Transcript of Historical Advisory Committee Meeting, November
A scan of the original document is available for download (PDF, 3.4 MB, 187pp.)
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, 1959-Min. of Meeting 11/6-7/59. Confidential. Hand-written corrections and some editorial annotations have been applied to the transcript below. See the pdf for the original revisions to and annotations on the document.
Cited in Toward “Thorough, Accurate, and Reliable”: A History of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series, Chapter 8, Footnote 29
Transcript of 1959 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States
Members of the Committee:
- Dr. Dexter Perkins, Chairman
- Dr. Clarence A. Berdahl
- Dr. Leland M. Goodrich
- Dr. Fred H. Harrington
- Dr. Richard W. Leopold
- Dr. Philip W. Thayer
Representing the Department of State:
- Edwin M. J. Kretzmann, [Deputy] Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs
- G. Bernard Noble, HD
- Mrs. Velma J. Cassidy, HD
- Rogers P. Churchill, HD
- Olcott H. Deming, AF
- Herbert Fine, HD
- Jack M. Fleischer, EUR
- William M. Franklin, HD
- John P. Glennon, HD
- Ralph R. Goodwin, HD
- Douglas W. Houston, HD
- John Rison Jones, Jr., HD
- Frank P. Lockhart, FE
- Gustave A. Nuermberger, HD
- E. Ralph Perkins, HD
- John Gilbert Reid, HD
- Newton O. Sappington, HD
- Harold Sims, NEA
- William Slany, HD
- David H. Stauffer, HD
- Almon R. Wright, HD
- E. C. Richard
- E. C. Moyer
[Omitted here is a table of contents]
[The meeting was convened at 9:30 a.m., Dr. Dexter Perkins presiding.]
MR. NOBLE: First I would like to have Ed Kretzmann speak to us.
MR. KRETZMANN: Well, gentlemen, again it is my happy duty to welcome you to the Department. I do this on behalf of Mr. Berding, whom you will see later. They are all in the Secretary’s staff meeting this morning. I also welcome you on half of the Secretary.
I might say for your information that we had a little discussion in the Secretary’s staff meeting of your pending visit yesterday, and they all expressed great interest in this joint review of our problem here, also some apprehensions about as our relations in the world become more complicated and more diffuse, diverse, are the problems of keeping closer to events and foreign relations becoming more and more acute. But I think we are all aware of that.
I’d like to say that we are grateful to you gentlemen for giving of your time and this accommodation in coming in at this time, spending a few days with us.
We will do all we can, on our part, the Department officers, to assist you in your view of the problems you have. There are two details I would like to mention and seek your consent on. The policy planning staff people would like—as they said to me yesterday—with so many eminent brains in the Department, to pick them. [Laughter] So they asked if it is convenient with you in your schedule if they could come in at twelve this morning, just before we go to lunch, and sort of discuss with you very briefly here, privately with the Committee and Dr. Noble, some current aspects of foreign policy, and some ideas that you may have bursting out of your minds about what we ought to do next. [Laughter] And they felt that if you were agreeable, they would like very much to take advantage of this.
I discussed it with Bernard, and he thinks it is fine with him. If it is all right with you, I will set it up.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. KRETZMANN: So I think that Dr. Morgan (?) and Mr. Carlton Savage would be happy to come down and meet with you. They will come here at twelve o’clock.
The Secretary will be in to see us briefly at the luncheon period. It is about the only time he can get away from his present duties.
I am looking forward very much to carrying on this discussion this evening at supper at my house, in a less formal atmosphere, and perhaps with some other stimulation; we will see.
But I wish you success in your deliberations this morning, and I will be available from time to time to talk with you today and tomorrow.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.
MR. NOBLE: Lunch is at 12:30?
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes, so we don’t have to go any place from here except down there.
MR. NOBLE: Thank you very much.
THE CHAIRMAN: The first order of business is a report on developments since last year’s meeting, by Dr. Noble.
2. Report on developments since last year’s Meeting.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Chairman, some important things have happened since the last meeting. One I suppose we ought to take notice of is the resignation of Tom Bailey of Stanford from the Committee. He resigned because of his wife’s condition, I believe a chronic condition, which required him to leave the Committee.
This gives us the opportunity of welcoming Dr. Harrington, of Wisconsin. I was very much interested in seeing Dr. Harrington’s biography in Who’s Who. You other members of the Committee are doubtless better acquainted with him than I am, but I have heard about him from time to time, and notice that his career arose from Cornell, where he graduated, to New York University, University of Wisconsin, University of Arkansas, University of West Virginia, Cornell, and Oxford, as a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Ford Foundation Fellow—I don’t know what that means, but—
MR. HARRINGTON: They just give you your money, that is all.
MR. NOBLE: He is quite a writer, various histories, American civilization, and a few other important books.
And we ought to take note, obviously, also, of the recent death of Edgar Turlington, a valiant member of the Committee, and I would like to raise the question of whether the Committee would like to take some official note of it and send Mrs. Turlington a letter. What do you think?
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we might.
MR. NOBLE: If you would, I thought that Mr. Phil Thayer, also representing the lawyers—
MR. THAYER: I’d be glad to do that. Edgar and I have been friends for a good many years.
THE CHAIRMAN: Will you draft some kind of letter on behalf of the Committee?
MR. THAYER: I would be very happy to.
MR. NOBLE: You may know Robert Wilson of Duke University, who has been appointed to succeed Mr. Turlington, but Mr. Turlington’s passing occurred at such a late date that it wasn’t possible for Wilson to accommodate his program to this, nor would it have been possible for him to get clearance in time for the meeting.
I am sure Wilson will be a very good replacement for Turlington, although Turlington certainly was an excellent member.
After the close of the last meeting, as you know, you made two reports on the work of the Committee, and the status of Foreign Relations, and I think that was a very good thing to do, to make a report that could be made public, and one in which you could tell us somewhat more intimately and confidentially the things that we ought to be doing that we are not doing, but for which we probably ought not to be publicly spanked.
I am sure all of us appreciate the tone of the report, and its reassurance that we are at least doing a reasonably conscientious and competent job, even though progress may not be as much as we all would like.
One question about the publicity of the reports is I notice that the April issue of the American Historical Review gave a very good summary of the report, and I did not find any references to it in the American Political Science Review, or the American Journal of International Law. I think some consideration might be given by our political scientists and our international lawyers as to what can be done about that, and also by all the members, perhaps, as to whether any notice ought to be taken at the annual meetings, historical meetings. I don’t know whether you have thought about that.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I don’t know. What do you think about that, Dick?
MR. LEOPOLD: Well, Boyd has mentioned it in his summary, that the American Historical Association is represented on such a Committee. I think that is about all he probably could do at that time.
MR. NOBLE: He has done that?
MR. LEOPOLD: He did at least one year, Bernard; I am not sure whether he did both.
MR. NOBLE: Your confidential report referred to a number of items. For instance, you referred to the problem of documentation in the Cairo-Tehran volume, and quite specifically to those on the Turkey, China and the post-war bases, and you will read more about this in the memorandum which Mr. Franklin has prepared, and the documents that will accompany that memorandum.
We have had some success in getting some of those papers cleared and with others we have had less success, as you will find out.
Also, in regard to the Potsdam Conference papers, you will have noticed, I think, in the report or in the paper which I have sent you that the Potsdam papers are now in the clear, and you will be given, however, a review of the papers that were omitted, significant papers that were omitted in the report which Mr. Dougall has prepared and which will be read this afternoon.
You in your report requested a speed-up of the regular series and requested that the publication of these be brought up to the schedule of the Wartime Conference volumes. You will, of course, see that the regular series has not yet been brought abreast of the Wartime Conference volumes, if you are thinking about Yalta and Potsdam, or even Cairo-Tehran. But it is on the other hand approximately abreast, if not ahead in some respects of the early Wartime Conferences, which were primarily military, and on which, shall we say, we have been more dependent on Defense, and we have suffered very severely from our own staffing inadequacies. We suffered heavily in our staffs in 1953, from reductions in force at that time, and we haven’t yet recovered, and also owing to priority assignments, which took the time of the staff from these other papers. But, of course, they are of secondary importance. But still we are anxious to get them out as soon as possible.
As far as the China volumes were concerned, with which you were specifically concerned last year, those from 1943 to 1949, as you probably have seen, are on the shelf, and you heard eloquently explained last year by Mr. Robertson the reasons for that.
However, this afternoon you will be able to read, look at the volumes with what we regard as the important, significant, or—if you want to use the word “sensitive” passages, indicated, so that you can make your judgments on the basis of the record before you.
And the same applies to the volume of 1941, Volume V. You requested the release of that volume. That, it is obvious, is in bound form, and you will see the passages in that which are relevant and interesting, and will be able to make some conclusions on the basis of your reading.
You dealt with a number of other matters. You asked for a prefatory note explaining the publication policy to be included in each volume, rather than simply the first volume of each year. That, as you will have seen, perhaps, is already adopted, and is made a practice in publication.
You also requested more background material. That raises, of course, some very difficult questions or problems and calls, I think, for detailed and very careful discussion and consideration. It is a matter that goes to the roots of our consideration of foreign relations here.
[Mr. Goodrich entered the meeting.]
[Off the record.]
THE CHAIRMAN: Shall we go on?
MR. NOBLE: I was referring to the fact that you asked for background material, and it is a matter of great interest to us. We are giving some consideration to this, particular consideration at this time. And we would like to have suggestions from you on that. It would be helpful if you have specific suggestions for the type of background, whether you are more interested in intra-Departmental memoranda, papers, or inter-Departmental, or whatever other kind. This is a subject I hope we can discuss somewhat more fully in our meeting.
You suggested that the volume should include a digest of documents, by which you mean what we call a “list of documents,” as well as a list of persons. Of course, both these suggestions are very good suggestions, and they refer to things which we have had before, except a general list of persons. We have often, generally, in fact, until recently, had a list of documents. It is a question of time and expense. We had to, or rather, we decided we should omit the list of documents some several years ago, simply because of time and expense involved.
That is something which the professional members of the staff really should make, and we estimate that it would take about a month of professional work to do the list of persons and organize the list of documents.
But, it is again worthy of consideration, and we don’t intend to say that the last words have been said on this subject.
As to the list of names, you will recall that I think we had decided to put names in the index and I think that will be a great improvement, and it might take the place, to a considerable degree at least, of the list of names. And you have noted before the fact is that the identity of a person is given at the first reference to him in each story, so that you can get it through the index and through that reference.
The question is whether you would feel strongly about having a list of names in addition to the list of documents. I would say that the list of documents would be next on the list of priority.
Now, you referred to memoranda of conversations, a matter which has been of some controversy, and said that direct quotations are undesirable in the memoranda of conversations, supposedly referring in particular to statements by high foreign officials, and the quotations, you said, should be paraphrased or summarized.
In general, we agree, that that is a good suggestion, although it might depend on the sensitivity of the passage. On the question of principle, which was some trouble several years ago, it is largely settled. Brazil raised the question and has since receded a good deal from the insistence on exclusion of memoranda of conversations by high officials.
You made other suggestions. One was the suggestion that we meet two days. We were delighted that you showed the interest in the work to suggest that the meeting should be two days, and we will certainly, I think, provide you with the material at this meeting that will keep you going for two days.
You also have requested that we have representation of policy officers, and I hope that we shall have. I am glad to see already this morning Mr. Lockhart here, from FE, Far East; Mr. Sims, from Near East and Asia; and Mr. Fleischer, from European Area.
I think you will find on the last page of your little dossier a list of members of the staff, the professional staff. I would like to name them:
Of the General Section, Mr. Nuermberger, Chief of the General Section, Mrs. Cassidy, over there, is a member of the staff, and Mr. John Rison Jones—would you indicate who you are?—over there, and from the Eastern Section, Rogers Churchill, Section Chief, Herbert Fine, and Ralph Goodwin at the end; also Douglas Houston and John Gilbert Reid, members of that section.
Western Section, Mr. Sappington, Chief; Mr. Glennon, Mr. Slany, Mr. Stauffer, and Mr. Wright, members of the staff.
Another thing I would like to refer to is a recent development. In an attempt to save space, we are going to have the volumes of Foreign Relations on much thinner paper. That will begin with the 1942 volumes and will save a considerable amount of shelf space. That is important, as well as pages.
We would also like to have some ideas—we thought of having type 1 point lead, instead of 2. We would be glad to have your opinions. We are holding off on that. The technical editors aren’t too fond of 1 point lead, as compared to 2 point lead.
MR. GOODRICH: Is the paper going to be transparent? [Laughter]
MR. NOBLE: Not exactly. I am sure it will last as long as this paper, fifty years or so.
I’d like to say how pleased I am personally—and I think all of us are—that you have agreed that the members of the Committee should report on particular that have come up during the year. Their acute and careful and severe attention to all aspects of the publication will be helpful.
I would like to call your attention to this document here [indicating] on the principles and procedures for compilation and editing. The reason I do it is this: I would like some time, if there were time here—it would be a fine thing—to go over with you a part of that, the part which deals with the things that are included, and things that are excluded from Foreign Relations.
I think it would be a very helpful exercise, of course, if you went over, very carefully, this, first, and then we could discuss it. That would be fine. But the subjects that are included in Foreign Relations, the subjects that are excluded in principle, and the types of papers that are used and looked to and examined, and those that are not for Foreign Relations—I hope that it may be possible to give some attention to that. But there may not be time. I realize that this little interruption at noon—which I am certainly all in favor of—may mean we may not get through our proceedings this morning, as fully as we would like, and may likely prolong your reading session this afternoon.
I would like to say that I think our afternoon session ought to begin at two o’clock, rather than 2:30, since luncheon will be at 12:30, and Miss LaBarr, my secretary, will be over here at 2 o’clock, and will explain to all the members of the Committee in careful detail problems in connection with travel.
We have handed out, I believe—I am not sure—but we have these, if they haven’t been handed out already and it will make it somewhat easier for you with vouchers, etc.
Now, Mr. Chairman, the next item on the program was the discussion of changing the term of members. Would you like to postpone that until later, so we can get on with the discussion?
THE CHAIRMAN: Surely. I wonder if there are any questions for Dr. Noble in connection with this report.
MR. LEOPOLD: The point that Bernard brought up with regard to this sheet, in the principles, if there seems to be some doubt in the minds of divisions, as to whether there should be some rearrangement of the basic principles, on which documents—this seems to me to be an item of transcendent importance.
MR. NOBLE: It is always subject to re-examination. My feeling is the Committee as such has never addressed itself to it. We happen to be more aware this year than before of the importance of careful examination, and I think that the Committee ought to address itself to this.
MR. LEOPOLD: What would happen, on or off the record, if the Committee did come up with a recommendation for changes? What would be the next step?
MR. NOBLE: The next step would be to see if there was any reason why we couldn’t comply with the Committee’s request.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we ought to have the time for the digestion of this document before we discuss it. I think the point is well taken.
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: A good many laymen don’t understand at all the principles on which we have to operate.
I will be glad, of course, to have other questions about Dr. Noble’s report.
MR. HARRINGTON: This particular question you had about saving space on the shelves, I suppose this is quite important because of the additional volumes you are bringing out and the size of them?
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
MR. HARRINGTON: Are you fixed on the particular number of words you have per page? In a great many document series they are putting many more words on a page than you have. They put two columns in, or something like that.
MR. NOBLE: That is all within the range of consideration, anything that you think would improve the volume from the point of view of convenience or from any other point of view, we’d be glad to have.
MR. BERDAHL: Assuming that the paper will not be so thin it won’t be easy to handle.
MR. NOBLE: No. Are you familiar with the so-called current documents? The same paper is used in the American Foreign Policy Current Documents. It is the same that the Hill is using in its publications.
THE CHAIRMAN: We haven’t been able to, as Mr. Noble said, get the report of the Committee published through journals last year. I think we ought to make the effort. It means running interest, and not merely the first report. Perhaps with our colleagues, and any other association—we did get it done by Boyd, in the American Historical Association. We ought to try, if the report has substance, to have it done in the American Political Science Association.
MR. BERDAHL: Yes. The first year they asked to write in the American Science Review. Last year nothing was said about this. You sent them a report.
THE CHAIRMAN: I thought we were going to have more than one.
MR. LEOPOLD: They printed it the first year?
MR. BERDAHL: Yes; very inconspicuously put in the News and Notes, I think.
THE CHAIRMAN:. There is a lot of important material in the report that members of the profession ought to know about.
Should we go on to the Report on Foreign Relations?
MR. LEOPOLD: Was the public report printed in the State Department Bulletin, Dexter?
MR. NOBLE: That is an embarrassing question. I must confess it was not, and I think I should be given a vote of lack of confidence for not getting it in there.
MR. LEOPOLD: I wasn’t moving that motion; it was a question.
MR. HARRINGTON: Has it been, in the past?
MR. NOBLE: No; this is our Third Annual Meeting.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are there any other questions of Dr. Noble with regard to his report?
If not, I suppose we can pass to the next item on the agenda, which is the analysis of the volumes that have been submitted to the Committee this year.
First off will be the report from Professor Goodrich.
4. Report on Foreign Relations volumes by members of the Committee:
MR. GOODRICH: The difficulty was I started reading it and I found the contents so interesting that I spent more time reading it, learning something about the substance, than I did taking a critical attitude. [Laughter]
It seems to me that the first question that bothered me a bit, in looking through the volume, was the heading of the material that is included in this, and part of the following volume, “General,” and I didn’t find anywhere any indication of what “general” is intended to cover.
I take it, from the examination of the material itself, that it is intended to cover, include documents relating to the law, particularly in—well, of course, the war in the Far East hadn’t started, at least as far as the United States was concerned.
MR. NOBLE: Would you like Mr. Perkins to make a statement on that?
MR. GOODRICH: Either now or later. If he made a statement, it might save me from saying some things.
MR. NOBLE: It might help. Ralph, suppose you explain.
MR. PERKINS: I think maybe you have a good point, and maybe we should explain in the preface what is meant.
MR. GOODRICH: That was going to be one of my recommendations.
MR. PERKINS: I should think that would be a good point. We print most of the foreign relations by countries, direct relations with the countries. A good many subjects come up, you can’t put under one country heading. We put those under “general.” You find all these general stories relate to—they are multilateral questions, really, and could we pin them down to US relations with any individual country?
MR. GOODRICH: [An unknown hand marked the first half of this paragraph in the left margin with an “x.”] I gathered that to be the case, and I was going to make the suggestion that there should be in the preface some statement indicating what was included under “general” and what was not. I think that kind of breakdown is necessary and desirable. Inevitably it seems to me there are many times a difficult choice to make, and I find, for example, in examining this volume and the following volume—because it did seem to me rather difficult to report on this volume alone, particularly since part of the general material is in Volume II, and also because a lot of material that is subsequently under countries is very closely related to some of the material that is included under the heading of “general.”
For example, just more or less by accident I found that a document on the extension of the European war, invasion of Norway-Denmark by Germany, under the heading of “general,” has to do with the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Norwegian Government in London. Now, the question of the maintenance or the establishment of diplomatic relations with the French Government in Vichy is under “France,” in Volume II, as I remember.
Just what is the reason for that, I don’t know, but it does raise the question, I mean, why do you put it under “general,” relating to a comment on the war, or under general relations with the country? I would think where there was any doubt it ought to be put under the country. My inclination would be to group as many documents as possible under the country heading.
Now, there is another problem here, where you have, for example, a document relating to the maintenance of diplomatic relations with Norway, under the heading of “general,” in Volume I, and when you get to Volume II, where, as I recall, NALA (?) appears—first of all, there are practically no documents listed. In the second place, if you want to use that volume for the purpose of finding out what relates to the establishment of diplomatic relations with NALA, the index is of no value, because that covers that volume, and that particular volume only.
This also comes up in connection with the breakdown of countries, the adequacy of the index for locating a document that deals with a particular subject matter. While I think this probably is impracticable, it certainly would be desirable, I think, if you could have an index, sort of a master index, for all the volumes—very particularly here. If not for each volume, there ought to be a very carefully prepared index which I think for the most part—I wouldn’t for the most part, be critical of the index. I think it is very adequate. But attention ought to be given, I think, in the index to listing under a particular country subject matter all the documents that relate to a particular subject, irrespective of the heading under which they appear, whether it is under, for example, in the case of France, in the second volume, you have two headings, extension of the European War, Invasion of France, and another heading of the concern of the United States over the disposition of the French fleet.
No, I don’t mean—I am confused. There are two headings in France, the concern of the United States over the disposition of the French fleet, and maintenance of relations of the United States with the French Government at Vichy.
In the second volume you find a document that relates to concern with the disposition of the French Fleet, and in this particular case you have one listed, a memorandum of the Secretary of State, November 4th, on a conversation with the French Ambassador, and under another heading, you have listed the report of the Secretary of State to the Charge in France, Matthews, on the same conversation, two documents on the same subject matter. But they are listed under different headings. One of them is not referred to in the index, under the heading of the French fleet, concern of the United States.
These are details that I came upon more or less by accident, I suppose, and I wouldn’t want to draw too many conclusions from them.
