptible red hair’s difference between putting out the document itself when you already have, at least in many cases, several authoritative versions of this particular attitude, or even in some cases a document to which objection has been raised by the policy bureaus on the grounds that there is something much more weighing and important and official in our publishing them in our official series. I just wonder whether there is really that much to it. There is undoubtedly something, but most of the scholarly world has already adjusted itself to these ideas from the authoritative memoires I just mentioned, and many others.
A nice example is some remarks not too complimentary to Gen. de Gaulle which we have had to cope with. These attitude were not strangers to Gen. de Gaulle. They are in his own memoires. He said he knew the attitude Roosevelt had towards him and towards the French Empire, let’s say. Now what further harm is done by our publishing what would be a confirmation of what the General himself wrote?
MR. FISK: I was going to say that it is the present Government that is publishing these documents, not the individuals who have written these memoires, and so forth. These gentlemen who, of course, were high officials at the time and whose word is taken as authentic do precede the scholars with the information and points they wish, but it is the present Government of the United States that will be dealing with the present and future governments of Thailand, and this becomes an officially-approved statement rather than of someone who is no longer in a place of authority.
MR. TURLINGTON: May I ask, Mr. Chairman, would it make any difference if the State Department were divorced from Foreign Relations of the United States? If the Archives or some independent agency altogether, if it could be published as not official, or at least not as a State Department series—
MR. NOBLE: You would be in an embarrassing position of letting unofficial parties into the State Department records, and if you left it open to some you would have to leave it open to others.
MR. GOODRICH: Isn’t it the distinction between approval and authentication? It seems to me all that publication means is that this is an authenticated document. It doesn’t mean the policies set forth in that document are approved.
MR. TURLINGTON: The foreign affairs disclaimer for the opinions.
MR. LEOPOLD: It is still the United States Government that is giving publicity.
THE CHAIRMAN: Have there been cases in which the publications appearing in Foreign Relations caused diplomatic difficulties?
MR. NOBLE: A very few. I think our officers are careful in preventing the publication of such things. There have been a few cases. We received quite a long letter from one of our leading diplomats in Sweden two or three years ago explaining the Swedish attitude. It appears that they were afraid we might publish something. He talked to top Swedish officials and in that case I don’t think we had transgressed, but they were afraid we might, and we had quite a long document from our representative there on that subject. Well, there have been some other cases, though only a few.
MR. PERKINS: May I make one comment? It seems to me that the publication of a historic record by Government contains no implication whatsoever that the present Government approves the action taken in the period covered. Now very unfortunately I think it is true that in very recent years the Foreign Relations became somewhat involved in politics through the putting out of special volumes. I think that is very unfortunate. I think the Foreign Relations should be kept as a regular annual record put out regardless of political conditions. Now when you start out putting out a special volume, then there is some suspension of when the volume comes out, let us say on the Far East ’41, why is the State Department issuing this at this particular time? Now it seems to me that we are running into great danger when we hold up one of our annual volumes. If we cover all the rest of the volumes and hold up one volume and at some later time release it not in the regular order with the rest, but separately, then the question naturally arises why is the Government putting this out at this particular time? What is the political motivation? If we bring volumes out as the historical record 15 years later across the board I don’t see how you can have any implication that the present United States Government has given its approval or disapproval to the record published.
I think the White Book was put out and people say that was put out for political reasons and said it wasn’t complete and therefore we should print the complete record. It got tangled up in politics. Now we are trying to get away from that, and I think it is a very dangerous thing to consider volumes when they come out from the political angle at the time. They should be released when they are compiled and ready for publication in proper order, and if we do that I think we can do that with the complete disclaimer there is no significance whatsoever in the particular items that are published.
MR. FRANKLIN: It might be added in the case of some of the European documentation on the origin of World Wars I and II that the governments who issued them were not in favor of them. Indeed, it was the other way; they wanted to prove the poor policy of their predecessors. It is marked in some instances.
THE CHAIRMAN: What Mr. Franklin says is very interesting. I would like to hear this discussed further by members of the State Department. Has anybody else got anything to say on this?
MR. JENKINS: May I say that I wouldn’t presume to discuss this question quite so generically as to the habits of the timing of these publications coming out. As I understand it, however, we are already historically in something of the box described, so that a sudden change at this time to that would be interpreted as you have indicated it is interpreted, as a timing business. I think that most of the world has recognized that they are going to have to try to live with this business of an unofficial free press in the States. As annoying as some of them find that at times, they recognize the great strength that it affords us and we don’t have any intentions of ever doing without it, I trust. On the other hand, when a document comes out with official U. S. Government approval it is scrutinized most carefully for its political implications, especially if there is not a clear tradition in the past of its coming out automatically and with clockwork timing. I do feel that this particular one that we are discussing, if it came out just now, would have quite serious political reverberations in the area of our interest.
MR. FISK: Perhaps it would be useful to talk about the China one also in the same context, because the material under consideration, as of 1943, meets your 15-year thesis and I should think that the considerations there are equally as convincing to us.
THE CHAIRMAN: Would you like to comment?
MR. FISK: Mr. Josiah Bennett, our officer in charge of Chinese political affairs, is at hand.
MR. BENNETT: We feel very strongly that the publication of volumes from ’43 on is a very sensitive period in our relations with China and would have extremely adverse reactions on our over-all Far Eastern policy. Our Far Eastern policy is based to a large degree on our efforts to aid, support and increase the international standing of the Chinese Government. We feel that anything which would damage the international prestige of this Government would be a step backward in our policy. For the same reason we have to be very aware of the morale and the attitudes toward the United States of the people in Taiwan itself.
Now the material in these volumes, and it gets progressively so as you go from ’43 on, becomes more and more intimate and becomes more and more critical, especially to Chiang Kai-shek and Madam Chiang and the party in power, other high leaders in the Chinese Government, and it provides precisely the kind of documentation that the Communists desire in order to carry on their very active propaganda against the free Chinese.
Also, in the case of China, we have the special circumstance that we engaged in similar operations a few years ago by releasing the White Paper in 1949 covering very much the same period. The result there was most unfortunate. The Communists are still gloating about it, the people in Taiwan are still talking about it, and for that reason alone we feel that it would be extremely unfortunate to come out with what would be immediately labeled as a second White Paper. On top of those reasons there is, of course, the present situation, the fact that there is something very close to a shooting war going on out there, and the Secretary has just completed a very successful mission to persuade the Chinese to adopt a somewhat more peaceful or more publicly attractive approach toward the problem of restoring freedom to China as a whole. For this to come shortly after that would simply be like pulling the pins out from under our Thai policy. That, briefly, is the case in the China arguments.
MR. PERKINS: The unfortunate thing from that standpoint is that the Department officially, from the Secretary down, approved and probably announced a special China series.
MR. FRANKLIN: On Mr. Jenkins’ point there has been, I think it is fair to say, until recent years, as you indicated, a clear tradition of the regular chronological historic release of these volumes as historical documents without any tinge at all that they were in accord with policies. If you look in dozens of the volumes of the past they were obviously not in accord with the policies of the Government at the time they were released. This problem has arisen in the last years, as Mr. Perkins indicated, because of the increasing tightness of timing for current political purposes.
MR. TURLINGTON: May I ask what important the Department attaches to the wishes of the Congress that the China volumes be published?
MR. NOBLE: I would say that Assistant Secretary Robertson has discussed the matter with one of the most ardent earlier advocates of publication, and they came to an agreement on the subject that they should be postponed.
MR. BENNETT: That is true. The Secretary himself has approved.
MR. LEOPOLD: It still leaves the Historical Division holding the bag.
MR. GOODRICH: It seems to me the Historical Division ought to be justified in some way. It seems to me you are in an impossible situation.
MR. LEOPOLD: You are asked to do something you wouldn’t have done normally, and now you are told you can’t do it.
MR. THAYER: It sounds almost a reason for non-publication. The publication might result in showing up we are trying to maintain a really indefensible policy.
MR. TURLINGTON: You don’t expect the State Department to take that attitude.
MR. GOODRICH: There are two arguments advanced here that disturb me greatly. One is that we shouldn’t publish because of the material that is published might conceivably be used by the Communists against us, and the other is that we shouldn’t publish because it indicates that our policy isn’t sound.
MR. BENNETT: I don’t think that the latter was a point that was made here.
MR. GOODRICH: I know you didn’t make it.
MR. BENNETT: The former is something that I don’t see that we can avoid. The effect of handing to the Communists ready-made a great deal of propaganda material at this time could be very adverse. It was very adverse in the experiment with the White Paper. So we are not speculating as to what will happen; we are virtually certain as to what will happen in this case.
MR. TURLINGTON: Mr. Chairman, I suggest we might have this situation that we, as a Committee, would have to acknowledge the necessity for postponing the release of the volume, but as a Committee we might try to encourage the Division to move toward the establishment of a regular routine release coming up within two or three years after the events and cutting the material to correspond to that schedule. Then there would be no particular significance attached to routine publication.
MR. NOBLE: Do you mean routine publication—
MR. TURLINGTON: Of all documents that could be released, I would say, within two or three years and postpone those that you want to get out later in a special volume.
MR. NOBLE: Of course, you know we recently began publication of the so-called basic documents.
MR. TURLINGTON: What I am suggesting, you might call it Foreign Relations or call it State Papers, or anything you like, but have the regular series published promptly and have these sensitive, confidential materials published whenever they can be released.
MR. NOBLE: Does that mean you would publish a few miscellaneous documents on a particular subject when the basic substance of the documents on that subject could not be published? We have just previously agreed, I think, that Volume V, 1941 should not be released because there are some documents in there that cannot now be published. We have also agreed, I think, that we could not agree to take these documents out and publish the remainder because that would be falsifying the story of our diplomacy, if the documents which would have to be deleted were deleted.
MR. TURLINGTON: I think we have agreed on that largely because special significance would be attached to their being released at this time. If there were a regular policy of releasing by way of authentication as promptly as possible the maximum number of documents relating to foreign relations within the shortest possible time after the events, then it would be for the information of the people of the United States, of course, more than it would be for the information of foreign governments. I think that you certainly, by the volume you specify, are accomplishing some of the purposes of prompt release. If you went back to the old tradition when our foreign affairs weren’t so important, the diplomatic correspondence from l861, and so on, you merely publish a collection—I would call them miscellaneous documents—a fairly full coverage of our foreign relations of that time without the inclusion of so-called sensitive material.
MR. LEOPOLD: Mr. Turlington, if you set up three categories wouldn’t you encourage—and I say this advisedly— them to be even more sensitive, and say we have two categories of documents that aren’t publishable now, which are we going to put it in? May you not encourage them to put it in the delayed category?
MR. TURLINGTON: I refer you to a treatise that you mentioned a while ago. If you got out something that was all right for everybody, then the people who could satisfy the Department of their trustworthiness could come in and examine the files.
MR. FRANKLIN: I believe that will be largely met by the continual publication of foreign policy. I think most everything of significance that can be cleared within a year or so will be in there.
MR. TURLINGTON: Maybe that is going to work out.
MR. FRANKLIN: When you drop below that level you immediately get into diplomatic negotiation and then you are right where we are now.
MR. TURLINGTON: Maybe you should consider some new names for publication.
MR. LEOPOLD: How different would that be from the publication of the ’55 volume and the earlier ones from ’45 to ’50?
MR. FRANKLIN: We participated with it directly, although it was gone over by a staff on the Hill and some few things were inserted and some things were taken out, not on the basis of classification but on the basis of convenience of size of the volume.
MR. LEOPOLD: But the decision as to the type of volume?
MR. FRANKLIN: The coverage will certainly increase as it gets on to an annual basis and we will go further down the line each year. That is why I think it will come closer to meeting your point.
MR. NOBLE: We have been discussing already going somewhat beyond the present coverage, and those which are not published are those which have been published already. But there is a question whether we could publish other documents from the Department files which are unclassified but still important. That, of course, would add greatly to the burden of putting out this volume, but it would be the one way in which we could follow the line you have suggested. It would take a larger staff than we now have for that.
THE CHAIRMAN: It may be that it is very important to conciliate Pibulsonggram if we have to wait 15 years. I don’t quite see our way out of this at the moment. It seems to me that by the way the members of the Committee expressed themselves we are committing ourselves to a malaise on a more serious scale than we have before. Maybe that is what we must do. It is not a very agreeable conclusion.
MR. NOBLE: I hope we may come back to this question of alternatives later this afternoon.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to talk about some of the other current problems?
MR. FRANKLIN: Would it be beneath the dignity of the Department to include in the press release of each volume a quiet statement to the effect that of course policies and statements in the volume do not represent, necessarily, current policies? This is perfectly obvious to the scholarly world. They don’t have any of these fears and know perfectly well there have been quite a few changes.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is an important suggestion. I was going to make it myself. That is interesting from the angle of our deliberations.
MR. LEOPOLD: As I understand the desk officers and so forth, this goes a little beyond simply whether it is authenticated.
MR. GOODRICH: It shouldn’t; that is an important point.
MR. LEOPOLD: They won’t be satisfied even with that.
MR. GOODRICH: Well, if not, we had better do our best to convert them because this is a basic question.
MR. SIRACUSA: We mentioned about Brazil. Such a statement as that would not have allayed our fears about the publication. It wasn’t a question of whether we were saying this was policy which we now approve of. It was a picture of the situation which was portrayed. I think you will find that has just as much bearing on this as any question of whether the policy is approved and we stand behind it today.
THE CHAIRMAN: I am unhappy about this. I would like to turn the question around. Do you think that the attitude of Chiang Kai-shek towards the United States would be vitally affected by our present remarks when the Secretary of State has said he was foolish to put troops on Quemoy? Are we likely to add to the embarrassment fundamentally by publishing documents of this kind? I am asking seriously.
MR. BENNETT: I hadn’t wanted to convey the impression it was because or the sensitivity of President Chiang. It was the morale of the Chinese everywhere. I wouldn’t say the attitude of President Chiang is not important; it is important, but I also think the publication of this kind of thing could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, knowing the reaction at the time the White Paper was published.
THE CHAIRMAN: What was the reaction?
MR. BENNETT: It was a sell-out of China, it was an act of betrayal at a time when they were suffering their greatest defeat, and all that. With our knowledge of that, with our having been told that so many times, for us to go ahead and do it again, I think would be extremely unfortunate.
MR. GOODRICH: I thought this was an answer to the White Paper.
MR. PERKINS: May I say in reply to that that I do not think the reaction came because of the documents that were included in the White Paper. The White Paper was put out for a purpose by the Secretary of State, saying that nothing that we did could have harmed the situation and nothing we did could have helped the situation. It was not our responsibility that China went down because of its own fault. This White Paper was put out for a purpose by the Secretary of State deliberately, avowedly as a policy document at the time, which is very different from putting out a collection of documents. It seems to me the two are not on a par.
Another thing there that is disconcerting, I must say our volumes are being held up for fear we would print something that would offend the Chinese, yet the Under Secretary comes out with a speech and says that Quemoy is indefensible. But we mustn’t publish something 15 years old.
MR. BENNETT: On the first point, there is a lot of truth in it, the initial letter of transmittal, but I think the Chinese also had the impression that whoever edited the volume carefully chose items which would support the thesis of the letter of transmittal. There would be no question, from my having leafed through these succeeding volumes, that the material would be interpreted as supporting this old theory. I think the China case is to some extent special; because of the past history it is going to be very difficult to publish any history of Chinese-American relations while the situation is as it is, whatever kind of paper, whatever volume it is, so long as this kind of material is included in it.
There is the other point which I don’t think is the governing point, but which is still important, that it does assist the Communists very materially in carrying on their propaganda warfare against both the country with which we are allied and ourselves.
MR. PERKINS: Of course, as you are probably aware, this problem did not come from our Division. As a matter of fact, I was very much opposed to making it separate. I wanted to push things forward across the board. I was very much surprised, really, that it was accepted at the time. I had some doubts in my own mind, which I expressed, as to the effect but it seems to me that there isn’t an objection that has been raised since that wasn’t perfectly valid at the time the Department approved putting out that series.
MR. GOODRICH: What was the date of the original authorization?
MR. PERKINS: In the summer of 1953.
MR. LEOPOLD: Would you be divulging any information on the reaction, say, to the histories of Stillwell’s command that the Army people got out? Was there a comparable feeling in Taiwan with regard to that material?
MR. BENNETT: Which material?
MR. LEOPOLD: The Army historical series has two volumes on Stillwell’s command. It contains things that probably don’t make very pleasant reading in Taiwan today. I was wondering, because of the point Mr. Perkins makes, if the letter of transmittal is very different from the documents themselves. The Army has gotten out two volumes based on documents, it carries the imprinting of the United States Government, although it doesn’t represent the Government’s feeling. I was just wondering whether the two volumes, rather detailed, that you can’t summarize in a word, would create equal reverberations so far as you tell.
MR. BENNETT: It could. I am not familiar with it.
MR. FRANKLIN: They haven’t had very serious reverberations. They have been out for several years and they reflect very clearly the acid tone of “Vinegar Joe.”
MR. PERKINS: One thing that gives me some apprehension on these Chinese series, when you get to the later volumes, 1949, we have extremely damaging records of Communist activity and if we recognize Red China before this comes out are we going to hold up publication because of the damaging record of the Communists? [Laughter]
MR. GOODRICH: Remember though, today’s enemies may be tomorrow’s friends.
MR. BENNETT: I do want to make the point it is not just in this case but in other cases the Chinese in Taiwan are extremely sensitive to public statements, and some of these statements you referred to of the situation have also had consequences over there. It strikes me that we should think very carefully before we add to the problems which already face us by the publication of materials of this kind.
MR. PERKINS: I perhaps should withdraw that remark, but it is a little disconcerting. As I said, if the Department is going to be so careful about putting out records 15 years old it seems to me they might be a little more careful about their current statements.
MR. BENNETT: I think there are two different categories. I think you do see the point, some of the things which are said labeling President Chiang a Hitler Fascist, and so on and so forth, are quite different from the statements that the Secretary makes to a press conference in trying to state the truth of the matter, which will convey the truth and not hurt their feelings.
MR. FISK: These statements are made in the development of present policy. It is not a question of revealing derogatory remarks about the people you are dealing with. It is expressing opinion about present matters we are trying to deal with. I think a fundamental policy on this is one of our basic objectives, to prevent the Communists from achieving their objectives. One of their objectives is to destroy the Republic of China, to destroy the idea of a free China. The publication of this material would greatly assist their objective, if there were no other reasons. This, in our view, justifies us in withholding it.
MR. NOBLE: Could you make an estimate as to how long these documents should be on the shelf? Would it be determined by the incumbency of Chiang Kai-shek, or do you think the change in Government might make any difference, have any effect on the judgment of the Department?
MR. BENNETT: I think you would have to have a really king-sized crystal ball to answer that question. I could answer one part of it. I don’t think it depends on Chiang Kai-shek at all. I don’t think his objectives are the governing factor. It depends on the political situation. Who can say what it will be?
THE CHAIRMAN: What level of clearance is the question being discussed in now?
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Fisk.
MR. FISK: The Secretary of State has approved our postponement.
THE CHAIRMAN: I see.
MR. FRANKLIN: What this postponement means, of course the Secretary has approved the delay of speed-up publication. He has approved a delay of the speed-up in the publication of these volumes. The Historical Division still rests where it was. It would like to see all the volumes, I think it is fair to say, come out as completed in normal chronological order across the years. This would then drop it back as a postponement of the speed-up.
MR. LEOPOLD: That is not going to be a very great delay?
MR. FRANKLIN: This would tend to remove the political pros or cons from the release of any volume, or series of volumes. They would be lost along with ARA and Europe in general and they wouldn’t be a ticker-marked series against or for anyone.
MR. FISK: I should like to state while there may be disagreement among personnel, the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs concurred in this recommendation, as did the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations.
