Minutes of Historical Advisory Committee Meeting, November 1964

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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 2, 1964—Minutes. Limited Official Use.

Minutes of the 1964 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States

The morning session on Friday, November 6, began at approximately 9:30 a.m.


  • The Advisory Committee:
    • Richard W. Leopold, Chairman
    • William W. Bishop, Jr.
    • Robert H. Ferrell
    • Philip E. Mosely*
    • Robert E. Osgood
    • Robert B. Stewart*
    • Robert R. Wilson
  • The Historical Office:
    • William M. Franklin, Director
    • Richardson Dougall
    • S. Everett Gleason
    • E. Taylor Parks
    • Fredrick Aandahl
    • Velma H. Cassidy
    • Rogers P. Churchill
    • Edwin S. Costrell
    • Peter V. Curl
    • Herbert A. Fine
    • John P. Glennon
    • Ralph R. Goodwin
    • George O. Kent
    • Richard S. Patterson
    • Neal H. Petersen
    • John G. Reid
    • Newton O. Sappington
    • William Slany
    • Howard M. Smyth
    • Almon R. Wright
  • The Bureau of Public Affairs:
    • Francis T. Murphy, Executive Director
    • Eleanor G. Jacobson
  • The Publication and Reproduction Services Division:
    • Jerome H. Perlmutter, Chief
    • Peter A. Smith

AGENDA ITEM 2: Opening remarks

Mr. Franklin welcomed the members of the Committee and announced that Mr. Leopold had been chosen as Chairman. He noted that the Historical Office was much the same as at this time last year--the same 39 authorized positions, some 37 souls to fill them and two seemingly perpetual vacancies. He also stated that for the first time in several years, the Committee would take a look at some items deleted from Foreign Relations because of clearance difficulties.

AGENDA ITEM 3: Report on status of the series and publication plans

Mr. Aandahl distributed two charts describing the status of Foreign Relations. He stated that all volumes for 1942 and earlier had been published except for the volume dealing with the three Washington Conferences and Casablanca, 1941-1943. Manuscript on the Third Washington Conference was being reviewed in HO and the remainder was in the hands of the technical editors in PB. It was expected that this volume would be released late in 1965. The volume on the two Quebec Conferences had not progressed because the historians assigned to them had been detailed to work of higher priority. Mr. Franklin noted that a greater length of time was needed to compile these volumes in contrast to the annual volumes because of the greater detail they embodied. He felt that a complete documentation was required for the conferences in order to avoid charges of suppressing the record. He corroborated Mr. Aandahl’s estimate that the Washington and Casablanca conferences volume would be released late in 1965 unless touchy clearance problems arose. He did not anticipate that any would arise. He was not as optimistic, in this respect, concerning the Quebec conferences because of treatment of sensitive subjects, such as the Morgenthau Plan. He noted that the Historical Office for many years had possessed the basic documentation for the wartime conferences and had responded to numerous inquiries on the conferences on the strength of this documentation. It had been discovered, however, that much more research was required in Department files and in the papers of other agencies in order to prepare the complete record of the conferences.

Mr. Aandahl observed that all regular volumes for 1943 had been published except for volumes V and VI. These two volumes were being indexed and would probably be released about March 1965. He noted that the volumes for 1944 were well along toward clearance and would probably be released in 1965 except for the American Republics (vol. VI) which would likely appear the following year. Mr. Gleason cautioned that vol. IV on Europe might also be delayed because of clearance difficulties raised by Defense. He finally concluded that Defense was not unfavorable to publication per se but certainly was not disposed to speedy clearance. The staff was now coping with a four-page, single-spaced Defense memorandum on vol. IV which in large measure requested us to obtain British clearance of State documents which quoted or summarized Combined Chiefs of Staff papers. HO had previously decided not to seek such clearance. Defense had taken an excessively long time in answering our clearance query. Part of the slowness was due to the bureaucratic organization of Defense with the necessity of its obtaining JCS, Army, Navy and Air Force concurrence in the formulation of Defense views. We ultimately got from Defense what we were after but the time factor was most difficult. This was in contrast to Treasury, Interior and other Governmental units which gave us few if any clearance problems and were rapid in their response.