I would emphasize that by and large it seems to me the volume is very well done. I would simply call attention to the necessity of care, special care in connection with the placing of documents and preparation of an index, to assist the reader in finding a particular document.
I think, too, even more use should be made of footnotes, and of cross-references. One question I was supposed to comment on was adequacy of coverage of different subjects, or adequacy of coverage of the field. I find it very difficult to express any opinion that is really worth anything on that question because it seems to me it is only on the basis of familiarity with documents from which the selection is made that you can make any judgment of that kind. My general impression is that the coverage is adequate. I think clearly in this particular volume, in the area covered by this particular volume, you are up against the problem of covering topics in the area of American foreign relations adequately, making use principally of State Department documents, because as one learns from reading the two volumes by Langer and Gleason, the material they make use of very commonly, more often than not, is outside the State Department altogether, so I don’t really think I can express any judgment on the adequacy of the use made of the available documentation in the Department. My impression is that a good job has been done.
There is one technical point that I want to make that doesn’t relate to this volume in particular, and it relates to something that Bernard has just been commenting upon.
I felt the need, as I used this volume—maybe this is not a good example of what you are now doing, because it is 1940—of a name index, or a list of names, not just an index, but a list of names that identifies the names that are referred to in the documents, and I consulted two or three colleagues of mine who have made use of the Foreign Relations volumes, and that was the first thing they said, that there should be a list of names, because it isn’t enough to have the identification the first time the name is referred to.
I haven’t looked at the latest volume that has been prepared. Maybe the index is more adequate. I wouldn’t say that the index for Volume I, 1940, is fully adequate.
MR. NOBLE: I think that is probably the first attempt to put that in, and the others will be better.
MR. GOODRICH: I think that is about all I have to say on this particular volume. I would say I found it practically impossible to report on this volume alone. I had to get into Volume II really—even Volume III—to get an over-all view.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would like to hear from Mr. Perkins with regard to some of the comments that have been made.
MR. PERKINS: Well, I don’t know of any special comment.
As to the arrangement by subjects, obviously there is overlapping in subjects and often it is difficult to know whether a paper should go in one story or another story. Of course, those two documents you mentioned—maybe by doing that we covered a point that was needed in each story.
MR. GOODRICH: I thought of that, but there should, in any case, have been cross-references, because one was based on the other.
MR. PERKINS: Yes. That is, of course, a big problem, and we do try to give a considerable amount of cross-referencing. Of course, we can’t for every document say, “here is something like it somewhere else.”
You are right—in a subject like the European War in 1940, obviously you have to have available the volumes which cover the material relating to the war. You can’t use one volume entirely independent of another.
Is there any special point you would like me to comment on?
MR. NOBLE: I would like to ask him whether, in his reference to the placing of documents, would you, Leland, think it better if the documents relating to one country, regardless of the subject, were placed, say, chronologically under France? Would that help solve this problem?
MR. GOODRICH: I refer to the particular case of NALA, where you had included under the general heading all material relating to the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Government in England. I think that is a particular case where the documents had better be listed under the country.
I would say where it makes any sense whatever to put the documents under the country. I think it is better to put it there, rather than under the more general heading.
I recognize the need for having a general heading for material that falls into this multilateral category, but I would keep this material, I think, to a minimum.
MR. PERKINS: I think one answer to your question about the split there on France and keeping the Norwegian story together was the attack on Norway was a minor story compared with the situation of France. The establishment of relations with the government in exile in London was just a follow-up, incidental to the government’s fleeing from Norway.
In the case of France, the French Government stayed on in France, and there was a most serious question of relations directly with France that made a very substantial story under France.
If we had, under Norway, taken that particular item, the problem of just that, one or two papers, on Norway, that would have been all there was on that subject I think that is probably the explanation.
MR. LEOPOLD: The point that Leland made about the necessity of using more than one volume at a given time is perfectly apparent. I was wondering if you would repeat what you were suggesting about the index, because this problem is going to become even greater, as we get more volumes for a given year, and as we get into volumes for a given year in which there are sub-series.
MR. GOODRICH: I am making the suggestion with considerable hesitation, because I know if accepted and carried out it would involve a great deal of time and additional expense.
MR. LEOPOLD: You mean a general index for the whole?
MR. GOODRICH: It does seem to me that a general index for all the volumes for a given year would serve a useful purpose. As it is, the index only serves to guide you to the documents that are contained in that volume, and if, for example, you want to find out everything there is on the subject of US concern with the disposition of the French fleet, you do not have adequate guidance here, because part is in one volume and part is in another volume.
MR. LEOPOLD: If you recovered from the Pennsylvania Railroad, where would you put this general index, in the last volume?
MR. GOODRICH: I should say the last volume.
MR. BERDAHL: This problem is aggravated by the fact that they aren’t published in chronological order, so it is much more difficult.
MR. GOODRICH: Yes; in fact, all my comments I make with great humility, because I realize I don’t have all the information at my disposal. I haven’t before me all the considerations that enter into this. But it does seem to me that this is one gap. I don’t know how it can be filled.
MR. PERKINS: May I make one comment on that? Mr. Nuermberger called my attention to this. I should think we would have to have a separate index, not in one special volume. You say in the last volume. Do you mean the last volume we finally get cleared? That may be Volume II.
MR. GOODRICH: I was thinking of a separate index volume to cover all the volumes. That was what I was thinking of.
MR. NOBLE: That would involve omission of the index from each particular volume. [Laughter]
MR. GOODRICH: I wouldn’t go that far. I would like to have my cake and eat it too.
MR. BERDAHL: Perhaps we will eventually come to a five-year index or something, not necessarily for every year, but an accumulative index, over special periods. Meanwhile, we will have to deal as best we can.
MR. GOODRICH: I would like to ask a question that relates somewhat to the matter we have been discussing. I recall that for the First World War there were supplementary volumes issued covering the First World War. I take it that for the Second World War that practice is not being followed, that material is all being put in the annual volumes and grouped for the most part under a general heading; is that correct?
MR. PERKINS: No. We are, of course, having the Wartime Conferences, a different series.
MR. GOODRICH: That is a little different.
MR. PERKINS: But otherwise, in the same series as you remember in World War I, when they get out the regular annual volumes, they omit everything completely connected with the war. It was rather routine diplomacy, which is found in the regular volumes. We have tried to cover the whole range.
MR. GOODRIGH:; What they put in the supplementary volumes is roughly what you are putting in these volumes?
MR. PERKINS: Not necessarily in the supplementary volumes. There were bilateral relations connected with the war.
MR. HARRINGTON: I would like to stress this point on the index with reference to the possibility of a five-year index. When you have logical periods, like the period before World War II, then the period of the war, this would actually be more useful, a several-year index, than one for every year. You would be presented with the annual index with the same problem we now have in the different parts of the annual index.
MR. NOBLE: You might like to have an index covering the period from 1918.
MR. HARRINGTON: We don’t like to ask for too much, but what historian wouldn’t like to have an index of foreign relations between the wars? That would be magnificent.
MR. GOODRICH: I think we are here to ask for everything; are we not?
MR. LEOPOLD: Also to get something. [Laughter] What is the status of that? Is there any plan to go ahead with the index from where it left off?
MR. NOBLE: There are so many problems involved in an index that from 1918 it would be rather formidable. Of course, historian associations might take some action.
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes, that is a rather interesting thought; isn’t it? [Laughter]
MR. THAYER: Would there be any greater merit in the idea of an accumulative index over a period of a few years, as contrasted with one annually?
MR. NOBLE: You mean from where we are now?
MR. THAYER: Yes.
MR. NOBLE: I think we wouldn’t want to omit the index from each volume.
MR. THAYER: We couldn’t do that.
MR. NOBLE: The initial index would be quite a considerable job. That is the reason an over-all index hasn’t been made. And since 1918 is a big job.
MR. THAYER: From the point of view of the historian there is great merit in the five-year index.
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: What does this involve from the point of view of funds?
MR. NOBLE: I wouldn’t want to say how many people it would take for how long, but it would be a very big job. I am not good at estimates of that sort. Does anybody have an idea?
MR. BERDAHL: It requires something more than just merely looking and accumulating previous indexes.
MR. THAYER: Is the thought behind the question that this would be merely repetitive? Or would the accumulative index add new names and new material that did not appear before?
MR. NOBLE: Of course, indexes have varied some from each volume. This would be one systematic index on one particular thesis, theme, principle.
MR. THAYER: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are there any other comments?
MR. GOODRICH: I made the initial suggestion of a one-year one, but I would thoroughly agree that a five-year index would be even better.
MR. NOBLE: I would like to make one other statement with regard to references to non-State Department material.
I think your point may be very well taken. Did you have a feeling that some of the things that occurred in these, that are included in these other volumes ought to be in the State Department volumes?
MR. GOODRICH: Really I don’t think I am in a position to say. I think that may be a question not fully explained, but I have the impression from the Langer and Gleason volume that if you attempted to include in this all the documentation—of course, they use memoirs and other things too—well, you probably wouldn’t be able to get it all, to begin with, and secondly, the volumes would become even more numerous and bulky than they are now. It would be a pretty large undertaking.
THE CHAIRMAN: That would be very much my impression. I think you establish a reasonable limitation of activity outside the problem, and it would involve an enormous extension of your task. Even in the Conferences, we know policy can to some degree be followed. But you have a problem of selection. You have a problem of selection anyway. You would complicate it that way.
MR. BERDAHL: I thought we discussed that point fully last year and we agreed that for certain types of questions Defense Department documents, for example, would preserve the integrity of the material or the recount, but we couldn’t really insist upon these.
THE CHAIRMAN: It complicates not only the problem of selection but the problem of publication.
MR. LEOPOLD: Clearance.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think it is a good question to discuss from the point of view of the Committee. It doesn’t seem that it would be at all practicable.
MR. GOODRICH: You have a special problem in a war period where the State Department played a minor role.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes; we do.
MR. GOODRICH: Of course, during the Dulles period—
MR. NOBLE: As you have said, papers published outside the Department, but it occurred to me, as the Presidential papers, now, the Truman papers will be becoming available, and to what extent do you think they should support papers found in the Department?
MR. LEOPOLD: We discussed this thoroughly at the previous meeting. I think in the case of the Yalta volume, where this practice had been followed to some extent, we approved it and wished we had more. But my recollection was we ruled it out except occasionally where if it could be done without difficulty, without holding back the publication on clearance.
MR. NOBLE: I just wanted to be sure we are clear.
MR. LEOPOLD: I am not a bit sure that the profession generally or the historical profession would approve of this, unless they knew all the problems involved. I think it was in this connection that I brought it up the first time, that since the task is an almost impossible one, that to safeguard the reputation of the editors and historians it ought to be made perfectly clear what we are doing, that we aren’t including these matters.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is entirely correct. I don’t think the layman understands the complexity of the problem or what it is you are up against. I think we have tried to be clear on that point, as Dick said.
Are there any other questions or commentary on Mr. Goodrich’s report?
MR. LEOPOLD: Dexter, I was just wondering if Fred, who is perhaps hearing this for the first time, on this matter would have views, on this particular problem.
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes, I have them all right. I suppose that is the central part of the problem that I see in these.
Maybe I can run into this—if I am to report on this volume, and if you now turn to me for Volume II—you will understand that I am new to this Committee and to most members of this group, and therefore operate without—
MR. GOODRICH: This is Volume II of 1941, not 1940?
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes; 1940. This is the one I am supposed to report on. I have Volume II of 1941 and you have Volume I of 1940, so they don’t fit together. [Laughter] But that is all right.
On the agenda I am listed as being the second one to speak. In connection with this volume which I reviewed, therefore, I am operating without any knowledge except what I have picked up through the years of working in the archives, as to your methods of selection, so that the questions I raise may be questions which you have considered and settled or decided they couldn’t be settled in years past.
Before I make any comments that are in any way critical, let me say, of course, that all of us in America diplomatic history consider the Foreign Relations volumes to be excellent, much better than they used to be.
Those of us who work with them regret that the whole historical profession still views them with suspicion. There is a rather genuine view of suspicion of these volumes as being official and probably carefully selected so as to leave out a great deal. Probably those of us in the profession who work with the documents ought to work a little harder on our colleagues to make them see the merits of this series. We have a lot to do certainly in publicizing the value of these publications.
Yet, at the same time, there are certainly some serious problems which are ahead, and I ought to at least tell you what is in my mind. As I ran through this volume I could see your difficulties all right. Obviously you can’t find in the State Department all you want; for instance, I note that one of the Portuguese documents, one of Salazar’s letters to Roosevelt, was available only in what the State Department translator called a “nonguaranteed translation.” [Laughter] And you had then to go back to the Portuguese to get a good translation. Of course, that poses some problems, since policy was made on the basis of the nonguaranteed translation, I suppose.
You have other points, and I have probably too. As you can see, in French correspondence, you had to go to Hyde Park to get things. I guess when you go to Hyde Park you can’t always get them, because of the particular problems of using that depository.
But you have done an excellent job for all of this. This particular volume is on Europe in 1941. Most of it is on France, more than half the volume. And the next largest piece is on Greece. The rest is made up of smallish sections, Yugoslavia, Germany, and Italy. Germany and Italy mainly show how little we had to do with those countries, although, of course, you will have other material in the general volumes on these points.
The volume is mostly odds and ends outside of France and Greece, so you cant draw general conclusions for it doesn’t hold together naturally, being a country volume.
But, as I looked at particular parts of the volume, I was confronted with the quantity question, which is, of course, the one that distresses you all the time. How much should you print? To take a couple of examples, the example of our taking over Greenland, moving into Greenland, which of course involves relations with the Danish Government in Denmark and the Danish Minister in Washington, and the occupation of Dutch Guiana and Surinam.
These are two cases of very important matters where you couldn’t get enough out of the material here to write what you would want to write on American foreign policy.
Does this mean that you ought to publish more? Well, I suppose you have limitations of money for one thing. And this certainly is going to be a very distressing question, should you publish more? Yet I feel that with reference to those particular questions which are important, as in fact almost everything is, in 1941, there wasn’t enough quantity. The selection was good, but it was inadequate.
Maybe it wasn’t just not having enough money. Perhaps it was the fact that the State Department doesn’t contain enough information and there you move right into this question of inter-Department things. But before I move to the inter-Department things—which I am sure in the case of Greenland and the case of Dutch Guiana relate to military necessities and political problems—let me talk a little about how the volume looks to a historian who has used State Department materials after he has used Foreign Relations items.
The method of selection, the basic document, rules out background studies, and I suppose you have to do this, because how much background could you put in and yet what you miss is the background knowledge which the people had when they made the policy decision. The State Department is full of little bits of background which are tossed in to the policy-maker when he makes his decision, and although I would certainly not want background material that would give you everything for the historian’s use, I would like to see a little about the background which the policy-makers had when they made these particular decisions.
Perhaps another way of putting this is to say that, to take a couple of examples like Greenland and Dutch Guiana, what you lack are your State Department memos, which contain some kind of discussion as to what you ought to do, the choices, and the basis of the decision.
I have worked with State Department material with the help of people like Dr. Wright, when he was in the National Archives. The things that I have found most useful are the State Department backgrounds for those decisions. I suppose you may sometimes have space questions. Sometimes you may have clearance questions on this; I don’t know.
But this strikes me as the major gap within the State Department. Perhaps such memos sometimes have reference to other things, which you exclude, like diplomatic public opinion reports, but which in this particular case are very significant.
Moving from that though to the stuff outside the State Department, I recognize you couldn’t possibly put in all the Defense Department material and publish less than 50 or 60 volumes a year. The material there, of course, is hard to get, and hard to declassify and hard to use once you get it. It is so difficult, of course, that the Defense Department and its subsidiaries aren’t publishing documents because they feel there are too many, etc.
Yet the State Department, in sending its instructions and in setting forth its policies constantly obviously is moving with some background of what other departments are doing, and this you don’t find; that is, in this volume, at least you don’t find material about the inter-Departmental relationship, what the Defense Department policy did that the State Department operated under, was the State Department asked to do this by such-and-such a Department? Or was the State Department acting with other Departments, moving forward on its front?
You feel the isolation of diplomacy in a volume like that, in 1941, in quite an astonishing way. I recognize you are entirely right, you certainly can’t cover the whole range of our relations with the outside world. That is just impossible, in a situation like that. But if you don’t have in your documents some clues as to how the State Department was acting on what other Departments wanted, or information that came from other Departments, you feel kind of that you are seeing the official document without seeing much about what is behind it.
Those are the major points I wanted to make. Like Dr. Goodrich, I am bothered a little by classification and index problems, but I am just bothered to the point of being baffled. I haven’t anything at all to suggest, at this point.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Do you want to speak on this subject, Ralph?
MR. PERKINS: I don’t know that I have much to add. Obviously that question of the background on which the Department acts is a very big question, and to a large extent I think it cannot be documented. Sometimes you do have Department memoranda that would show just why something was done, or the inter-connections.
Of course, a great many of these things, when policy officers get together and a certain officer is instructed to draft a telegram or a communication to another government, that states the policy. You see what the policy was that they determined, but all the discussion that goes on in the Department and between the Departments often you can’t give.
On important questions, very important questions, we often do have a certain limited amount of documentation of that kind. I think Greenland was important. I think British Guiana was important, the Dutch colonies down there were important. But how about their relative importance? How are we going to say? You say to put in more on that, but where are we going to go?
MR. HARRINGTON: I was using those as examples only. The major part of the reference I made has referred to France, and the point I made I think would have even more point there.
MR. PERKINS: There is something that comes up in this connection. In the American Republics volume, we do have a chapter on Hemisphere Defense. When that volume comes out, you will find it rather sketchy, because of the difficulties we run into when we try to tell a military story.
The Army is coming out with a history of that, of the war period, in connection with Hemisphere Defense. I think that is scheduled for publication some time next year. It is already in page proof. We have used it, but there we are baffled, because the Army glides over some of these problems, you see.
MR. HARRINGTON: I appreciate the difficulties, but I think we are in for them for good and it isn’t just that we can see—we can present the State Department story and that is all we can do, because we can’t get the military side in. The fact is that nowadays diplomacy and military matters are not separate. They are all the same. Maybe ultimately you will come to having military experts on your staff. Maybe you have some. Maybe some of your people are.
MR. PERKINS: No.
MR. HARRINGTON: That would be very fine. I would hope that the military people would have some diplomatic specialists on their staffs too.
MR. PERKINS: It might be possible, just to throw out this suggestion, to have an inter-Departmental historical committee, or group, to work in coordination on these problems, the same as we had, for example, a British-American team that did documents on German foreign policy, well, with the aid of the French, British, American, and French.
I don’t think that the State Department by itself can undertake to assume the responsibility of publishing records of the War Department.
MR. HARRINGTON: I agree with that.
MR. PERKINS: And we do have to put in what background we have, but there is a definite limitation, and very often there is a documentary limitation in the files that we are up against.
THE CHAIRMAN: I am interested in the point that Mr. Perkins makes about memoranda. You feel you have used adequately Departmental memoranda, as distinguished from—
MR. PERKINS: Well, I don’t know.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think that was a very important suggestion. I don’t know what you are asking for.
MR. HARRINGTON: Well, in my own use of State Department files, this is the most valuable kind of material, at least, that is to say, as I have used State Department materials down into the 30’s, the State Department memoranda are the thing most valuable, that you don’t get in Foreign Relations volumes.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. PERKINS: I might say that particular point has been up for considerable discussion and there has been a feeling against publishing memoranda at low levels.
Now, actually these studies that you find so valuable are generally not made by the top officers of the Department. They are memos of the lower levels and their recommendations.
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes, but these are what some of the top officers would see.
MR. PERKINS: Yes; that is true.
MR. LEOPOLD: I think that is the point Mr. Harrington is making.
MR. PERKINS: You see, I have defended presenting low level memos when they are needed to give information, not to give the recommendation—we felt that the recommendation of a lower officer is not important unless it is accepted as Department policy. Then if you have the document that gives the Department policy, you don’t need the recommendation of the lower officer, but often you have to put in memos that gave information upon which action is based. And we do that.
MR. HARRINGTON: When you have two possible policies set forth and top officers select one, in some cases even the play between the possibilities is worth attention. I recognize that there are limits as to how much stuff you print, and these memoranda run very long. But we all know with reference to great historical developments like Open Door Notes, that publication of documents alone doesn’t begin to suggest really significant historical background.
MR. PERKINS: I believe the editors of the documents of British foreign policy have not gone anywhere near as far as we have. They have simply ruled out what they call “minutes,” we call “chits,” in the documents.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think it ought to be useful to hear from Departmental officers on some of these matters. We have a number here. Mr. Lockhart, have you anything to say?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I would like to put in a special plea here for the interest of the undergraduate. We have been talking about colleagues and historical societies, etc. To this extent I would agree with your remark that additional background—and, of course, as we approach the present day, there are more and more classified background studies, country papers, etc., that will eventually become useful.
But as far as the undergraduate goes—and I understand that one of our principles of education is to develop more advanced students and encourage their interest, etc.—I think the undergraduate, having been one not so long ago, finds the volumes a little bit heavy going, and if there were a background statement somewhere in a country paper that would be basic, I think this would be very helpful.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Have you anything to say on the subject of memoranda?