MR. GOODRICH: I would want to ask a question of Dr. Noble. Were you embarrassed at all in your appearance before the House Appropriations Committee? Is there anything you are able to justify the Division for the failure to put these volumes out?
MR. NOBLE: I think the situation has changed very considerably in the last five years.
MR. GOODRICH: You are not being blamed for this in any way?
MR. NOBLE: Not by the Committee itself. There have been hearings at which statements have been made blaming us, but by and large we have come off very well.
MR. GOODRICH: I think you should not be under any blame whatever for the delay, which obviously is beyond your control.
MR. NOBLE: My frank opinion is certainly that the Chairman of the House Committee is well aware of the total situation.
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Rooney?
MR. NOBLE: Yes. I believe the Senate Committee also, the leaders there, are pretty familiar with the situation.
THE CHAIRMAN: If the question goes up to the Secretary—we won’t deny the propriety of the Secretary’s making a decision on the matter of high policy of this kind, it seems to me. That is the end of it as far as we are concerned. It seems to me that the office charged with conduct of foreign relations at the highest level should be respected.
MR. NOBLE: There is no question about that; these volumes are on the shelf until the Secretary says they may be taken off. It is not ours to reason why, so far as the Historical Division is concerned. When the political situation changes we will raise the question from time to time, if it is changed sufficiently, but we are not contesting the question as a Division at the present time. We would like to see 1941, Volume V, put out as soon as possible, but that is something else.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to discuss another one of these problems now?
MR. NOBLE: I don’t believe we have time.
[Whereupon, at 12:30 p.m. the meeting was recessed for lunch.]
[The meeting was reconvened at 3:20 p.m., Mr. Dexter Perkins presiding.]
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we might begin our discussion on the Cairo-Tehran Conferences Volumes, which have not yet been discussed.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Franklin is going to report on them.
III. Discussion of current clearance problems.
A. The Cairo-Tehran conferences Volumes.
MR. FRANKLIN: During the past year we have made considerable progress on a number of clearance difficulties on Cairo-Tehran. In fact, we have cleared off some 20 of them with the geographic bureaus with amicable agreement, and some give and take. These were points both large and small, and they have been pretty well settled. A few sentences or phrases here or there have been agreed to for deletion by us. They were sentences or phrases which clearly fell within the categories of those that would give needless offense. They were asides, and their deletion does not affect the meaning of the interchanges and negotiations at those particular points.
We are left with three major problems of clearance, however, which are really hard “chinkers.” Two of these involve foreign governments; the third is one which involves the Department of Defense—two friendly foreign government and one friendly agency. I will take these in order:
The first and most serious one of all is the hesitation of the Turks about giving clearance for—
THE CHAIRMAN: The hesitation of what did you say?
MR. FRANKLIN: The hesitation of the Turkish Government to give clearance for the portion of the minutes that we have of five major discussions at Second Cairo on the question of Turkish entry into the war—discussions held by Roosevelt and Churchill with President Inonu of Turkey.
The minutes that we have are British-American joint minutes, actually taken, most of them, by Britishers rather than Americans; reviewed by our delegation at the conference and accepted as okay as American minutes. In view of their British origin, they were sent to London for clearance, and were cleared by the British Government, but with the proviso that they thought it very necessary that we ascertain the Turkish views. They were sent to Ankara well over a year ago, and ever since then have met with delays and indications by the Turkish Government that they regarded the whole question as too sensitive for publication. Their objections, apparently, are not to any particular passages. These are minutes of five meetings, and therefore, constitute a very considerable segment of the entire Second Cairo Conference—no objections to particular passages, nothing that we could adjust to suit them. They don’t like the idea of publications as a whole on this entire subject. This, I can only assume, is because Turkey at Second Cairo was engaged in a stalling operation, and, at which, they were pressed for entry into war—by the British, primarily, and by ourselves, secondarily—they resisted, fudged, and maneuvered through five long meetings. They asked for more help, they asked for more supplies, and they were unwilling to accept more help; in certain respects they wanted this, they didn’t want that; they would not be pinned down to a date. They did not spell this out, but we can only assume that their objection is to publication in toto.
We have given some thought to the possibility of going ahead with the volume without covering this aspect of Second Cairo, or even dropping Second Cairo. This doesn’t work out at all. The chronology, as you recall, was First Cairo over to Tehran; back to Second Cairo. And at Second Cairo a number of subjects were continued under discussion by the Joint Chiefs with the President and the Prime Minister—subjects which had been taken up at First Cairo; discussed with the Russians at Tehran; resumed at Second Cairo.
The other two conferences could not be published as any coherent story without Second Cairo. On the other hand, the conversations with the Turks at Second Cairo bulk as large as five major meetings, and to drop those out would not leave anything but a ragtag of Second Cairo. We have the support of the geographic bureaus in this matter, and efforts have now been made through the Turkish Embassy at Washington to get a more favorable view of this matter in Ankara.
One document of Turkish origin was also refused by the Turkish Government for publication. This, however, is not serious. It was an indirect document. We have the essence of it covered in other documents, and we were not worried about that. But it would seem that the Turkish Government is allergic to the question of publication.
The second serious issue is one which involves not conference documents as such, but a very interesting batch of pre conference documents between the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Anticipating the meetings at Cairo and Tehran, and as a result of the Moscow Conference decision on four-power security arrangements in the post-war world, the President asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October to study the question of air and naval bases that would be necessary in the post-war world to implement the Quadripartite responsibility for the maintenance of international security. The Joint Chiefs did quite a job in response to this request. They came up eventually with a memorandum, and to this was attached two maps. The memorandum, of course, proposed the acquisition of a large number of bases; also, the suggestion was made that the Department of State be directed by the President forthwith to begin negotiations to acquire these bases. The President turned that proposal down. He made a modification in one of the maps submitted by the Joint Chiefs by way of extending the area that would be of primary interest to the United States. This all comprises a half dozen or eight very pungent documents, and two very pretty maps.
Objection was raised to these documents initially by the Department or Defense who had provided us with them on a classified basis, but to reserve the right to consider the question of publication. The more they looked at them, the less they liked them for publication, and we were eventually served with a letter which said that the Joint Chiefs and the Department of Defense had considered this matter very carefully and finally decided that the publication of these materials would interfere with our current base rights and negotiations. Specifically, there were some references to the French Empire which might be considered derogatory. Those, of course, are nothing new. We have those in other documentation. We had them in Yalta. But the particular proposal of the Joint Chiefs, including the maps, is something rather new, and we are still in the process of marshaling arguments and views on this question in order to decide.
The Joint Chiefs pointed out that their reply was based on three phases:
The first phase was after the defeat of Germany, before the defeat of Japan, for which there is a map.
The second phase was after the defeat of Japan, but before the planned international organization was fully able to take over. That is map 2.
There is no map, unfortunately, for phase 3, because they said, “This will have to be developed, of course, in the post-war world as and how it shapes up.”
If you look at the two maps without reading the assumptions on which they are based, without reading carefully the accompanying memorandum, one could jump to the conclusion that these represent scheming by the U.S. Government as early as 1943 to seize or acquire a very liberal number of bases over a couple of hemispheres. For this reason, the objection has been raised that this would be fuel for Soviet propaganda, and would also disturb certain other folks perhaps in the middle with whom we have or may have base negotiations.
The question of leaving this out is difficult, however, because of the high level of the request itself, the fact that this was advice which the President himself in person requested from the Joint Chiefs specifically for the upcoming conferences at Cairo and Tehran. We can’t leave this out by our existing rules of compilation. If we did we would feel that we would need to put in some reference to it, so that at least we would put the story so that the historians know the fact that there was something more here which was not included in this volume. This is, also technically difficult to do, because these documents, including the maps, were interchanged between the President and the Joint Chiefs, and there is no reference to them in the international discussions at Tehran—of bases or “strong points” as they call them. The same subject did come up at Tehran and was discussed by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. No objection has been raised to those passages in the international discussion, the minutes that we have. But these behind-the-scene exchanges between the President and the Joint Chiefs, including the maps, are much more detailed and go much beyond the status of the discussions at the international level.
There is, therefore, no reference to these documents at all in the international record of Tehran, and no very good place where a footnote or editorial note could be put in explaining what these things are that we are leaving out. We could put one in that would be a bit dragged in. We have considered that. But in view of the nature of the documents we hesitate a bit to do that, because this might very well produce exactly what is undesired; namely, a prompt request to see what this material is that is referred to in footnote so and so on this interesting page. This is still under discussion within the Department and with the Department of Defense.
The third major subject of difficulty comprises five documents of Chinese origin, four of which are documents that the Chinese Government put in informally at the Cairo Conference. The fifth is a Chinese minute of one of the conversations between Roosevelt and the Chiangs of which we had no record, but of which we were fortunate to get this copy through the kindly intercession of Hollington Tung, who took a good historian’s interest in this volume. He was able to vouch for the authenticity of the other four memoranda, the origin of which we had not originally known, and provide us with the fifth. In doing so, he pointed out what was obvious; namely, that if we decided to publish these he would need to get Chinese clearance in the usual diplomatic channel. We have been trying to do this for a year and a half or more. And we get only postponements and delays. There seems to be no intrinsic objection to the documents themselves, but an attitude of resistance against the publication of the record of the Cairo Conference as a whole. We don’t think that any adjustments in these memoranda would meet any point of objection by the Chinese Government. They are quite harmless memoranda. They express mostly the desires of the Chinese Government for the reacquisition of territory, which was expressed in the Cairo declaration. Indeed, these serve as the drafting papers, the basic papers for Hopkins in his initial draft of the Cairo declaration. That is about where we stand.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
Is there anything to be added by any other member of this conference on what Mr. Franklin has had to say?
MR. NOBLE: You see, this presents us with the problem which we made this morning—of leaving out documents or postponing the publication of the volumes. And in one case, the Turkish documents, it seems to be clear that there will be substantive documents there which we couldn’t very well leave out and claim to have an honest paper. In the case of the basic documents, since they were discussions between the President and the military, I think there is a possibility, or I suggest the possibility of putting some kind of a note in connection with the discussions of strong points, and saying quite frankly, that the President did carry on some conversations in detail with the military on the subject of bases. And if anybody inquires about it, has his curiosity piqued, as he probably will, we will say “We are sorry, these cannot be shown.” That is one alternative that I think you ought to consider.
And as far as the Chinese documents are concerned, my own feeling is that if they are so sensitive over documents which really aren’t sensitive at all, I don’t believe it would matter very much; they are not of crucial importance as far as it goes, though we would like very much to have them.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is it possible to summarize the Turkish documents in some fashion?
MR. FRANKLIN: Yes. The British had been the leaders in wanting to get the Turks into the war. This fitted in with Winston Churchill’s constant desire for operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, which would be vastly strengthened. As you know, they [the Turks] had just undertaken in 1943, action against the Dodecanese, and there were many losses in the process. At Tehran, Stalin agreed enthusiastically, and we agreed somewhat less enthusiastically, to see if we could get the Turks over to Cairo to discuss this matter with Churchill and Roosevelt. This was done.
The Turks has already been given considerable aid by the British, who were in the process actually of infiltrating fighter pilots into Turkey in mufti. They were also in the process of developing mufti air fields in Turkey to take RAF fighter squadrons (the exact number is given) which had been promised of such and such dates. Other military equipment was being given to the Turks on the assumption that the Turks were on our side. The Turks had said, and said at Cairo again, repeatedly, they were on our side, no question about it. But they had not gotten all of the material that they had been promised.
They also understood that the German position in Bulgaria had been strengthened. They [the Turks] maintained that they couldn’t move without being hit by devastating air bombardment by the Germans, and, possibly, with an invasion in the race by the Germans and the Bulgarians. To this, the arguments were made that the Soviet Union had promised to take care of Bulgaria if she moved against Turkey, and that the materials desired by the Turks would be speeded up, and every effort was made to get the Turks to say how much material, and of what type they really needed to come into the war.
The Turks avoided being pinned down on every one of these points. They insisted only that they needed more material; they needed it faster; they needed it continued over a long period; and sooner or later, they would join the allied forces. This went on for five meetings.
THE CHAIRMAN: You say it is possible to summarize that material, you think?
MR. FRANKLIN: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: If you can get clearance from the Turkish Government.
MR. NOBLE: But if you told the facts that Mr. Franklin told in summary, the Turks would be no happier over that.
MR. FRANKLIN: It is just the general gist of this argument, in which the Turks appear in a position that they probably regard as not very happy at the present moment.
MR. GOODRICH: Do they deny your right to publish a summary of that kind?
MR. FRANKLIN: We sent these minutes to them in a sense of friendliness. These are Anglo-American minutes.
MR. GOODRICH: The British had insisted, I take it, that the Turks give it to them?
MR. FRANKLIN: They felt they should, yes. Whether we could get the British to go along with publication of them without Turkish specific approval, we don’t know. We haven’t tried that yet; we hadn’t come to that. We did make quite clear to the Turks that these documents were in a category different from the documents of Turkish origin which we had asked them about, on which they had said “No” to. We said that we would accept their “No” to that; it was quite all right, it was understood. These are a little different, and we have asked them twice to give a more sympathetic view, and pointed out to them the large extent to which their position has been summarized in the volumes by Churchill; more intensively, by the former British Ambassador at that time at Ankara, memos of Sir Hugh Huddleston [?], who has described the entire Turkish position in very much the terms I have just used.
MR. GOODRICH: You could do a summary based on secondary sources.
MR. FRANKLIN: We could do one based on secondary sources, citing the reader to these places where the Turkish views are expressed.
THE CHAIRMAN: Did I understand you to say you had not talked about the situation with the Turkish desk?
MR. FRANKLIN: Yes. The Turkish desk in the Department supports us in this, and Mr. Kretzmann, as a matter of fact, has assisted in taking the matter up with the Turkish Embassy here to see if we can get a more favorable consideration on that.
MR. TURLINGTON: Mr. Chairman, would a possibility, much shorter, be simply to say “This collection does not include documents relating to Turkish participation in the war, and to acquisition of military bases.” That would be a very rough statement, but something like that might at least expedite the publication of what you can publish.
MR. GOODRICH: We would also have a reference to these other sources.
MR. TURLINGTON: Yes. You could refer your reader to the published sources.
THE CHAIRMAN: If the Turkish desk does not evaluate this as important from the standpoint of our relations with the Turks, and if the materials are materials which are commonly known, I would think the case for going ahead might be strong. Do you feel you must wait? You say this is an act of courtesy to the Turkish Government rather than a matter of compulsion really? I mean it might be the case of the dispatches originating in Turkey.
MR. FRANKLIN: Yes. Well, this is the problem that we are sometimes confronted with: that the documents originated by a certain government are maybe less sensitive than the documents that we or others write about the position of certain governments.
MR. BERDAHL: As I understand it, you would have British consent.
MR. FRANKLIN: We have that.
MR. TURLINGTON: You have the British consent, and you have the consent of the Turkish desk.
MR. BERDAHL: You haven’t the British consent on the case where Turkey is concerned.
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Campbell.
MR. CAMPBELL: I am not the Turkish desk officer, but I think there are two problems concerned here. One is by the very act of publication, whatever is in the documents, you automatically create a difficult situation between us and the Turks, if we published over their objections; regardless of what the material was, this would create a problem.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is something to be evaluated by the officer on the desk, isn’t it, though?
MR. CAMPBELL: I think he was prepared to urge the Turks to publish it. I don’t know that he ever urged that we publish over their objection.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is the part of the argument that I think is important. I am not clear as to what the answer is from this discussion.
MR. FRANKLIN: Well, in this case, the Turkish desk has supported us in feeling that the Turkish allergy towards the publication of this material is unduly aroused, that they ought to take another look at it; if they saw what has already been published, they ought to give in. We have not come up to the question of whether we would take the bit and publish even if they do not give on their objection. That is when the other question would arise: as to how damaged our relations would be, our relations with the Turks. And, unfortunately, it would be more dangerous if we published it after asking the Turks, than to go ahead and publish it without asking the Turks.
MR. NOBLE: I think it is clear we can’t act now without the Turks. But they have been very cagey up to this point, simply held off.
MR. FRANKLIN: Yes.
MR. NOBLE: So that these operations now under way— through the good offices of the local Turkish desk officer, they might still come out all right. But the delay has been so great, it looks as though it might not, also. Our people at Ankara have been loathe to press the matter, and always tried to put us off.
MR. FRANKLIN: I might answer Mr. Turlington’s point. It would not be technically easy to define out these two groups of documents that you mentioned. The reason is that discussions of Turkish entry into the war were held at Tehran, and they are embedded right in the heart of the minutes of Tehran, to which no objections have been raised.
MR. TURLINGTON: You simply say, “doesn’t include certain documents relating to Turkish participation.”
MR. FRANKLIN: “Certain documents with respect to both subjects.”
MR. TURLINGTON: And “to post-war military bases certain documents.” It would be clear that certain things were classified or otherwise not available.
THE CHAIRMAN: Suppose you didn’t come out right? Suppose the Turkish Government persisted in its refusal? When I spoke of a summary, I didn’t think of anything as detailed as you gave us. In order to protect the integrity of the record, would you say: that the discussions took place with respect to the entry of Turkey into the war, but these could not be given in detail because of objections raised by the Turkish Government.
MR. FRANKLIN: We have regarded in these war-time volumes, the very heart of such volumes, the international discussions that took place; that is the first and highest level of documentation that we have always presented 100 per cent complete. You have various adjunct categories of documents; papers in support, papers referred to in the negotiations, then United States’ papers prepared beforehand by way of briefing papers, and so on. We felt a considerable greater degree of liberty in leaving out these adjunct types. But the minutes themselves, you don’t have much left if you don’t present for Second Cairo Conference the minutes of five principal discussions by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Inonu; and, also, a foreign ministers’ level discussion on the same subject by Eden, Hopkins, and Newmond (?). This bulks very large in the Second Cairo Conference, and is nothing that can be very lightly dropped out. I suppose it occupied about one-third of the space and time of the entire Second Cairo Conference.
THE CHAIRMAN: How much is it?
MR. FRANKLIN: It is a large hole in the documentation, and right in the category of first preferred priority.
THE CHAIRMAN: What would it be in bulk, Mr. Franklin?
MR. FRANKLIN: In bulk? About one-third of the Second Cairo Conference.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I would be glad to hear some enlightenment from the members of the committee on this question. Have you [to Mr. Berdahl] got anything to say?
MR. BERDAHL: No.
MR. TURLINGTON: How long would you have to wait? Do their objections abate after five years, or—
MR. FRANKLIN: No indication.
MR. GOODRICH: I think this is a situation that is a little different from some of those that we have considered before, in that there isn’t any likelihood that time is going to remedy the situation. If they object now, I think they are going to continue to object. And I don’t think we ought to hold up the publication of the volume indefinitely.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Fletcher Warren, our Ambassador to Turkey, is in town now, and we might go over the subject now and get his advice at least. Mr. Thayer says he can.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there anything more to be said on that? It is certainly something for us to deliberate on.
MR. NOBLE: I think something ought to be said further about the particular bases documents. The position of the Department, and Defense, seems to be much more nearly adamant on that. And the question is, assuming that we are faced with the problem of not printing them, should we make any reference to them at all? I would be inclined to preserve our honesty as far as possible by putting in a reference there, something along the lines that: the President did discuss this problem with the press in some detail. Something along the lines Mr. Turlington suggested.
MR. GOODRICH: Is there anything specific that came out of these memoranda and maps that were discussed at the conference?
MR. FRANKLIN: No. There was no reference at the conference to this prior discussion between the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
MR. GOODRICH: So that the admission wouldn’t be quite in the same class with the admission of the first group of documents?
MR. FRANKLIN: No.
THE CHAIRMAN: These are less important than the volume in bulk, aren’t they?
MR. FRANKLIN: Yes, they are.
MR. GOODRICH: And I would think, so far as the Chinese documents are concerned, you might feel, well, if it hadn’t been for the friendly cooperation of Hollington Tung (?), you wouldn’t have gotten them anyway.