Mr. Aandahl concluded his discussion of the 1944 volumes with a statement that HO had made a decision to number the China volumes beginning with that year to facilitate cross-referencing. In reply to Mr. Wilson’s question whether complete coverage would be given to the 1944 Civil Aviation Conference at Chicago, Mr. Aandahl answered in the affirmative, taking into account published material.

Mr. Aandahl then reviewed the status of the 1945 volumes. Five of the eight regular volumes were in various stages of clearance and he anticipated that all the 1945 volumes would be published in 1966, except the American Republics volume which he hoped would be released in 1967. As for 1946, he stated that nearly all of these volumes would be compiled by the end of 1964.

Mr. Bishop inquired whether the San Francisco Conference compilation would include the reprinting of papers already published. Mrs. Cassidy replied that there was no duplication of printed material but there was extensive cross-referencing to such materials. She noted that the chief stress in the compilation was on American Delegation papers and correspondence, previously unpublished.

In response to a question from Mr. Wilson as to why there were two China volumes for 1946, Mr. Gleason stated that two volumes had been required because of the detailed treatment given to the Marshall Mission. He had recently undertaken a special review of these volumes to see whether the two volumes could be reduced to one. He had decided against doing so because of the importance of the Mission and the high level of the material used. He noted that the record might have been compressed if there had been summary telegrams to use. Regrettably, there were no such adequate summaries. Mr, Franklin underscored the ever-increasing need to condense Foreign Relations through the utilization of summary documents.

Mr. Ferrell inquired whether there might be a return in the foreseeable future to the practice of allowing scholars to have access to Foreign Relations galleys prior to publication. Mr. Franklin stated that such access had never been a general policy of HO. In a few exceptional cases, such access had been granted. The question of equity was involved. Moreover, galleys were now classified materials, which complicated giving access to scholars, who normally did not have Department clearance.

Mr. Parks gave a brief summary of the recent history of access. He observed that from about 1950 to about 1960, several scholars had been given access, informally, to cleared galleys where such access would bring their material one year closer to currency. New considerations, however, came into play thereafter. Mr. Feis’ request for access differed from previous ones in that the scope of his entire volume paralleled that of the Potsdam papers. The situation grew serious, when because of the decision to include additional important materials and HO’s dependence on GPO schedules, the Potsdam volumes were not released until after Mr. Feis had already published his volume. The situation was further worsened when two journalists who had been given access to the Potsdam papers before their release wrote sensational articles on the decision to drop the atomic bomb. These articles, which seriously distorted the Potsdam records, had a further unfortunate result for the Department inasmuch as they also appeared before publication of the Potsdam volumes. These experiences made necessary the termination of the practice of granting access to unpublished galleys.

AGENDA ITEM 4: Report on the conference volumes:

Mr. Franklin noted that this item had been sufficiently covered under previous agenda item. He added comments on the standards of inclusion. Coverage was extremely intensive based on the necessity of including materials on a virtual hour-by-hour basis to avoid any suspicion of censoring the record. He regretted that such treatment had delayed preparation of the conference volumes but he trusted that the Committee would approve the special intensity of treatment.

AGENDA ITEM 5: Report on the annual volumes for 1946:

Mr. Gleason stated that the major compiling problem was the enormous proliferation of documentation in the Department’s files. He expressed the conviction that, had we continued to compile on the same basis as before, the number of volumes would have increased to the point of impairing the value of Foreign Relations to scholars and other users. A plan was therefore devised for 1946 which for the first time established a series of priorities to ensure that major policies or negotiations were treated first and that marginal problems were cut back drastically or eliminated. As a result, we have been successful in holding the regular annual volumes for 1946 to seven or eight, in addition to the two China volumes already in galleys. Where figures were available, the number of manuscript pages was considerably less than the original estimates made in the plan. The process of weeding out low-priority subjects and documents had at times proved painful but had enhanced the value of the series by malting the volumes more manageable and readable. The quality of the volumes had stood up well but scholars would have to do more work than before as a result of some of the short cuts we had adopted. He mentioned some of the time-saving practices that had been instituted by the technical editors and touched on similar practices contemplated for use in our 1947 work, such as simplification of headings. He noted that except for the two General Section volumes dealing primarily with the UN and the Council of Foreign Ministers, compilation for 1946 would be completed by the end of 1964.