MR. LOCKHART: No, sir. On these particular volumes?
THE CHAIRMAN: I might call on some of the other policy officers. Mr. Fleischer, have you anything to add?
MR. FLEISCHER: I don’t believe so,
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Sims?
MR. SIMS: I am right here, but I don’t believe I have anything to add.
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Deming?
MR. DEMING: Well, I might add, as a Department officer, the importance attached to the memoranda going up, forming policy. A good bureaucrat is supposed to have a passion for anonymity. If he continues, it goes on as high as he goes. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have pride of authorship in thinking, developing his plan, which may be diametrically opposed to another fellow’s. The satisfaction comes when it does come, but the ideas or position that you have advocated finally gets incorporated in whatever it is, an agreement, dispatch to a foreign post, or telegram, which may be basic policy. But I can see that you can’t go very far down in that process.
I think publishing memoranda, interesting though it would be, unless you get into a completely different kind of publication—because it isn’t policy until it is accepted. The processes by which it is formed are no doubt important. But to the officer himself, it is part of the chore that is important to him but it doesn’t weigh in the scales unless it is taken over by the fellows who are the deciders of policy.
MR. HARRINGTON: But the analysis of policymaking to historians is fundamental, how policy was made, not just a description of policy. So when you get into the historical side of this, which this is, and of course we protect the present policy people by not publishing for twenty years, later when you move it on to the historical scale, the process by which you have reached a decision may be a critical part.
MR. DEMING: After a period of years they become available to archivists, not in published form, but if you are there digging through a particular period.
MR. GOODRICH: I think that is a point that needs to be made, no matter how complete these volumes are as records of decisions, they would not be subject for use as archives themselves. We have to draw the line somewhere, and recognize that the historian of American policy is going back to these volumes anyway.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we raised an important point with regard to the use of memoranda. I wonder if there is anything more to be said. Are there any questions or commentary?
MR. FRANKLIN: You used a very apt phrase about the feeling of isolation in which diplomacy is carried on. An interesting thought also was in which instances, to know if the isolation as you felt it was the correct impression of what took place at the time, or what was merely not isolation, but in which you don’t have the connective tissue.
During wartime, there were a number of instances in which policy was developed in complete isolation, perhaps in these volumes you will run across the plaintive bleats from Secretary Hull, the White House, as I have heard. [Laughter] Frequently these were in isolation. What is important is to know when it was and when we can’t include the connective tissue from the Treasury, Commerce, the Joint Chiefs, the White House, and you will never know until later.
MR. BERDAHL: Would it be possible to use more footnote references to the fact that there are defense or other types of documents which would relate to the point? Or is even that outlawed, perhaps?
THE CHAIRMAN: You mean documents already published?
MR. BERDAHL: No; where we can’t get the volumes.
MR. FRANKLIN: In Conference volumes we have anticipated heavily along that line.
MR. PERKINS: If you have that volume of 1941, I happened to go through that last week, and we have a number of cross-references on German foreign policy.
MR. GOODRICH: That is right, post-war foreign policy preparation, things like that.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is very valuable.
MR. LEOPOLD: If you don’t make cross-reference to unprinted documents, Clarence, would it even be of some help to indicate those volumes in the Army series that might deal with this particular issue? Have you done that?
MR. PERKINS: To some extent. In the China volume, I know that we have, in connection with Stillwell’s mission, a number of cross-references to that, and just recently—that is what I mentioned—the volume is coming out on Hemisphere Defense. I was able, through Mr. Parks, to get a page proof, and Mr. Wright of our staff, who is a specialist on American problems, went through that, made a considerable number of footnotes on our volumes that we have in galley.
MR. LEOPOLD: This is Stedon’s (?) volume?
MR. PERKINS: Yes; in that case we were able to get it in advance. In a good many cases we haven’t found a volume to cover the particular circumstances we are interested in.
VOICE: On the Persian Corridor it is there.
MR. LEOPOLD: Forty-one.
VOICE: We have made references to the Army volumes in compilations after ’41, when we get in, in ’42 and ’43, when they went in. As you know, they have a very good volume on Malta, the Persian Corridor, the Aims of Russia. We have references to that.
MR. PERKINS: In our Far Eastern volume, we have, in ’41, for example, references to Congressional hearings, Pearl Harbor hearings, and to intercepted Japanese telegrams, and also there again to the Army publication on that.
THE CHAIRMAN: Shall we go on to Leopold’s report?
MR. LEOPOLD: I will be very brief, Mr. Chairman, because this is the second time around, and most of the things I have to say I either said last year or Professor Harrington has said it much better than I said it last year.
There is the old problem you and I have been talking about for years, the point Mr. Harrington made with regard to background. Certainly as I have read volumes generally over the years, I have had the feeling that I know very much more about the making of foreign policy in other countries than from what is going on in the State Department. The reports from abroad tell us a good deal about background deliberations, speculations from other countries, and not nearly so much as what goes on in the State Department. So I would simply, by way of opening my remarks, endorse everything that Mr. Harrington said, realizing that sometimes documentation isn’t there, but simply reiterating a plea when it is there, and if it is possible, at least, we would like more of it.
With regard to this specific volume, Volume III for ’41, which deals with the British Commonwealth and the Near East, I have very little to say. I checked back on some notes about when I spoke last year. I did Volume III for ’40, with some of the same countries represented.
I found some of my impressions I had jotted down last year, particularly with regard to the area of the Near East on the quality of the report, what they tell us about internal conditions within those countries rather gibed with the impressions I received that year, for instance, excellent reporting, I think, judging from the documents from Iran. I no doubt made the same comment last year.
I think that all I need to say, since I am sure we can use the time to better advantage, is to come back again in this volume to some of the points which Mr. Goodrich and Mr. Harrington made, and which I have made before on this question of the index and the index of names as a substitute or alternative to the list of names.
I am perfectly willing for the time being to go along with the index as a substitute. I much prefer the list of names. I found it extremely useful in the past.
I think I made the point last year, when somebody is writing in this period and you are confused as to what sort of spelling you are going to give to a man’s name, I stand up and say, “If the Foreign Relations volume spells it that way, I am going to,” and any book reviewer can be referred to this.
I have one example that I pulled out of the blue, now, as we were talking, that I had noted before, and just to show how useful this identification via the index is. One of the most useful people to me in this volume was the head of the Near Eastern Division, the Division of Near Eastern Affairs in this period, Wallace Murray, who did for this area something as Mr. Orgibet did for the Far East. He would speak his mind, talk with representatives, and reduce to paper memoranda so that we get a little of what Mr. Harrington was asking for, what was going through the mind of a particular person. If somebody wanted to know who Wallace Murray was, just from this volume, there are many references. I don’t know how many references, the index covers so much. You go instinctively to the first one, Page 191, which doesn’t tell you very much about Mr. Murray. It doesn’t even give his first name.
If you look carefully the first number is in the middle there, at 176. There it says that Wallace Murray is the Head of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs.
I wonder how much more trouble it would be to put in “Wallace Murray, Head of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs,” and the years he served in that particular post. As I recall in some of the Foreign Relations volumes of the First World War sometimes, additional information identifying the man was given, as the Prime Minister of so-and-so, 1914 to 1917.
I have raised two questions. The first reference that hits the eye doesn’t always give you the identification, and whether in identifying him in the footnote, you could give more information about the period in which he served in that office.
MR. RALPH PERKINS: The only comment I would have would be that that would be a sizeable problem. If you have someone who has been a fixture over a period of years in the State Department, it would be very easy. But when you go down the list of American and foreign officers mentioned—I didn’t count up how many there are listed in that index, but there are a great many people. It would be a major research problem to find what their terms of office were.
MR. LEOPOLD: I was not asking for their entire career—just the period that he was holding the office discussed in this volume.
MR. PERKINS: Often you will find a man at the top level, perhaps a minister, but then—and often his terms may have changed, and in our State Department you can use personnel records and find out, but for foreign officers you have practically nothing to show when he did terminate his work or begin it.
MR. LEOPOLD: I simply raise the two things that have to be in the index, because we have talked about this before.
MR. BERDAHL: I am still slightly confused, ever though we have discussed this before, as to the extent to which this listing of names should be carried.
MR. LEOPOLD: I stood like Horatio at the Bridge last year in saying it should be.
MR. BERDAHL: Should all names or what names be listed? That is what I am confused about—that is, how far this thought should go?
MR. PERKINS: We carried that very far, and only minor people mentioned incidentally are left out. In the index you will see only one or two or three or so page references in the whole volume.
MR. LEOPOLD: What criteria did you use in the list?
MR. FRANKLIN: I was trying to recall. In the index we gave instructions that all names, including those of fictitious and historical characters, were to be included. They were—I don’t know how thoroughly, but that was what we aimed to do. In the list of characters, I think it was only the principal ones.
MR. BERDAHL: I think this is the point. I don’t know if I was the only one, but I was one who was a little skeptical about alternative listing of names rather than an index. If it is an index, it seems to me it would be complete. If it is an alternative listing, it would be incomplete. If both can be published, I would be all for it.
MR. NOBLE: I wanted to ask there, in preparing the list of names, whether you would be satisfied if this index were confined to a subject index and we included those in the list of names? The reason why I ask is because when we raised the question with Publication Division of putting names in the index, they said this would take more time and be more expensive, and it really is an important factor. We could more easily have put in a list of names publicly and less expensively, perhaps, than add the names to the index. If you can find it through the subject index, then it would be possible to have a list of names. Have you any preference, sir?
THE CHAIRMAN: The list of names would be descriptive?
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
MR. GOODRICH: I would favor a list of names.
THE CHAIRMAN: A descriptive list of names. I should think that would be the way to go at it.
MR. PERKINS: In addition to the index?
MR. GOODRICH: That is what you use the index for primarily. I notice here, just making a rough comparison, I think the Volume 2, 1921 index is much more complete than the other index I was looking at.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are you through, Dick?
MR. LEOPOLD: I will be through any time. If you don*t shut me up, I will never be through.
THE CHAIRMAN: I was wondering about the practice of summarizing the dispatches.
MR. GOODRICH: I think it was up to three or four years ago.
THE CHAIRMAN: Has any member of the Committee anything to say on that subject?
MR. LEOPOLD: That we haven’t said before?
MR. HARRINGTON: I am new to the thing and very much confused, but I know that when I use indexes, I don’t like to have two different indexes and have names and subjects separately. I am irritated. Sometimes you will get indexes that have names, and then places, and then subjects, and then you give it up and look through the book because it is easier. So that I was rather impressed by this combination practice. But I don’t mean to—
MR. LEOPOLD: I don’t think what we were coming to a moment ago was two separate indexes—a single index in which the names would be omitted—but in the front of the list you would have a list of the alphabetical names, a list of the principal people, which would make you turn to two different places.
MR. HARRINGTON: I don’t feel strongly about it, but at the moment I don’t join you in the concern for this.
MR. LEOPOLD: That really did evade the issue. You said you listed the principal people. How did you determine the principal people?
MR. FRANKLIN: Keep pushing me on this. I don’t remember in fact just now how we determined that. It was a little different as to Malta, because this was one delegation going to one conference. You could in fact include them all if you wanted—and I believe in one place we did list the Filipino mess boys who served the President on the Yalta and the Malta trips, but this is not applicable.
MR. LEOPOLD: But you are suggesting this would be impossible.
MR. FRANKLIN: I can assure you that this would be a very difficult job—and Churchill did the same thing on his, but we thought on these volumes it would be sufficiently important to list those.
MR. CHURCHILL: About those in the Soviet Union, very frequently it is done with respect to foreigners—it was almost terrifically impossible to find the beginning and ending date. They are liquidated sometimes, but when?
MR. FRANKLIN: Those identifications always have to be somewhat less than perfect. In every such list you will run into some foreigners that the entire facilities of the U. S. Government can not identify precisely on date. We had a couple of characters in the Yalta one, characters who appeared only by perennially lurking in the background, and they came into the room with Stalin. We had difficulty identifying as to whether one was Ambassador here or some Second Secretary over there by the same name. Some of these took unconscionable amounts of man hours to do.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there anything to be added to the description on this point?
MR. LEOPOLD: One other point on Volume 3, which I wanted to mention, which we had talked about in times past, and I suppose it will come up in connection with our reading this afternoon, and that is omitted material—words here and there. On the whole I found relatively few indications of omissions. Probably one document there where something which dealt with some other subject, and some other places where obviously somebody had put too much on paper, but it didn’t harm the document, but that is just guessing without having seen the papers.
THE CHAIRMAN: If there are no other comments, we will pass on to the next item on the agenda, without trying to hurry you in any way.
3. Proposal for change of terms of service of members of the Advisory Committee
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Noble has something to say on this subject. What are you proposing to say to the members of the Committee? What are you proposing, and how do you propose to do it?
MR. NOBLE: I thought, Mr. Chairman—in fact, I discussed this with Dick Leopold on the way to the airport after the last meeting—that we ought to look at this question of term and the question of rotation as involved in it. I believe at the present time it is understood that the members are appointed for a three-year period. It happens that the first year we met you were not consultants—I forget precisely the innocuous title you had.
MR. BERDAHL: You told us we were conferees.
MR. HARRINGTON: But not collaborators.
MR. NOBLE: Definitely not. When you were appointed officially as consultants, those appointments took effect last year, so that last year’s conference was the first time you became consultants, and that appointment was for three years by the Department. So, excluding Brother Harrington here, you are serving a second year so far as the time is concerned on your appointment, and the Department appointment will expire next year, but of course there will be no problem of renewing that.
But Dick and I were thinking about the value of greater length of service and greater value therefore of the advice based on longer experience, and he also said that the term, I believe, of the advisers on the military history is five years. Isn’t that correct?
MR. LEOPOLD: I am not sure. I think it is longer than three, but I think I mentioned that the Navy Committee at the moment does not have any limit of time.
MR. NOBLE: At any rate, we thought five years would be a good length of time, and obviously some sort of rotation would be a good thing connected with it. I hope you will agree. We wouldn’t want to see everybody go off at any one period. And of course there is no reason why anybody should go off at the end of five years, but in any case the rotation seemed desirable, so I drew up a little chart here which would indicate how this might operate if you had it on a five-year basis.
We have three historians, two political scientists, and two international lawyers. And it would seem reasonable that one historian might retire at the end of one year—say, for the first, when we are setting this up—and another at the end of three years, and another at the end of five, and one political scientist and one international lawyer at the end of two, and the other two retire at the end of four, so you would have a regular rotation there. So that at no time would more than two members of the Committee go off in any one year, unless he chooses to retire or for some other reason.
MR. GOODRICH: The only objection I have to this is that it seems to suggest that one political scientist and one international lawyer seem to equal one historian.
MR. NOBLE: I thought of that, but do you have a better suggestion?
MR. HARRINGTON: We historians know it takes more than one political scientist plus one international lawyer to make a historian. (Laughter)
THE CHAIRMAN: If this idea were accepted, what would we do? We would draw for the length of time?
MR. NOBLE: That is right. The three historians would draw to see which would have the longer period of time.
THE CHAIRMAN: We would have a straw, and our terms would be fixed by lot.
MR. NOBLE: And then the two political scientist would draw for the two-year and the four-year, and the two international lawyers, unless you have a better suggestion.
MR. LEOPOLD: Except that in a sense, Bernard, we have already started to have a rotation. That is, no matter how many years Dexter and I serve, we have served more than Fred has.
MR. NOBLE: This is a relatively small problem, I hope. I am sure, unless you have a way to solve this problem, we would like to have you carry on for five years right now, of course, particularly In view of some of the suggestions you have been making this morning. But I would envisage this as taking effect the year after next. I would say next year the three-year term would expire, and then the following year there will be a renewal of the original members.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is, we would all serve through 1960. Is that right?
MR. NOBLE: All serve through 1960.
THE CHAIRMAN: And then draw the lots.
MR. NOBLE: And then at that time say who would serve longer, for three or four or five years.
THE CHAIRMAN: We were nominated by the various associations, all of us, I mean, for terms that expire there.
MR. NOBLE: In 1960 we would probably want to go back to the associations and say, “Do you want to renominate these men, or nominate some other men?” Those are details that will have to be worked out.
THE CHAIRMAN: For the associations. But if you did select three completely new historians, they would draw lots for their terms?
MR. NOBLE: That is right.
THE CHAIRMAN: The questions are separated, in a sense. The length of term is a question, and the appointment by the association is separate.
MR. BERDAHL: When you were nominated, no term was suggested.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t think so.
MR. BERDAHL: So we don’t have to go back to them at all; do we?
THE CHAIRMAN: No.
MR. BERDAHL: Most of them don’t even know we are on this Committee.
MR. GOODRICH: Most of them don’t know this Committee is in existence.
THE CHAIRMAN: You are saying the association does not need to consider the question. We are here as long as we are here.
MR. BERDAHL: That is, if you were nominated honestly and fairly originally.
MR. LEOPOLD: Is that a statement of fact?
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there anyone who opposes a system of rotation, as Mr. Noble proposes? This seems reasonable enough to me. But we do not do anything about it until next year.
MR. NOBLE: No. We don’t worry about it until then.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would not worry about it anyway. (Laughter) That is all right. That seems to have been easily settled.
We are ahead of our program this morning. I have just been talking about it. I think the best way to use our time until 12:00 would be to go over individually the principles and procedures, because we will want to discuss that document seriously, and it has just been presented to us.
MR. GOODRICH: Mr. Chairman, as I understand it, we are supposed to spend the afternoon looking at the documents, and I think, that being the case, we ought to be told what particular problems have come up in the course of the past year and what we should have in mind.
THE CHAIRMAN: Very good.
MR. BERDAHL: I would like to make one very brief statement. Bernard mentioned it, but it seems to me in fairness it probably should be said by a member of the Committee: namely, that most of the recommendations we made as to form last year I believe were incorporated into these volumes, and I believe we should express our satisfaction.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Of course, I made a note of the points we discussed, and we would want to discuss those naturally. Would you like to talk to the question of what problems you think we will have to face in examining the documents?
MR. NOBLE: Would you look at this document in your dossier entitled “References to Documents or Portions of Documents Involved in Clearance of Certain Foreign Relations Volumes.” Does everyone have that?
Now, I think this discussion should be off the record.
(Discussion off the record.)
(Whereupon, at 12:00 p.m., the meeting went into executive session, which was not recorded.)
Members of the Committee:
- Dr. Dexter Perkins, Chairman
- Dr. Clarence A. Berdahl
- Dr. Leland M. Goodrich
- Dr. Fred H. Harrington
- Dr. Richard W. Leopold
- Dr. Philip W. Thayer
Representing the Department of State:
- Edwin M. J. Kretzmann, [Deputy] Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs
- J. Graham Parsons, Assistant Secretary, Far Eastern Affairs
- G. Bernard Noble, HD
- Clarence A. Boonstra, EST
- Mrs. Velma J. Cassidy, HD
- Rogers P. Churchill, HD
- G. M. Richardson Dougall, HD
- Herbert Fine, HD
- Jack M. Fleischer, EUR
- William M. Franklin, HD
- John P. Glennon, HD
- Ralph R. Goodwin, HD
- John Rison Jones, Jr., HD
- Frank P. Lockhart, FE
- Gustave A. Nuermberger, HD
- E. Ralph Perkins, HD
- Richard I. Phillips, ARA
- Newton O. Sappington, HD
- Joseph A. Silberstein, WST
- William Slany, HD
- David H. Stauffer, HD
- Ivan B. White, EUR
- Almon R. Wright, HD
- E. C. Moyer
- V. R. Voce
- E. B. Wake
(The meeting was opened at 9:35 a.m., Mr. Dexter Perkins presiding.)
THE CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen, I would like to report to you on the deliberations of the Committee yesterday. I am sure my colleagues will want to add to what I have to say, but I will summarize briefly our deliberations.
We met yesterday afternoon and divided into two groups which examined the documents which are in question, and we have a report to make on those materials.
Before I indicate the nature of the report and the specifics, I should like to quote from our observations last year in our confidential memorandum. Of course, it seems to me that the principles on which we operate would be much the same as those which applied last year.
”The Committee recognizes that the most difficult questions are questions of clearance. It is well aware of the fact that as the foreign relations of the United States grow more complex, these questions will arise more and more often. It also believes that there may be occasions when material must be deleted in the preparation of the regular volumes for the press. It believes, however, that if deletions are frequent, not only will the value of the material be much reduced, but the prestige of the whole series will suffer. Too frequently the desk officers of the Department oppose the inclusion of material, the substance of which is common knowledge, or, if not common knowledge, is well known to those interested in American foreign relations. It is true that what appears in a government publication is in a somewhat different category from what appears in the press, or even from the comments of our less discreet public men. But the effects of a few lines in an official document on the large policies of the United States can be easily exaggerated. The Committee reiterates its generalization of a year ago that the emphasis should be placed on the integrity of the record as against the exclusion of details which are highly unlikely to have any important deleterious influence on our foreign relations.”
This was our statement last year, and I think it represents our view this year. The only new member is Mr. Harrington. Do you agree with that statement?