MR. FRANKLIN: We wouldn’t either have gotten them or identified them, as the case might be.
MR. NOBLE: Isn’t it the case with the Turkish documents that there are a number of contingent documents, so that there are a number in the Departments that could be published if we had the Turkish documents, and could not be published if we don’t get them?
MR. FRANKLIN: That’s right. The Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs did raise some questions about other documents, particularly reports by our ambassador having to do with questions of Turkish entry into the war. The question was raised by the British of submitting these minutes themselves to the Turks. And we agreed with NEA that we would defer these other questions to see what the Turkish attitude was towards the heart of the problem, which was the minutes. If the Turks approved the minutes, we believe that NEA will have no further objections to the publication of these other dispatches in the course. If the Turks object, then it will reverse their attitude to other documents related thereto on the same subject. This would then proceed to tear the volume apart.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is what you want of us, Bernard [Mr. Noble], in the long run— What we did in the broad run here was to try to lay down some principles in regard to the general problem, and to publicize them, and to bring them to the attention particularly of the scholarly world. I think what you probably want of us now are some more concrete decisions as to the general gist.
MR. GOODRICH: How you apply the general principle.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. It is a little more painful if you, when drawing it up— That is, I think what we ought to be directing our attention to, as we listen to the discussion, is the possibility of coming to some conclusion.
MR. NOBLE: We want you— Instead of leaving it to the integrity of the operation here— Here is a test which we can test by.
THE CHAIRMAN: We are up against the same question each time: are we talking about a temporary postponement or really talking about having to surrender the total record. It seems to me that is the question we have to face in each case, and I don’t know, of course, exactly how to evaluate the problem from that point of view. I don’t think we can be clear as to how you evaluate the problem from that point of view. Certainly, patience is desirable in this kind of thing, and, presumably, you don’t go popping off about the publication of documents, about which there is still diplomatic discussion, without waiting a reasonable amount of time.
MR. NOBLE: I have a sneaking feeling that if we keep pecking away at this, sometime some official will come along and say, “Go ahead and publish them.”
THE CHAIRMAN: Say, “Give up.”
MR. NOBLE: As far as the Turkish documents are concerned. I don’t feel that optimistic about the bases.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would like to hear from the other members of the committee. Is there a distinction between these two cases? Would you say so, Phil?
MR. THAYER: I think there is.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think there is a distinction. The third one— Let’s see: you mentioned the Turkish documents; the Defense documents. Now the Chinese is the third one. Where are we now on that at the present time?
MR. FRANKLIN: They have just deferred giving us an answer, for about two years, stalling, because the requisite official is away, or will return, or is indisposed. And we have needled the embassy to take it up with him again, and then another six months passes, and some other reason has arisen why they can’t give us a definite reply.
MR. TURLINGTON: Mr. Chairman, the historian on our committee would know the answer to this. I don’t know the answer. There would be some things that could not be released under the official imprint of the Department relating perhaps to these Turkish documents. If they were made available to competent historical scholars duly accredited, and so on, ultimately they would become known to the people who were most interested in them. Would there be any possibility of a compromise of that kind? You don’t have your integrity of the record in one sense, but you maintain the integrity of the Department in the other one.
THE CHAIRMAN: What would you say about that, Dick?
MR. LEOPOLD: I suppose this is a brash question, but: whether access to classified materials has to pass in the various geographic bureaus and desks for qualified historians.
MR. NOBLE: There is such a thing for giving access for background information only and without right to quote or cite.
MR. TURLINGTON: Then you could cite the places where you have seen a mention of it in a magazine as your authority, or newspapers.
MR. THAYER: Secondary sources.
MR. BERDAHL: The general principle we discussed last year. And you may recall that I, somewhat vociferously, argued that the Department should publish these papers from other Departments. I understand these are not State Department papers at all.
MR. NOBLE: Well, they are in the State Department files. Didn’t we have these in our files?
MR. BERDAHL: You mean these maps and things?
MR. FRANKLIN: We got these from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
MR. BERDAHL: And we are compelled, I think, to conclude that there is no control over that problem, and that you couldn’t hold up publication indefinitely.
MR. NOBLE: Well, Defense objects to it.
MR. BERDAHL: That’s the point.
MR. GOODRICH: I think that’s fine.
MR. BERDAHL: Important as they are, it seems to me we would have to accept going ahead without those if there is stubborn opposition.
MR. NOBLE: In all honesty, we have to say, “If the political officer of the Department wanted to override them, okay,” but they object.
MR. BERDAHL: But it seemed to me always desirable whenever possible to publish these adjunct papers from other Departments to relate these problems.
MR. NOBLE: Oh, sure.
MR. BERDAHL: Of course, if they do affect the actual integrity of the whole record, then I suppose there has to be further negotiation, if we can’t get a ruling from a higher authority.
MR. NOBLE: As Mr. Franklin said, there was some discussion of strong points, and so forth, but it didn’t go ahead.
THE CHAIRMAN: Didn’t jell. This is different. I think there is one small point I am clear on; the distinction here between. Now on the Chinese documents here, we are in the same situation as we are regards, for instance, the volume on the Far East, are we not?
MR. FRANKLIN: I think so.
MR. LEOPOLD: Are their objections for, presumably, the same reason?
MR. FRANKLIN: I think so. We have seen some expression of their view: that they do not like this raking over of old coals. This is more of the Cairo conference.
MR. NOBLE: They were made unhappy by the publication of the 1942 volume on China, the only one in the special series that got published.
THE CHAIRMAN: How did that get by?
MR. LEOPOLD: I must say there was precious little on there that should have made them unhappy.
MR. THAYER: That’s how it got by.
MR. NOBLE: You see, that is a case where there were some unflattering references to the regime, but they were papers that did not have to be submitted to the Chinese Nationalists, because they were not of their origin. When they came out, they didn’t like them. Now they want the lid on everything.
THE CHAIRMAN: You mean we didn’t like them? The Chinese didn’t like that?
MR. NOBLE: The Chinese didn’t like them. Because they were papers we didn’t have to submit to them. But they were not flattering to the Chiang Kai-shek regime.
THE CHAIRMAN: What I am saying is that the objections that came out were from the Chinese themselves.
MR. NOBLE: After they were published. By the Chinese. They were cleared properly here.
MR. FRANKLIN: There is one little question of complication on the question of bases, just to give you an idea of the complexities we run into. When Roosevelt turned down the objection of the Joint Chiefs that the Department be authorized immediately, he said, “I will have to take this up with Churchill first.”
Now when Roosevelt and Churchill talked together, as they did at all these conferences— At Cairo several times in private they spoke; substantially the same language. No interpreter was necessary; no notes were taken, no memoranda were made of their discussions. We have from other bits and pieces some indications of subjects that were discussed between them, because later on, either Churchill or Roosevelt, in speaking to someone else referred to something that he had taken up with the other party at Cairo. We have pieced together some of these bits. There is no reference, however, to Roosevelt’s having done, as he said he would do; namely, take this question up with Churchill, but my own hunch is that he did, although he might not have shown Churchill the actual maps that the Joint Chiefs had prepared for him. I would be pretty sure he had discussed this matter with Churchill in one of their private meetings before he opened the subject up with Stalin at Tehran. The nature of the discussion at Tehran would seem to indicate that there was some approval between Roosevelt and Churchill to raise this question of bases, or, as they generally referred to them, “strong points for the maintenance of security in the post-war world” at Tehran.
MR. GOODRICH: But you have no documentary evidence?
MR. FRANKLIN: No proof.
MR. LEOPOLD: Dexter, I don’t like to complicate your life. This morning you were feeling that, where possible, we should have the background material, right? Now we come to this afternoon, and we are dealing with background material, as I understand, that is classified as background, because it didn’t actually get into the conference decisions—this question of the bases. Then do I understand that because it was of Defense Department origin, therefore, our Historical Division can feel free to not include those documents? Is that right?
THE CHAIRMAN: That wouldn’t be my position, if have a position. I am still reflecting. I would say my reaction here is that what took place at Cairo was abortive, rather, the communications with the Joint Chiefs of Staff were abortive. This constitutes a very different problem, and a discussion of the question which comes from “Foreign Policy.” You see what I mean?
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes. But what I am saying is that it seems to me that for the war-time conferences any attempt to distinguish between what is State Department and the Foreign Department in the evolution is meaningless.
THE CHAIRMAN: You are not taking the position I am, Mr. Franklin, that it must be only from the State Department? You are including other materials, are you not?
MR. FRANKLIN: We certainly are, yes.
MR. LEOPOLD: But I understood you said, Mr. Berdahl, that because it was Defense Department material it wasn’t necessary to include it.
MR. BERDAHL: I felt, out of last year’s discussion, it becomes impossible if they are stubborn.
MR. GOODRICH: And we should hold up publication this year.
MR. LEOPOLD: I took it from that that you thought it to be important.
MR. GOODRICH: That becomes academic here, because this isn’t important to the substance of any subsequent subject or decision. There is no mention of it subsequently.
MR. FRANKLIN: No mention of these particular documents, but the subject itself was discussed internationally. There was no briefing book prepared for the President at the conference at Tehran as for the later conferences at Yalta and Potsdam. If there had been, this interchange between the President and the Joint Chiefs would have been in the book as the President’s primary reference papers for the discussion of strong points or bases.
MR. TURLINGTON: Alger Hiss wasn’t there?
MR. FRANKLIN: No.
MR. GOODRICH: I think it is the Turkish thing that is really most serious here. I must say I don’t see—
MR. BERDAHL: This impression I have, Mr. Franklin, is it correct: that, from what you said, the exclusion of the Turkish documents would be disastrous?
MR. FRANKLIN: Right. I think so.
MR. BERDAHL: That the others are of less consequence to it.
MR. FRANKLIN: They are of less consequence in comparison with minutes of international discussions. That is what is involved in the Turkish question, and that is our A No. 1 priority.
MR. BERDAHL: Did you say you wrote the Secretary for a ruling? But you mean to fight for the inclusion because he can’t rule on their inclusion either, can he?
THE CHAIRMAN: Let me ask you a question, Dr. Franklin: If you were faced with the problem— If it could be put in this form—that the volume would never be published, if these documents were refused, would you say they are never to be published? This is a tough decision. This is something you have got to face up to, perhaps.
MR. FRANKLIN: Well, if I have to put my name on the volume to be published without any of these three groups or categories, anyone of these three groups in it, I would not want my name to be on the volume. There is no logical method of excluding any one of these three categories of documents. As a last agonizing choice, I would say the documents informally submitted by the Chinese could be dropped with less disastrous results to the meaning and contents of the volume than the other two. The other two I wouldn’t concede on personally, if I had a personal choice. The one— because international discussions are what these volumes are all about, and, if there is any serious omission on that, then the volumes will have no credibility and will be discredited as soon as the first scholar gets into the files and finds these.
The second question of basis is not as important from the point of view of format and nature of the paper, but is extremely important in view of the high level at which this discussion took place, and the very intriguing subject that it comprises, and I wouldn’t want to be caught as the editor of this volume when the scholar allowed in the files of the Defense Department runs across the things in the JCS files and brings out a beautiful article on what was left out of the Cairo-Tehran Volumes. This is not a subject which can be lightly dismissed by any footnote I could write.
MR. GOODRICH: I don’t quite follow you on that. Because I get the impression from what you have said that you have no record of any Churchill-Roosevelt discussion on this matter, have no position taken by them; therefore, no way of directly relating on a documentary basis these particular documents to anything that was done at Tehran. Is that true? You do surmising, which may be correct, but—
MR. FRANKLIN: Let me tell you about the surmises a little further. We are left with the President’s statement made aboard the Iowa on the way over to Cairo: that he was going to take this matter up with Churchill. It was discussed at length by the President with the Joint Chiefs aboard the Iowa on the way to Cairo. It was that uppermost in his mind.
MR. GOODRICH: You do have a record of his discussion, and that is included.
MR. FRANKLIN: That is right, and if we have to drop the documents we have to drop that discussion too. This was not a proposal which emanated from the Joint Chiefs, which one could say was a gratuitous addition by them to the President’s portfolio going to the conference. These documents were prepared at the President’s express request for this kind of a study by the Joint Chiefs of staff for his guidance in the upcoming conferences at Cairo and Tehran, and, for that reason, he discussed them at length with the Joint Chiefs on the ship going over. So they lie very close under the surface.
MR. NOBLE: I would just like to raise this question though. If we don’t publish the volume at all, we say we don’t publish it because we can’t get clearances on certain papers without naming them. But if we do publish them without these documents, can we maintain our honesty by referring specifically to these papers, these discussions, saying the President had these discussions and papers are not printed for obvious reasons? Now wouldn’t that put it in a little bit different category from the one which you [Mr. Franklin] first expressed?
MR. FRANKLIN: Well, it makes it possible.
MR. NOBLE: Honesty, at least.
MR. FRANKLIN: It would make it clear that we were not fooling the public on these; that there was something there; and that we are leaving them out under duress, obviously.
MR. GOODRICH: And giving a clue to an ambitious scholar.
MR. TURLINGTON: If your record shows that the President asked for some studies, and that the studies were made, and that the President intended to take them up with Churchill, but that they were not taken up in the conference at Cairo, would that not salve your conscience?
MR. FRANKLIN: No, sir. Because of the categorization of papers included in what we call the pre-conference section of this volume, which is a little different from that of the Yalta Volume. In the Yalta Volume we took all the major topics discussed at Yalta and Malta, and then went back prior to the conferences, and pulled out a long string of the most important papers on each of these subjects that were actually discussed. Now for Cairo-Tehran that system did not work, and we very soon saw that we would have to change our criteria for the inclusion of pre-conference papers. The reason is that at Cairo, particularly, there were discussions between Roosevelt and Churchill, between Roosevelt and Jones and Churchill, of which we had no minutes. We have many indications of subjects that were discussed there, and we have documents containing those indications in the post-conference section of this volume—not being sure which subjects were actually taken up, therefore we could not adduce in the pre-conference section just papers on those subjects we knew were discussed, because we had inklings, but did not know for sure, and nobody knows for sure, or ever will. Therefore, in our editorial note in the beginning of the pre-conference section, we have included that what we have included here were subjects specifically referred to the heads of governments for the Moscow Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Mr. Hull, and other papers specifically prepared for the President with the upcoming conferences in mind; most of which we know got discussed—the minutes and memoranda of conversation show that. Some of them we don’t know. But we are including them anyway, if they were specifically prepared for the President’s guidance for the upcoming conversations.
This is where our change of reference hooks us on this. We could otherwise rationalize the omission of the bases documents on the grounds that these papers were not discussed as such at the international table, but they were so specifically prepared for the President’s guidance as a portion of his informal briefing book that we have to include them. We can’t say for sure that they were not taken up with Churchill.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think this is a subject for consideration by the committee very obviously. I think if we are going to proceed with our agenda we will have to go on to the Potsdam Conference.
Thank you very much, Mr. Franklin.
MR. BERDAHL: May I just ask one question: Is there no Harry Hopkins in this Administration to whom we can go for a higher ruling?
MR. FRANKLIN: Well, that’s out of my bailiwick.
MR. BERDAHL: I say is there no Harry Hopkins to whom you can go in this Administration to have a higher ruling. I mean there must be some authority over the Department of Defense.
MR. NOBLE: The Department of State could overrule the Department of Defense if it wants to.
MR. BERDAHL: It can.
MR. NOBLE: Oh, yes.
MR. BERDAHL: Well, that answers the question.
THE CHAIRMAN: Shall we go on to the Potsdam documents?
MR. NOBLE: Dick Dougall.
B. The Potsdam Conference volumes.
MR. DOUGALL: I am here now [moving forward to table].
Since you met last year, we have spent the entire year until sometime in the middle of this morning completing the problem of Departmental clearance of the Potsdam volumes. They cover every area of the world except Latin America, and there are a good many problems which are still considered as open problems by the Department. So the geographic bureaus have thought that a good many of the papers were sensitive, and we have negotiated back and forth for a whole year on the problem. As of this morning, I believe that we now have the process of Department of State clearance complete, with the proviso that one of the geographic bureaus would much prefer that the volume not be published at all, but, if it is to be published, we are agreed as to what is to go in it. In this process of clearance, we have felt that only one paper of first-rate importance has to be dropped. That is the briefing paper which was sent to the President on our relations with Spain. This is a question which was discussed at Potsdam. There was a four paragraph briefing paper. Two paragraphs of it did not deal with aspects of the Spanish problem which were discussed at Potsdam. And so we have had the choice of fighting further, or giving up on two paragraphs of background as to how the United States felt about Franco Spain. Our feeling is that— All of you gentlemen know very well how we felt about it in 1945, and so we have given up the fight on that particular paper. All the other things which we considered of vital importance have now been okayed by the Department. This leaves us still with Defense clearance to come. On that, much of it has already been cleared in a preliminary way, and what has been added since they have cleared as they gave it to us, but with the proviso that they want to go over the whole thing. I don’t think it is so much a problem of substance now as of time, because the Defense historians never can give first priority to the Foreign Relations Volumes, or practically never can, in carrying on their work. So it may be some time before we can get it. But now that we have our own board clean, we can certainly press them for it, whereas, six months ago, not knowing how long we would take to clear, we couldn’t press them very hard.
We have 75 papers in London which the British have been looking at since last December. Here, again, we felt we couldn’t just press them unduly. These are papers principally from the Truman Library and from the Leahy collection in Defense, which we did not have access to at the first part of our research. We now have had access to them. The British have already cleared individually the bulk of the papers of immediate concern to them, but this is an addendum to that. And they are a bit slow about it. They, likewise, have made no bones about the fact that they would prefer that we postpone the volume, although they have cleared most of the individual papers with this advice: there is one paper where we are waiting for a clearance from the Yugoslav Government on. I think that is not very serious. That is the basis of the status of our clearance problem now.
Since we now have a fairly good idea as to what is going in the volume, would the committee be interested in a short description of what it will look like, or what the volumes will look like when they get out?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. DOUGALL: If Potsdam is published ahead of the regular run of the Foreign Relations Volume, as it seems obvious that it probably will be, the immediate background for the conference cannot be picked up by the regular annual 45 volumes. So that we have put in a— well, it will amount practically to a pre-conference volume, with 70 roughly of documents of background. This includes arrangements for the conference, agenda for the conference, and then a subject-by-subject background section. In most of these, there is a briefing book paper which the Department of State sent to the President. In many cases there are briefing papers which the Joint Chiefs of Staff prepared for Admiral Leahy and which went to the President; in some cases there are basic papers prepared in the White House map book. The briefing book papers were prepared anywhere from two to three weeks before the conference.
We have included, in addition to the briefing book papers, the developments of roughly the last month before the conference met. This brings the briefing book papers up to the actual date that the Big Three sat down together. In some subjects there were practically no developments in that month, and, consequently, very important subjects may be left with only the briefing book paper, and one or two other papers. Other subjects were very hot in negotiation during that month, and, although from the conference point of view they are intrinsically somewhat less important, such as the Tangier question, the documentation is a bit heavier because there was so much negotiation during that period.
Then there are the minutes and notes of conversations at the conference itself, and then there are roughly another 700 papers, conference documents proper, things circulated at the conference, and related documents of the conference period, including a good many communications between the Department of State and the conference communications coming in from the field, which included, or may have included, the position of our delegation at the conference.
Mr. Perkins [indicating Mr. Dexter Perkins] may be interested to know that there are comparatively few internal memoranda during the conference period, largely because they were never created. I asked Secretary Byrnes about this when we went over conference problems with him, and he explained it very logically. He said, “I ate and slept in the same house with the President. We talked over conference problems. Why should I write him a memorandum?” And there just aren’t any, or there are very few. Indeed, what we have found is a list of persons mentioned—a long one going from Atlee to Zhukov in the volumes.