AGENDA ITEM 6: Efforts to expedite output:

a) Budget estimates and problems: Mr. Gleason noted that Mr. Franklin had already mentioned this matter and that we should hear more of it later in the morning.

b) Editorial procedures: Mr. Gleason cited a number of changes in editorial procedures involving various short cuts by the Foreign Relations staff and the technical editors. He concluded that the short cuts had resulted in expediting output without compromising our traditional high standards.

c) Clearances and deletions: Mr. Gleason stated the record on these matters had improved over the last year. Except for a perennial problem such as the Peru-Ecuador boundary dispute, clearance difficulties had forced us to delete only occasional documents or phrases which he felt did not impair the integrity of the record. Such deletions did not bulk large in content and were usually more colorful than essential. In cases where we felt that requested deletions would impair the record, we put up a vigorous resistance with generally satisfactory results. He indicated that later in the day he would make available to the Committee various galleys showing typical deletions on which we had been obliged to yield, or on which we had won.

d) Reaction to volume II, 1943: Mr. Gleason noted that clearance difficulties were sometimes accentuated by reviews of our volumes in the press. He cited, as a case in point, press reaction to 1943, volume II. The French press was most critical of the volume as insulting to General de Gaulle. The press of the world also dealt extensively with the attitude of the Vatican toward Nazi persecution of the Jews at a time when a play on the same subject had raised temperatures. Such controversies made the geographic desks more averse to sanctioning publication of sensitive papers, even in cases where a great deal of knowledge of the matters covered had been long in the public domain. Our chief approach was to convince the geographic desks that we were not hopelessly embarrassing the conduct of current diplomatic negotiations by untimely publication.

AGENDA ITEM 7: Special report on UN compilation for 1946:

Mr. Gleason stated that Mr. Goodwin would explain later our plans for dealing with United States policy with respect to this question for 1946 and subsequent years.

AGENDA ITEM 8: Priorities for 1947 compilations:

Mr. Gleason stated that we had not prepared a plan of priorities for 1947 like that for 1946 because of the pressure of time. The researchers had prepared first priority items only. A hard look would be taken at other subjects as they emerged from a closer study of the files.

Mr. Leopold asked the Committee for comments on Mr. Gleason’s presentation. Mr. Stewart raised a question on the method of presenting and justifying budgetary requests to the Congress. Mr. Franklin explained that Mr. Murphy would make an appearance shortly to speak on the questions of budgets and Congressional presentation. He noted that Congressman Rooney, head of the House Subcommittee on the State Department budget, accepted Foreign Relations as a proper function and understood that the series was aimed at the image-forming elite.

Mr. Franklin then discussed the budget. Printing and binding money, he said, was the only item specifically set forth in our budget. Last year, HO received a printing and binding budget of $18,500, an insufficient sum when it cost about $15,000 to print and bind a single volume of Foreign Relations. Expenditures for printing and binding a given volume were not made in one fell swoop but at different stages. We were able to squeak by, first, because the GPO was willing to accept a down payment of $3,500 per volume instead of the customary $7,000 and then only because Mr. Murphy was able to provide further funds. As a result, $58,500 was actually spent on printing and binding last year. This year the printing and binding budget was $22,500, although, as Mr. Dougall noted, HO had requested $123,000. Mr. Franklin expressed the views that $60,000 was a minimum figure and that if we were to make the twenty-year goal a reality, $120,000 would be needed. In reply to a question by Mr. Ferrell on the size of a press run of a volume, Mr. Franklin stated that approximately 4000 copies were an average run. Some 700-800 copies were distributed to various depositories and 350-400 were distributed by the Department. The GPO retained the remainder for sale to the public. Mr. Dougall commented that the Superintendent of Documents was free to print as many copies he felt able to sell. Thus the Yalta volume had a much higher run than average.