MR. HARRINGTON: Entirely.
THE CHAIRMAN: Let me go over briefly the various decisions and then leave it to the members of the Committee to go further. We divided into two groups—Mr. Harrington, Mr. Goodrich, and Mr. Leopold, who examined the China Volume and the Far East Volume 5; and we—Mr. Thayer, Mr. Berdahl, and I—examined the Volumes with respect to Latin America.
Now let us take first the Foreign Relations Volume for the Far East, the volume which was Volume 5 for the Far East, in which the principal problem was the problem of the correspondence with respect to the Japanese expansion toward Thailand and the flirtation of the Thai Government with the Japanese. We said last year that this volume is ready for publication.
MR. NOBLE: I am sorry to interrupt. Off the record.
(Discussion off the record.)
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Noble says that all the people are not here who will be interested in this, so I will take up the American Republics first, and this will take only a short time. The questions involved in the American volumes are of a different nature, particularly with regard to the Foreign Relations of 1940, Volume 5. Here most of the questions were questions of detail. They did not go to the root of the problem as to whether the whole volume should be published or not, and what we did was to read the correspondence individually, the three of us here—Mr. Thayer, Mr. Berdahl, and I—and we found that we agreed almost exactly as to the items which might be retained and as to the items which might be eliminated.
I have of course a list of those which I would naturally present when we write our written report. It hardly seems necessary to go into each one of them in detail. Generally speaking, of course, we recognize that documents which are objected to by another Government can hardly be included. One that I suppose is a very striking case one might make an issue and try to exert pressure on the Government concerned, but in the questions here we were perfectly ready to acquiesce in the request of the foreign government in this case, in most cases the Government of Brazil, with regard to the record.
I will provide you with a list there, but our general mode of approach to the matter is that there have been in here more numerous deletions than we think necessary from the point of view of protecting the interests of the United States.
In many of these questions it seems to us that they were ones which would not have a very profound effect on international relations.
The only thing to be said about the Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume 6, for 1941, is that there are a certain number of questions of detail there, and again we have to read them individually and we have arrived at a reasonable consensus with regard to them, and this list will be tabulated and provided for the use of the Division and for the use of the desk officers, I suppose.
And we have also reviewed the correspondence with regard to the Ecuadorian-Peruvian boundary. This is the only case where a considerable body of correspondence is involved, and our view of that correspondence, as we reviewed it yesterday afternoon, is that it ought not, or that there is nothing in it which ought to delay publication.
This is about what we have to say in general terms with regard to the American volumes.
If we have a moment more, do you want me to talk about the Potsdam and Tehran ones?
MR. NOBLE: I think we ought to have an opportunity to discuss some of the particular items.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, if you bring us the volumes, we can do that, of course.
MR. NOBLE: I think you have the references there.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. THAYER: These are all in galley form.
MR. NOBLE: Yes. Those are the references to them, and I thought you might have particular items.
THE CHAIRMAN: In the general galley I can tell you what conclusions we came to.
MR. NUERMBERGER: This is Volume 5.
MR. NOBLE: I don’t have the Peruvian boundary.
MR. NUERMBERGER: Do you want that?
THE CHAIRMAN: We can take, for example, the reference to the conversation with Mr. Aranha of the 1 of January of 1940, in which he raises some problems with regard to the proposals of the American Government and the enforcement of neutrality regulations. “We believe nothing should be said about paragraph 3 until we see how the Committee works. This was not excluded. He does not like paragraph 4, says that Brazil could not agree to a court with five Spanish Americans, one Brazilian and one American. He says they would gang up on us. They have always opposed these courts for that reason.” We agreed that that sentence might be deleted.
MR. THAYER: Was that from the Brazilian Government?
THE CHAIRMAN: In this case the objection did not come from the Government of Brazil; did it? It came from the Department. Yes.
But now if we were to go over this record in detail, the next one we would come to would be on Galley 50, and here the statement that was made, to which objection was taken by the Department and not by the Government, was, “The Department is confident that they will be able to delay action by the Cuban Government on these two draft decrees.” This seemed a statement which was not of a very exciting character, and we thought that that might well be left in. These events are ones which occurred in 1940. It didn’t appear to us that that was a sensitive matter.
If we go on to 1953?—incidentally, what was stricken out was, “Incidentally, just to keep the record straight your Legal Adviser did not ... sealed mail which of course I would not dream of doing, but there were too many other matters .... correcting the error.” This involves some criticism of the Legal Adviser as of 1940, but it didn’t seem to us to affect fundamentally the interests of the United States. We left that in.
The 1954? was a long statement as to the declaration of Panama, a memorandum by Mr. Bonsall of the policy of the Department, and we had read that, and again we could not understand what the objection was to publication at the present time.
In 1956?, to take another example, the question here was a question again of a memorandum by Mr. Bonsall, a letter from the Acting Secretary of State, Chief of the Division Mr. Duggan, and a memorandum by Mr. Bonsall, and he again we failed to find anything in the context which was dangerous to the interests of the United States at the present time.
When we came on the other hand to 1959?, in this case there was a phrase in the dispatch, in the communication: “While it is probable that the three mile rule has outlived its usefulness”—we proposed this for deletion and we recommended deletion because it might be embarrassing to the United States at some future time.
Now I can go over all of these, but it seems to me that without the documents before them, Mr. Noble—
MR. NOBLE: I thought possibly they might comment on the overall subjects. I think they ought to maybe discuss it, but maybe, unless as you said they have the documents before them on each point, it might not be too helpful. I would like to ask Mr. Phillips and Mr. Boonstra to say whether with reference to the subject of American neutrality, the American Neutrality Committee, whether your recollection would be such that you could discuss it. Of course, how we can profitably get onto this matter and handle it substantively and get the benefit of your comments for the benefit of the Committee—the members of the Advisory Committee might want to change their recommendations. I don’t think it is final, perhaps, now.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course, that is quite true.
MR. PHILLIPS: On the list of problems you presented us with the other day, Mr. Noble, I checked with a number of the office directors, and for instance on this Neutrality Act I couldn’t find who in the Bureau had reviewed the galley proofs in the first place. As Public Affairs Adviser I am not in a position to speak to the substance of any of these matters, and I have brought the Office Directors for the East Coast and West Coast countries of South America. They may be of some help in those items relating to the specific countries. But on these areawide matters I checked with Ambassador Dwyer, and he frankly was not in a position to speak to the substance himself. I wonder whether some of these things were not reviewed in the Legal Division?
MR. NOBLE: Some of them, yes.
MR. THAYER: The notations indicate that.
MR. PHILLIPS: They might be better able to defend their deliberations than we are.
MR. NOBLE: But you have accepted their recommendations and by and large we have, too. Isn’t that true?
MR. NUEREMBERGER: On that, Mr. Noble, the area office ... (inaudible) also on the Legal Adviser. On those two you mentioned, on Mr. Bonsall, Miss Whiteman in the Legal Office, with whom I spoke yesterday and urged her to come if she could—but she said, “I know about this but I have been traveling about so much I will have to beg off.” But she said whatever the Committee thinks she should reconsider, she will reconsider.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, as I say, all three of us have read those memoranda, and we don’t understand that. I think that is all I can say there. Don’t you think so, Phil? We don’t see what is sensitive in them.
MR. THAYER: We of course have to admit that we don’t have the background of intimate knowledge of those particular matters, but we saw no danger there.
MR. BERDAHL: This Bonsall matter you are referring to is simply a fairly long memorandum by him, giving his conclusions and recommendations to the Inter-American Neutrality Committee, and it is difficult to see what in the world can be difficult.
MR. NUEREMBERGER: She said in one sentence that these were tentative and informal conclusions. That was one remark she made.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t know. I can’t speak for my colleagues, but if the document is interesting from the historical point of view, even though it is not final, we would rather see it included than omitted. Wouldn’t you agree?
MR. THAYER: I would certainly agree.
MR. BERDAHL: I could not see anything sensitive about it.
THE CHAIRMAN: These are not enormous matters, but I think the question of the maximum publication is an important matter, and I was looking at it from that point of view. I don’t think any one of these individual items is terribly exciting.
MR. NOBLE: The thing I am concerned about, Mr. Chairman, is getting the most benefit out of the interchange of views, and there is a question how that can be done. One way might be for your Committee to make a report indicating each particular item, and you see you have done that. And then let us take this up with the policy officers afterward, because they obviously have to be taken into account and have the last word. The ideal way, if we had the time, would be to take each item here and get the policy officers’ views on each item. Now there may not be time for that. I would like to see it done as far as possible. Perhaps some of the larger items like the Ecuador-Peru boundary, can be discussed with reference to the group of papers, since there are so many of them that are out. And there may be several subjects which can be treated in that way and the views of the policy officers could be obtained. It is a question of how we can make the best use of our time.
THE CHAIRMAN: Frankly on these individual items it seems to me a cumbersome process to discuss them one by one. There are fifty or sixty of them. I believe—but I can’t speak for my colleagues—we could list our conclusions.
MR. THAYER: Even if these items take only several minutes each, it would take several hours.
MR. HARRINGTON: We would like to keep our views clearly in mind. It is this: If we are to have the historical publication, it must be the document pretty much as it was. If there are a great many minor changes, this makes a great deal of difference to the historian, and the historian might very well prefer a longer delay in publication, instead of using the fifteen or twenty year period to use a longer one if the documents are going to be cut apart.
This is a strong view on our part, and it covers these minor points. The historical profession has gradually come to have a greater affection and deeper respect for this Foreign Relations series as it has become more useful to historians. Way back fifty years ago it used to be cut all to pieces, and now it is a good set of documents, well presented. If there are many minor changes, the profession will not want to use this series.
MR. GOODRICH: I think possibly though the political scientist and international lawyer would be a little uneasy if there was too much delay in publication.
MR. LEOPOLD: I would agree with everything Mr. Harrington says, but it seems to me that in addition that we as political scientists and international lawyers have to stand as witness to the fact that to delay these is necessary sometimes. I think on these particular issues, together with some we will talk about in the Far East, we could not go and say to our colleagues, “Well, the Department is justified in holding these up.”
THE CHAIRMAN: I would agree with that, of course. It would seem to me quite wrong to delay publication on the reasons of these minor questions that we have discussed with regard to Volume 5, for example, of 1940, and we do feel strongly that the tendency is to delete a little bit too much, really. We are not taking any dogmatic position on this, as I think even a brief review of those six or seven items indicates, but I do feel we must keep our sense of humor with respect to these matters and as to the importance of some items of experience of eighteen or twenty years ago. There may be a case for deletion now and then, but this is—
MR. THAYER: I don’t think any one of us felt that any one of these individual items was of particular consequence at all, but what we did feel, I am sure, was that a proliferation of this kind of excision tends to produce loss of confidence in the over-all result.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: Mr. Noble, may I make a remark. I did not delete but I approved deletion of some of those by our desk officer. In quite a few of them, there would be no objection about publication let’s say in 1961. The problem arose from the fact that 1960 is an election year in Brazil, and since Axel Aranha is very much on the scene himself— Many other things that are in here could be used to substantiate charges against Aranha in a political year. In 1961 this problem would disappear.
THE CHAIRMAN: You understand that with regard to those particular documents we recommend deletion. In most of these cases—and I can’t speak for all of them without looking at the record again, but in most of these cases the request for deletion came from the Brazilian Government. In most of those cases where another Government objected, it would be only in rare cases you would go against the request of another Government. But we accepted that on Brazil. We agree to it although we did not recommend it.
MR. BERDAHL: I like your last language: We agreed to it although we did not recommend it.
MR. THAYER: One of the difficulties was a passionate addiction to deleting direct quotation, which I think ought to be discouraged.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: We ought to have as full reporting as possible.
In reviewing some of these things, we have in mind the fact that we are dealing with an area which I think has given us many evidences that this area is going through a very great nationalist surge, and everything and anything is subject to this nationalist scrutiny, plus the fact that we have people just looking for tinder to throw on the fire. There is that element.
There is another element of timing, too. Sometimes a matter which would not be potentially explosive one year may be explosive in a particular year, and it may not be explosive in the following year. For instance, the Peru-Ecuador border. Right now we are passing through a period where the future, for instance, of the Ponce Administration in Ecuador is just balanced practically on the head of a pin on this border issue, and if anybody sneezes too loudly it can blow that right off right now. Maybe eight months from now, after the election, after the Eleventh Inter-American Conference, this would be no more than a controversial issue but not of earthshaking proportions.
Again you have this fact that we sometimes objected to material which is public knowledge, which has been in the press, and so on, and yet we object to it appearing in this. There is, as you recognize, a difference between something which is publicly known and something which quotes the United States Government as specifically saying so. And to me the most dramatic article of this is this Time Magazine article which we went through in Bolivia, and a quotation was made of a statement which was probably said by somebody in some place maybe every day in the year for the last seventy-five years. This was nothing new, and yet on this particular day when it appeared and was quoted allegedly by an American official as having said it, all hell broke loose. These are the things we have in mind when we look at these things.
We feel, and especially at moments when the lives of Americans may be at stake as a result of what is published, and at the time we know that while historians may be largely the people who use this and use it in a responsible way, some enterprising reporter when this comes out may look through this like a boy looking for a dirty word in a book, and put it in a provocative wire and mail it out and there it is. These are the things which go through our minds as we read these.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course, no one will deny the existence of nationalistic feeling in the states of Latin America. But this feeling exists. It is going to be excited by many incidents more important than a line or two in the Foreign Relations of 1940.
But with regard to the Peru-Ecuador boundary, which is the important thing, in reading the record yesterday afternoon we were not at all clear as to wherein lay the danger of those communications. It may be we haven’t got the whole story, but we could not see that the correspondence was such as to give much of a handle to a nationalist feeling. Perhaps we were wrong about that. We will consider more information. But I think we stated the view we all had.
MR. NOBLE: Perhaps you could be more specific.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: I didn’t review personally this material, but I think that we all felt that the whole subject itself was at this time especially explosive, and we should avoid saying anything, and rather than to try to excise a lot which would leave you with a chopped-up affair we would delay the publication of anything. I think this was our point of view. I believe we just objected to the whole series; didn’t we?
MR. BERDAHL: No, but so much was out.
THE CHAIRMAN: But you excised so much it would certainly affect the integrity of the record.
MR. NOBLE: Ralph, as I understand it the objection was based on the principle that we wanted to avoid putting the United States on one side or the other. Was that your point of view?
MR. PERKINS: Yes. As I remember it—of course, as you know, Peru occupied some of the disputed area, moved over into Ecuadorian territory, and there was some fighting there, and some of the documents show that we definitely did put the blame on Peru. And so I think that was the idea—that Peru could use that to show that the United States was not an impartial mediator in the dispute. There were only a few documents—actually, if you pinned those down, it would be only a few documents stating that, but maybe it was right, that if you were going to cut out any document that would seem to throw the blame on Peru—maybe some disparaging remarks were about Ecuador in the story, too—that it wouldn’t mess up the story, so we finally agreed that that wasn’t an important enough issue to hold up that publication, and so I believe you saw the bracketed remark we put in. In other words, we don’t conceal that we are holding out material, but we put in a bracketed statement that we left out some documents regarding the efforts to settle that fight.
THE CHAIRMAN: The record as we had it here was a very large number of excisions, many of them which seemed to us quite trivial.
MR. PERKINS: Oh, yes, there were. I would agree. There were a number of deletions, but there were some statements there that did—
THE CHAIRMAN: I think if we examined it from the point of view of each individual item there—which was not what we did in that case, we were looking at the general picture—it may well be that there are one or two items which we feel might be eliminated.
MR. PERKINS: I think that is what caused it—the fact that there were certain items. That is one thing that we were interested in, your reaction to that. It was one of those things where a rather important decision had to be made. There were three courses, you see. One would be to leave that part in, chopped up, with lots of deletions, leave that whole phase of the controversy out and put in a bracketed note there saying we were leaving it out, or to delay publication completely. We decided to put in the bracketed note and say we were leaving that section out, and then go back to the policy boys and see if they would let us print it with that arrangement, which they agreed to do.
THE CHAIRMAN: But you have agreed to the excision of all that material?
MR. PERKINS: Yes. But there is a bracketed note, as I think you saw, explaining that we were leaving it out. That is one thing—if we are leaving out things we think should probably go in, we do try to let the reader know that we are leaving it out.
MR. BERDAHL: In this case I can’t be sure in my own recollection, but it seems to me it was at least half the galley, probably more.
MR. PERKINS: Yes; it is.
MR. BERDAHL: That seemed like an extraordinarily large amount to exclude and still preserve the integrity of the record. We have two objectives: to preserve the integrity of the record, which you people want to do, of course, and to expedite publication. You have to choose sometimes between these.
MR. PERKINS: The reason for leaving so much of that out is that in that year they started to discuss the boundary. Then they got into this fighting. They got into the fighting and the issue of Peru sending troops over the line, and occupying the Ecuadorian territory—until they got that straightened out they couldn’t go on with the rest of it. And actually, so far as the documentation on that goes, there is more documentation on that phase than there is on the merits of the dispute itself. I am simply trying to explain what we did. As I said, it was one of those doubtful decisions as to what we should do in this case. We wanted to get that volume out and we certainly didn’t want to leave it out without letting the reader know we were leaving that out, that important stuff.
MR. GOODRICH: I did not see this and I am asking this question from ignorance. Suppose someone wanted to make a study of the Ecuador-Peru boundary dispute and the role of the United States as mediator—was that the position of the United States in the whole matter?—with this material left out, the record would be far from complete, would it not? I mean, this material has a direct relevance to the subject. It is not just an interesting little side story.
THE CHAIRMAN: How would you answer? I would simply say some of it was simply sideshow.
MR. THAYER: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: There is a good deal of it that is not directly related to the mediation directly.
MR. THAYER: Quite a few of the matters with regard to the supposed attitude of the United States, though, were of some importance, I felt, bearing on the dispute.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think this question of expedition of publication is an important thing for all of us to remember. Where questions of clearance are delayed over a long period of time, this is damaging to the reputation of the series. It is all very well to say matters should be postponed, but there are always more reasons for postponement to come up. I think all of us would say, and I am sure my colleagues would correct me at any time, because I don’t represent them, that it is important for us to maintain the tempo of these things and not fall behind.
MR. GOODRICH: But the decision has been taken and we are simply asked to express an opinion on the decision.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think Mr. Perkins said the decision was taken.
MR. PERKINS: Yes. And it is one of those things where we would like to know whether you think we did right. The only reason we accepted that was that if we didn’t the whole volume would be held up indefinitely.
MR. BERDAHL: Indefinitely or until this dispute is settled.
MR. PERKINS: Already, you see, every other volume from 1940 is out and we simply don’t know—that boundary dispute has been going on for years and years and years. We don’t know.
MR. BERDAHL: It might be indefinite.
THE CHAIRMAN: I suppose the judgment on that is an evaluation of the problem, but I think you did right from my angle of vision.
MR. LEOPOLD: This is the ’40 volume?
MR. PERKINS: This is ’40.
MR. HARRINGTON: No; ’41.
MR. LEOPOLD: You see, the 1940 volume isn’t even out yet.
On this matter of delay again it seems to me the Historical Division’s hands are rather tied in not being able to explain why these delays are made. We faced this with the China volumes last year, in suggesting if they were going to hold up the volumes that some statement should be made by a higher level. And I am sure the average political scientist and international lawyer and historian can not understand why the 1940 and 1941 volumes on Latin America are not out.
THE CHAIRMAN: But there are many points of view.
MR. PERKINS: Mr. Chairman, just one other thing. We have accepted—of course, this volume is still in a clearance stage. The Committee could come back and say “You ought to reconsider.” I am not saying you should, but I just want to get the record straight that this volume is still out. We did say we would accept that, but the volume is still in clearance stage.
THE CHAIRMAN: I hadn’t quite understood. I am glad to know that. In other words, you are asking us to approve a decision already made.
MR. PERKINS: We made that decision.
MR. HARRINGTON: But we could ask you to reconsider this.
MR. NOBLE: (Inaudible) ... if we were on one side of the issue or the other, so it is a matter of substance, and so it is a little different from most of the other questions. Most of the other deletions have been accepted with the idea that it does not profoundly affect the substance of the matter. This evidently does, so the decision on this is an important one.
MR. GOODRICH: It would seem to me you are taking out a very essential part of the substance if you cut that out. And I would have the further question whether the possible influence of publication on a political development in that country is a valid reason. There are always elections in each country, and if we start gauging publication—
MR. SILBERSTEIN: I was not talking about the next election. I was talking about the political set-up right now.
MR. GOODRICH: That question will be with us, will be wish us a long time, and it won’t be settled tomorrow or the day after.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: When I spoke of the next election I was speaking of a man like Aranha, a man actually participating in an election.
MR. GOODRICH: You referred to a particular person, and no particular individual is involved here.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: Not on each issue.
MR. NOBLE: It is a matter that the delicacy of the situation, as to whether it becomes known that we were on Peru’s side, whether hell would be raised in Ecuador, or vice versa. It is a question of how seriously that would affect the political situation in one country or another, and it is not easy, I think, to have a clear view on that.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: We have today an active role. It is not what we were in 1942. We have today a position of being an impartial guarantor of this issue. We are still today actively involved in this issue.