To take up another point which you [to Mr. Leopold] raised this morning, I am afraid you will not find too much novel in the volumes. You will find a great deal of supporting detail for what you gentlemen have already read about the conference. There are very few subjects, however, on which you can’t get the general picture from what is already out. The principal subject which has not yet been covered very fully is the use of atomic weapons against Japan, on which there is a fairly small section, but rather important one.
As to what is drawn from outside of the Department files, another problem which Mr. Leopold commented on this morning, a great deal has been—we couldn’t have prepared the volume satisfactorily without the Truman papers, for example. The Leahy files, which are in the Department of Defense, have likewise been used; the Byrnes papers, although there was not very much there that wasn’t duplicated elsewhere; the Joint Chiefs of Staff files; Army files; a few other small categories. Then there are two bonuses, if I may call them that, which fall outside of the category of what most Foreign Relations Volumes include. One is English translations of a group of Japanese intercepts which had to do with the willingness or the approaching readiness of Japan to surrender. This has a fairly close connection with some of the discussions which took place at Potsdam, and because this set of messages, although it is readily available in Japanese, is not readily available in English, we have included the translations of these.
We are also proposing to put in an Appendix, a group of papers which Mr. Mikolajczyk(?), one of the members of the Polish Delegation, has made available to the Department, which fills in, in several minor respects and a few major respects, what we know about the Polish discussions there. This seems to fit better in an Appendix than anywhere else, since it is quite an unusual type of thing. I think that more or less covers it.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.
MR. NOBLE: You know there will be three volumes.
MR. DOUGALL: Unless they put it on thinner paper, as there has been some talk of. There are 1,010 galleys at the moment, and they are fairly full.
MR. NOBLE: In that connection, I want to ask this committee before we adjourn as to whether they think Foreign Relations ought to be put on thinner paper, whether thin paper, such as the 1950-1955 basic documents are printed on, or something like this [indicating] The Biographic Register.
MR. DOUGALL: I just want to tell you that if it turns out that there are two volumes after you have been promised three, it is not that there have been wholesale deletions, but that the printing people have decided to put either more pages in the volume, or use thinner papers.
THE CHAIRMAN: What does that mean from an expense point of view?
MR. NOBLE: There is very little difference, I understand.
MR. TURLINGTON: Thin paper is pretty tough.
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
MR. THAYER: It would be this type of paper [indicating The Biographic Register].
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: What would it be in bulk?
MR. NOBLE: About half the bulk of the ordinary paper now used in Foreign Relations. The paper used in the Decade and the 1950-55 basic documents is in between that and this [indicating The Biographic Register].
MR. LEOPOLD: Foreign Relations—this is about 1,000 pages [indicating Foreign Relations volume].
MR. NOBLE: And this [indicating The Biographic Register] is 750 pages.
THE CHAIRMAN: It is about half, yes.
MR. NOBLE: I would like you to think about that.
THE CHAIRMAN: We will consider that question.
Are there questions about documents by members of the committee, or commentary by anyone else in the room?
MR. GOODRICH: Just one question. As I recall, last year something was said to the effect that there was objection to clearance of certain documents because they indicated a different policy. I take it that difficulty didn’t subsist for long.
MR. DOUGALL: There is only one paper that caused protracted difficulty on this—this is a memorandum prepared at the middle level in the Department, which dissented rather violently from the position of the briefing book paper, which was sent to the President. We have discussed this pro and con for a good long time, and I have tried to see how far this dissent went up. It was apparently squelched at the Assistant Secretary level, so that the Secretary of State and the President never heard about it. This, while it would be interesting to a historian, I am sure, seems to me to be below the level of documentation which we need to include, and so we have agreed to dropping that particular paper.
The other papers in the category have some differences of opinion—there are not too many of them, were definitely at a higher level, and they are included.
MR. TURLINGTON: About how large a number of people would be interested in the questionable group of papers? Not those that you have discarded, but those that you thought of discarding. I know the members of the committee other than myself would be interested in how large a group of people would be interested in all of the papers that you have included.
MR. DOUGALL: Not very many. I would guess of the— You mean these questionable papers that we have been working on this past year?
MR. TURLINGTON: Yes. I am talking about those that you are including, not those that you have decided to exclude, but there were some that you were including that would not be of much general interest, but to historical scholars they would be interesting.
MR. DOUGALL: That is perfectly true. A good many of them will be of interest only to the diplomatic historian or political scientist working in a fairly small field.
MR. TURLINGTON: Not to people in actual diplomatic service?
MR. DOUGALL: I think many of them will not be of great interest to them; some of them will be, certainly.
MR. GOODRICH: I have one more question I would like to ask, which really isn’t for you [Mr. Dougall] to answer. You spoke of the inclusion in the first volume of papers—that the Foreign Relations up to that year would be published in the regular Foreign Relations volume— now is it intended when Foreign Relations is brought up to that period there are cross references without reprinting these documents?
MR. E. PERKINS: That presents us with a very difficult choice. We do like to save space. On the other hand, where you have key documents that are needed for continuity of a story, it is going to tell the reader to go chase around another volume that was published some years before.
MR. LEOPOLD: Haven’t you already done that with your Japan 1940 and ’41 volumes?
MR. E. PERKINS: That was a special case. But we will omit a considerable amount of the documentation in the Potsdam volume. But they have discussed that, and we have thought that there are certain important documents that the reader, as he goes along—a compilation of the annual volume—would need to understand this subject; that it would be worthwhile to reprint some of those.
MR. FRANKLIN: The question of cross references, particularly in these war-time conference volumes—which come out way ahead of the rest of the pack, and in an inverted order from Yalta to Potsdam and back to Tehran, with nothing in between—poses some very interesting technical problems in editing. Among those of the worst sort I have to cope with; in Cairo-Tehran, we have cross references there to the volume we thought sure was going to come out before, namely, China 1943. There were no minutes of the discussions at First Cairo between Roosevelt and Chiang. But, later on, in correspondence with Chinese officials, there are quite a number of indications of things, both from the American and from the Chinese side, that were stated authoritatively as having been taken up with Roosevelt or Chiang, or one or the other.
Therefore, in our post war section we diligently combed the China 1944, ’45, and ’46 volumes, and got out a raft of bits and pieces in which one person of importance said to another as to what had happened at Cairo. Now, if Cairo-Tehran can come out ahead of those, what we shall have to do is not to include the references, but, in those cases where we didn’t include references, to go back, reorganize our volume, and put in the document itself, if we can get clearance on it. So the editing problem—if we should get these three major cases that I spoke of cleared up next week—the editing problem would still take some months to rearrange this thing in view of what we have and don’t have.
MR. GOODRICH: This is an argument for not doing these conferences out of sequence.
MR. FRANKLIN: There are limitations there.
MR. DOUGALL: The Yalta Conference was the last major one before Potsdam, and there are hundreds of references to that volume in Potsdam footnotes.
MR. E. PERKINS: We run into the same difficulties in compiling the annual volume where we have references to the earlier conferences which will not be out for a considerable length of time after the annual conferences.
MR. FRANKLIN: We have worked out a stock footnote which we use for this problem. Where there is a reference to (a) Quebec conference: “Papers of the First Quebec Conference will be published subsequently in another volume of the Foreign Relations series.” We don’t say what volume—“another volume.” And we have even got out some of these references (because of our late unhappy experience; we aren’t even sure they are going to be published), and we have said even that only as sparingly as we can.
MR. E. PERKINS: Our stock phrase is “as scheduled for publication.”
THE CHAIRMAN: Any other questions in connection with the Potsdam Volumes?
MR. NOBLE: I suppose you wouldn’t mind taking one volume at a time, would you, if you can’t get all two or three out at the same time?
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to go on to the next point there, or would you like—
MR. NOBLE: The next is Mr. Perkins [Mr. E. R. Perkins] who will discuss that.
1. The problem presented by memoranda of conversations.
MR. E. PERKINS: We discussed this forenoon, to a considerable extent, the problem of memoranda of conversations. I might just sum up what our view is. The objections have been made to publication that foreign officials will be—
MR. NOBLE: Pardon me. Don’t you think we had better take up No. 2 and then come up to that?
MR. E. PERKINS: I beg your pardon. That’s the second one: “The Ecuador-Peru Boundary Dispute, 1941.”
2. The Ecuador-Peru Boundary Dispute, 1941.
We have compiled a very sizeable record on that. All these galleys deal with the Ecuador-Peru Boundary Dispute of 1941. It is a long continued story. In previous years we have published extensive records on that boundary dispute. It is still an active issue, and they are still trying to settle the Ecuador-Peru Boundary Dispute in negotiations at the present time. The United States has been a mediator in the dispute. An agreement was reached in 1939 which is covered in the 1939 volume. In 1941 the dispute broke out again, and so we need to cover in Foreign Relations the record of that boundary dispute. We will need to continue to cover it for later years. We don’t want to leave a gap. But, because of the present sensitiveness of the issue, the area officers have asked that we omit this record of the boundary dispute for 1941.
It was our feeling that we could not leave so big a gap. The United States, Argentina, and Brazil were mediating powers. Now our interest in it was as a mediator. It is not a matter of United States’ policy of what the boundary is down there. We don’t care, as far as I know. We do want to have peaceful relations among the American Republics, and especially during the war—we want the American Republics to be at peace with each other, so that they could cooperate with us in connection with the World War.
Now in the midst of this dispute, which became acute in ’41, fighting broke out, and several of the disputed territories were occupied by the Peruvian Army. Then that presented a special problem: to stop the fighting, to get the troops that had advanced into a disputed territory to withdraw, and to get the thing back on an even keel where they were before fighting broke out. Well, now, since we are still a mediator, it is my understanding from the policy people that they feel that if we should publish the record it would damage our position as a mediator, because one party to the dispute at that time was the apparent aggressor. We took the attitude that Peru was getting out of line. At one time we actually did present a note, along with Argentina and Brazil, to the Peruvian Government, which pinned the blame pretty much on Peru. Peru asked to have that note withdrawn. Well, the State Department said, “No, we don’t want to withdraw that note.” We sent military observers down. For a long time they were not allowed to go to a Peruvian front; they did go to an Ecuadorian front. And they made reports, which naturally made the situation as they saw it, which was rather damaging to the position being taken by Peru. The army was somewhat out of control. The President at that time was Prado, who later was out of office but who is back now and is still President now.
Well, presented with that situation, as I said, we did not want to completely omit the record, a record we carried on with Foreign Relations over previous years, that we would pick up again later. So we have presented a compromise, and a rather big concession. We have omitted, I should say, about three-fourths of the documentation. We put in enough to show the record as far as questions came up as to the actual boundary dispute itself, but omitted the documentation in regard to this fighting that broke out and the efforts of the mediators to stop that and get things back again. Now to simply leave that documentation out would not be in line with our policy. It would be unfair to put out that record in this abbreviated record, with no reference to what was omitted, allowing the reader to assume that we had put in all the significant correspondence. On the other hand, we are printing the record of the “Foreign Policy” of the United States, and, as I said, this is not a diplomatic issue between the United States and some other country. It is an issue between two foreign countries of which we are only mediators, and in which we do not have any policy except to preserve peace. So I cut it down, the record, to just cover enough to show the dispute itself, and then at the appropriate time, place, to insert a bracketed note. [Distributed copies of note.] I only have three extra copies of that.
MR. NOBLE: Read it, Ralph.
MR. E. R. PERKINS: I was going to. You might pass one up to the Chairman.
The note I was going to insert—we haven’t inserted it in the galleys we have sent back for renewed clearance—says: We have inserted—this will be put in about July 23, when we come to that date.
“Serious fighting in the border regions broke out on July 23, 1941. An agreement was reached for the cessation of fighting on July 31, but sporadic hostilities occurred later. Activities of the three mediating governments—Argentina, Brazil, and the United States—centered on efforts to prevent further conflict, and to secure the withdrawal of armed forces from territory into which they had advanced. Observers were sent by Argentina, Brazil, and the United States to the area of conflict. Correspondence on these aspects of the dispute not pertinent to the boundary settlement itself is not here printed.”
Put in that note, and that covers the whole— Well, actually, it takes up about the correspondence, that whole issue of fighting, and omit that. Well, that is a pretty big concession, and we haven’t got the reply of the policy people on that.
But I did want you to know the problem we had and to get your reaction to such a curtailment of publication with a bracketed explanation.
MR. BERDAHL: Would you seek to print those documents later when the dispute, say, is settled?
MR. E. PERKINS: I doubt it, because—
MR. BERDAHL: You couldn’t go back and pick it up?
MR. E. PERKINS: No, I wouldn’t think so.
MR. THAYER: Does that statement, as printed here, mean that none of the correspondence on these aspects was pertinent to the dispute, or does it mean that those parts of the correspondence not pertinent—
MR. E. PERKINS: I should say the correspondence of that was really not pertinent. They were not arguing about where the line should be. They were trying to get them back where they came from, so that they could get on with settling the boundary dispute.
MR. THAYER: So that that entire correspondence could be omitted.
MR. E. PERKINS: The only thing that might be considered pertinent was that Peru wanted to take as a basis of consideration the line where their force had advanced to. But then that was withdrawn.
MR. NOBLE: It is too bad they have to bring this up now before we have reached final agreement with the area concerned. Perhaps Mr. Siracusa though might want to comment on it.
MR. SIRACUSA: I spoke to the desk officer this morning about it before coming up, and he had recently received your new proposal, that is, your new set of galleys in which many of the documents will be extracted, and he has glanced over them hastily and he feels, as a first judgment, that this is in much better shape from our point of view, and that we may be able to go along with it, although we haven’t given it a detailed consideration.
The statement which you [Mr. E. R. Perkins] just read, on the face of it—again, it is a very hasty judgment— seems to me to be all right to fill in the gaps. I can’t see that it is much more than a simple statement of fact that fighting did occur, that certain parties were mediators, and so forth. But I might add on this whole question that our point of view is not controlled by our attitudes, and what happened so much back in 1941, but by the position we find ourselves in today: that as a result of the settlement which was made at Rio de Janeiro in 1941, the United States and three other countries were made the guarantors of the protocol of Rio de Janeiro, which contained the description for the settlement of the new boundary, and work was proceeding on the fixing of the boundary up until several years ago when Ecuador stated that new facts of geography make the protocol inapplicable, and, ever since, there has been a resounding dispute between the two countries.
It seems from some points of view quite a ridiculous thing. It is small. But, to them, it is about the biggest thing they have. It is the emotional issue, and the strong policy issue they have, and it is not something we could take lightly, because they did fight a war over it in the very recent past, in 1941.
Ecuador feels that as a result of that war she wants two-thirds of the territory which she felt belonged to Ecuador; that included much that was previously in dispute. They felt that she was pressured into an unsatisfactory solution because of the war, and because of the desire to stop any nonsense in our own backyard, and have everything be harmonious (we were facing the attack which had just happened at Pearl Harbor, and going into the Second World War).
And since that time there have been a number of border incidents which have threatened to erupt into war and it is quite a well-known fact that both countries are carrying a much higher level of armament than they should, simply because they suspect each other and fear each other and hate each other. And it is a very ticklish situation. And we are standing right in the middle of it, as the guarantors, trying to bring about a solution to this problem. And it, obviously, behooves us not to alienate or offend either party, or to give either party anything they can use to question our impartiality in this—and some of the documents which we have objected to, in which the United States has indicated itself as having the opinion that Peru was the aggressor at that time, can be just that type of thing. But I think we can probably come to an amicable settlement on this with the Historical Division on the basis of the new documents.
THE CHAIRMAN: We have another subject, and we will adjourn about ten minutes of five.
MR. NOBLE: We ought to have a little discussion.
THE CHAIRMAN: Unless there is something particularly urgent here, we had better go to the next item which is: “The Elimination of Axis-Controlled Airlines in American Republics, 1940-1941.”
Who is going to speak to that?
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Nuermberger down here.
3. The Elimination of Axis-Controlled Airlines in American Republics, 1940-1941.
MR. NUERMBERGER: This problem is one still under consideration. When we first attempted to clear it, it was thought there were a number of statements in here which are critical of the American Republic officials now and then. The elimination of the axis airlines really began in 1940, particularly with regard to the Colombian, and the Ecuadorian, and Brazilian airlines, because of their close proximity to the Panama Canal, and we did not have very great difficulty in clearing that for 1940. However, in 1941, when we submitted that, we did not realize at that time that we were on the threshold (we had been told) of the jet age. With regard to jet transportation in the American Republics it will necessitate the renegotiation of some bilateral aviation agreements. And if this should be told now, at the time that we are renegotiating, the feat is that perhaps some of the national airlines will think: “Well, perhaps we should put in some revisions on what we did in 1940. Let’s hold off.” That, as a result of this publication. So we are really now faced with the problem of publishing it now, or to hold it until after we have renegotiated on it. I believe Miss Whiteman knows about some of these agreements on it. So that the problem is, right now, to hold up until we have renegotiated. It is not a matter of postponing indefinitely. It might be a matter of postponing six months or two years.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is this a clearance problem, or what?
MR. NUERMBERGER: It is a clearance problem with the American Republics.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, with the American Republics.
Any questions about this?
MR. NUERMBERGER: It is really a question of waiting, I would say.
MR. NOBLE: It isn’t quite so difficult as some of these other problems. It is a matter of holding off until these agreements have been renegotiated.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is a prospect of how long? You don’t know.
MR. NUERMBERGER: It could be six months; it could be two or three years.
MR. TURLINGTON: Gentlemen, it seems to me this emphasizes the importance of a point Mr. Goodrich made this morning. So many things may have to be held up because of policy considerations. Possibly it, also, emphasizes the importance of getting out something substantial along the lines of the new annual volumes. I don’t know what they should be called. Possibly, these new annual volumes should be called Foreign Relations: Diplomatic Corps.
Maybe you want to call the whole number, the series, all with the general title:
Foreign Relations: Treaties, International Acts
Foreign Relations: Diplomatic Corps
Foreign Relations: Underlying Documents
Foreign Relations: Conferences
And so forth.
MR. FRANKLIN: More Underlying Documents.
MR. NOBLE: Current Foreign Relations.
MR. TURLINGTON: Yes, whatever.
MR. E. PERKINS: I wonder if the first could be Foreign Relations—Advance and the other Foreign Relations—Rear.
MR. TURLINGTON: Vanguard.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, now are there any questions on this particular problem? Do you want to say something about President Prado of Peru?
MR. NUERMBERGER: I don’t think that is really necessary.
MR. NOBLE: It is not necessary. It simply illustrates the point that here was a man who was in power, was out of power, and is back in power again.
MR. E. PERKINS: That is in connection with this boundary dispute, you see. He is President of Peru now. He was President at the time of this conflict in ’41.
MR. NOBLE: It is related to our Thailand problem.
THE CHAIRMAN: What volume does this concern?
MR. NUERMBERGER: 1941, Volumes 6 and 7.
THE CHAIRMAN: How far along are these, as a matter of fact?
MR. NUERMBERGER: These are just in clearance— 1941, Volumes 6 and 7, American Republics.
THE CHAIRMAN: They wouldn’t, in any case, be published for some time, is that right?
MR. NUERMBERGER: They might be published in about a year and a half from now. We would like to get them published.
THE CHAIRMAN: But the delay—
MR. NUERMBERGER: It is not a pressing problem. The delay is not a pressing problem, as of now.
THE CHAIRMAN: As of the moment, yes.
MR. NUERMBERGER: That’s right.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.
What do you want to go to from there, Bernard?
MR. NOBLE: The question is whether we want to take up some of these other problems, take another look at the memoranda of conversations, or take up certain of the editorial problems. We raised two of those earlier.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we might talk about the memoranda in our private conference really, as a matter of fact.
MR. NOBLE: Perhaps you have enough for that.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to raise editorial problems?
What time do we have to adjourn? It is about ten minutes of five.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Robertson will be here at five.
THE CHAIRMAN: He will come here?
MR. NOBLE: Come here, yes.
So we can carry on here until he comes.
THE CHAIRMAN: I see.
Well, then, why don’t we raise some of the editorial problems for this discussion.