Mr. Perlmutter and Mr. Smith joined the group at about 10:50 a.m. and a discussion of technical editing problems followed. Mr. Perlmutter expressed his belief in the necessity of recruiting younger personnel in PB so that the expertise of the existing staff would be blended with the vigor of younger employees. He mentioned, short cuts in editing made by his staff without impairing the quality of Foreign Relations. He noted that the Department was using the budgetary concept of the working capital fund under which his office drew on funds charged to HO for services performed and used these funds to pay the salaries of his staff and to pay outsiders for contract work on indexes. The first job of the newly-arrived Mr. Smith was to recruit promising free-lance workers trained in the subject matter of the volumes to index them more speedily than before. Mr. Smith stated that a volume has been contracted out for indexing purposes to a candidate for an MA in History at George Washington University at a rate of $1.15 per page, conditional upon PB doing the name entries. He hoped that continuity would be provided in such contract work to ensure the most efficient operation. Mr. Franklin emphasized that the Committee would wish the quality of the indexes maintained, especially their analytical features.

Mr. Murphy, accompanied by Miss Jacobson, arrived at 11 a.m. He stressed the facts that money spent by the Department was taxpayers’ money and that it was important to be aware that money saved by economies was the money of all of us. He emphasized that HO had never lacked money to publish volumes and was confident that this would continue to be the case. It had to be realized that HO’s expenditures were large, amounting to $500,000, primarily for salaries and $58,000 for printing and binding. HO accounted for 27% of the Bureau’s total expenditures. The Bureau had 150 positions and HO’s 39 employees made it the largest office in the Bureau and one which received great attention from the top officers of the Bureau. It was not possible to give HO all it desired any more than it was possible to do so for any other office. What must be done was to find the most desirable plateau. At the same time, he was not optimistic about future additions to our budget because he anticipated continued stress by the administration on economy and efficiency of operation.

Mr. Murphy then gave statistics illustrating the Bureau’s budgetary problems. In 1958, the Bureau had spent $1,200,000 for salaries of 156 persons and had expended an additional $266,000 for non-salary items. For fiscal year 1965, the Bureau anticipated spending $1,650,000 for salaries of 150 persons and $533,000 for non-salary items. The steady upward trend of expenditures required great efforts to hold costs down and to use our resources prudently. He concluded by stating that five volumes had been published last year, one of the largest in the recent history of Foreign Relations.

Mr. Franklin stated that the Advisory Committee favored a twenty-year gap and that Secretary Rusk had given a nod of approval in this direction. We could not hold to that goal with five volumes a year and eight volumes must be aimed for if we were to remain within hailing distance of that goal. Mr. Leopold added that the Advisory Committee was being pressed by scholarly organizations about the slow pace of publishing Foreign Relations.

Mr. Murphy observed that he read the scholarly journals in order to glean information that might be useful in his presentation of HO money requests in Department budget discussions. He then continued with a description of the budgetary cycle. Usually in September, the Bureau put together a draft budget. These figures were honed over by groups under the direct chairmanship of the Secretary and the Under Secretary. A final product delineating what the Department would like to have was then submitted to the Bureau of the Budget. Final decisions were made in the Executive Office of the President and notice given to the Department of the budget to be submitted to the Hill. The Department had then to review its operations and fit itself into the proposed budget. In the Congressional examination of the proposed budget, two figures were of special import: the Base Figure, the money currently being spent for a given program, and the Increase, the amount above the Base Figure being requested for that program. Normally, Congress accepted the Base Figure and looked closely at the Increase. In the absence of Congressional authorization of funds, the Department must “feed on itself” to meet the costs of new programs. Thus when the Department found it necessary to expand its program on Africa and during other emergencies, it was compelled to draw funds from other operations. Mr. Franklin interjected that the Base Figure for printing and binding Foreign Relations had been $40,000 to $50,000 but that last year the amount had been cut to $18,500, a development he deplored. Mr. Murphy said that printing and binding funds had been made available, however, regardless of the leanness of the Base Figure. He noted that when such funds were needed above the Base Figure, the Bureau had gone to the Department’s budgetary officers and gotten more. Thus the $18,500 had risen to an actual expenditure of $58,000 by the end of the year. This year, the Base Figure was $22,500. The Bureau understood this was insufficient and expected to be able to provide at least as much as last year but this addition could not be guaranteed.