MR. BOONSTRA: I should like to submit a question which has not been clear to me on this matter. To some extent the attitude of the desk officers and geographical officers concerned is always colored by the fact that a decision may involve a responsibility in a riot in Guayaquil, in which people will be killed. If somebody in the Department is willing to take this off our shoulders and make this decision, our attitude changes somewhat. We are trying to protect certain U. S. policy objectives and trying to protect U. S. citizens in many cases, and so I think sometimes it is impossible to argue this out. It is sometimes simply a matter of executive responsibility and decision. The people who are asked to clear these things make the recommendation but do not take responsibility for the ultimate consequences.
MR. GOODRICH: There is another point that has been raised. I think you suggested that this is still an active matter.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: By all means.
MR. GOODRICH: The United States is still mediator?
MR. SILBERSTEIN: We are guarantors; every day in the week we have calls, every day, from the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Ambassador. We have talked about this the day before yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we can agree with this, but it would seem to me if the actions reflect on the impartiality of the United States we would agree those should be deleted; but as we looked at the record yesterday we thought a lot of deletion had gone on. On the specific problem we recognize that there are sensitive areas and sensitive problems.
MR. GOODRICH: Isn’t there also the question as to whether this is still going on, as to whether this should be published now anyway? I think that is probably one of the questions raised.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: We have had, for instance, under consideration the possibility of the guarantor’s making a moderate impartial statement on this issue at this time as an aid to the situation. We have had five different visits from the Ecuadorian Ambassador imploring us, “Please don’t say anything. If you do it can be seized upon in either country and implications distorted and twisted, and it can destroy our Foreign Minister, and possibly topple the Government, or at least cause serious disturbance at the Eleventh Inter-American Conference to be held in Quito in February.” These are things, even though they are history, with which we are living today.
MR. GOODRICH: Do you think this would make any difference if this came out next year sometime?
MR. SILBERSTEIN: Possibly it would—especially if there has been some progress in settling the issue.
MR. FRANKLIN: Has the Committee considered the advantages or regularity in appearance of these volumes as a priority goal? This question of timing is a question of extremely slippery rationalization which can speed one volume up, and this happened notoriously a few years ago, and it can also slow some down. Then the whole world knows that these appearances of these volumes are timed for political advantages, and foreign views are that these can be timed to help this foreign government or that foreign prince. This is the worst possible situation. Some volumes have been pushed out and some slowed up. So that the whole idea that this is a regular program has been slowed up and has just about been lost. It seems to me that we should get this back to where five or six volumes will appear regularly each year, so that the newshawks will not pounce on each one but we hope will be thoroughly uninterested in each one of these, because this is just another volume of each of these series that is coming along.
It may take some time to re-establish this, but I think Mr. Perkins will agree that that used to be the condition, and they were accepted in that framework.
MR. PERKINS: True. If a volume is held up several years, two questions arise when it does come out: Why has this volume been held up so long? And then they begin to study and dig in to see what caused it to be held up, and that might cause unfavorable publicity. Secondly, if this volume has been held up so many years, why is it brought out at this particular time? What is the State Department aiming at in dropping this out now? And then they think that there is some political purpose behind it.
MR. FRANKLIN: They all become “white papers.”
MR. BERDAHL: I raised a question yesterday which was intended to carry this same implication.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: I don’t see how anybody can raise that question.
MR. KRETZMANN: I would like to talk to this point, because I think this is extremely important from the Public Affairs point of view, because the first question I am asked when any volume comes out is that the reporters call me and say, “Why did you put it out now?”
THE CHAIRMAN: I think what you say is very true. We would all agree with it.
MR. KRETZMANN: The second point is, it is bad to confuse publication of the Foreign Relations volumes with publications such as in Time on the Bolivian question. I don’t know of any case where publication of the Foreign Relations volume has precipitated riots any place. That is a totally different matter.
MR. SILBERSTEIN: The volume itself wouldn’t, but if someone chose to look for a story.
MR. KRETZMANN: That is not a problem for this Committee. That is a problem for the Public Affairs to try to put the volume in perspective and prevent this. I am not saying we can do it, but it is our problem. It is not relevant to this discussion, which is focused on other matters, of maintaining a record and if possible a continuity which I would hope would have a regular timing, so that this whole issue does not arise.
THE CHAIRMAN: Let us consider in going over the South American thing again, who would maintain that the general trend of relations with the Chinese Nationalists have been vitally affected by the publication of the “White Paper”? This must be very offensive to General Chiang Kai-shek from any point of view. This would be a question which could easily be raised, but on the whole we stagger along in our relations with the Chinese Nationalists, and in spite of the fact that we published a large volume which was full of criticism of the whole regime. And not only that, but a former officer of the Department has published a volume on the subject. There are many ways in which we know the disastrous results which follow. I think it is so easy to exaggerate the significance of this or that isolated sentence in a long dispatch. It is the business of policy officers to watch the language, obviously, but when we are trying to think of it objectively as historians we can see that it may not be quite as important as we think.
MR. LEOPOLD: I think we are getting into a bottomless pit as far as this Committee is concerned. Mr. Kretzmann and Frank have clarified the issue. The only thing this Committee can do is to give our opinion about particular documents which have been deleted or suggested for deletion. We give our opinion, and I think this is where it stops. If there is a conflict between policy of publication and regularity of publication by the State Department as embodied in the Foreign Relations series as between immediate instances, this is not in our purview.
We have asked about the record and have fairly strong feelings on what has been presented to us. We know the problems which have been presented, but we can’t solve your problems any more than you can solve ours.
MR. HARRINGTON: Within that framework we do obviously endorse regular publication.
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes.
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes.
MR. HARRINGTON: And of course, if times have changed, as they have, if they have changed so much that we won’t be able to publish any significant part of the record of twenty years ago, the question is whether we should not publish at all.
MR. KRETZMANN: Whether we should not say so and put it on a perfectly open basis.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are there any other comments on the Latin American volumes? We don’t want to foreclose discussion. What has been said is true. We can give you our ideas as to what can or can not be published with propriety. The decision does not rest with us. I can only say we are discussing this and approaching it from the point of view of scholarship with a due regard for the interests of the United States.
MR. KRETZMANN: I might say for the benefit of all, including the desk officers, that the new procedures I have instituted, that Bernard has helped on, that the final decision of do we publish now is made by the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, and I suppose at times he might want to consult the Secretary; so there is always the last stop where a question of something that has happened in the last few months would stop this. And it used to be Mr. Murphy. Bernard calls my attention to some of the items that may be particularly sensitive, and we don’t put it downstairs until we get the okay. So there are plenty of precautions. I am assuring the officers that this is not done automatically, that we do take a last look. That is a new process instituted this last year.
THE CHAIRMAN: Shall we go on?
I wish to thank the officer who came in to help us with that discussion.
Now we have the Cairo, Tehran, and Potsdam Conferences here. We have a memorandum in regard to the Cairo-Tehran Conference, and we have some deletions that were made and accepted by the editors, and so on, that were deletions suggested by the Defense Department. With regard to the deletions made by the Department of State we have some comments to be made.
There is a long statement here with regard to relations between Dreyfus and President Roosevelt at Tehran, to which Dreyfus gave the number 754, a very sharp exchange. “This was not through usual channels ... and because the subject ... is more ... to the United States-Iranian relations than to the United States, United Kingdom ... Conference at Tehran.”
(The Chairman read the above quotation in full, but it was inaudible to the reporter.)
We concurred in that deletion.
The other was a series of deletions with regard to the remarks that Roosevelt made at Tehran, and in one, for example, Roosevelt to Stalin regarding the political situation, he added jokingly that when the “ ... Eden intended to go to war with the Soviet Union on this point ... Soviet Union.”
On another statement, speaking to Stalin, the President agreed that no person over forty who had taken part in the French Government should be allowed to return to public life in the future.
These remarks may be somewhat damaging to President Roosevelt, but we didn’t think that they should be excluded from the record.
And then that quotation went on: “He said ... become citizens.”
And finally there was a Department of State memorandum on the status of certain specific items: “United States legal claims ... are less strong than those of the British Government.” And on that we felt possibly an omission might be made.
These are small matters in the Cairo-Tehran Conference, really, that we had to consider, but I think you can see the attitude with which we approached the problem from the deletions that were made.
MR. LEOPOLD: We might add, though, Dexter, that the other deletions, where it involved the Defense Department, we were individually regretful that these deletions had to be made but we were not going to raise the issue after those who had been already over the ground—
THE CHAIRMAN: We can’t raise an issue there, really. If I am wrong, correct me. How about that? Didn’t we think the statements with regard to the French might be left in? That was my impression.
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes. Perhaps we did not have full agreement about it, but that was my feeling.
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: I thought that was the majority view.
MR. NOBLE: Would you agree also that deletion would not affect the substance of the record? If we had to delete it, it would not be serious damage to the record? If it is against the Governmental policy, it would not affect it seriously if we did delete it.
MR. HARRINGTON: This is kind of a tough one, because you can say this about almost any small statement, but when you begin adding them up, supposing there had been ten deletions of this sort, and of course there were a good many because of the Defense Department and what not, and we would be inclined to think that deletions ought not to be made unless we feel they are absolutely necessary—absolutely necessary—because who is to know how important these things are? It is true that these are points that don’t get to the heart of the policy decisions that were made, but Roosevelt’s position on the Baltic and Roosevelt’s position on the French are both matters of great importance.
MR. KRETZMANN: Bernard, check my memory on this: Wasn’t this largely because of the personal references to de Gaulle and not to Roosevelt?
MR. NOBLE: This is a little different.
MR. GOODRICH: De Gaulle comes into the category of being over forty.
MR. KRETZMANN: But this has a particular importance at this time.
MR. LEOPOLD: I take it the Division felt it should be more careful of protecting the reputations of persons in other countries than in our own.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Roosevelt had a habit of making offhand remarks, and this is one of the offhand remarks where I doubt whether it represents Government policy. It, I think, has to be judged in that light.
THE CHAIRMAN: But we would take them as offhand remarks.
MR. HARRINGTON: They would be so taken.
MR. FRANKLIN: Opposition had originally been raised to about two dozen such remarks in these galleys. We fought it down to these.
MR. HARRINGTON: We are glad.
MR. FRANKLIN: That leaves then these as the last ones we gave up on. Personally I am much more concerned about what the critical reviewers would think was in there instead of the dots, than what actually was, and there would be no explaining it.
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes.
MR. LEOPOLD: Are you resigned on the other deletions?
MR. FRANKLIN: It is as indicated in the memorandum.
MR. HARRINGTON: We are pleased to see that you did try hard on those.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to review what our comments are on the Potsdam Conference at this time?
MR. GOODRICH: There is one point we haven’t covered on the Cairo one, on the two maps.
MR. KRETZMANN: That issue is not closed. The two you have given me.
MR. NOBLE: We thought they ought to know about it.
MR. KRETZMANN: Shall I tell where it stands at the moment? I have it in hand at the moment, and I have talked to Defense twice about this. That is, our contact, the Public Affairs Section, they are not directly responsible for—what is his name? Mr. Winnacker, the Historian—but they do have a sort of lateral pressure line, and they have agreed with us that it is worth trying to have him let these come through.
MR. NOBLE: They have a link with the Joint Chiefs.
MR. KRETZMANN: I have talked with both Snyder and Chauncey Robbins about this to see if we could help break this out.
MR. NOBLE: It might be helpful to know the views of this Committee.
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes, it would be helpful. It would give me another reason to raise it once more.
MR. GOODRICH: I don’t know what the position is on that particular issue.
THE CHAIRMAN: On what?
MR. KRETZMANN: These are the two maps about the post-war bases.
THE CHAIRMAN: If I am correct in my recollection, we thought that that might be omitted, since it involved legal questions which couldn’t possibly—
MR. LEOPOLD: I was not altogether clear on the matter, so we didn’t have much discussion. Very little discussion. But certainly if Mr. Kretzmann would fight again on it, I would say, please do.
MR. HARRINGTON: We would support him. If this group feels, and you say so here, that the documents in Tab B, and particularly the two maps, are necessary to what Mr. Hopkins had in mind in raising this question, we would be strongly inclined to support your position and hope you could get the right to publish it.
MR. KRETZMANN: The point at issue is that this whole consideration of allied bases in the interim period before the United Nations had been set up and had its security forces, and so on, always in that context is that this is an interim measure to maintain stability until the United Nations police force—which never came into being—could take it over. It is in that context that we see no reason why this should not be published. Defense, possibly because of a guilty conscience, does not feel the same way about the bases that are still being maintained around the world. We may lose this argument, but we will try.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. But you look for a moment at the Potsdam Conference. This is a memorandum, and on the items beginning on page 1 we have agreed to the point of view which omits a dozen British position papers. We were not sure that the single text on Spain needed to be omitted.
MR. LEOPOLD: We were stronger than not being sure. We thought it ought to be included. That is my recollection.
MR. THAYER: We saw no reason why it should not be published.
MR. HARRINGTON: We saw no reason why it should not be published.
THE CHAIRMAN: The same applies, and we agreed to three and to four and to five. Then there are at the end of the memorandum a number of points.
MR. HARRINGTON: Appendix F.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Short passages were deleted. We agreed to one. We thought that two, and three, and four and five indicated excessive caution. We agreed to six and seven, and we believe that eight and nine ought to be published. In other words, we agreed to the deletion of numbers one and six and seven. Is that correct?
MR. NOBLE: And you object to the deletion of the paper on Spain?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. We say very decidedly it should be included.
MR. KRETZMANN: Ivan, do you want to talk to these points?
MR. WHITE: I was not in the Department at the time of the previous go-round. I think it is our basic feeling that our position on Spain at that time was set forth in other public documents and is well known, and perhaps in this form of an internal document we used language which we certainly would not have used in quite the same nomenclature if we had had any idea it might be published. Actually there was printed in the State Department Bulletin just a few months, I think, previous to the date listed here a speech by Livingston Merchant, who at that time was head of our Eastern Hemisphere operations, which said much the same thing as far as the policy stands.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. The substance of this is well known; don’t you think so? The substance of this memorandum.
MR. WHITE: Yes.
MR. HARRINGTON: That is why we could not see any damage could be done by this.
MR. LEOPOLD: Nor do I see that this language used here is so difficult.
MR. KRETZMANN: The argument is used both ways, Everybody knows it, so why publish it? And, everybody knows it, so why not publish it? (Laughter)
THE CHAIRMAN: That comes out again and again, of course. When facts are stated that are so well known, the argument is in favor of publication.
MR. THAYER: You could put a note in that the policy paper, is here omitted because everybody knows it anyway.
MR. LEOPOLD: I think it goes a little deeper than what Mr. Harrington said yesterday, that this was in the briefing book and was under consideration at this time.
MR. DOUGALL: This is one of the papers that we fought the hardest on. We finally narrowed down to on about eight papers, mostly regarding Poland, on which we as the Division and the Bureau of Public Affairs said we can’t accept the view of the Bureau of European Affairs without higher decision. And those eight papers did go to Mr. Murphy, who was the Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs, and his decision was that we could print seven of the eight, and the paper on Spain we should not. Theoretically we can fight it higher, but it is rather difficult.
MR. KRETZMANN: Not much higher. (Laughter)
MR. DOUGALL: And at that point we said, “Yes, sir,” and left it out.
MR. LEOPOLD: It is a good score.
MR. KRETZMANN: It seems to me, if I can help you out, the best argument is our changing circumstances of our relations with the Spanish, and little words like “we can’t have any cordial relations with Franco”—
MR. WHITE: That is certainly obvious, too, to the extent that you bring this out into the open again and revive it.
MR. KRETZMANN: We can’t take back the speech that Mr. Merchant made, but we needn’t rub it in, by adding another document.
MR. WHITE: You would not expect Mr. Merchant to make the same speech today.
MR. HARRINGTON: Nor to write such a document as this.
MR. GOODRICH: So you have to take it in context.
MR. KRETZMANN: But given Spanish sensitivities.
MR. WHITE: They are more than that; they are hypersensitive.
MR. LEOPOLD: Mr. Chairman, we are here again, and it seems to me that the Committee thinks we ought to, and this is it.
THE CHAIRMAN: We can mark time for a moment. Mr. Parsons is going to arrive; isn’t he?
MR. KRETZMAN: Don’t you want to take these up? These are the ones under F. Do you want to take them up while Mr. White is here?
MR. HARRINGTON: Under F actually we deplored all the omissions by State Department action, and we went along only with those which foreign governments or which Department of Defense insisted on.
MR. HARRINGTON: Even granting all the sensitivity in the world, it is difficult to see why we should omit something like, “The Turks are inclined ...”
MR. NOBLE: That might be said of almost any country.
MR. HARRINGTON: Including the United States and Russia.
MR. KRETZMANN: I am one who went along with this, I am sorry to say.
MR. DOUGALL: You were the one who insisted that this one be taken out.
MR. KRETZMANN: I can’t remember why now.
MR. HARTINGTON: Maybe you will change your position.
MR. KRETZMANN: I am no longer in NEA, so I am no longer competent to make that decision. I don’t think this is really very serious. We can get them to back on it, I think. What do you think?
MR. DOUGALL: I think we could. I think we could go at it again.
THE CHAIRMAN: If we are really going to spare people’s feelings, we have some drastic things in this country. There are the expressions of Congressmen, for example.
Is there any comment on those? I think Mr. Harrington has summarized it, that what we have done is accept deletions which came about through representations of another Government, and recommended that there be included those portions which the State Department as a matter of fact suggested for deletion. Does Mr. White want to talk on that?
MR. WHITE: Just to get things in their proper context, I think it should be recalled that there are a vast number of instances in which we did have some objection but concerning which we yielded to the views of the Historical Division, so we are dealing here with the hard core of cases which we felt were beyond the point of marginal doubt. I think in the case of the telegrams dealing with the Poles, that we feel from the standpoint of our relationships with Poland and what we are trying to evolve there, that the publication of these at this juncture would be damaging. I will have to defer to Ed and his former colleagues on the question of the remark about the Turks.
MR. KRETZMANN: What about the last two points, 8 and 9, Ivan? Was this deleted at the time when Mr. Eden was in the Foreign Office?
MR. DOUGALL: It was.
MR. KRETZMANN: Is it pertinent to review this?
MR. DOUGALL: Perhaps EUR might feel somewhat different about it now, but there were three members of the British Cabinet involved at the time we accepted deletion of that, and they have now all left, I guess, the active scene. We might try again.
MR. LEOPOLD: Not to return?
MR. KRETZMANN: Not to return. Yes. Do you think EUR still feels strongly about that remark?
MR. WHITE: I can check back on that one, but my own personal feeling is that they would probably still object to it. He is still alive.
MR. THAYER: But he has been to a psychologist.
MR. WHITE: It is somewhat beyond being on the uncomplimentary side, really.
MR. BERDAHL: The same charge has been made against him by the British themselves.
MR. KRETZMANN: Mr. Chairman, I gather you felt very strongly these two should be published, 8 and 9?
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes.
MR. WHITE: We can take another look at those two.
THE CHAIRMAN: I suppose Mr. Eden is out for good insofar as politics.
MR. WHITE: He was present at the dinner at 10 Downing Street, which was given by Mr. Macmillan for the President. He got up and made a five-minute speech which with great effort—he impressed us as being a dying man—and it was probably the best speech made. And it was a very interesting gathering, because in addition to Macmillan there were three Ex-Prime Ministers present—Churchill and Lord Atlee and Eden. And Eden made, I thought, from our standpoint the best speech. Certainly it was the most complimentary one towards the United States in terms of both the Marshall Plan and NATO. And I would just hate like hell at this juncture to come along and publish these views of him. That is my own personal reaction.
MR. KRETZMANN: When you look at it again, Ivan, would you remember some of the British General’s remarks about our President recently in public? (Laughter)
MR. WHIE: Yes. I will. We will certainly keep that in mind.
MR. KRETZMANN: Thank you.
MR. WHITE: Are you really advocating retaliatory action?
MR. KRETZMANN: No. (Laughter)
MR. WHITE: We will be glad to have another look at that.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we are ready now to discuss the two volumes that relate to the Far East, Volume 5, 1941, and China Volume for 1943, and I think I ought to really say that last year we considered Volume 5 for the Far East and recommended that it be cleared for publication. With regard to the formulation of the volume on China, there were extreme objections on the part of the Far Eastern Office to publication, and we merely said in our confidential report that we thought responsibility ought to be made clear as resting with the Far Eastern Division and not with the Historical Division. Since then, as I stated earlier this morning, our Committee divided, when we came to discuss this question anew, and I will leave it to my colleagues who examined the volumes carefully to state their position with regard to them. Do you want to do it?
MR. GOODRICH: I guess probably I examined the Thailand one most carefully, and I will report on that, and you can take care of the China one.
As I think we see it, in 1941, the Volume 5, Foreign Relations in the Far East, as far as that is concerned, the question really is whether the volume is to be published or not on the basis of the volume as it stands, whether it is to be published or not on the basis of the Thailand material, because it has already been assembled and bound, and therefore there is no question of eliminating certain documents so as to permit the publication of the remainder. If that course were to be followed, you would have to have a completely new preparation of the volume in question.