MR. NOBIE: Well, we might.
Discussion of other editorial problems.
THE CHAIRMAN: I was interested in what you [Mr. Noble] were saying to me. I had no idea that the listing of the dispatches at the front involved the small sum that you said it did. Didn’t I understand you to say it was a matter of $100 for the list of documents?
MR. NOBLE: I would say it would be several hundred dollars. The total cost of publishing a volume is something over $11,000. That is just the publication. But if you figure the time of the individual in the compiling of these documents, that, of course, would come to more than several hundred dollars, and probably take— How long would it take, Ralph, to compile a list of papers by a professional?
MR. E. PERKINS: I don’t have the figures on that. Of course, they have been compiled in the Publications Division, and it never has been done under our immediate direction, so I don’t know how long they did it.
MR. NOBLE: I think I heard estimates for about two months.
THE CHAIRMAN: It isn’t a charge on this division then?
MR. NOBLE: But it is a charge on the time of the division, which has a section on which they are at work. It is a matter of time—that additional time is required to get a volume out, as well as the expense. But I am sure we appreciate your view as to the importance of the list of documents.
MR. BERDAHL: Did we take the position last year against this?
MR. NOBLE: No, we had merely the alternative presented, because we said, “We can’t put them both out.” Because some years ago we eliminated one or the other of them, and we, after inquiry, decided to eliminate the list of papers rather than the index. And so the question always comes up as to which is better.
MR. GOODRICH: You formerly had both?
MR. NOBLE: Yes. Formerly had both.
THE CHAIRMAN: Down to 1937—I think I looked at.
MR. NOBLE: About that.
Generally, it is a list of papers instead of an index.
THE CHAIRMAN: I hate to give up the index. But as I was saying this morning— I wonder how the committee feels about the list of papers? I wonder if we realized exactly what choice we were making there. Have you anything to say?
MR. THAYER: I think we came to the conclusion last year, didn’t we, that if one or the other had to be cut out we were prepared to see the list of papers cut out. That didn’t indicate that we didn’t feel that the list of papers wasn’t valuable.
MR. BEHDAHL: Not at all.
MR. LEOPOLD: There was one added consideration— and I must say I can’t remember our discussion at all on this: But if you were going to have a list of papers there are two ways of listing the papers: (1) the way that was formerly used, of listing the papers as they appear in the volume, and that involves breaking down under topical headings; (2) now the other way was to list the papers chronologically irrespective of where they appear in the volume. I suspect that includes more of a task.
THE CHAIRMAN: We talked about that enough to come to the conclusion that by subjects was better than chronological.
MR. NOBLE: The papers are organized by subject and you favored that.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. I thought we did favor it by subject.
MR. TURLINGTON: I don’t remember the vote, Mr. Chairman, but I find that I wrote you in response to that question: that a Table of contents, listing countries alphabetically and indicating subjects treated under each country, should be sufficient without lists of documents. If documents must be listed, chronological arrangements I thought desirable.
THE CHAIRMAN: [To Mr. Turlington] You thought the contrary, yes.
MR. NOBLE: If you had the papers actually placed in the volume according to subjects, and listed chronologically by subjects, you might want your list of papers strictly from that.
MR. LEOPOLD: That was the point I was making: we have that alternative, if we ask for a list at all.
MR. DOUGALL: This creates certain problems with respect to papers for which you do not have a date, and you have to supply an approximate date. It also creates problems on papers of the same day, where you really don’t know what time they were dispatched; whereas, within a subject you fairly seldom have great problems, but, if you shuffle all the subjects together this way, you would have considerable problems.
MR. E. PERKINS: I should think where you might list chronological (instead of just the way it is) by subjects, that it would be better to make some breakdown. For example, this volume 3 that has been reviewed today has British Commonwealth, the Soviet Union, Near East and Africa. A chronological list in which you jumble together papers on all those three different areas would make kind of a hodgepodge of the list it seems to me. But you might have a list of papers on the Commonwealth—and give the three, chronological and—
MR. GOODRICH: And you might have it broken down further by countries.
MR. E. PERKINS: Then you would have so many general subjects that would cover different countries.
MR. LEOPOLD: I think a good deal, Dexter, depends here on what is involved. It is easy enough for us, as the users, to say what we would like in the best of all possible worlds. I must say, before I would have any opinion, I would want to know a little more of what is involved for the staff. You have raised one technical question [to Mr. Dougall].
MR. DOUGALL: I mean we can do it, and you solve these problems, but it is a nasty one.
MR. LEOPOLD: What is your own feeling, Mr. Perkins, on this matter?
MR. E. PERKINS: I think it is a valuable addition, but, in the best of all possible worlds, we would have—but there are problems involved of economy and time, and that. After all, we do supply the documents, and the man who uses the volume can be expected to do a little work himself perhaps. It isn’t necessary; it is a convenient aid. I think an index is much more needed. But it would be nice to have it.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t know what the budget— Are you thinking of this from the angle of time, or expense, when you say it is an idea, or from the practical?
MR. E. PERKINS: Well, there is some time involved, and some expense involved. And I think that time we dropped it we were kind of shorthanded on editing. You have to have pretty good editors to do that. Each document has to be evaluated, and its essence put in a few words, and that’s not easy. And we had a shortage of high-grade employees really to handle that, and our researchers were—certainly, had all they could do on the compilation. I think that was largely it.
MR.GOODRICH: It is also true that you have to have a very good person to do a very good index.
MR. E. PERKINS: Don’t we know!
MR. GOODRICH: And I find very often that indexes are not very useful as aids to finding what you want.
MR. LEOPOLD: Certainly, this index to the volume for 1940 is a distinct step over some of the more recent ones, I would think. That doesn’t mean it can’t be better.
MR. GOODRICH: I am not sure as between the choice of the two now. I think there is a lot to be said for a list of papers.
MR. NOBLE: I think you ought to consider in your deliberation, also, the question of a list of names, which was also brought up last time, but not finally passed on.
MR. BERDAHL: One thing that is new—don’t you have in the 1940 volume, just reviewed today, a note explaining references to “persons of significance” as you call it, with some exceptions?
MR. E. PERKINS: There is the space involved too. Of course, our volume is getting pretty thick. We are told to cut down our space.
MR. LEOPOLD: I think this was the argument that came up last year.
MR. FRANKLIN: I have one other editorial problem to be thrown into the hopper briefly. In the conference volumes, we have in all of them an initial section on arrangements for conference, and pre-conference papers, and in these sections there are a great many excerpts. Naturally, we have picked out those sentences and paragraphs having to do with arrangements. Then we pick out those on various different subjects, and group them. So the thing is peppered with lines of 3 points, and lines of 7 points. It gets to be rather absurd to put in the line “excerpts” all the time when, obviously, they are excerpts; it is perfectly clear. And this, as a matter of fact, takes a whole line, if we have traditionally placed it, and the rule is, generally, if more than half is left out you don’t put it in; if less than half is left out you do put it in. This gets to what is half—I mean five-eights, three-eights. It occurred to me, since we are rigorously honest in putting in our points at all occasions—isn’t that enough? Why take an extra line to say “excerpts” particularly in these volumes where certain portions are obviously excerpted for the purposes stated.
So we are going to drop them [the excerpts] in the Cairo-Tehran Volume, if you have no objection.
THE CHAIRMAN: That sounds reasonable enough.
MR. FRANKLIN: It saves quite a lot of space, because the word takes a whole line.
MR. GOODRICH: I have a suggestion, and I don’t know that anybody will support it. But in looking over these volumes it occurred to me that it would be useful to have at the beginning of each volume an introductory note explaining the purpose of Foreign Relations, what is the general principle of exclusion and inclusion, and so on. And, for this reason, I believe that if that is done in the first volume of each year, it would be useful, and now that you have a situation where the first volume is held up, and the other volumes are published before the first volume appears. But, quite apart from that, the user of Foreign Relations doesn’t use it as a year—he uses it as a volume. He consults a particular volume, and I think there would be a great deal to be said for having this very useful introduction at the beginning of each volume instead of just at the beginning of each year.
THE CHAIRMAN: That, to me, is a good suggestion. How do the rest of the committee feel about it?
MR. LEOPOLD: From the point of view of the poor reviewer who doesn’t have an inside line to the Historical Division, and since they are coming out of— You are often puzzled how many volumes are going to appear for the whole year. This is stated, I think, in the first volume—that for 1940 “x” Foreign Relations will be comprised of six volumes, but you wouldn’t know it if you were in volume 3 before volume 1 comes out.
MR. TURLINGTON: It could be a short statement.
MR. E. PERKINS: It does say, for example, in 1939 “In five volumes” and “Volume 5” is on the title page.
MR. LEOPOLD: [Looking at 1939, Volume 5] It does.
MR. PERKINS: I think probably— I am glad to hear that, because I have favored that. And we have started to do that beginning with 1941, for the reason that the “Far East” came out way ahead of their first other volumes. And because that would seem odd to the reader, they would wonder where the other volumes are, we have in Volume 4 and 5, the one on the “Far East”—we have put in a reference in that case: we said “These volumes will be published in advance of the other for that year in order to supply background for the Charter Series.” I think perhaps in Volume 1 it would be sufficient there to put in the Department Regulations under which we published—not put that into every volume, but it could be referred to in the preface for each volume.
MR. LEOPOLD: On that first point, Mr. Perkins, you are quite right; it does say on the title page how many volumes for a given year. But it doesn’t supply what the breakdown would be, and that does appear, I think, normally in the first volume we publish.
THE CHAIRMAN: I thought Mr. Goodrich said—
MR. GOODRICH: I would be inclined to say so, if it doesn’t take too much space.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think this is something very important—for people to understand. And I don’t think the idea has been thoroughly assimilated by all the people who read Foreign Relations.
MR. E. PERKINS: And not just say that the Regulations are contained in Volume 1.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think more than that. I think they should be repeated. That would be my view. I don’t know how the other members of the committee feel on that. It is just as Mr. Goodrich says: the people who start one volume, and not another, they won’t go back to look for Volume 1, if they are particularly interested in Volume 4.
MR. E. PERKINS: Also, it would be my idea that in that preface we would give the names of the staff who compiled that volume.
THE CHAIRMAN: A good idea.
MR. THAYER: That would be very useful.
THE CHAIRMAN: There is quite a bit of confusion, don’t you think, among our colleagues on what is being done? They don’t understand the problem, and I think the more we can do to clarify it the better off we are.
MR. LEOPOLD: Certainly, the American historical point of view is now in the practice of sending individual volumes to different reviewers, and I think that makes it difficult for the individual reviewer.
MR. TURLINGTON: Mr. Chairman, did I understand you to say you thought the Regulations should be printed in every volume?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. TURLINGTON: That would mean five times for each year, and you could go bock to another year if the Regulations haven’t changed from year to year. It seems to me that would put on an enormous expense that is unnecessary.
MR. GOODRICH: How long are they? How much space?
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t know. Are they talking about the Regulations that were presented? That wouldn’t be very much space in any volume.
MR. TURLINGTON: I forget how many pages the Regulations—
MR. NOBLE: On this, about a little over a page, I would say.
MR. TURLINGTON: I was thinking of a longer—
MR. BERDAHL: It was a statement that was originally made by Secretary Keller, attributed—
MR. NOBLE: Things that may be omitted, and so forth.
THE CHAIRMAN: Any other editorial question you want to discuss?
MR. NOBLE: Do you want to take up this other question which was raised about a description? I hope you will discuss that—define, clarify what you mean by a description, because there has been some confusion about that.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think it is a good thing to direct our attention to. I don’t know that we want to discuss it.
MR. NOBLE: It is not necessary perhaps, but I think you ought to know there was confusion.
MR. BERDAHL: I think it is quite clear. I talked something about a description, and I certainly didn’t have in mind relating it to interdepartmental memoranda at all.
MR. NOBLE: Does it exclude, for instance, filling out the name of the individual who puts his initials under the name of the Secretary when he signs the Secretary’s name, and thereby himself takes the responsibility for the telegram or the instruction? I think everybody would agree that drafters should not be—
MR. BERDAHL: I wouldn’t think so.
THE CHAIRMAN: What we are concerned about is not confusing the problem of origin—of the policy particularly, I mean.
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
MR. THAYER: Responsibility for the policy.
[Assistant Secretary Walter Robertson entered the meeting at this time.]
THE CHAIRMAN: [To Mr. Robertson] We have been talking about the China Volumes, and we have there great difficulties in the way of publication of some of these volumes. We would be glad to hear your point of view.
Remarks by Assistant Secretary Walter Robertson
MR. ROBERTSON: If I can make myself heard, I will try to give you my point of view. I apologize for a terrific cold.
Our views about publishing these volumes, not only the China volumes but any of the rest of them covering the Far Eastern Bureau (I only said the Far Eastern Bureau because that happens to be my area of responsibility) is that we should like to see the volumes published just as soon as they can be published without damaging our foreign policy objectives in the area. We think it would be rather self-defeating just to come out willy-nilly with the publication of documents which would be used by our enemies to hamper the things which we are trying to do in the area.
Now we have two countries that are involved in these volumes under discussion now. One is Thailand. As you know, the Japanese came in and took over Thailand. Some of the public figures that are still active in political life down there collaborated with the Japanese. It is pretty difficult for us to sit down and evaluate all the circumstances, for many of the leaders in Asia did collaborate with Japanese, but many of them did it, in my opinion at least, from a patriotic standpoint—in my opinion at least—trying to save what they could in the conditions that they had to operate. I think that is true of some of the figures in the Philippines which were very much criticized.
But, in any event, take a man like Prince Wan who was President of the General Assembly—a man who is, in the opinion of all who know him, (all whom I know who know him)—they think he is a man who is dedicated to the principles of the Free World, and the same principles for which you [to the Chairman] and the rest of the people in this room stand. And we think that it would be impossible for Prince Wan, or any of his countrymen, to understand why the United States Government can now at this time publish some documents that reflect upon him.
The same thing is true of Mr. Pibulsonggram who at the time that I recommended to the Secretary that this particular volume be withheld—he was at that time the Prime Minister of Thailand. He is no longer the Prime Minister of Thailand. He is in this country. He is in California. But he is still a political figure, and he may well be the Premier of Thailand again, although no one knows what is going to develop there. But we can see no useful purpose in trying to destroy him.
We have in the China Volume—you have some very severe attacks there on the National Government of China. As you gentlemen know—or I assume that you know—we don’t support a regime, we don’t support Chiang Kai-shek as a man—we support a Free China as an alternative to a Communist China, for millions of Chinese on the Mainland of China, on Taiwan, and the Offshore Islands, the millions of Chinese throughout Southeast Asia.
Every problem that we have in Asia—with the exception of Australia and New Zealand (those are the only two western countries in the Far Eastern Area)—but there isn’t a country in our Bureau (there are 11 Asian countries in the Bureau) where every problem that we have isn’t complicated by the threat of international Communism. There isn’t a country there where the Communists don’t have cells, active cells of subversion working for the overthrow of these countries.
And what we are trying to do in the world is to prevent the take over of the world by the international Communists—that is our prime objective. Our prime objective in the area is to prevent the extension of the influence and the power of the international Communists. It isn’t at all altruistic, because we know that to the extent the whole rest of the world is taken over by the Communists our own security depends.
Now in this volume you will find some of the most bitter attacks written by an officer who— At least events have proven that his judgment wasn’t too good, because I remember one dispatch that the man wrote in which he described (not in this volume, but in another dispatch) the Communists as being—this being a “democratic revolution for a grand reform.” I didn’t really think so much it was the Communists. He didn’t read what Mao Tse-tung (?) wrote about himself, because Mao Tse-tung was very frank in writing in that same area: that he was a Marxist dedicated to Communists in the world; under the leadership of Moscow. But many observers didn’t read what he said about himself, but, rather, indulged in some wishful thinking about what it was.
But, be that as it may, we think that for the Government to come out now, at this critical time when the Communists threaten us with war in the Taiwan Straits, when they are still aggressive and threatening in their relationships with the rest of the world—for us to come out and publish dispatches on the Communist propaganda machine (I wouldn’t differentiate who writes the dispatches or whether they prove to be a good prophet or not)—but to publish these kinds of indictments, that will be capitalized on by the Communists, will undo the very thing we are trying to do: to build a stable Free China.
And I don’t want to take up all your time. I would rather subject myself to your questions than to keep on talking.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we are sympathetic with the point of view you have expressed. Isn’t it the case, that this probably means a very long delay? Don’t the elements and problems involved mean a long-time postponement?
MR. ROBERTSON: I think that our problem of Red China is long-term, surely, and not short-term. That is one of the most frustrating aspects of it, because we Americans don’t like long-time problems. We like to see what a problem is, and find a solution and solve it, and go on thinking about something else. And one of the great difficulties that we have is to have the determination and the patience, which they have, if we don’t combat it. So I think the problem of Red China will be a long time. And that means the problem of keeping alive a Free China, as an alternative, a focus of loyalty, is also long-term.
Now the passages in this book—this particular volume I think is 1943.
MR. NOBLE: ’43 is the China Volume, yes.
MR. ROBERTSON: ’43 is the China Volume. I have just been reading some this afternoon. And that largely is an attack on the present President of China, President Chiang—some of the most objectionable passages. And, as I have said, they were written by a fellow who thought the Communists were pretty good.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Robertson, this morning— You know a great deal about the history of this special series on China, of course, beginning in 1953. Now the question was raised here in the discussion this morning whether the situation, as it now exists, is appreciated on the Hill, by those who were parties to a request for these volumes. I believe you have done something in the direction of enlightening the Members on the Hill, the Congressmen and Senators, as to what the real situation is. Would you mind saying something about that, and how our situation here can be made to be understood fully on the Hill? Why we are not publishing these volumes which the Department, as you know, committed itself to publish?
I know it is a difficult situation, but you occupy a key position, and I think have done something, and are in a position to.
MR. ROBERTSON: I am trying to do mental somersaults to catch up with you. I don’t know what it is—
MR. NOBLE: You talked to Senator Knowland, didn’t you?
MR. ROBERTSON: No, I wrote a memorandum to the Secretary in which I recommended that these two volumes not be published, and gave the reasons why. And then, that if he decided not to do it, that we talk to the appropriate Senators on the Hill to tell them why we weren’t doing it. And he [the Secretary] wrote: “Tell them, if appropriate, instead of the ‘appropriate’ ones.” So I haven’t discussed with Senator Knowland or anyone else why these volumes shouldn’t be published.
MR. NOBLE: I have been misinformed. I thought you had.
MR. ROBERTSON: No, I have not.
I feel very strongly that it is a foreign policy decision, and the President delegates to the Secretary of State the responsibility of deciding whether this thing or that thing is in our national interests. And I shouldn’t think it would be very difficult to explain to your Senate Foreign Relations Committee or a Foreign Affairs Committee of the House why it is you are withholding certain volumes from publication. I don’t know of any country in the world that publishes its private documents regardless of its own interests.
MR. GOODRICH: Could I ask a question, please? My understanding was that at the time the White Paper on China was published there was a considerable amount of criticism on the ground that this only told one side of the story. And there was a demand—particularly on the Hill, and particularly on the part of some of the Republican Senators—that there should be a fuller publication of the China story to counteract some of the false impressions, and so on, that were conveyed in the White Paper. Now do I understand that a fuller publication is not to serve that purpose, and, therefore, should not be—
MR. ROBERTSON: No, you are not to understand that from me. But the point I would like to make clear (I am glad you mentioned that): this White Paper was a devastating attack on this country, which was at that time our ally, and still is, and it was bitterly and deeply resented.
Now, that was done by the last Administration. If this one comes along and publishes data which has the same sort of attacks I think that that would produce very bad repercussions. But I am much more concerned—much more concerned—as to the capital that would be made of it by the Communists, and by the repercussions in Southeast Asia, than I am on what the repercussions would be on Taiwan. I doubt if you gentlemen realize the uneasiness that is felt throughout Southeast Asia by countries that are allied with us in the SEATO, the so-called mutual countries. Their uneasiness about Red China—
I assume everybody in this room is cleared. Isn’t that right?