Mr. Stewart asked why the twenty-year goal was slipping away, if we had always gotten sufficient printing and binding money. He wondered whether this was due to the need for additional personnel. Mr, Franklin replied that despite efforts by HO and PB to speed up procedures and use short cuts, there was simply an inadequate number of professional people on the staff. Mr. Murphy pointed out that the Bureau was operating under a strict personnel ceiling and had not requested any additions for the last two years because of directives from the President and the Bureau of the Budget. He predicted that the Bureau would not make any requests for increases this year and in the foreseeable future. Mr. Franklin estimated that there was little more that we could do by way of improving procedures to hold the twenty-year line with the existing staff; the goal was slipping from sight.

Mr. Bishop noted that the twenty-year goal could certainly not be maintained unless productivity and/or staff were increased, in view of the enormous bulk of documentation in the post-war years. Mr. Leopold noted that the Advisory Committee had accepted the twenty-year goal with reluctance, some of the Committee members having pressed for a fifteen-year lag.

Mr. Leopold wondered how planning of the series was affected by the need to go hat in hand for additional printing and binding money. Mr. Franklin pointed to Mr. Aandahl’s charts and said the availability of funds might make them conjectural. He expressed the opinion that if the Base Figure were increased to pay for six and then seven volumes per year, there would be an incentive to the staff toward greater productivity.

Mr. Stewart once more alluded to the fact that the printing and binding money was not the primary problem. He asked whether the Committee wished to concentrate on the major problem of personnel ceiling. Mr. Leopold quickly rejoined that such ceiling was a fact of life. He asked Mr. Murphy whether the Committee could help on the budgetary problem. Mr. Morphy said the Committee had done a fine job and asked it to continue its pressure. He was not sanguine, however, that anything could be done because of the rigidity of personnel ceilings.

Mr. Franklin observed that a continuing program like the publication of Foreign Relations was hurt more by long unfilled vacancies than an office where work loads could be managed. Mr. Murphy stated no relief was possible soon. On orders from the Bureau of the Budget, he said, 4% of the 150 jobs in the Bureau of Public Affairs could not be filled. He expressed concern lest the Bureau of the Budget raise this percentage. He acknowledged that HO had two long-term vacancies. He noted that vacancies existed elsewhere in the Bureau also and that HO had fared as well as any in filling vacancies. In fact, he added, the only two vacancies beyond the 4% job loss rate recently filled had been filled in HO.

Mr. Osgood inquired whether the Advisory Committee1s reports had been used in budgetary presentations to the Congress. Mr. Murphy replied that the reports were not used on the Hill but were used in the Department’s budgetary discussions. Mr. Bishop asked whether the reports could be improved in presentation to be of greater help to Mr. Murphy. He answered in the negative, stating they were well done and could not be improved from his point of view.

Mr. Stewart inquired as to the specific justification of the Foreign Relations program given to Congressman Rooney at budget hearings. Mr. Murphy stated, and Mr. Franklin agreed, that the program did not require annual justification at these hearings as the program was solidly established and its value accepted by the Congressman.