Now there are a number of documents here, and I haven’t got the volume here.
MR. KRETZMANN: Here it is. It is all clipped there.
MR. GOODRICH: I had your copy.
MR. NOBLE: Where is the 1941 volume?
MR. GOODRICH: It is 1940.
MR. KRETZMANN: My copy is clipped just like yours, Bernard. He can use mine.
MR. LEOPOLD: Here it is.
MR. GOODRICH: There are a number of documents here where Mr. Grant, who has been the Minister to Bangkok makes some very specific and none-too-complimentary references to the Prime Minister, who is now I believe still living, and Prince Won, who is a respected figure currently, and an elder statesman of Thailand and Representative of the United Nations in dealing with the Hungarian question. He does not, I would think, hold any such damaging personal remark as was made with respect to Eden in another question, as being a psychopathic case, and things like that, but he does refer to him as being pro-Japanese and engaged in activities from the point of view of American national interests which would certainly not be commended. Here, for example:
”As I inquired of the principals the public extent of Siamese claims to be presented to the Tokio Mediation Conference, he replied he had been designated by the Foreign Minister to study that very question” ... and he mentioned the territories of Laos and Cambodia, and he is quoted in another connection in a later document, Prince Won said, “We will try to get all that we can” and more specifically he is quoted as saying, “We will try to get Laos and Cambodia.” In another place he has referred to Prince Won as the front man for the present regime, and another communication has a reference to the aggressive policy of the Thailand Government, and the fact that the Thailand Government is filing a protest along this line.
Now, for the reasons which I am not familiar with, apparently Mr. Grant either resigned or was recalled as Minister to Bangkok along about the end of August. In any case he was replaced by Mr. Beck, and from that point on the reports coming back were of a somewhat different nature, indicating a more sympathetic view of the plight of Thailand and of what the Thailand Government was trying to do. And then at the end you had the Japanese invasion and then after a very sharp resistance the surrender and negotiation of a treaty of alliance, and then the Thailand Minister in Washington, in a conversation with the Secretary of State, practically says what Grant had earlier been reporting, that this was a pro-Japanese group that now controls the Government. That, then, is the general picture.
Now, it would seem to me that all these things have to be taken in historical perspective, and just because, let’s say, the person who was the Prime Minister and Prince Won seem at that time and were reported by our Minister as having followed a policy which was opposed to our national interests, and which we were then condemning, and Secretary Hull was quite colorful on one or two occasions in his condemnation, I don’t think that that should be a reason for excluding the material from the historical record, because we admit President Roosevelt said some things we wish he had not said. Our Government adopted some policies which we wish they had not adopted. And these other people could have done the same thing and still be on the side of the angels at the present time.
So where so much is at stake, the publication of the whole volume, I would feel particularly strongly that the material here in question is not so objectionable as to warrant indefinite postponement, and I think that is the feeling of the two other members of the Committee who looked this material over very carefully.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to add anything?
MR. HARRINGTON: No; that represents our point of view.
MR. LEOPOLD: This is excellent.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think I should introduce Mr. Parsons to you. He is the Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs.
MR. PARSONS: I am very grateful for the opportunity to appear before this group and to try to put into perspective the point of view we bring to bear on publication of this particular volume. I know that this has been a highly controversial issue for several years and that the general feeling of your group has been along the lines which have just been reaffirmed.
In dealing with this problem I did not wish simply to reaffirm the position which had been taken by other members of the Far Eastern Bureau or by my predecessor, in whose judgment I have the greatest confidence, however. I thought that in view of the fact that we would be discussing this with you sometime, that I would prefer to have the whole issue reviewed by someone who had not been involved in reviewing it before and who was reasonably fresh to the Department.
I have had it reviewed by my new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs, who just returned from being Consul General in Hong Kong and before that Political Adviser to Admiral Stump and Admiral Felt in Honolulu. I also sent a message to Ambassador Johnson in Bangkok to obtain his judgment in the light of current circumstances.
My own disposition in the abstract is to want to publish the maximum for obvious reasons, because the understanding of our foreign policy and the development of constructive attitudes depends on public opinion being well informed.
MR. PARSONS: [Continuing] It depends on the public being well informed and on having a highly-sophisticated and intelligent and scholarly public opinion brought to bear on the issues. It is, therefore, with considerable reluctance that I have reached a contrary view on the publication of a volume relating to events so many years in the past.
Now at the risk of detaining you for a few minutes, I would like to try briefly to relate the issue of the publication of this volume with the references to our current foreign policy objectives in the Far East and most particularly in South East Asia.
As you all know, the defense of the free Far Eastern countries on the perimeter of the great and dynamic Chinese land mass, the aggressive Chinese regime at the present time, is our basic objective. The preservation of the freedom of these countries, many of them new countries, countries still undergoing the birth pangs after years of colonial rule, is highly important to basic United States interests and to the balance of power in the free world. Nowhere is the arc of free Asia weaker than in the South East Asian area. Furthermore, South East Asia, unlike Western Europe, is not a well-knit and cohesive region with a tremendous web of interrelationships which make possible and have made possible the development of a relatively stable post-war Western Europe in the last few years.
South East Asia, when you look at it on the map, is not really a region. It has been divided by many factors, including the very backwardness of those countries and the lack of means for intercourse between them. In this area, the neighbors, not only do not have an intricate web of relationships and therefore do not know each other well in depth, but to the extent they do know each other it has been largely as enemies. As one example, we might take Thailand and Cambodia. Much of Thailand, as it exists at present, was carved out of Cambodia on the ruins of the ancient Khmer Empire centered at Angkor Wat. When the French came to Cambodia in 1863 and induced the King of Cambodia to accept a protectorate—it was at the expense of Thai claims—both Thailand and the Annamite Kingdom claimed suzerainty over what is now Cambodia.
In 1867 the French forced the Thais to renounce claims to parts of Siem-reap and Battambang Provinces. In 1883 they forced further relationships with the Thais. In 1904 they forced the relinquishment of the northern area which included the Temple of Preah Vihear, which in the years ever since has been a symbol for an intense emotionalism on both sides. In 1907 the French wrested the Siem-reap, the province in which is located Sisophon and Battambang, from the Thais. The Thais have never been reconciled to this. In 1941 the Japanese forced the French to accept them as mediators and the end result of that was that the Japanese restored to Thailand the areas that Thailand had taken from them by the French in 1904 and 1907 which is their Cambodian protectorate.
In the 1947 treaty of Washington, the Thais were forced by the French to agree to a reservation of the status quo; in other words, Cambodia bought back its pre-war boundaries which were carved out at the expense of Thailand.
When relations between Thailand and Cambodia are quiescent, very little is heard of the old Irredentist plea that these provinces must be restored to Thailand. However it is not often, unfortunately, that relations between Cambodia and its neighbors are quiescent. Many of you are familiar with the policies and attitudes and the rather spectacular initiatives of Prince Sihanouk, the present Minister and former King of Cambodia. In 1958, without any warning whatever, he broke off diplomatic relations with Thailand and the United States engaged in a very delicate and difficult business of good offices—let’s say, rather than mediation—seeking to calm the excitement and to restore the rupture.
In 1959, in February of this year, Sihanouk accused both Vietnam and Thailand of harboring his own enemies, Sansari and other individuals, and of fomenting dissension in Cambodia, aimed at overthrowing him. The same month there was a revolt headed by the Governor of Siem-reap Province, Dap Chhuon. His revolt was overthrown and he was killed. However, the suspicions of Cambodia were directed at Thailand, at Vietnam, and also at the United States, which was held responsible in the sense that Prince Sihanouk couldn’t understand why, if we were allied to Thailand and Vietnam, we couldn’t prevent them from taking steps at this time. Therefore, we must have been abetting them.
In November of this year, without previous warning, Prince Sihanouk submitted the issue relating to the Temple of Preah Vihear to the World Court for adjudication. This was without prior notification to the Thais. This has now touched off a new wave of emotionalism in Thailand and we are reading such things in our cables as the following: This is November 4, in the Chou Thai newspaper: “The time has come when the return of Siem-reap, Battambang, Sisophor, and Kompong ought to be taken up for consideration by the Government.”
In another paper, “Norodom”—that is Prince Sihanouk’s other name—“has led the Thai people to arrange the return of Thai territory which Cambodia is now ruling.”
And in still another paper, “Our thoughts cannot help but turn back to the time when the territories were taken away unjustly and are now ruled by Cambodia. The time has come when we must demand their return.”
And here’s a telegram from Phnom-penh on the 5th: “Accompanied by my Deputy Chief of Mission I called on the Acting Prime Minister at his urgent request. He said Sihanouk had instructed him to inform me of very disquieting information they had received that the Royal Thai Government giving active encouragement and support to Khmer dissidents. According to Cambodian information, the Thais had asked dissident leaders to furnish the equipment”, etc. etc.
And another article: “The Acting Prime Minister appeared genuinely concerned that the Thais were planning to invade Cambodia”, and so on and so forth.
I have here other telegrams reflecting the anxiety of the French about the mounting wave of anti-Cambodian nationalism, quoting the French Ambassador in Bangkok; and another one quoting a long conversation between the Australian Ambassador and our Ambassador in Bangkok regarding Australian efforts to try to calm this situation down.
I think what I have said is enough to indicate that this is a highly volatile situation and that our diplomatic agents are confronted with situations of the utmost delicacy in trying to prevent disputes, deeply seated disputes, between free world countries breaking out in a form which could benefit only one party, namely, the Chinese Communists and the Communist bloc as a whole.
The 1941 volume contains much historical information confirming the intentions of the Thais and the attitude of the Thais toward this matter. In addition to the passages which have just been quoted, there are passages of a generally similar nature reflecting this type of attitude on pages 2, 7, 43, 47, 88, 113, 114, 117-118, 219, 237, and 343. They do center around primarily the attitudes of the statesmen of the time, Prince Wan and Prime Minister Aphaiwong, both of whom are still active and who may be influential figures again.
But, in reaching a conclusion, which I am very sorry to reach, I have been motivated in taking a position for our Far Eastern Bureau far more by the broader factor of free world interest in the area than the fact that publication of this volume now would be exploited by the Cambodians, it would be exploited by the Communist bloc, and it would be to the detriment of an important free world ally whose capital is also the center of the South East Asia Treaty Organization, on which the collective security arrangements of the area depend. I hope that in a future year or I hope that my successors would be able to reverse the position that we take, but so far as our Bureau is concerned—and we are very deeply concerned—our recommendation has to be contrary to publication at this time.
MR. GOODRICH: Can I ask a question? Do you think that there is any information contained in these documents regarding the policy of the Thailand Government during this period or the reactions of the Thailand Government which is not pretty general knowledge? I had the impression myself that it added very little except in detail more than I already knew regarding what the Thailand Government is trying to achieve during the war period. And, so far as the current situation is concerned, I would think that Cambodian leaders and others would have ready access to information indicating what the desires of Thailand were and what their general feelings were with respect to these lost territories. If that is true, if this adds very little to what is known, and particularly what’s known by Cambodian leaders and others in that general group, I don’t quite see the harm that would be done by the publication of a historical record and it has been pointed out earlier, it seems to me, that along with the publication more harm would be done if any harm is to be done. What we would like to see is publication in due course without delay, calling attention to the fact that there may be something here that we could study later.
MR. PARSONS: I think the documents reflect attitudes and suspicions and policies perhaps that are pretty common knowledge. In that sense, it’s quite correct and would certainly agree with you that there is very little that is new Information. However, to have confirmation in official American documents that this is indeed so is not a helpful element to introduce into the situation at the present time. Furthermore, the very act of publication is certainly something which would not increase our influence with the Thai Government. I think it would confound our friends in that government, particularly those elements who are close to us and who are the exponents of moderation and who realize that unity in the area and development of regionalism there is an important thing for the salvation of the whole area. The current Foreign Minister, for instance, has been making efforts in this regard against rather heavy odds. He is very well aware of the dangers to the area as a whole.
I think publication by the United States would certainly be regarded as an affront by the Thai Government and would not be a helpful factor in the context either of our relations with the Thai Government or in the development of the South East Asia Treaty Organization which is not merely a collective defense organization but which is a vehicle for developing closer relationships of various sorts between the countries.
MR. GOODRICH: You don’t feel then that it’s possible to convince the Thai authorities that the publication of that Foreign Relations volume is not an instrument of our national policy, but rather a record for scholars.
MR. PARSONS: Well, I’m not quite sure.
MR. GOODRICH: Well, to remove the significance of publication of a historical record, that’s all.
MR. KRETZMANN: We can’t even convince them about the New York Times. [Laughter]
MR. PARSONS: These are things that have happened that deeply affect the lives and attitudes of people today, and when you’re dealing with a person as volatile as Prince Sihanouk who is ready to exploit any weapon that he can seize, he feels that he is the weaker party, I think it’s unfortunate to do something which would hurt rather than help even in the current context. And I have no doubt whatever that the Communist bloc would seize on the publication with considerable satisfaction and we would find this exploited in Peiping and Hanoi.
THE CHAIRMAN: What would be exploited? I don’t understand. When you say, “This will be exploited”, I’m not quite clear as to what you mean, because the facts are not new facts. In what sense do you mean? Do you mean the publication would be taken to be an act of discourtesy toward the Thai Government, or what?
MR. PARSONS: They would twist it and say, “Look here, even the United States recognizes as long ago as 1941 that Thailand was imperialist and Prince Sihanouk was quite right in recognizing the Chinese Communists and in calling on the great Chinese Republic to defend.” You know how they exploit any issue they can get a hold of.
MR. LEOPOLD: I assume, Mr. Parsons, in line with your remarks that this future year that you speak about is one to which maybe you or your successor could recommend—maybe this isn’t very near—that this is going to continue to be the situation in that area for many years to come. I say this because what’s involved here, as you are well aware, is not only the publication of these documents but documents which presumably you would have no objection to being published and this is one of the issues, I think, that the committee has to consider—how long this will be held up—for these reasons.
MR. KRETZMANN: May I speak to that point, Mr. Chairman? I must say quite frankly that Mr. Parsons and Mr. Stephens and other people in FE have shown a full appreciation of our problem with this particular volume. No one volume has been the subject of more discussion between us and other bureaus than this one. We have tried, I think, I hope Jeff will agree, to bring forward, Mr. Berding and I from our side, an understanding of their problem. So there is no quarrel between us, really.
But I see here a real dilemma. This volume is a real dilemma for us because I certainly support Bernard Noble’s position that we cannot publish a record of this period which does not reflect what’s actually in here. This would be a dishonest document if we deleted these things and it would not accurately and correctly reflect the history of the period. Secondly, I share Mr. Leopold’s fear that this could go on indefinitely being postponed.
What I thought I’d be getting to is how do we solve this one? I can see one way, which I would like to throw on the table for consideration of Mr. Parsons and the rest of you, that at some point we really decide we are going to publish this and then do, which will take a couple of months, the ground work, if our relations with the governments in the area are such that we need to do. In other words, for us to inform them that we are going to publish it, back it up very carefully with a parallel record of the known facts that have already been published in other volumes to show that this really isn’t anything new, and then exert whatever pressures we can on, you see, Sihanouk and the others not to use the document or exploit it or warn them if they do we will simply say we gave them advance notice. That is the only way I can see we can finally break this deadlock or else this whole volume is going to have to go on the shelf for “an indefinite period”.
THE CHAIRMAN: If this is true, what this really means, does it not, is that the China volumes will be indefinitely held up? The argument you gave with regard to this is innocent compared with the China volumes.
MR. KRETZMANN: At the moment there is no issue between the Bureau of Public Affairs and FE. We agree we cannot publish this at this time because of the things I think Mr. Parsons has very well presented here this morning. So, although we have the recourse of going upstairs to the Under Secretary to settle this—what I’m directing my attention to is how in the future can we break this dilemma and this is one procedure that I think I would like to have FE think about, in really careful preparation for the release of it, warning everybody in advance and then being prepared to make public that we did warn them.
MR. PARSONS: Well, we would certainly be willing to look into the practicality of that. I personally think that if it’s to the advantage of certain people in the Far East to exploit the information or the act of publication regardless of anything that we may try to do, they will do so. We have no control over that.
MR. KRETZMANN: No, I agree, but we would have the counter information available immediately with which to answer it.
MR. PARSONS: And certainly my device which would lead to getting rid of this problem is one we should look into. I’m agreed to that, and am prepared to take another look at it on that basis and in the context of things this would come around to next year.
To answer Dr. Leopold’s question in another way, I don’t think anybody can set a time limit, but I don’t think it’s by any means inconceivable, that the situation could evolve in such a way that this thing would look less important to us and look less damaging. Rulers change in different countries. And Prince Sihanouk might leave the scene. A different group might come to the fore in Cambodia. The same way in Thailand.
Furthermore, there are great influences at work in this whole area at the present time. Take the prevailing attitudes towards Communist China today and some years ago in that area, and the working upon these people of the common menace is going to have its effect over a period of years. It has already had its effect. The Taiwan Strait crisis of a year ago has opened people’s eyes throughout the area, for instance, as to the importance of the United States role in the Far East from the standpoint of their preservation of their independence on almost a day-to-day basis.
And there is our China policy, which to many of them is highly controversial as well as to many of us too. They begin to see that in different dimensions in terms of their own national survival and this is a factor making for unity. It is also a factor making for a better position for the United States in what it’s trying to accomplish there.
MR. NOBLE: Could you tell us whether any of the chief figures in the present government were involved back in 1941, and I’m thinking of the extent to which the Cambodians might make a case against the present government which was a different government. And also whether the present government has made any gestures in the direction of taking, say, forcible action in the recovery of this territory which is in controversy.
MR. PARSONS: In answer to the first part of the question, Prince Wan is one of the two Deputy Prime Ministers in the present government. He is not in a position of influence comparable to that which he exerted in previous governments over a considerable period of years. However, in Thailand the fortunes of individuals change rather rapidly and he may again be a very important factor, particularly in the conduct of foreign relations. Phibun, former Prime Minister, is living in Japan at the present time. He spanned half the distance between us and Thailand now. A year ago he was living in exile in California at the University, and he has now gotten half way back and we may see him all the way back. In still another year his political fortunes might be rehabilitating. These are people who might play an important part in the life of their nation again.
The Cambodian Government has taken no overt steps to recover any of these territories and I do not take seriously, as the Acting Prime Minister of Cambodia does, the threat that they will march against Cambodia. Nevertheless, the Cambodians think this is a crisis and that is what they have to deal with and what we have to deal with. They have taken, however, a pretty high attitude toward the Preah Vihear issue. That, of course, involves religious emotions. This is an ancient Buddhist temple which has been a Mecca for people in that general neighborhood for a long, long time and it’s right on the current boundary, the boundary set by the French in 1904 or 1907, I forget which. In the case of the Preah Vihear, they are now building a road to it which didn’t exist before. This is a very primitive area, with just paths into it. They are taking steps to show that they intend to hang on to it, even though it’s a small enclave actually within what the Cambodians claim to be their territory.
MR. BERDAHL: You mean the Thais?
MR. PARSONS: The Thais are building the road. The Thais have possession. In quiescent times, both the Thais and Cambodians use it. They have free access to it and there is no problem.
MR. NOBLE: I suppose nobody believes that SEATO or the United States or anyone else would permit Thailand to move against Cambodia with force. Isn’t that true, Mr. Parsons?
MR. PARSONS: We try awfully hard to prevent it, and I think we have lots of help in that from the British, French, Australians and other countries in that area.
MR. GOODRICH: I was wondering, in reading the documents, if perhaps the attitude of the United States Government that was held or expressed at the time toward the Thais ambitions being an important factor for not wanting the publication of this volume.
MR. PARSONS: No, I would say that is a subsidiary, a very subsidiary factor. That is 17 or 18 years back now. Other things being equal, I would like to get this volume out. I think we could accept anything of that kind after that passage of time. And I also regard the effect on the individuals as a less important matter too, and one which even though these two individuals might come back in a more prominent role, I regard that as a lessening factor as we go along. But it’s the problem of the relationships in the area and the interaction of that on the major problems of the Far East that concern me.
MR. GOODRICH: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: Does any other member of the committee have anything to say at the moment? [None]
I’d like to relate this problem, Mr. Parsons, to the one which also includes China. In the case of the China volume we have had publication which was very damaging.
MR. PARSONS: I have heard my predecessor, Mr. Robertson, discuss that.
MR. THAYER: So have we.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you think it can be maintained that our relations with Nationalist China have been fundamentally made for the worse by the publication of the White Paper?
MR. PARSONS: I think it’s something which the Generalissimo and many of the people and Taiwan have never really gotten over. They have partially gotten over it, but they have never completely gotten over it.
MR. KRETZMANN: They had to get over it.
MR. PARSONS: They have to live with it.
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes.
MR. PARSONS: But I think there is a residue of distrust and disquiet that we might do another zig or another zag at any moment which would take the props out from under them.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you think in a concrete way it has adversely affected the regime of Chiang Kai-shek?