MR. NOBLE: Right.
MR. ROBERTSON: The Indonesian Foreign Minister was in here yesterday. Indonesia is a neutral country, And he said their great problem and concern is Red China, what is happening there by the Chinese in their communities now, in their schools. He says Indonesians have to go out in these communities and use interpreters to talk to them, to teach, and Communist textbooks are being sent into Indonesia from Red China. They have closed down nearly 2,000 schools, Chinese Communist Schools; they are terribly concerned about the subversion that is going on within their country on the part of the Red Chinese.
Mr. Lattagensky (?) was in to see me just a few minutes ago. He is from Vietnam. And President Diem (?) sent him this message: “If the United States gives away and backs away from the threat of force in the Taiwan Straits, it will have repercussions throughout Southeast Asia.” We have Burmese, who have a 1200 mile common borderline with Red China, official neutrals, they won’t come out and make any statement about this. But Burmese top officials will say to our ambassador in Burma: “If the United States backs away from this threat of force, there is no end to the demands of the Communists in Southeast Asia.”
I repeat again— Well, the Philippines, I just had a report from General Taylor, talking to President Garcia in the Philippines: “If we back down in the Taiwan Straits, it will have terrific repercussions throughout Southeast Asia.”
This is not a theory that we are contending with here. This is one of the stark realities of our time, of vital importance to everybody in this room.
And just take one look at this regime. It took over the Mainland of China in December 1949. Mr. Mao Tse-tung took off for Moscow and had a long talk with Mr. Stalin. He came back and in February 1950, two months later, he issued appeals to all of the people of Southeast Asia to throw over their governments and their leaders; that they were just “puppets of the Imperialists.” Before the year was out, a few months later, he invaded Tibet. They are still engaged in putting down the Tibetan Revolution against them. Before the year was out, he had invaded Korea. They are still there, defying the world, defying the United Nations, contending that the United Nations were the aggressors in Korea, and, therefore, had no competence to supervise the general elections for the unification. They are holding on to Korea. As soon as they had got a ceasefire there, they moved into Indochina.
Now their score since 1949 is Mainland China, North Korea, North Vietnam, Tibet. They were riding high, wide, and handsome until SEATO was formed, and they were put on notice that any overt aggression in Southeast Asia would be stopped by force. Then they changed this, and started this economic offensive.
We have got four divided countries in the world: We have got a divided Korea; we have got a divided Vietnam; we have got a divided Germany; we have got a divided China. In all of those countries we are supporting and recognizing the anti-Communist governments of those countries. In all of them we insist that they unify their country by peaceful means and not by war, and we have gotten the President of China, on this last visit to Taipei, to make a public statement to that effect.
In Asia we have got a dispute between India and Portugal over Goa; between India and Pakistan over Kashmir; a dispute between the Dutch and the Indonesians over New Guinea. If all of the countries involved in these disputed areas, of these divided countries, would undertake to settle it by war, we should have a complete breakdown of all world order.
Now I am citing all of this because the Chinese Communists insist that they are going to settle their’s by war. They are demanding not that we give them the Offshore Islands. They won’t even talk about the Offshore Islands. We have had nine meetings at Warsaw, and in every one of them they said, “You get out of Taiwan.” Khrushchev in his note to the President demanded we get out of Taiwan. “If you don’t get out, the Chinese Communists have to expel you, and we will help them do it.” Their great drive and objective now is to get us out of the West Pacific, because they know that the United States is the only obstacle, and, I repeat, the only obstacle to their taking over Asia. And, if they can get us out, Asia is theirs, and that is the objective that Mr. Mao Tse-tung laid out for himself way back in the forties when we were having these idiotic reports coming out of China at that time.
So that this is not a theoretical problem of ours; it is one of the most stark realities that we face today: the aggressive hostilities of the regime in Peking who refuse to accept what civilized nations in the world have accepted—the renunciation of force for the settlement and achievement of political objectives. All these other countries haven’t done it. Red China refuses to do it. We had, I believe, 82 meetings at Geneva; and then, this time, in 93 meetings with them, we have been trying to get them to renounce the use of force for the achievement of political objectives, and they refuse to do it. Now we have gotten the Republic of China to do it before the committee—if war comes to the Taiwan Straits, it won’t be because of the Republic of China; it certainly won’t come because of the United States. It will come only because of the Red Chinese. This is all part and parcel of our problem we are talking about now. Anything we can do not to weaken Free China—and the President of Free China today happens to be the same man who has been castigated in these volumes— can only serve the Communists; it can’t possibly serve the Free World interests. And as long as that situation exists, I just don’t think you ought to go out, willy-nilly, like ostriches with our heads in the sand, and hope the harm won’t come. You can only know—most counts on it are about 10 to 1—that you will do tremendous harm to our position.
THE CHAIRMAN: And that for a long time to come.
MR. ROBERTSON: That, I don’t know. Things change awfully fast. I think you have got to look upon it as long term; if it turns out to be short term then you have got just that much to the good.
MR. NOBLE: What really is a problem for us here is as to how to develop understanding as it affects us here with the Foreign Relations Volume—as it is publicly known that we have been working on it, and we are still getting mail on it occasionally condemning us for not getting it out. Of course, you are in a better position than anybody to promote the understanding on this subject.
MR. ROBERTSON: I told the Secretary I would be delighted to talk to any Congressional Committee—as far as I am concerned I would be delighted to talk to any Congressional Committee about it. I don’t believe that the Members of Congress or the Committees would want to go out and do something that would be damaging to the objectives that this country is trying to achieve. And the moment that it ceased to be damaging to our objectives and our own self-interest, just go ahead and do it.
MR. THAYER: I think the members of this committee, both individually and collectively, have a very full appreciation of the problem and when it is not in the international interest for certain volumes from time to time to be issued. The problem which has been a specific concern to us is is there anyway that this committee could be of help to the Department in getting a suitable idea across which would forestall questions on why certain volumes don’t get issued. Is that correct?
MR. NOBLE: That is correct.
MR. TURLINGTON: On the basis or our comparatively slight first-hand knowledge of the contents or these volumes, nine volumes in galleys at the present time, it appears that action which was intended to repair the damage done by the White Paper has resulted in the production of nine volumes which would increase the damage done in the White Paper.
THE CHAIRMAN: There is something in that, isn’t there, Mr. Robertson?
MR. ROBERTSON: I don’t know. I haven’t read the nine volumes.
MR. NOBLE: Fourteen, I believe.
MR. TURLINGTON: Nine up to 1947 in galleys.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we are concerned with explaining the situation a little strongly to those interested in Foreign Relations.
MR. ROBERTSON: Yes, I know. You have the same interests that we have.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, of course.
MR. BERDAHL: It is correct, isn’t it, that the decision to publish these China Volumes is largely due to pressure from the Hill.
MR. NOBLE: Yes. I think Mr. Robertson knows that.
MR. BERDAHL: And is that pressure receding or is there still some pressure there?
MR. ROBERTSON: If there is, I don’t know it. When I recommended to the Secretary that he not publish these two volumes we are talking about here, the ’41 and the ’43, and the subsequent ones, and the China ones—I thought then we would take it up with the Members of the Congress who were pressing for it. And he [the Secretary] may have had some conversations about it; maybe he has. I have not had any conversations. I would be very glad to have conversations about it. I haven’t been called upon to do it. But I think all of us are in accord. I think the final decision, as to whether it would be harmful or not, in the final analysis, would have to be made by the Secretary of State and approved by the President. I think there is no way you can get away from his responsibility for the foreign policy implications that might flow from this.
THE CHAIRMAN: Any other questions.
MR. FRAMKLIN: In the earlier discussion, sir, the committee noted that the White Paper was, of course, published ostensibly for political reasons expressly, so, indeed, stated in the Preface. Whereas, what the committee is concerned with, and the rest of us in the Historical Division, is a different series of the Foreign Relations which, until very recently, has always been far enough behind the current scene—its volumes issued regularly enough that they came off the mill quietly and were accepted as historical documents. And the problem was what could we do to again retrieve for the Foreign Relations series its historical value and esteem, And, admitting this particular problem that stands under the cloud of a document that was issued for frankly-stated purposes way ahead of the regular Foreign Relations Volume, we were considering the possibility of a sentence in the first initial opening portion of each volume indicating that—what is, of course, the case—these do not represent official policy. That is the main object. This is perfectly obvious in the case of the Yalta Volume, and many others—that they did not represent official policy at all, no connection.
Would this make your problem any easier, or our problem?
MR. ROBERTSON: It isn’t my problem; it is a problem of the Secretary of State. I think it is what he would want to consider: whether or not that kind of statement would soften the impact and do away with the bad effects that it might have. We can’t say for certain that it would have very bad effects—I mean how bad they would be, I will put it that way. I think Prince Wan would be astounded to pick up a paper and read an indictment of him by the United States in that year. And I am afraid, on account of the very fact that the White Paper was considered to be a political paper, and was extremely damaging—and I think that the reiteration of a lot of the same thing might really do more harm than would have been done if the other paper hadn’t been put out.
MR. FRANKLIN: Yes. No one would really feel you were connected with or responsible for, however, the expressions of opinion by officers or 1943 or ’41.
MR. ROBERTSON: I imagine it has already come out in the White Paper. I think you will probably find in the White Paper many things that are in here, but lifted out of this volume into that one. Isn’t that right?
MR. NOBLE: Quite right. Yes.
MR. LEOPOLD: Mr. Secretary, would a statement— I am merely phrasing this in a tentative way—would a statement that it has been decided not to go forward with the publication of the China series—transmitted to the professional, scholarly world—be against the best interests of the Department of State?
MR. ROBERTSON: They are questions which I think the Secretary has got to consider when he decides whether we should publish.
MR. LEOPOLD: It is obvious by not going ahead with it you are also going to raise difficulties.
MR. ROBERTSON: What is the reason you are going to say you are not going to do the 1941 volume?
MR. LEOPOLD: I wasn’t going to try to give an explanation, but simply to move, with the ready publication of this series, which was expected in some quarters—that expectation is not going to be fulfilled, and there will be some questions asked as to why.
MR. ROBERTSON: Well, it is an embarrassing situation, I think. I think they are all questions that ought to be considered by the Secretary when he makes up his mind whether he should do it. They are all factors that should be weighed, and I know he would be tremendously interested in the recommendations that you gentlemen make to him.
MR. THAYER: Isn’t it a fact that even with a statement or disclaimer attached that the volume would still be just as useful to the Communists?
MR. ROBERTSON: Just as useful, and the public will hardly know that it is there. All they will know about the volume will be what they say in the headline in the newspaper. All the public ever knows about it is about three lines, and a headline in the paper, a little description interpreted by the fellow who is writing the story.
MR. THAYER: So from that point of view, any publication will serve definitely against the national interest.
MR. ROBERTSON: It is my opinion that it would. At this time it would be against our national interests, and I would strongly recommend to the Secretary that he not do it.
MR. NOBLE: Of course, he has acted on your suggestion, and approved your suggestion.
MR. ROBERTSON: Well, these things come up for review. That was last year, and I would recommend the same thing to him this year, because I think, in a way, the circumstances are a little worse than they were then. I think the situation is worse now than it was then.
MR. NOBLE: The volume 1945 Thailand is a little bit different, as you probably know, because that is in a bound volume, and the date “1956” is on the volume. Do you anticipate any changes that could in the reasonably near future permit the publication of that? Because that doesn’t involve China in the way that you have stated.
MR· ROBERTSON: Are you talking about Thailand?
MR. NOBLE: Thailand, yes.
MR. ROBERTSON: Indeed, I do, Bernard, I think it couldn’t be a more inauspicious time to publish it than right now, right as of this moment. I wouldn’t know whether or not the next time the review came around those conditions might have been removed. At this particular moment you have had another Korea in Thailand. I don’t want to— Nobody knows what is going to develop out of that. Prince Wan is still a national figure. It isn’t at all beyond the realm of possibility that he will be the Prime Minister again. And in both of these men, Prince Wan and Pibulsonggram—whatever they were with the Japanese, they were both strongly allied on the side of the Free World, and on the side of the United States in what we are trying to do. So you have to work with the two that you have to work with in the area, and you can’t imagine up the kind of ideal people you would like to have.
MR. NOBLE: Following Mr. Leopold’s suggestion, do you think, is it your concern— Could you conceive of any statement the committee might make with regard to the publication of the China series which would be appropriate? After all, it is something which is a matter of keen public interest. And we are trying to find some way to explain our present dilemma.
MR. ROBERTSON: Well, I think it ought to be very carefully drafted, I believe, in the obvious. Because I think you might stir up a great deal of controversy and attention.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we have conceded the general principle in our report last year. In our report last year we pointed out that there must be sensitive areas in which documents could not be published. But I think there probably is still malice among some of the men in the academic world that these have been started and not been continued, and we have nothing to tell them—just to indefinitely postpone.
MR. ROBERTSON: It seems to me that the words you used last year would be very apposite for this year.
MR. GOODRICH: It seemed to me that in a way the situation as regards Foreign Relations itself is a little more serious, because, so far as the China series is concerned, I think you could postpone it and there would be understanding. But here we have a series that is coming out annually, and I assume that for some time to come the same situation is going to he repeated. The Far Eastern Volume, which will include China, will not appear, because to publish it in anything like complete form would require the publication of material that is contrary to the public interest. Now is there any way out of that dilemma?
MR. ROBERTSON: I wonder how do these other countries handle that. Great Britain, I think, has the same problem.
MR. NOBLE: They make no commitments as to the source.
MR. E. PERKINS: I suggest one thing. From all this discussion, I hope people will not get the impression that this series is just loaded with anti-Nationalist material. We had a number of people over there who sent in reports that were strongly pro-Nationalist Government; that is somewhat offset by other reports.
I might say personally—this is, of course, as an individual and not as Editor tor Foreign Relations—that I have always been strongly in favor of a Nationalist Government, and I felt some of these reports will be more damaging to the reputation of people who wrote the reports than it would be to the Nationalist Government. Of course, obviously, a great deal will fall with the Nationalist Government. I talked with former Ambassador Nelson Johnson once and he said he hoped the record would show that “the Chinese Nationalist Government failed from the eruption of a long war with Japan” that was his point of view; that the weaknesses after that long contest for years before we got into the war, in which they were fighting Japan—that the inevitable weaknesses arose, added to what may have been there originally, and the Chinese Nationalist Government broke down.
I might say though that there is a great deal of material that shows up the Communists in very bad light, and that gets more so as we go along, especially when we get to 1949. I think in a way it is unfortunate that we cannot publish that. Of course, we should not take it out of context. We couldn’t just pick out the part that is anti-Communist and print that. But the record when it comes out for 1949 certainly will be extremely damaging to the Chinese Communists it seems to me. So I do think the series is balanced, but, unfortunately, it does contain a great deal of material that elaborates what is in the China White Paper.
MR. FRANKLIN: The problem is made more serious by the fact that the whole series is taken somewhat out of context of our relations across the board for the years in question. Perhaps it will be assuaged somewhat as a few more years go by and the rest of the series catches up. And there might be some hope—not in the issuance of a special series on China, on which a floodlight has been thrown, but just the normal routine issuance of volumes across the board. Would that make it somewhat easier, rather than to highlight the China problem?
MR. ROBERTSON: I feel— I’m not being very responsive to your question. I was thinking about what you were saying. I feel very strongly that you have to just tell the truth, and let the chips lie where they fall. When people begin to tamper with history—you might as well not call it history when you get into the propaganda field of the Communists. And I hope one of these days the China story will be told. It surely has not been told up to this time that I know of.
You [to Mr. E Perkins] were talking about Nelson Johnson; about fighting the Japanese. The Chinese fought an eight-year war with the printing press. The Japanese soon took over the country, took over the ports, the business, the communications, agriculture. You had three armies living off the fields: the Communist Army; the National Government; the Japanese. And then we finally came in.
And I don’t know of any other economy that could have gone on for eight years on a printing press operation. This government was bottled up in Chungking completely surrounded by its enemies. We didn’t have an ally within thousands of miles. We had gone as far south as we could get this s1de of the South Pole. We were down in Melbourne, Australia, and all or the rest of the Europeans had been swept out of the whole area—British, Dutch, the French and us, and all the rest of them. The Japanese, you know, offered Chiang this princely offer: to become Marshal for them for life. But he continued stubbornly carrying on the war against every conceivable kind of handicap. He did it by the printing press, hundreds of millions of dollars turned out on that printing press for us: building barracks and fields and facilities for us that were later charged off as aid to China.
At the end of that war, in ’45, I was in Chungking then, the Ambassador in Chungking, China applied to us for a $500 million loan to stabilize her economy and prevent her economic collapse. Well, Washington toyed around with it for weeks and weeks, and we finally got a message that if they would stop the civil war, and have a broader base for the government, and do all these other things, we would lend them the money. We never did make the loan. We stopped all aid. We stood by and saw China, after eight years of a printing press war, drifting to absolute total economic collapse, and never raised a finger to stop it. Money became absolutely worthless· The money that you paid the troops with was worthless. And why we wondered why they had defections and a complete breakdown is beyond my credibility.
If you will look at what we did in Europe: we rushed a $3 3/4 billion loan to Great Britain to keep Britain from collapsing; we sent some nearly $14 billion under the Marshall Plan to prevent an economic breakdown in France and Italy and Turkey and Greece—to prevent an economic breakdown, to prevent a political breakdown, to prevent the kind of chaos upon which Communism feeds and breathes. We poured our billions into Europe, and in China we withheld the loan—at the only time, in my opinion, that you have ever had a chance of saving the situation—to do what: to force the Communists in. It is really one of the most incredible facts of history. If Chiang Kai-shek’s government had been a strong government (which it wasn’t) but if it had been a strong one, it couldn’t have survived without help. There wasn’t any government that could have stood without help from any source at that time, that could have kept from collapsing. And if we had withheld the Marshall Plan Fund from France and Italy and Turkey and Greece, and our loan from Britain, they would have gone busted too. We almost lost Italy and France to the Communists as it was. Then we sit back here virtuously looking at this government collapsing, and talking about troops defecting and deserting. It is a miracle that they had anything left.
The story has never begun to be told. One of these days, it I live long enough, I am going to tell it.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are there any other questions of the Secretary?
Thank you very much.
MR. ROBERTSON: Thank you.
[Whereupon,, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs, Walter Robertson, left the room at this time.]
THE CHAIRMAN: Let’s see, are we adjourning at this point?
MR. NOBLE: Could we just have a moment of your time? I think we ought to leave the members of the committee for awhile. It is now nearly quarter of six. I think we certainly must have some discussion.
MR. TURLINGTON: We had better have our committee discussion after dinner, I should think.
[Discussion off the record.]
[Whereupon, at 5:40 p.m., the meeting was adjourned, to be reconvened Saturday, November 8, 1958, at 9:30 a.m.]
- Dr. Clarence Arthur Berdahl, Acting Chairman
- Dr. Leland M. Goodrich
- Dr. Richard W. Leopold
- Dr. Philip W. Thayer
- Mr. Edgar Turlington
Representing the Department of State
- G. Bernard Noble, HD
- William M. Franklin, HD
- G. M. Richardson Dougall, HD
- Rogers P. Churchill, HD
- E. R. Perkins, HD
- Gustave A. Nuermberger, HD
- Edwin M. J. Kretzmann, Asst. Sec., Public Affairs
- E. Wake
- V. Voce
[The meeting was convened at 9:50 a.m., Mr. Clarence Berdahl presiding.]
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Leopold was appointed Acting Chairman and resigned last night. As I understand it, the Committee would like to discuss briefly first a few points of what we contemplate in the, what we call, public report. We want your assistance.
MR. NOBLE: You agree to two reports?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, and what we would like to suggest first is we would like very much to have you essentially draft a report on that part of the report which would relate to the status of the publications. That is very important to put before our colleagues and scholarly professors—some explanation.