MR. PARSONS: Yes. I have always understood so.
MR. LEOPOLD: Was there any comparable reaction, or any reaction, when the 1942 volume was released dealing with China?
MR. PARSONS: I’m afraid we have to get someone else here from the China office. I can’t answer that right away.
MR. HARRINGTON: We are inclined to think some damage was done with reference to the White Paper and the publication of this whole series of 15 volumes would just plow the same field.
MR. KRETZMANN: Or rub more salt in the wound.
MR. HARRINGTON: This is the point, and I suppose we might as well come right to it. The 1941 volume with the Thai material, while it doesn’t represent things that are altogether novel, at least doesn’t tie into a publication like the White Paper. We, therefore, feel much more strongly about the China ’43 publication. We feel that this definitely ought to move ahead. It, of course, like the ’41 one is already printed, but the basic point here is that we feel that the China White Paper, having been published, this series can go ahead without raising these new questions. Now, along with our basic belief that the historical record ought to be published, we have this further feeling with reference to this particular series. While it is true, of course, that this ’43 China volume does contain a great deal of criticism of Chiang Kai-shek, there is also some criticism of the Chinese Communists and I think of all the things we looked at at this time—that is the American Republics material—the material on the war-time conferences, Cairo, Tehran, Potsdam, the Thai material and the China material, we felt most strongly about the publication of the China ’43 volume. We deplore very much it being held up. We recognize a decision is here being made that we will have reference to these other 13 China volumes too, several of which are ready, as I understand it.
MR. LEOPOLD: But our recommendation at the moment is based on the reading of these documents.
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes. Last year this committee took a stand, and I was not a member of the committee, but one in which I would certainly concur. But now we follow this up by reading these documents and feel publication should proceed.
MR. BERDAHL: It is also clear that these volumes contain references to Chiang Kai-shek with criticism but also to the Chinese Communists.
MR. GOODRICH: I believe we have been told that as you get along in later years the documents become even more favorable to Chiang Kai-shek and particularly more critical of the Chinese Communists. As I recall, the whole project was initiated as sort of a reaction to the White Paper, with the belief if the whole story was told it would put the Communists in a less favorable light.
MR. PARSONS: Well, I’m not too familiar with the project as a whole and the elements that went into the decision to go ahead and work up this series, but just speaking off the cuff, I could see an advantage of publishing all at the same time, rather than publishing the one which might appear to the Government of the Republic of China as sort of a sequel to the White Paper and perhaps an indication of changing attitudes here.
MR. KRETZMANN: I think this is a very special problem because, let’s be frank here, the publication of the White Paper on China had extraordinary motivations and pressures on it and I think it was a mistake and I think practically everybody in the Department today would admit that, quite apart from partisan feelings on it. Because it has somewhat compromised the series. I don’t mean this in too bad a way, Bernard, but it has cast a certain light on it. I have been thinking along the same lines as Jeff has. The decision we made was to hold up the publication. We didn’t say to stop them. I think the best thing we can do is to put the whole series out at once when the thing comes into perspective. I think that is the answer to the China series.
THE CHAIRMAN: When you say “most series”, what do you mean?
MR. KRETZMANN: Well, bringing them down to the post-war period, ’49 perhaps.
MR. GOODRICH: How many volumes will there be?
MR. HARRINGTON: Fifteen.
MR. NUEREMBERGER: There will be a mass of volumes at the same time.
MR. KRETZMANN: That will certainly confuse the newsmen.
MR. HARRINGTON: Do you have them all in galley? Do you have the first 12 in galley?
MR. NOBLE: The last three.
MR. NUEREMBERGER: The last three, but all the rest are going in galley. They are all in galley through ’48 and we have clearance from the Chinese Government through 1945. As you will recall, this spring just sort of out of the blue, when we asked for a clearance on some documents in the 1942 Volume I, when the reply came back there also came back a clearance on a volume for 1945 on the China series, which we had been trying to get a reply on for years and all of a sudden out of the blue we get the clearance on the ’45 volume.
THE CHAIRMAN: I wish you would restate that statement. You say you have had clearance for what volumes?
MR. NUEREMBERGER: From the Chinese Government we have submitted documents to them and of those submitted to them we have clearance through ’45 now.
MR. NOBLE: The ’44 volume is waiting Department clearance.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, do you mean that the Chinese Government does not object to our 1943 volume?
MR. NUEREMBERGER: Not their documents. It’s not their documents which we submitted to them. The Chinese documents in all the volumes up through 1945 have now been cleared by the Chinese Government.
MR. LEOPOLD: That doesn’t mean they approve the publication of the volume.
MR. E. R. PERKINS: There is one point I’d like to make. The great objection, I think, to the White Paper was not the publication of the documents. It was put out as an instrument of policy at the time with a statement which was made by the Secretary of State saying that this showed that the United States was not at fault and the Chinese Nationalist Government was. That is far different from the publication in proper time of the official documentary record issued not as a national policy.
MR. KRETZMANN: You say policy or politics?
MR. E. R. PERKINS: Policy.
MR. NOBLE: The rent for the storage of volumes while waiting for the last volume would be more than the Department could bear.
MR. KRETZMANN: We are considering billing this to FE.
MR. NOBLE: Otherwise it’s an excellent suggestion.
MR. KRETZMANN: This is an unusual case in which I think perhaps our Foreign Service and our Government matured in this whole process of dealing with the situation. It was rather taken in, I think, in the first stages of this thing, both people and generally, I think.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t know that we can do much more than reiterate the view which was expressed in the committee: We are deeply concerned about delays in the publication of these volumes, of course, and we certainly don’t want to see a greater lag and we would like to see them published in order. What has troubled us is that so many of these facts are known. This makes it difficult for us to believe. But the effect of reiteration of the facts that are already known would be very serious. This comes up again and again. That is our point of view. We understand yours and we want you to understand ours. Without being at all dogmatic about it and while recognizing the publication wouldn’t have a more generalized effect on our relations with the Government on Formosa, I mean that would be the point of view. Are we speaking correctly? But that would be the point of view I would personally take. We have an alliance with the Government on Formosa. It is a better government than it has ever been probably from some points of view, and here we are.
Now, if in the meantime we can only do in our capacity expressing ourselves on the problem, the responsibility of course lies in the Department. We have to bear the responsibility for this.
MR. KRETZMANN: We have publicly announced we are going to postpone the publication of the China series.
THE CHAIRMAN: We have what?
MR. KRETZMANN: We have announced publicly that we are going to postpone the publication of the China series.
MR. HARRINGTON: What was the exact nature of the announcement? Did it say you were going to postpone indefinitely or postpone this particular volume, or what?
MR. KRETZMANN: No, this China series that we agreed on here last year, I think.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course your suggestion in regard to the publication of all the volumes at once would require some special financing, wouldn’t it?
MR. NOBLE: Well, I think that if we continue to get the appropriations as we have been getting them for the publication, I think we could handle that alright.
MR. KRETZMANN: The storage vaults?
THE CHAIRMAN: What would be your position, Mr. Parsons, if we did handle the publication of the volumes of ’43 to ’49? Would that make it easier from your point of view in solving the problem?
MR. PARSONS: That is my off-hand opinion. I wouldn’t like to be committed to this in a final way without studying it and talking to the people in our bureau who are pretty knowledgeable on that.
MR. NOBLE: I think, Mr. Chairman, with that opinion of Mr. Parsons, we might be encouraged to go ahead and prepare them for publication in the hope that it might be possible to release them, all 14.
MR. BERDAHL: What can you suggest as the possible timing—a couple of years or more than that? I assume it would take at least a couple of years.
MR. NOBLE: I think possibly three. What do you think, Mr. Nueremberger?
MR. NUEREMBERGER: Well, they are all in galleys. We don’t know what clearances we have with other foreign governments. I think we have some with the British.
MR. E. R. PERKINS: You people in FE would have a tremendous mass of papers to go through for clearance. I think we would be haggling over clearance for a long time.
MR. KRETZMANN: This gives the thing some perspective. That is my argument.
MR. PARSONS: That is one very strong argument in favor of it. Of course from that point of view it would be our hope that we could carry the thing into the post-Korean War operation, say 1950-51, but I gather this project just goes through the ’41 year.
MR. E. R. PERKINS: It goes through the over-throw of the government on the Mainland of China.
MR. BERDAHL: After that the intention is to put it back in the regular annual volumes.
MR. E. R. PERKINS: You proposed last year that the volume would be brought out currently as each year we go along year-by-year.
MR. LEOPOLD: In this connection, while I think I am individually involved in getting this particular volume out, what I wanted to ask Bernard is if we should come to this sort of an arrangement: all right, we are going to make a big mass effort to get ’43 to ’49 out because by doing them we can get ’43. What’s going to happen to your war-time conferences, what’s going to happen to your others? Would this delay things that are now in process or about to be published if you had to put all of your staff on to this?
MR. NOBLE: Well, I think Ralph Perkins’ staff could handle the China volumes and the war-time conferences by a rather unusual arrangement which would be necessary by the exigencies of the case which are being handled by Dick Dougall’s branch.
MR. DOUGALL:: The place where we would have scheduling problems would be where the GPO and priorities would have to be assigned.
MR. KRETZMANN: War-time publications are pretty well in hand, aren’t they?
MR. E. R. PERKINS: It’s not an automatic compilation at all. We would detail anybody to work on it. It would entirely be throwing this massive program on priority onto our technical editors. It will affect editing and indexing and all that kind of work that would have to be given priority. The work is entirely, as I said, compiled, so there is nothing we would have to do about it except just as certain pressures came up we would set researchers to work on it.
MR. LEOPOLD: The committee did take the position last year, as I remember it, that the committee didn’t like this shooting out here and shooting out there, that we wanted to keep the progress pretty uniform and this would come back to Bill Franklin’s point if things are published in regular order they attract less attention. And I just wanted to be sure that if we did go down this line it wouldn’t sacrifice something else that would come out in the normal order.
MR. BERDAHL: If this is at all possible to get these out en masse, wouldn’t it then be possible to get along with a single indexing, which would be put in the last volume?
MR. E.R. PERKINS: I assume it would be a volume in itself. It would come out a long time after the volumes, are published.
MR. BERDAHL: I suppose it’s not very practical.
THE CHAIRMAN: The practical problem would be a problem of clearance, wouldn’t it?
MR. E.R. PERKINS: As far as our shop goes, it will be a clearance problem and that would throw a big burden on FE of course for the clearance of all this material.
MR. BERDAHL: Hire some people to do the reading.
MR. GOODRICH: This is a purely technical question. I guess Bernard is the one to answer it. I notice in this statement here on status that Volume V, volume 1941 and the 1943 China volume are labelled “awaiting release”, and others are “awaiting clearance.” What is that distinction?
MR. NOBLE: Well, “waiting release” means that the volume is in bound form but waiting clearance.
MR. GOODRICH: Then there was clearance already obtained?
MR. NOBLE: Clearance obtained in galley.
MR. GOODRICH: I see.
MR. KRETZMANN: Let’s not be unfair to them. I think there were circumstances that arose. I was present when some of this hold-up took place, that arose just before publication. This last review that was made arose just before publication.
MR. GOODRICH: This last stage after the volume is assembled, then you have to get a final release.
MR. KRETZMANN: And certain political factors arose which made it wise to reconsider this and it was thought advisable by the Secretary to hold this up.
MR. NOBLE: It is only in the past five years that we have had this problem of releasing. But, according to the change in political circumstances the national position was such, especially where the timing of the release has become important, and a second look was taken at that time.
MR. KRETZMANN: This is a general problem I would like to discuss with you at a later session, this whole question.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there anything more to be said on this subject, or any decision to be formulated? I think we understand Mr. Parsons’ point of view. I think we are well aware of that, and our own. This proposal for publication of the thing en masse is a proper subject for further consideration by the committee, I suppose. And then your general attitude would be sympathetic.
MR. PARSONS: This is my off-the-cuff attitude, and I would like to be sympathetic but I don’t want to be committed to it until I have looked into it and talked with the people whose advice I ought to consider.
MR. KRETZMANN: We won’t hold you to it until we get it in writing. On both cases, I wish you would give thought to this device of getting this volume out, the ’41 Thailand volume, in the manner in which I suggest, if you think it has merit; and also on the China series we would like to hear from FE on that.
MR. E.R. PERKINS: I’m a little inclined to give my off-hand opinion, that throwing all these volumes out as one big hunk would cause more reaction, much more reaction, than it would if volumes come out one after another gradually.
MR. NOBLE: They will have to do a lot of reading first.
MR. KRETZMANN: Well, the Congressional backers who first started this project are of course gone, but they can return and we have always had a certain reluctance in the Department of going against the wishes and intent of Congress even though it was expressed back as far as ’53.
MR. FRANKLIN: We had a regular program. We could face both sides of the House always with a clear conscience. As soon as we push here, hold here, of course we are extremely vulnerable. I would say we would be defenseless.
THE CHAIRMAN: Have you anything else you want to say on this, Mr. Parsons?
MR. PARSONS: Well, thank you, sir. I haven’t really discussed this other volume, but I think you know my attitude and it is probably no use going over a lot of ground which has been gone over with you before.
With regard to the China volume, I will say just this—and I hope it won’t sound controversial because it’s just one of the factors that we have considered and a factor which we have had to consider this year in going over the ’43 volume again—the question is that of Tibet. The volume, for instance, reveals that without the permission of the Chinese Government we sent an OSS mission in 1943, and whereas the British gave us clearance for the British documents on Tibet in this particular series, we might well have to re-clear with them because in the context of the Chinese Communist suppression of Tibet this year the British have several times made statements in regard to having always recognized that Tibet was an autonomous region under the suzerainty of China.
Their traditional position has been with the Chinese that they would recognize the suzerainty of China if China, for its part, would regard Tibet as autonomous and deal with it as autonomous. And in this volume they take positions which indicate—I don’t think there is any direct statement to that effect—clearly that beginning about 1912 they are regarded as a de facto independent country. So the British have shown up as being somewhat inconsistent in this volume, because what they have said now doesn’t correspond to what they said has always been their position before. I don’t want to underline that, but Tibet is a hot issue right now and many important things hang on the Tibetan issue, in fact what is going to happen In India, etc. That is the only new factor in this particular picture.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, sir.
MR. PARSONS: That is all. I’d just like to say it has been a pleasure to be with you gentlemen, and even though I appeared in the role of Peck’s bad boy, and I certainly wish you well in work which I have a full appreciation of the importance of this, I can assure you.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, sir. Is there any question you want to bring up now, Mr. Noble?
MR. NOBLE: [Off the record]
THE CHAIRMAN: We will recess for lunch and reconvene at 1:30 this afternoon.
[Whereupon the committee recessed at 12:05 p.m. to reconvene at 1:30 in the afternoon.]
[The meeting was reconvened at 2:15 p.m., Mr. Dexter Perkins, presiding.]
THE CHAIRMAN: What we did was discuss the question of personnel and the budgetary question.
MR. NOBLE: I would be glad to make some remarks on that subject. We were discussing this outside. It is clear that as things are there is a tendency to slip farther behind with the compilation of editing. The reasons are partly clearance difficulties and partly in the nature of documents. The tremendous growth of the so-called lots which are unindexed and have to be surveyed before the compilation be regarded as complete complicated the problem very greatly, and it is clear that to hope to keep up at our present level—keep up with the present lag as it were, we would need three additional persons on this staff.
It is hard to make an exact estimate but our people feel sure they would be required in the next year or two and of course there are some implications I suppose for the publications side too but for the editing side I think we would have to say we need three to give us any hope of our holding our own so to speak, and we would want to bring them in at a nine level or an eleven level, depending on their qualifications. That would mean approximately $18,000.
THE CHAIRMAN: What can we do about that? What would you like this Committee to do? Would you wish us to say in our report that we thought an increase in the number of persons in the Department—
MR. NOBLE: Say you have explored the problem in its various phases and noticed the tendency for the gap to widen and say you find it is a basic problem of staff.
THE CHAIRMAN: We went at the problem in our discussion before you came in. We thought it was fair to say the volume is going to be enormous and we thought it would be worthwhile if at our next meeting we discussed the question. Even with more staff you have a problem?
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: A serious problem?
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: If we get down to the period of activity—
MR. NOBLE: It is hard to believe, and you can check on that, that we can expect to get clearance on anything like an across-the-board basis under 19 or 20 years.
MR. KRETZMANN: This was the major topic I wanted to talk about. I think a recommendation from this Committee on this period of what is an acceptable interim after these documents—I mentioned this at the Secretary’s staff meeting Thursday, that you would come in and talk about this. This is an occasion to get all the assistant secretaries together with top level authority behind them because the Secretary and the Under Secretary are always there and I tried to encourage them to be here today to discuss these with some good results but they got into the discussion of length of time and I think this is worth passing on, they wanted to know what the best period had been because if there was a time when it was one year—I didn’t go into all the history of it but I mentioned the 12- or 15-year period up to 30.
MR. NOBLE: Many people thought there was a 15-year gap. I would fix that as the appropriate lag but no period had been set as a matter of policy.
MR. KRETZMANN: When you met with the congressional committees in 1953, did they express a preference for a certain period of time?
MR. NOBLE: They simply requested in their resolution that the gap be wiped out. They didn’t indicate there should be any period, but—
MR. FRANKLIN: It should be brought up to currency.
MR. KRETZMANN: The feeling was among the top officers that we need to look at this because of the many ramifications of our interests now and where we get so closely involved, as was beautifully manifested in the Southeast Asian situation this morning—we are involved in that—and we were not before, and you could write this history of relations, but we are involved very much and the feeling was—Mr. Reinhardt thought of a 20-year lapse as being desirable and I said I thought we would have to settle for about 20.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you think we could?
MR. KRETZMANN: I think so and then try to settle on a schedule.
MR. HARRINGTON: We are not far from that now if you get the China group.
MR. FRANKLIN: Can we hold it at 20?
MR. HARRINGTON: That is the question.
MR. KRETZMANN: We will have a stronger position if the Committee feels it would like to make a recommendation and tie the 20-year period in with a regular schedule of publications and then we can get away from this thing that was bothering us this morning.
MR. GOODRICH: Do you mean a publication of all volumes and not simultaneously perhaps?
MR. KRETZMANN: I can make a strong argument that I think would be convincing if we have a regular publication—sequence—that we abolish the business of looking at it for final review. It would really have to be extraordinarily dangerous to national security to stop it.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you think an agreement of that kind would stick?
MR. KRETZMANN: If we get top level support which we have never had.
MR. HARRINGTON: You would not like to have the 20 accepted and not get the rest of it?
MR. KRETZMANN: Maybe I am on your side on this but I think the two should be linked because the other problem is a Public Affairs Bureau problem. I think we should tie the two. They would be pleased with the 20-year period because they have always felt getting under that—the top people would—
MR. LEOPOLD: Not Latin America. If we do the 20, and we are almost there, but we would be doing it so you would not be constantly blocked by certain of the areas,
MR. RALPH PERKINS: I would be extremely skeptical.
MR. HARRINGTON: How is the Ecuador border and the Thai situation going to be any different? Can they do it for 30 years?
MR. KRETZMANN: They would have to make a strong case to the Secretary to get the exception.
MR. HARRINGTON: Do you think the release question would not then arise?
MR. KRETZMANN: I don’t think so.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is a most important suggestion because we haven’t considered it. It has not been presented to us. We talked about the same idea but how do we all feel about that? Are you saying you think it would be useful if we adopted this position?
MR. KRETZMANN: It would be useful to us because to me there are two problems involved. One is the Historical Division problem of clearances and regular publication, which puts us in better relations with the community academically and we establish an expectation of regular volumes at certain times and it makes better sense.
The other is the Public Affairs problem as a whole of dealing with these things when pulled out of sequence and a special significance is attached to them because they are out of sequence and, therefore, from my point of view—the Bureau’s point of view—which is broader than Bernard’s, there are two problems I would like to lick with one big stone.
THE CHAIRMAN: Let’s have an expression of opinion on this.
MR. BERDAHL: If we adopted this I think we ought to make it clear something like a 20-year period is a maximum period.
MR. KRETZMANN: I think so.
MR. THAYER: Not less than 20 years.
MR. RALPH PERKINS: I doubt if there is a great deal of difference in the 20-year or 30-year lag.
MR. THAYER: Twenty is a good round number and something we can settle for.
MR. LEOPOLD: We can’t go back to 15. It is too late.
MR. GOODRICH: This is an idea we were discussing among ourselves before and there is a story with it. The only new element is the 20-year period.
MR. HARRINGTON: And the suggestion is something here could be sold.
MR. GOODRICH: I would be quite willing to buy the package.
MR. HARRINGTON: If you start out about the regularizing of a publication, that is what we want. If we get it we will tie the twenty years to it.
MR. THAYER: If there is any probability we could help the Bureau by coming up with a recommendation of this kind, it would be a good thing to do.
MR. KRETZMANN: With the top people a 20-year period would be acceptable.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you think if we had a 20-year period would the question of deadline be minimized?
MR. KRETZMANN: I think so because it would become a Department directive and we could see that it is done in that way by people under extraordinary circumstances—that would be the publication date—and that moves every Bureau up against the deadline in a way not done in the past.
MR. HARRINGTON: I didn’t know there was a deadline.
THE CHAIRMAN: This question of clearance is very annoying. If that is true you made a strong point for your case. This would minimize the problem of clearance.
MR. KRETZMANN: It would put them under deadlines which they have never had. We have tried to set deadlines but they have been wishy-washy.
MR. NOBLE: You imply this would be a Departmental decision and not for us and the Advisory Committee?
MR. KRETZMANN: That’s right. If we can get support in general we would try to get a Departmental directive that lays it on the line for every Bureau.
MR. NOBLE: It is an important decision because the Department never had a decision of that sort and it is a question whether you want to change the presumption from the one that says we will get it out as soon as possible—as soon as we can get clearance, but on the idea of regularizing it, it could be based on the slowest volume. That is the problem we are up against there.
THE CHAIRMAN: If we publish regularly every rear and get into a jam like the China volume, everything would be held up but on questions of that kind if you think that will arise, that is an important situation.
MR. HARRINGTON: Would you welcome a resolution from us to this effect?
MR. KRETZMANN: This could be accompanied by a number of actions on our part; for example, this would become so vast—this regular publication—every twenty years—it would be incumbent on the Bureau of Public Affairs to announce why Volume X is not appearing and it puts the burden on us to say we have done this— We will not go into our reasons but say for reasons of policy it is being withheld.
THE CHAIRMAN: If we do this what happens to the organs you regularly publish? This is an extra case, isn’t it?
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: You still go on publishing Teheran, etc.
MR. KRETZMANN: We have to make an exception because of the commitments already made.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think the problem of selection is going to be a massive one and that we thought would be a proper question to discuss next year. The members of the division have devoted a good deal of attention on how to meet the volume accurately and satisfactorily and what they have to eliminate. The problem will become more difficult and not less as time goes on. I mean elimination for reasons of space.
MR. KRETZMANN: By the nature of your appointment, you have the right to report to the Secretary and make recommendations and that is why it would be helpful to us but I would like to see the day arrive when the publication of a foreign relations line does not stir a newsman’s blood any more than his income tax.
THE CHAIRMAN: Accompanied by different emotions.
MR. LEOPOLD: When you were on the Hill with regard to the special series was the question raised as to the normal publication procedure?
MR. NOBLE: The question has been raised as to the period but we denied there was a fixed period.
MR. LEOPOLD: When this matter was up before the Senate the individual Senators didn’t care one way or another.
MR. NOBLE: They didn’t have hearings with us on that.
THE CHAIRMAN: You will give us a statement on that.
MR. RALPH PERKINS: The attitude was we were always too far behind.
MR. KRETZMANN: To be frank, I think very strongly this is a decision—as to when we publish these—an Executive Branch decision and if we announce it publicly we will keep Congress’s hand out of our business.
MR. BERDAHL: Will it weaken the case if we attach a vote this 20-year period might be shortened as soon as possible?
MR. KRETZMANN: Don’t stir up the animals. I wouldn’t put it too strongly because they would feel they were being pushed.
MR. GOODRICH: I think we might make it clear that this was a bit of a concession on our part that we are willing to make only because we believe it will result in regularity of publication, etc.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think this is very useful to us and it seems as far as we have all spoken that we are all of the same opinion.
MR. LEOPOLD: With the quid pro quo.
MR. RALPH PERKINS: Is that the maximum? We already have clearance on 1942 Volume I and almost clearance on 1942 Volume II. We haven’t had serious trouble getting them cleared. Will we stick those away for 1962.
MR. KRETZMANN: I would think this would be the maximum but under the maximum you should try to schedule—
MR. LEOPOLD: There will be a transition stage.
MR. BERDAHL: That is why I raised the question.
THE CHAIRMAN: You are now saying necessarily we wait to publish the volumes simultaneously. You say the maximum period should be set and this decision would be made at the Secretarial level that this would be accomplished.
MR. KRETZMANN: That is my feeling. They are concerned. There is a push on to get it under that and this would be acceptable to them.
THE CHAIRMAN: That would be so much in advance of any other—
MR. NOBLE: It must be borne in mind with the maximum twenty years there will be criticism from some sources. There are certain individuals who have made some criticism that the Foreign Relations volumes twenty years back are no longer any good—almost in those words—so in a mood of this sort we would have to have the firm backing of this Committee to make clear that this really has sound reasoning behind it.
MR. GOODRICH: That is why it is important to attach to our recommendation, or acceptance, a conviction the record be reasonably complete because you are engaged in balancing advantages and disadvantages. To make the period long is a disadvantage from the scholar’s point of view but to make it so short the record is incomplete is another disadvantage. It seems to me the way you have the current volumes coming out, the disadvantage of length is somewhat reduced.
For those reasons I would be willing to accept the 20-year period if it assured regularity and a more liberal clearance policy.
MR. BERDAHL: There is likely to be some criticism and I believe in our own profession—I believe there is a 15-year lag in policy.
MR. GOODRICH: We assume some responsibility to defend this.
MR. LEOPOLD: The historians are more willing to accept this than ten years ago.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t think much of the criticism. There is criticism and this is the result of ignorance more than anything else and you can’t avoid it.
MR. LEOPOLD: Leland’s point about the usefulness of the current documents should be stressed because this does help a great deal.
MR. RALPH PERKINS: Those current documents are reprints. I can add anything at all to the record. It is easier for you professors to do it.
MR. LEOPOLD: Some of the documents I reviewed yesterday were published in the State Department Bulletin.
MR. FRANKLIN: It isn’t the green series called Foreign Service Documents but a large number of documents appearing have been released through the State Department Bulletin and we pull them together. It isn’t the green series itself.
MR. NOBLE: The average Congressman and Senator feel Foreign Relations should be out in a few years. You will not find one in a hundred who would feel it would be reasonable to delay twenty years. Any new statement of this sort will have to be explained.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think you can explain it on physical grounds. We are where we are. You are not likely to be able to bridge it under any program. When we say 20 years you are asking a good deal considering the amount of documents coming here.
MR. NOBLE: I think we should say we were discussing the problem of staffing, and I have been discussing this with the boys outside, and we decided in order to keep current on the present lag that we need approximately three more individuals on the staff because of the tremendous problem arising out of the enormous number of lots that are not indexed, etc. Just to keep current on the mass of material it would require some increase in staff.
MR. LEOPOLD: As an outsider dealing with documents in another Department, I wonder if you are not being too modest.
MR. NOBLE: I think that is right.
MR. GOODRICH: You mentioned a point last night about the condition in which the material is and that will involve a tremendous amount of work.
THE CHAIRMAN: It seems to me this has been most helpful. Is there anything we want to bring out that we haven’t discussed?
MR. KRETZMANN: This is the major problem. The thing bothering me is you can’t get hold of it. There is no fixed past or present policy. The Secretary’s office called to say: “What is this about 12 or 15 years?” They didn’t know where it originated. I gave him your papers in which you had given us the whole background of this.
THE CHAIRMAN: On the question of personnel, do you want an opinion from the Committee?
MR. NOBLE: That would be very helpful, Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIRMAN: We don’t know the problem in detail.
MR. NOBLE: I think you have looked into it enough to know there is that problem because you raised the question. [Laughter]
MR. KRETZMANN: If I may interject. I think it is perfectly legal but it is logical you should recommend an increase in staff—if it goes to Mr. Berding— It is our problem to see that Barney has the staff he needs. If it goes to the Secretary we catch h--- because we are not doing our job. I ask that you divide these issues and we are perfectly happy to entertain support from you and we go to the Budget Bureau and say they think they should have more staff and we do too.
MR. LEOPOLD: The question again— As you are aware, we make two reports, a small public report which we hope the journals will publish, and a confidential report. Would a statement on personnel be out of order or in order in the reports?
MR. KRETZMANN: I think it would be out of order in either of your reports assuming they would be to the Secretary. What you want to do is impress Berding and, through us, the administrative people.
THE CHAIRMAN: It would not be effective. That is not the way to do it. The place to make an impact is address ourselves to somebody and not the general public.
MR. KRETZMANN: You might send a copy to Mr. Henderson. He can do something about it.
MR. BERDAHL: You spoke about a report to the Secretary. Our report has been to the Historical Division.
MR. KRETZMANN: You are appointed by the Secretary.
MR. BERDAHL: Were you thinking of going beyond that?
MR. LEOPOLD: For this meeting we have a third document which is a communication to Mr. Berding and yourself.
MR. NOBLE: I don’t know why it should not be forwarded to the Secretary.
THE CHAIRMAN: A confidential report should be addressed to the Secretary.
MR. HARRINGTON: I think it would be a good idea.
MR. BERDAHL: Transmitted of course through you.
MR. LEOPOLD: As I understand it we ought to have, in addition to our public and confidential report, a memo of some sort to Mr. Berding on the personnel matter not included in the confidential report. Is that it?
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes, that is an administrative matter on which your support is useful.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t see how we can draw up a memo on a matter of such broad terms. You can express the general principle.
MR. HARRINGTON: We can make it plural.
MR. KRETZMANN: In your report to the Secretary you might wish to say we also addressed a memo on staff and personnel to Mr. Berding. That would be all right.
THE CHAIRMAN: That goes to whom?
MR. KRETZMANN: To Mr. Berding.
MR. BERDAHL: Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, is there anything more you want to talk about then? You will of course get a draft of our report.
MR. NOBLE: There are several things I would like to talk about.
MR. GOODRICH: One thing we wanted to raise was your suggestion about looking ahead and planning the future publication program. That was suggested as a possible topic for discussion at our next meeting. Wasn’t that your suggestion?
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes, we are impressed with the fact when you get into the 1940 you not only would be doubling but quadrupling the number of diplomatic documents and having the complication of more stuff, so that obviously in the next few years your Division will have to face the problem of handling many times the number of documents you have had in the past.
This is something we would like to know about and know your approach and ultimately we will have to give our opinions on. How do you handle this much larger volume of material? Do you turn out 20 or 30 books instead of 50 or cut down on the number of books and perhaps do something like microfilm or microcard. We would like to have your long-range thinking on this as a preliminary for discussion next time.
MR. LEOPOLD: In other words, at next year’s meeting, at the morning session of the first day, instead of having members of the Committee digest the volumes we have done for two years, we would like, I think, to start in with a report from you on the long-range program and then we would, in light of that and the study of this thing we did not get around to this year, have discussion the first morning on the principles of selection, etc., but we would like to have a report from you people first.
MR. HARRINGTON: We would like to have something ahead of time.
MR. NOBLE: Would you like a report before you address yourself to this question?
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes and that should be the order of business for the first morning.
MR. NOBLE: [Inaudible remarks]
MR. HARRINGTON: We cannot deal with either of those alone.
MR. NOBLE: That was one question I wanted to raise about the question of principles and procedures because we want a discussion that really goes to the roots of the whole problem.
THE CHAIRMAN: You thought the reading of the document was very important.
MR. NOBLE: On this meeting I would like your criticisms and observations and comments right now if you could individually on the meeting. Could you do that briefly?
THE CHAIRMAN: What is that?
MR. NOBLE: The way the meeting has gone.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think I would begin by summing up what we talked about. We thought we did not value too highly the individual volumes, the principles covering the Department, and the general plan for the future. We all thought the examination of such volumes in the afternoon was very preferable. That procedure should be continued. It has value. It is valuable to have the Desk Officer’s comments on the problems.
MR. GOODRICH: The morning program this morning was also very valuable.
MR. BERDAHL: Reading the documents gave us a basis for the comments we make. It isn’t a matter of principle only.
MR. KRETZMANN: If I may comment, I was a little disturbed this morning. This verges on being a hearing before a congressional committee in the minds of the political officers. This is not an investigating committee.
MR. THAYER: I felt that too.
MR. KRETZMANN: That is precisely the reason I raised and discussed it at the Secretary’s meeting. I said that it wasn’t an investigation or hearing but an attempt to work with an outside group which is on our side and they have their own interests but we are working together on a common problem. They were defending themselves. They have gotten into that habit.
MR. HARRINGTON: In some respects we put them in that position by saying: “We don’t agree with you.”
MR. KRETZMANN: This is a delicate question but I hope in the future we can have a different atmosphere.
MR. LEOPOLD: How can we do that?
MR. KRETZMANN: This question is really of educating the officers in the Department that this is not an investigating group but a cooperative group.
MR. NOBLE: My own feeling, if I may be frank about that, is we got down to cases more successfully on the two China and Far Eastern volumes than on the others. I would like to see more discussion of particular problems. We did of course get on two or three that were very good but I don’t think it was too helpful, if I may be frank, just to say we disagree on these things or agree on those because if that procedure had been followed they would not have been able to react at all on the Latin American problems, and so I hope that we can, in following this procedure, isolate particular problems, and the large issue of the Peru-Ecuador boundary—the discussion on that was good, but on the others it wasn’t as good as it could be.
MR. THAYER: It was a question of time.
MR. BERDAHL: Perhaps we should do it in the way of raising questions merely.
MR. THAYER: If, for example, you could give us a considerable number of these selections to read and indicate a few you thought deserved special discussion, that would be helpful.
MR. HARRINGTON: If we could center the discussion on six to ten instead of a wider range, we would be better off.
MR. BERDAHL: So many seem trivial.
MR. NOBLE: If I may raise a few questions that I have written down. About your reports, will you consider how you can best handle this with your respective associations?
MR. BERDAHL: Yes.
MR. NOBLE: With regard to the next meeting, is it agreeable to all of you?
THE CHAIRMAN: The first Friday and Saturday in November.
MR. KRETZMANN: What about the presidential election schedule?
MR. NOBLE: I hope it won’t interfere.
Are you making any comments in your report on this question of the list of papers that we discussed with and without a final conclusion and the list of names? I would like to get some of these things cleaned up. I don’t think they are at present. Did I have an answer on that?
MR. GOODRICH: Not on the list of papers.
THE CHAIRMAN: I thought we finally decided we would leave the list of names to your discretion.
MR. LEOPOLD: Or continue for awhile with the present practice.
MR. NOBLE: You want the index as it is?
MR. BERDAHL: Yes.
MR. NOBLE: If you want me to say anything in your report about this, please say so. I intended to say in the opening remarks, but did not, that something came up in your report about the names of the signing officers. You said the appropriate political officer, his name should be given. The appropriate political officer could be the name of the person signing the Secretary’s name and putting his initials under it.
We all agree there is no question about drafters. We don’t include those names. The clearing officers—that would be impossible obviously, but do you mean to imply the person whose initials are signed under the Secretary’s should take responsibility for the document because in most cases the Secretary doesn’t see it—that these initials should be filled out.
There is a difference in practice. Foreign Relations volumes haven’t put in those full names of signing officers.
MR. BERDAHL: I think it is, at least to my mind, a matter of not attaching signatures or responsibility through signatures to the underlings rather than seeing these must be signed so that the responsibility is not attached to the lower echelon drafter, etc., but the appropriate political officer assumes responsibility and I personally would not feel that it is necessary to go beyond what you are now doing in attaching initials.
MR. NOBLE: Do you mean to say if the initials are given below the name of the Secretary, the initials should be filled out?
MR. BERDAHL: No. That is my personal reaction. I don’t think I would say the signatures should be added. I don’t think we said that. We felt in certain respects you were going too far in this.
MR. GOODRICH: I would be inclined to follow the existing practice.
MR. BERDAHL: In a few cases, and it happened occasionally, signatures were given which would seem to mean attaching responsibility. It looked as though the higher political officers were trying to throw the responsibility on others on some of these sensitive matters—people asked to draft papers, etc.
MR. NOBLE: No-one in the Department is trying to throw anything anywhere.
MR. BERDAHL: It gave the impression.
MR. THAYER: There were one or two cases where you brought in the Hiss case.
MR. NOBLE: There are several questions. One involves higher levels, those higher levels where the Secretary’s name or initials are on outgoing dispatches and telegrams. There is only a question then in that case and those are mostly office directors and above. It is a question whether we should fill in the initials, and that arose on the Yalta papers where we had amateur historians on our side who wanted to know who did what of each hour of each day and since some were signed by Hull which Hull never saw, and Stettinius, which Stettinius never say, but top officers in the Department who signed the Secretary’s name and put their initials below. We filled out those initials.
This is in line with practice in the Department in foreign relations of filling out initials. This does not add a new practice except that previously we did not give either the initials or the spell-out of initials in outgoing telegrams or instructions. There were several of those in the Yalta volumes which we did fill out.
Secondly, on Yalta, there was a question of filling in some drafters names and in that case we did quite a few of those that we would not have done otherwise because they involved, or centered around Hiss and we couldn’t be made responsible for concealing papers which Hiss drafted but not attaching his name. Drafters names are concealed in other documents and have been for years. Perhaps we could let that go as an exception.
The other question is: Is it important to indicate the officers who take the responsibility for sending out documents?
MR. BERDAHL: We said the guiding principles should be: [Reading]
MR. NOBLE: You would not put the initials in?
MR. RALPH PERKINS: Just the Secretary’s name and not the initials of the person.
MR. BERDAHL: I have no views on that. I don’t care if you put initials or not.
MR. RALPH PERKINS: It seems to me that it plays up the person initialing too much. Very often the Secretary lays down a policy. A telegram is drafted in accordance with that policy the Secretary laid down. The Secretary doesn’t do paper work. Somebody else looks it over, a responsible high officer and he puts his initials down. A good many readers would jump to the conclusion the Secretary knew nothing about it if you put it that way.
MR. BERDAHL: I am not arguing for initials.
MR. RALPH PERKINS: If the Secretary delegates that power to somebody else he still has the responsibility.
MR. KRETZMANN: It seems to me it is a Departmental matter. The usual practice is a meeting and the Secretary says: “Okay, this is what we will do,” and probably the man at the meeting who gets the responsibility, say, the European Secretary, he doesn’t write the telegram but gets a boy in his office to write it and takes the responsibility. If this is in line with what the Secretary does, he authorizes the telegram.
MR. NOBLE: Is it the Assistant Secretary putting his initials on—
THE CHAIRMAN: We are getting some reaction on this.
MR. HARRINGTON: I don’t know that we can react to questions like that. We would not direct you to put the initials on.
MR. BERDAHL: I think I raised this question at the first meeting and this seemed to require explanation last year so we adopted an additional item and the whole purpose in my mind was protecting the drafting officer and those people. I don’t care personally whether you attach initials or signatures or anything else. I assume always the Secretary must assume responsibility and it is to prevent that responsibility from being attached to somebody else—
MR. KRETZMANN: I think you can get this by command decision in the bureau.
MR. BERDAHL: I am expressing my personal feeling and not speaking for the Committee.
MR. NOBLE: There is a question with regard to the placing of papers. I don’t know whether you want to address yourself to the question of whether you would like to have chronologically within a state or if you think the present method of grouping according to subjects within a state and subjects beyond states in the general area or not. I would like to know if you want to consider any further that question of organization.
MR. GOODRICH: My impression is the general view. We would like to have you continue the present practice and simply make more use of cross references and indexes and such devices to guide the reader.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think that was the general view of the Committee.
MR. LEOPOLD: If we were going back, and I think we did not discuss it among ourselves, the question you raised earlier of digest of papers—we did not discuss that this afternoon, and, therefore, presumably we will not fight the digest, or I would say if a digest were added, this would allow you flexibility.
MR. NOBLE: That completes the list.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are there any other questions to come before the Committee?
MR. KRETZMANN: I may add a footnote. I think It is perfectly appropriate for the Committee, if it wishes, to say in view of increasing paper documentation for the period after 1942, it is certainly appropriate that the Historical Division be appropriately staffed and increased by the appropriate amount. I think this would be very useful to us.
MR. GOODRICH: There was one suggestion of a technical nature I made that I think everybody on the Committee did agree with, that there should be an expression of the scope of the general heading. I think Mr. Perkins said that that was agreed and that probably would be done. So I don’t think we will follow it up any more.
MR. RALPH PERKINS: I think it was agreed that general means multilateral. It goes better under a general heading.
MR. KRETZMANN: May I make some concluding remarks. I want to express the appreciation of the Department and the Bureau particularly for your help in the last two days. I am very pleased. I think there is better understanding of the functioning of the Committee that has been created in the Department, and I think some of these things moved forward.
I hope that I will be with you at your next annual meeting. You can never tell. I am coming to the end of my tenure in the Department but as long as I am here I will try to move along the same lines I think you approve of to get these things regularized.
So far as the Bureau is concerned, if it is a Departmental instruction, they will move along with it, and that has been one of our problems. It has not been a Departmental instruction, and if we can get this into a more normal framework for them, the kind of thing they are used to, it will be a great advantage.
FROM THE FLOOR: I would like to say that Mr. Kretzmann took a lively interest in this and was most helpful to us and we appreciate that and we certainly appreciate the wonderful help all of you have been. This is the third annual meeting and each one has been better than the previous one as far as I am concerned.
MR. GOODRICH: I think we might express to Mr. Kretzmann our appreciation for the very fine cooperation he has given and also I would like to add our appreciation of the work that was done by his staff—highly commendable.