MR. NOBLE: You mean the present status?
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, we would like very much, if you could do so, to indicate some of the reasons for the delay.
MR. NOBLE: In other words, you would like a survey of the developments of the so-called program beginning in 1953.
MR. LEOPOLD: We are thinking of putting it before the scholarly community—the sort of community you had in the draft—when the volumes appeared—
MR. GOODRICH: And also the reasons.
THE CHAIRMAN: I was thinking particularly of the decision of the Department not to proceed with the Chinese volumes at the present time [Laughter] and what the interested committee intends to say. It is fair to put that to them, that the Committee recognizes it as the responsibility of the Department. We don’t wish to take the position we approve but we accept it as the responsibility of the Department. We would hope that you might be able to indicate some of the reasons for delay. This is up to you.
MR. NOBLE: I think you agree we couldn’t name particular countries.
MR. GOODRICH: That’s right.
MR. TURLINGTON: We didn’t want to say we thought it was incompatible with the public interest to publish these Chinese volumes.
MR. GOODRICH: Whatever you want to say is all right.
MR. LEOPOLD: There has been a decision that has been made before that we don’t want to proceed and we thought that should be made public—
MR. NOBLE: How do you get it clear to the public?
THE CHAIRMAN: I take it for granted that this is to be the Committee report but the Committee would like to make an initial draft of what we feel we can say and the Committee will take the responsibility for the report.
MR. GOODRICH: A further question in this connection. In case you cannot get it clear, how free are we to say it?
MR. TURLINGTON: Can we say the situation is this—
MR. FRANKLIN: If the Committee notes the delay and implies a lack of approval of it, does this carry a further implication that the Committee favors the speed-up program for this series?
THE CHAIRMAN: There is something we are going to say in a report about that that would not go in the public report.
MR. FRANKLIN: would you think it is possible to say we understand certain volumes are held up because of clearance considerations, or something of that sort?
MR. GOODRICH: We would want to say that.
THE CHAIRMAN: We want to say it as briefly as possible—as briefly as we can say it.
MR. LEOPOLD: If I had to settle for something personally I would settle for the flat statement without explanation that on the China series decision has been made not to proceed for the time being.
THE CHAIRMAN: Let’s talk about the China volumes at the moment.
MR. LEOPOLD: You foresee difficulty in identifying the China series as a series?
MR. NOBLE: I can imagine difficulties.
MR. TURLINGTON: I don’t think we want to give the impression we are referring to clearance difficulties with foreign governments.
MR. NOBLE: There are some of course.
MR. TURLINGTON: But we don’t want to give the impression that is a dominant reason.
MR. NOBLE: It would not be the Department that would be holding it up.
MR. GOODRICH: Is that what is understood by “clearance” as far as our public is concerned?
MR. THAYER: I thought there were two kinds, external and internal clearance.
THE CHAIRMAN: With respect to the China volumes, it isn’t a clearance problem. The decision has been taken not to proceed.
MR. NOBLE: That is an over-all basic clearance problem.
MR. GOODRICH: Are we free to make a statement on our own that you cannot get clearance for them? Not only are we free but do you think it will serve your interest?
THE CHAIRMAN: What we are anxious to do, I think it is fair to say, is to protect the Historical Division and also ourselves as a Committee.
MR. NOBLE: Certainly.
THE CHAIRMAN: And, therefore, some such statement that a decision has been taken not to proceed on the China volumes for the present—this Committee recognizes this is a responsibility of the Department.
MR. LEOPOLD: May I say something?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. LEOPOLD: It wasn’t my thought this statement would come out with resounding publicity. I am not interested in whether the Secretary makes it himself or it appears in the State Department bulletin but what I am interested in is that this information gets into the scholarly community, some of whom are awaiting this decision. They are expecting these volumes to appear and if they don’t, questions will be asked.
MR. GOODRICH: You must recognize the fact that even a statement made for the scholarly community will be seized upon by the newspapers. Maybe there is value in it.
MR. NOBLE: Have you talked about the merits of this after hearing full discussion?
THE CHAIRMAN: We will say something about that in our report to you.
MR. LEOPOLD: We have something in the “Confidential” report on that now.
THE CHAIRMAN: I was trying to confine it to the public report.
MR. LEOPOLD: That could be part of the public report.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think all of us, I believe, feel this is a good thing not to publish the China volume and this would be incorporated in the regular volumes. We don’t believe in the publication of a special volume of this sort. This has no relation to the conference volumes. All this should proceed in the regular order in the regular volumes. This would be the feeling of the Committee. I think this has been our thought that this should not be something to be said in a public report. If you feel it can be said in a public report, that is a different report.
MR. TURLINGTON: We might confine the public I report statement to recognition of this being the responsibility of the Secretary of State.
THE CHAIRMAN: I can convey to Mr. Perkins an intimation—something like this—or maybe in your own draft to him if it is possible to make a statement like this, the Committee would agree it could be made.
MR. LEOPOLD: To expedite matters, there are things we are going to say in the other report and then there are things we can say privately.
THE CHAIRMAN: We want to make a note of the new annual volumes also as to some extent taking the place of—contributing to the status, and a few other odds and ends.
Well, in the report we are going to make two divisions especially. This is what we had in mind, to recommend the incorporation of the China material in the regular series and we would not be annoyed if the China series were completely abandoned, but we think it would be a good idea to abandon this notion, especially the publication; I mean, as we understand it. It wasn’t your idea anyway. It was political pressure elsewhere. You have not been happy with it.
MR. NOBLE: [In the right margin, an unknown hand marked this paragraph “Garbled.”] I think when the ban is removed from the China series they could all come out, assuming this was made before a regular series featuring 1949, and it is possible from the 1943 volume you could publish the 1949 volume, and the question is whether it would be possible to bring the whole series out before the overall series reaches that point.
MR. LEOPOLD: You must remember before the ban is removed it is conceivable we will be recognizing the Peiping government and the Peiping government will assume it is mandatory.
MR. GOODRICH: I think our feeling was a series like this in principle doesn’t have justification and we would rather have the material come out year by year and I don’t see that our recommendation would involve any great amount of change. It would simply be 1943, 1944, 1945. It would be volumes dealing with China and we might even keep the name. It would be a novelty rather than making an exception of China.
MR. NOBLE: Assuming the clearance ban was removed in three to five years, this means you would not want to authorize—
MR. GOODRICH: We will cross that bridge when we come to it. The general idea is that we don’t like this special series.
THE CHAIRMAN: Then we intend to urge strongly a speed-up of the regular series. Is there any more to be said on that?
MR. GOODRICH: You mention later we do say conference volumes.
THE CHAIRMAN: We want to urge that these regular volumes under “Conference Volumes” be kept abreast of each other. It seems awkward to get certain ones ahead of the others.
We have some odd and ends. Perhaps we should say something about the Teheran volumes where this Committee would press for clearance on all the items that are causing problems. The Committee feels especially that the Turkish material should by all means be included and would hope that you would negotiate on higher levels if necessary to get this clearance as promptly as possible.
The Committee feels that the Joint Chiefs material certainly should be included if possible but does not feel nearly as strongly on the Turkish material and if undue delay is involved, it would be better to—drop the Joint Chiefs material.
MR. FRANKLIN: Indicate its presence by means of a note.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes and the third set, the China material, is still less important. We would like to see it in but again would not press for this at the cost of serious delay. So, in that order, the Committee thinks this material is important for publication.
MR. LEOPOLD: There was some feeling as to how long we should delay and then we should reopen the question; in other words, if clearance cannot be obtained for any of these, we would urge the volume be put on the shelf until the annual series reaches 1943 and then reopen the matter as to when to proceed with publication of the matter.
MR. TURLINGTON: There is no dissent on that.
MR. LEOPOLD: You were saying you wouldn’t want to print the Turkish material without the consent of the Turkish government. We are not saying that. We are just saying how long we should delay.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Committee would like to press for immediate publication of the 1941 (inaudible) very strongly.
MR. GOODRICH: With that material added.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. There are some odds and ends we would like to express a feeling on our part—that the desk officers were not of the highest caliber, and there is some feeling that this year those who were present for the area were not of the highest level.
We are bothered by the memo of conversation business and especially that some ambassadors or officers will report in direct quotes. It seems to us that such direct quotations—such memo should be paraphrased rather than in direct quotes. This becomes essential. Am I putting it all right?
MR. NOBLE: Taking into account the fact though that for some years at least if we try to get it changed there will still be quotes, would you recommend that we either use an editorial note or—
MR. GOODRICH: Couldn’t you paraphrase and put them back?
THE CHAIRMAN: Reduce the memo and paraphrase—
MR. TURLINGTON: You have in essence a communication from a foreign government even though it was couched in different form, whereas if you paraphrase in the words of someone else it would not in any sense be a communication of a foreign government—
THE CHAIRMAN: The other governments may feel it should be cleared.
MR. THAYER: At any rate a fellow should have a chance to say— (inaudible) what his version of the conversation was.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is something that will be said in the progress report.
MR. FRANKLIN: This would be a new type of paraphrasing that we have never undertaken before and we have never felt we could tamper with documents to that degree. We have used paraphrasing in the past only on those occasions where the codes were such that paraphrasing was required.
MR. NOBLE: On Page 370 of the 1939 volume 5, did the same thing by saying: “Here follows,” etc.— a statement of the gist of the thing. It wasn’t a paraphrase but just a sort of indication what was stated—
MR. DOUGALL: This is a style peculiar to Ambassador Caffery but of course he will continue to appear as an ambassador for a good many years in the Foreign Relations volumes.
MR. GOODRICH: I can conceive of a case where the direct quotation might be in itself so important you might want to get clearance in order to use it.
THE CHAIRMAN: That would be a decision you would have to make. On the problem of the signature, the Committee wanted to make it clear it did not intend its comments in last year’s report to apply to anything but the responsible political officer—
MR. NOBLE: You stated this doesn’t apply to anything but the responsible political officer.
THE CHAIRMAN: It should apply to the responsible political officer and staff matters, to policy matters, but not internal departmental memoranda.
MR. GOODRICH: The political officer who assumes responsibility.
MR. LEOPOLD: If he is high up.
MR. THAYER: The one who assumes the responsibility; in other words, where initials are used—
MR. TURLINGTON : That applies not only to the telegram where you use the full name of the person assuming responsibility but also the name of the officers of the Department who sign the memo which you consider sufficiently important to include.
THE CHAIRMAN: There were some such descriptions in the Yalta volume we discussed last year and you or someone made an explanation of that and recognized it was an unusual procedure.
MR. FRANKLIN: Ordinarily we give only the name of the officer assuming the responsibility of sending the telegram.
THE CHAIRMAN: But as a working principle it seems sound.
MR. FRANKLIN: In line with that we felt that the officer signing the Secretary’s name with his own initials is the one— assuming the responsibility.
MR. PERKINS: Let me get it clear. We never have done it in the regular annual volumes.
MR. GOODRICH: No, but in the conference volumes.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is it the wish of the Committee in the future we should put in the name of the person who initials the telegram going out over the Secretary’s name. You haven’t done that?
MR. PERKINS: No. The Secretary may delegate someone to look a telegram over and initial it but he is responsible.
THE CHAIRMAN: My own interpretation is not that we intend to ask them to give any more description. If we haven’t been adding the initials, the Committee doesn’t intend you should. The Committee is not critical of using initials in connection with the Secretary’s signature but it makes it plain who is the responsible officer, but the Committee is critical of ascribing things to the person asked to draft a telegram, etc. He simply does it as a routine task.
MR. TURLINGTON: The Secretary is responsible for anything that goes out of the Department.
MR. NOBLE: I feel different on this because so many telegrams are written on the initiative of a lower officer in the Secretariat and not seen by him and not known by him and I think in those cases—for identifying that individual for taking the responsibility—sometimes there isn’t any other clearance.
MR. TURLINGTON: It is a question of how low you go. The drafting officer may be a third secretary.
THE CHAIRMAN: I believe there were special reasons for doing this in the conference volumes?
MR. FRANKLIN: The reason was because of the high political interest in the conferences and because we ran across an incident—I forget the details—connected with Mr. Byrnes after Potsdam, when in the course of some congressional investigation a question was raised about a telegram Mr. Byrnes had sent and Mr. Byrnes said he didn’t recall such a telegram at all and the Committee produced a copy of it, signed “Byrnes,” and he still said he never saw it and had not approved it. At this point, the obvious fact leaked out that somebody else had signed for Mr. Byrnes. It created quite a stir at the time, and for this reason we felt, since on the record copy those initials are placed beneath the Secretary’s name (which is a rubber stamp), that the initials were placed there as an indication of responsibility and we felt a responsibility to fill out the rest of the name.
MR. TURLINGTON: That is the sort of thing we need.
[At this point Mr. Kretzmann joined the meeting.]
THE CHAIRMAN: I should explain I am sort of Acting Chairman. We are glad you are here. We were mentioning to the staff here some of the points—
MR. NOBLE: His opinion would be good on this.
THE CHAIRMAN: And we want to emphasize that it seemed to us the desk officers were not of sufficiently high caliber. This will not be in the public report but in a report to us.
MR. KRETZMANN: I agree.
MR. NOBLE: They decided to make two reports, one a public report and a more or less confidential report to us. Don’t you think that is a good thing?
THE CHAIRMAN: We will have two topics.
MR. KRETZMANN: I think it isn’t so much a question of the desk officer. Why do you single him out? It is the junior officer. He is at the level of a three at most and sometimes a four.
THE CHAIRMAN: The desk officer may not be the appropriate term—the area officer.
MR. KRETZMANN: It is a question of seniority here. I have been trying to raise the level of clearance in the Department. The direct responsibility is now placed in each bureau on the PAO—on the Public Affairs Officer. I think you have explained this.
MR. NOBLE: I think I mentioned it.
MR. KRETZMANN: As of last week we got this agreement from the bureaus. The level of the PAO in the Department is now generally Senior Class 2 but sometimes Class 1. That is much better. Now he can back up the desk officers who are usually very cautious. If he feels it goes to the Secretary, he is more cautious. I know that. I have been a junior officer for three years. You get the PAO to work with the substantive officers, most of whom will be his junior, to exercise sound judgment as to what should and should not go.
He of course has to have the backing of the Assistant Secretary because he is clearing on the level of bureau level clearance, and we place that in their lap— we give them either full authority or make him go through a process when making final check.
MR. GOODRICH: How many of these are involved in the total operation?
MR. KRETZMANN: The PAO?
MR. GOODRICH: Yes.
MR. KRETZMANN: One for each bureau plus one for the economic area and one for the International Affairs but they get into the functional material—things involved in the United Nations.
MR. TURLINGTON: It seemed to me there is usually a fairly heavy rate of overturn in desk officers and the perfectly natural tendency would be to be cautious. They say: “I will be here only a year or two and I will let my successor attend to that.”
MR. KRETZMANN: There is a worse aspect to that problem. If you get a clearance from a desk officer who is then transferred and when it goes back for final review, you have another person taking it who has an entirely different view— This problem will not be better in some respects in the Public Affairs office because they are also Foreign Service officers and there is a rotation but there is a person in charge and there will always be a certain continuity. There is a staff of at least three and they won’t always be leaving at the same time. It is sort of a clearance office rather than an individual.
MR. THAYER: That is what we felt was one of the great strengths—if you had continuity.
MR. KRETZMANN: This will be an improvement and certainly it should be much easier for you to operate with one point of contact—each bureau rather than many.
MR. NOBLE: Each office has its Public Affairs Officer.
MR. KRETZMANN: No, that is only true in the European Bureau. This is somewhat of an anomaly in the Department. It is a mechanical arrangement actually in NEA. I had all the officers—speaking from experience— sitting with me in different areas. In EUR they sit them in the office. It is purely a matter of location but they each have their own. FE follows the practice I had in NEA. They keep them in one office. It is a matter of convenience to the PAO how he prefers to operate.
MR. THAYER: Let’s say he is an FS0-2 and he follows an FS0-4, does he have a right to overrule him on these points and carry it to a higher level?
MR. KRETZMANN: You mean the desk officer?
MR. THAYER: Can the PAO overrule the desk officer?
MR. KRETZMANN: No, I would not say so. It is a question of trying to educate the desk officer to a problem of what is legitimate information. This is our problem in the field generally. Most desk officers, who have never talked to a newsman, hide under the desk when he comes around and needs education as to what the public is entitled to know, especially in this field and it isn’t a question of overruling him but educating him and having him see this is information to be put out and that he need not be afraid and he has the backing of a PAO and they do it together.
MR. GOODRICH: You say a PAO is a career man?
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes. They are all Foreign Service jobs now.
MR. FRANKLIN: Will they generally have a better grasp of the literature and historical writings and status of writing in the country concerned in the desk officer’s area? I ask that because you and I know they don’t always. Yesterday Mr. Leopold mentioned, in connection with the China volume, the army’s volumes on Stillwell’s command problem, and the FE people had not heard about them. How can they tell you about the repercussions that would result from the publication of the China volumes when two or three years ago these [illegible] Stillwell volumes slipped out and they had not even heard of them? Will the PAO be able to keep up better than the desk officer?
MR. KRETZMANN: They should but the chances are about even. There are places in the Department where a desk officer has been put on the desk and has never been in the country. You have the situation where we create experts by fiat all the time.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Committee had some feeling yesterday the persons that were here were not of the highest level.
MR. KRETZMANN: I didn’t recognize any of the top people.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Committee would hope if it were possible to bring in men of somewhat higher level. Last year I believe at one time or another the Assistant Secretary, or his deputy, was in at one time or another and we recognize difficulties of this sort.
MR. KRETZMANN: Let me make a suggestion. You will have no trouble getting the Assistant Secretary and his deputy here if your problems are sharply focussed and they know what will be discussed and what time and they will come because they are interested. The agenda was fairly general this time.
THE CHAIRMAN: This may relate to some other suggestion.
MR. KRETZMANN: If you say now this is the problem we have to iron out in this place, he will be here because he has interest.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think that is all on that particular point, isn’t it, gentlemen?
MR. KRETZMANN: Could I make one more comment?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. KRETZMANN: On this question of degree of information of people. Now Bennett, for example, is a Public Affairs Officer of recent experience and he had some experience on the site of the job but I think that is a unique case where you have a desk officer now who has also had Public Affairs experience, and this will happen more frequently now that they are Foreign Service jobs.
The Public Affairs office tries to keep its eye on all the literature of areas and if it looks right we send books not only to the State Department but to the desk and say: “Here is an interesting book on your area.”
MR. GOODRICH: Do they deal primarily with newspaper people and radio people and people dealing with the general public?
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes.
MR. GOODRICH: If they get into that frame of mind they would not be too satisfactory from our point of view. We are thinking more of what the serious students need and the uses to be made of it— They get articles to review and many people send them who used to be in the Department. He has some activity on that side.
I think now that we have gotten this arrangement with the Public Affairs Advisers as the focal point, we need to have some education on their responsibility in this respect and have them go over to HD and talk to your people and see how it functions, but this happened just last week.
MR. THAYER: I am glad you got this worked out.
MR. KRETZMANN: While the major delay is a question of substance, the administrative delays are coming around. I call them “administrative” because it is a question of who should read it.
MR. NOBLE: It is a question of the responsibility for getting things done.
MR. KRETZMANN: HD can now push one man rather than pushing the bureau. It should be easier.
THE CHAIRMAN: There are miscellaneous odds and ends which we intend to mention. We would like to urge the inclusion of more background material in the regular volumes—material that relates to correspondence—that kind of thing—not the internal departmental policy; in other words, developing a policy would be helpful on some editorial procedures.
The Committee would hope for a reconsideration of the digest of documents. The Committee isn’t prepared to insist but would like to have it reconsidered, whether or not you can, for inclusion in the document, a digest, which would be very helpful, and also would like to have reconsideration of a list of persons. It is better than just a footnote explanation.
MR. NOBLE: Would you like to have that list of persons a substitute for including the names in the index?
MR. TURLINGTON: No, the names should be in the index but instead of a footnote identifying the person the first time mentioned, you would have the important persons, maybe two or three pages at the beginning.
MR. GOODRICH: Frankly, I don’t see a key index serves too much of a purpose.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is done in the conference volumes and we recognize the special importance of doing it there but we would hope you might consider again whether or not you cannot do it in the regular volumes.
MR. FRANKLIN: It was done in some other volumes. The Soviet Union volume has a digest of papers.
THE CHAIRMAN: We recognize the problem of expense and staff time, etc. involved.
MR. GOODRICH: If you have a name index, the particular name of the city or party—I don’t find that particularly useful.
MR. FRANKLIN: If we could afford the money to find a better index to back them up and paraphrase—We thought a long string was better than nothing.
THE CHAIRMAN: I agree there must be some good reason for the names in the index.
MR. DOUGALL: I think Mr. Kretzmann would be interested in the Committee’s recommendation on the 1941 Volume 5, which has not been mentioned since he came in.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. The Committee strongly urges immediate publication with emphasis on the “immediate.”
MR. KRETZMANN: Did you discuss this yesterday?
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Robertson came in himself.
[Remarks Off The Record]
MR. LEOPOLD: The committee feels it has an expert of its own on this matter.
THE CHAIRMAN: Now we had a few suggestions for the next meeting. We would hope that you would have the materials on hand which are subject to discussion so they could be looked at, if that is possible.
MR. NOBLE: Well, that may mean having one copy of the galleys for each member.
THE CHAIRMAN: With the statement or the questions to be discussed. It’s very good.
MR. TURLINGTON: If we had a good annex it would be good.
THE CHAIRMAN: In the conduct of the meeting, the Committee feels there could be some changes. In other words, that we could have, for example, a morning meeting similar to what we had, going over these questions, perhaps giving time in the afternoon to look at the materials which are under consideration for discussion and then reconvene for consideration or these questions.
MR. NOBLE: We will meet when, in the evening?
THE CHAIRMAN: The next day if necessary. I don’t know whether the parceling out of the time is very clear.
MR. LEOPOLD: I would like to reiterate the possibility at least of blocking out some of our motions for the report on Friday so that we don’t come in cold on Saturday morning, because there is always going to be pressure by somebody.
MR. GOODRICH: And the question is how to pull them together and phrase them and get your opinion on Saturday morning. If we’re going to come down, we ought to be used to the best advantage of all concerned, and I don’t think we can be as useful to you as we should be if we don’t have the opportunity to examine the materials after the problems have been presented to us.
MR. NOBLE: That is quite good. We had considered that. We had a great deal of discussion on that, and we thought that in the time that would be available we would just have to present these orally.
MR. GOODRICH: Especially this year, I agree. And this raises another problem. If we follow this procedure we will be wanting to have the political officers—I suppose it will be the Public Affairs officers—meet with us after we have looked into it. If we met Friday or Saturday, that means Saturday morning and if you want to move them up to Friday or Saturday, I don’t know, maybe they won’t come in on Saturday morning but that will be involved, I think.
MR. NOBLE: As far as we are concerned, it can be done. What about Saturday?
MR. KRETZMANN: Saturday, if I may interject here, most or them are here anyway. I think they are in the building today. It’s much better because, as you can understand, they are under a great deal of daily pressure.
MR. GOODRICH: That is fine, if it’s a convenient time.
MR. KRETZMANN: You’re more likely to get their undivided attention on Saturday than you are on Friday. We have to be available for the press and things of that sort on Saturday.
MR. GOODRICH: Well, that is all right.
THE CHAIRMAN: It probably should be made clear among Committee members that it is to be an all-day session and they ought to stay through it. I think as far as I can recall, there is just one final admonition. Last year you were careful to identify not only your own staff but the other officers sitting around. This year you didn’t do that. I think the members or the Committee would like to have even the members of the staff identified. We are not as intimate as we should be. I think we would like to identify the other officers around, if you don’t mind.
MR. NOBLE: All right. or course we don’t know about the other officers.
MR. KRETZMANN: We could find out about it. We can designate people if we are more specific about the subjects and have them here.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there anything else, gentlemen that I have omitted?
Are there any comments you would like to make or points you would like to raise for the purpose of the report? I’m sure we reserve the right to make this report in time and we did want to mention some of these things that we propose to put in, if not completely objectionable.
MR. NOBLE: No, we certainly recognize that. You can say anything confidential to us that you please.
THE CHAIRMAN: Some of these things we want to urge rather strongly in a confidential way. The public report—
MR., LEOPOLD: Should we re-examine our first public recommendation with the aid of our friend who has joined us?
MR. NOBLE: I would like his opinion too.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. We are hoping that Mr. Noble would be willing to draft tentatively a report on the status of the publications with special reference to the China volumes and the decision of the Department not to proceed with publication at this time. But what we are anxious to do publicly is to protect the Historical Division against criticism, which it certainly is subject to, and ourselves as a Committee. We don’t want to make any statement to approve or disapprove this decision, but to note that it’s a responsibility of the Department. Actually, we are happy as a committee that the China volumes are delayed and are inclined to hope that the delay will be permanent, that this material instead be incorporated into the regular volumes.
MR. KRETZMANN: With the changes in complexion of Congress and the demise of certain individuals, this is probably a very goad idea, to be very frank.
THE CHAIRMAN: But would there be any embarrassment in this kind or thing? I take for granted it would not be noted in the report that it’s Mr. Noble’s draft. The Committee will take responsibility for the report, but it is anxious to get before our colleagues especially, who will see these things in the professional journals and many of whom are excited about the failure to proceed with publication.
MR. NOBLE: Do you think the report could state that the China volumes are held up for the time being by the decision of the Department?
MR. KRETZMANN: I think so. I think Mr. Berding would like to take a look at that after you have made the draft.
MR. NOBLE: Certainly.
MR. KRETZMANN: But to speak quite frankly, the officers in the Department have felt that this was a most unfortunate pressure and this is not only for the Far Eastern Bureau. My guess is that we would be able to take the responsibility for saying so. We would like to see this proceed as the normal course of publications. I can’t speak entirely for the Secretary on this, but I think he feels the same way.
MR. NOBLE: Of course a Congressman or Senator would have to be answered, why are these volumes being held up, if a question came up.
MR. KRETZMANN: The other side of this picture is a serious one. Even though this may be an entirely different Congress, Congress does not like to see its directives disregarded. or held up.
MR. GOODRICH: What was the nature of the original directory? Was it from the Appropriations Committee?
MR. NOBLE: It was a circuitous operation. The Secretary received a letter, several letters, one from Senator Hickenlooper, one from Senator Knowland, one from Senator Watkins, and an exchange of correspondence between one of these Senators and Senator Wiley, a copy of which was sent to the Secretary, several or them referring to a memorandum which had been seen on the Hill making certain charges about the operations of the Historical Division and saying that the volume of documents was being withheld from publication. [In the right margin, an unknown hand noted that the following sentence was “Badly garbled.”] Of course in the normal operation we had held up the Yalta papers and that sort of thing, not just on China. [In the left margin, an unknown hand marked the remainder of this paragraph with an “X.”] The letters from the Senators requested three specific things: one, the special series of volumes on China, during the ’40’s; two, one on the wartime conferences; and three, that the publication of the regular volumes be speeded up. This was turned over to the Historical Division and we were told to do something about it.
[In the left margin, an unknown hand marked the first four sentences of this paragraph with an “X.”] So we framed this four-year program and said that under certain circumstances we could publish these volumes in four years if we have the staff, if we could get clearance. Well, our staff was cut down and we said it would be about 40 volumes that would be involved. The first year we would try to publish about 10 or 12 volumes a year. These various conditions were not satisfied. [In the right margin, an unknown hand indicated that the remainder of the paragraph was “Somewhat garbled.”] That is in the public record. You can find it printed. And this was a letter sent back from Mr. McCardle to Senator Knowland and some of the other Senators.
Then we had a special hearing on the subject and the Appropriations Committee of the Senate issued a somewhat enigmatic statement. It very casually asked for the closing of the gap—well, I’m not sure whether it was closing or narrowing of the gap of the published volumes. What they actually asked for, therefore, was a closing of the gap of all published volumes. But we knew what that meant, and by informal inquiry we confirmed what it meant. It meant what was asked for by certain Senators. So we proceeded on this assumption that they were asking for these three things: the two special series, and closing of the gap in the regular series. That is how it happened.
MR. DOUGALL: There was a reference to a four-year program, wasn’t there, by the Committee without specifying what the program contained? But that was the only four-year program that they had seen.
MR. NOBLE: But I say specifically in the formal request it didn’t mention these things, but by implication it certainly included them. So we were directed, on that basis, to proceed. And shortly thereafter we gave a four-year schedule, [An unknown hand noted the remainder of this sentence and indicated in the right margin that it was “somewhat garbled.”] just how in the years it would come out. In the first year, issue nine volumes, in the second year issue eight volumes, and then the clearance problems and then four volumes and four volumes and three volumes.
MR. GOODRICH: It’s a very interesting story. Too bad it can’t be told.
MR. KRETZMANN: Well, it is all in this memorandum that Mr. Noble sent to me and Mr. Murphy last week. I will read this paragraph: [Reading] “In accordance with the Senators’ request, the four-year program was drawn up expressing the Department’s desire to meet the request of the Senators who were supported by the Senate Appropriations Committee and it was stated that we would endeavor to publish 40 volumes in the ensuing four years, the first time they were available if the clearance problems at home and abroad could be solved.”
MR·. GOODRICH: Who is the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee now?
THE CHAIRMAN: Byrd is Chairman or the Finance Committee and the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee is Hayden. I don’t assume that it is the desire of this Committee to have a statement of this sort in its report. It precludes at all a statement by the Secretary if he is prepared to make one. As I said, we are interested in protecting the Division from criticism as far as possible because we don’t feel it deserves any at all, and ourselves from criticism as well. We would like our colleagues in the professions to understand so far as possible what the situation is, that there is a decision not to proceed for the time being and so far as possible the reasons for such a decision.
MR. GOODRICH: Could it be stated—well, a very factual statement of what the situation is now and then a statement, something like this, “We understand that the decision has been taken by the Department not to proceed with the publication or the China series.” And then we can go on to express the opinion that the material in the China series should be incorporated in the regular annual volumes and should be dealt with on the annual-yearly basis.
MR. KRETZMANN: Is it necessary to make the statement that the Department has decided not to proceed with this? Because you get into the sensitive area where we appear to be fluffing the intent of Congress.
MR. GOODRICH: What we are anxious to do is to make it clear that it isn’t because the Historical Division has fallen down on its job. Now, how do you want to deal with that?
MR. NOBLE: [In the left margin, an unknown hand marked this paragraph with an “X.”] I suggest an alternative, assuming I couldn’t get clearance for a specific reference.
MR. GOODRICH: This raises another question I’d like to have clarified. What is our position? Are we in the position where we have to get clearance for what we say on this or are we free to tell the truth as we see it?
MR. TURLINGTON: Which I suppose, since we are an advisory committee, we certainly have not the right to put out a statement against the objections of the Department.
MR. GOODRICH: I want to be clear on that.
THE CHAIRMAN: We didn’t ask them at all about the report made last year, the fact that we have now been up-graded.
MR. KRETZMANN: I don’t think so. I don’t think so.
MR. NOBLE: Well, there are certain things we certainly should not say. We have discussed things here on a highly confidential basis and obviously you couldn’t give any of these quotations we have given here, for instance.
MR. GOODRICH: Of course not!
MR. NOBLE: I would say the rule of reason obviously applies.
MR. KRETZMANN: I don’t think there is really any conflict of interest between the Committee and the Department. The question is whether it would be useful to us to have you say something which we would prefer not to say.
MR. LEOPOLD: You asked whether it was necessary to specify in some statement or other that this decision had been reached, and I think Mr. Berdahl pointed out that our primary interest is not to get a release, not to make publicity, but to inform the world of scholarship, which has been led to expect that these volumes will appear, that at least for the time being they are not going to appear in the way that they were announced. We are interested in that partly to protect the Historical Division, whose work we thoroughly approve of, and, secondly, we also have some stake as individuals or as a collective group in being associated with the Historical Division and the Department of State.
MR. FRANKLIN: There are scholars planning their work on that.
THE CHAIRMAN: Any statement that is made, I am not suggesting it be buried.
MR. LEOPOLD: But we cannot guarantee that an individual will not take it to a newspaper which would be glad to publish it.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would hope that Bernard would state the general statement to us whether in this form—I assume in a summary form—and then with special note of the China volumes. Now, this is a statement that the Committee itself would like to make, to this effect, that the State Department has decided not to proceed with the publication of the China series and the Committee recognizes that this is the responsibility of the Department.
MR. KRETZMANN: Well, that is the fact. It seems to me we can say the same thing in the kind of language we use. We can say “The developments in the relations between the United States with both Communist China and Nationalist China since 1953 have been such that in the best interests or protecting U.S. security it has been decided to delay publication of these and put them back in the regular series.” That isn’t exactly the wording, but that is the formulation which doesn’t raise any problems. Nobody can argue that we have got to protect the best interests of the United States, and I think we are. These decisions are based on that. If we say we have decided, that sounds like Congress told us one thing but then we said we would do something else.
MR. GOODRICH: You mean to say it has been decided takes the Department off the hook?
MR. KRETZMANN: That’s right. It’s a national interest decision.
THE CHAIRMAN: It’s as good a statement that we can expect.
MR. TURLINGTON: Last year the Committee, having been appointed on the nomination of three bodies, was actually requested by the Historical Division to communicate something about its work to the bodies in which we originated and, in view of that, we thought that some sort of statement might be expected by our nominating bodies to be made to them. But certainly not against the objections of the Department. Nothing against the objections of the Department. It would be our responsibility, but we would not, as consultants, have any right to say anything to our respective bodies that was objectionable to the Department.
MR. KRETZMANN: I think it is actually true; the statement that I gave you I don’t think is at all untrue. There have been certain developments, especially within the last couple months, that I think make the whole picture in a different method. It may change again.
MR. NOBLE: Of course when you simply say that clearance problems have delayed the publication, you imply the Department and possibly foreign governments. You don’t identify anyone.
MR. KRETZMANN: You see, if this comes out publicly, this is a sort of open invitation to say it has been delayed by who, the newsmen would ask, and they are immediately on the trail and then they get to Mr. Robertson’s office. But he certainly has the backing of the Secretary on that.
MR. LEOPOLD: I would go along with the formula as you expressed it.
MR. GOODRICH: Why don’t we have it written out?
MR. KRETZMANN: I thought Bernard was going to draft something.
MR. GOODRICH: You stated a sentence here.
MR. LEOPOLD: I thought we could take that down and see whether it meets the general approval of the Committee. Could we have it read back?
THE REPORTER: [Reading] “The developments in the relations between the United States with both Communist China and Nationalist China since 1953 have been such that in the best interests of protecting U.S. security it has been decided to delay publication of these and put them back in the regular series.”
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I will communicate the notes of these things to Mr. Perkins and also to you gentlemen.
MR. KRETZMANN: The unfortunate thing about this is that this got into the political arena, and if we make the wrong kind of statement it would get into it in a different way now.
THE CHAIRMAN: It could very well be a certain salve or softening down in that by indicating we have decided not to publish.
MR. GOODRICH: The publication has been delayed for an indefinite period.
MR. LEOPOLD: I like this formula because it holds out the hope when we get to 1944 in the regular series, maybe it will be possible to publish it.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is for Bernard Noble to use, isn’t it? So I don’t need it now.
MR. GOODRICH: If he puts it in, well and good, but if it is something he can’t get clearance for, it might be something we would have to decide on.
MR. KRETZMANN: I have to go to another meeting, but I would like to say we are grateful for you coming in and I am sorry I can’t spend more time with you. I think the Historical Division only suffers when it becomes a sort of focus of political controversy in this country on publications of this type. I think Bernard will wholeheartedly agree to keep you out of that kind of controversy, and the more easily you can do the work that you want to do. I can assure you that as long as I am in this office, which is always temporary because I will be going out again, I will do my very best to work closely with you on this Committee and hope we can get certain procedures established which will carry on beyond.
MR. NOBLE: We appreciate your help so far very much.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Kretzmann.
[At 11:25 a.m. Mr. Kretzmann left the Committee room.]
THE CHAIRMAN: I will circulate notes of this meeting to you gentlemen and to Dexter Perkins and also to Tom Bailey.
MR. NOBLE: [Off the record]
THE CHAIRMAN: I will make reference to Dexter Perkins to other things we suggested we should put in by way of explanation in the report.
Is there anything else, as a committee?
MR. NOBLE: Would you like to send some sort of greetings to Tom Bailey from the Committee? I’d like to write him personally and I’d like to say we discussed the illness especially.
THE CHAIRMAN: As I understand it, it is the illness of his wife.
MR. NOBLE: Yes. I don’t know how serious it is but he couldn’t come today. Would you like also for me to express to Mr. Berding appreciation for the luncheon yesterday?
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes, very much.
MR. NOBLE: All right.
MR. GOODRICH: Why don’t you tell Dexter to write a note to Mr. Berding?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. NOBLE: I’d like some of my colleagues here to tell me whether they think of anything else that ought to be brought up at this time.
MR. PERKINS: I just want to mention one point. We have discussed the annual volumes in the China series and the Cairo and Tehran and Potsdam volumes. How about the earlier Wartime conferences?
MR. NOBLE: There is a statement in the narrative progress report about that.
MR. DOUGALL: I could report very briefly on that if you would like me to. We have gone back to the beginning now, to ’41, to try to do them in order. We have done quite a lot of work on the Christmas conference of ’41-42, that the United Nations Declaration came out of. We are held up finishing our work on that until we can get enough time out of the staff of the Historical Section of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to help us through their files. They have all been engaged on a priority job for some months and they say it will be Christmas or the first of the year before they can do anything on it. We will have this bottleneck for each of the other conferences, undoubtedly, because all of them have very large and important political-military aspects that we are going to have to draw on their files for. So how rapid our progress is going to be, I don’t know, but we are trying to proceed in order on the others.
MR. GOODRICH: I think it is our feeling that your progress shouldn’t be too rapid, that you should keep in step with the annual volumes.
MR. DOUGALL: We are going to be behind them very shortly.
MR. GOODRICH: So as to avoid the necessity of printing documents twice.
MR. PERKINS: It is our concern now that in the compilation we are running ahead in the annual volumes.
MR. DOUGALL: They are compiling in ’45 to some extent now and ’46 even.
MR. PERKINS: We have already compiled through ’42 and ’43 and we are working on ’44 and ’45 at present.
MR. GOODRICH: How do you handle the wartime conference material in your annual volumes?
MR. PERKINS: I beg your pardon?
MR. GOODRICH: I say, how do you handle the wartime conference material in your annual volumes?
MR. PERKINS: We say correspondence on this conference is scheduled for publication in a subsequent volume of Foreign Relations.
MR. NOBLE: I’d like to ask this about the form, that is the form of the public report which you would like me to draft. Is it something along the line or this narrative progress report here that I put in your material?
MR. GOODRICH: I think I understand that Bernard wouldn’t draft it all but just that part of the report.
MR. NOBLE: I meant the form of the draft. Do you want something along the line of that progress report? That is, just covering the status?
THE CHAIRMAN: I would think a summary of the information you have in these charts for us, together with the statement which Mr. Kretzmann made.
MR. NOBLE: I don’t want to emphasize too much on this project.
MR. TURLINGTON: Do you want the chart repeated?
THE CHAIRMAN: I wouldn’t think that would be necessary.
MR. NOBLE: I think the explanatory comment and the progress report would be satisfactory.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, I would think so. Is that all for today? [No remarks] Well, thank you very much for coming in today.
[Whereupon the Committee was closed at 11:40 a.m.]