Mr. Murphy noted that Mr. Manning in the last few years had addressed himself to the question of the value of the program in testimony on the Hill and that during the ’40’s, Francis Russell and the then Director of the Historical Office, E. Wilder Spaulding, had also done so. He suggested that Mr. Franklin make excerpts of their testimony available to the Committee.

Mr. Mosely inquired whether it would be possible to request a Base Figure appropriation of $50,000 for printing and binding and Mr. Murphy replied in the negative. Mr. Wilson asked whether the Bureau stressed the need to maintain quality in asking for more funds. Mr. Murphy replied that he always stressed quality as well as the question of the time lag.

Mr. Leopold thanked Mr. Murphy for his candid presentation and assured him that the Committee would “keep at it”. Mr. Murphy and Miss Jacobson left just before noon.

Mr. Smith concluded his presentation regarding PB’s efforts to utilize outside skills and resources to help maintain the twenty-year goal. He stated that clearance delays were the main factor in slowing down publication. In response to a query from Mr. Franklin, he admitted that PB would be in a grave difficulty if a large number of volumes were suddenly cleared but pledged PB’s efforts to cope with such a contingency should it occur. Mr. Franklin saw the need to add one person to the PB staff, if the twenty-year line was to be held. He thanked Mr. Smith for his presentation and the latter left at 12:05 p.m.

Mr. Stewart returned to the question of justifying the Foreign Relations program. He stressed the strategic role of Mr. Murphy in the quest for further funds and that the reiteration to him of the twenty-year goal might not be sufficient. He thought that the statements by Russell et al should be set forth in a cogent paper to Mr. Murphy, because Mr. Murphy’s degree of conviction was all-important.

Mr. Franklin stated that it could no longer be said that the series was of much current-reference value. He recalled that a canvass had been made of Congressmen some time ago to check on their utilization of the volumes. It was discovered that they respected the intellectual qualities of the volumes but that they did not make use of them because of their remoteness from currency.

Mr. Mosely, in expressing his justification of the Foreign Relations series, asserted that democracy operates at its best when a free society knows itself. A major function of the series was to serve as a tool to enable our society to know itself. The fact that the actual documents were presented provided the series with a unique opportunity for achieving this end. Since there was a continuity of basic factors and political judgments, these volumes provided a base of information which a democracy could use in adapting to new problems. In addition, these volumes, by making the record public, ensured against excessive secrecy and spared our democracy from the myths of foreign policy with which European powers found themselves saddled. Furthermore, these volumes helped prepare and train those young people who would some day be in positions of power and responsibility in this country, He also noted that we were helping shape the scholarship of foreigners who now have Foreign Relations although they are denied any comparable publication based on the files of their own Foreign Offices and are denied access to those files as well.

Mr. Goodwin suggested that the reports of the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee dealing with the budget of the State Department during the 1950’s under the chairmanship of then Senator Johnson might reveal some interesting comments on the value of Foreign Relations.

The morning session of the Committee adjourned at 12:15 p.m. The Committee, accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Greenfield, Mr. Franklin and Mr. Gleason, had lunch with Under Secretary of State Harriman. The Committee reassembled at 2:30 p.m., and Mr. Franklin announced that the Committee had heard encouraging words from on high. In particular, Mr. Harriman and Mr. Greenfield had encouraged the Committee to take its campaign on behalf of Foreign Relations directly to the appropriate committees on the Hill.

Mr. Gleason supplemented his earlier remarks on the 1947 compilations, now in progress. He noted again that less effort had been put into planning for 1947 as opposed to 1946 because of unwillingness to devote time to such a project when all efforts were being devoted to speeding up compilation. He observed that the experience of the staff with the 1946 plan made easier their determination of first priority stories for 1947. A skeleton plan listing first-priority subjects only had been prepared and was available for examination by the Committee. In the meantime, he read a representative listing of first priority titles.

Mr. Gleason then asked Mr. Goodwin to address himself to the handling of the United Nations aspects of compilation. Mr. Goodwin observed that “everything was new” in connection with the UN, principles and procedures having to be devised for the first time. He then outlined the most important decisions made in the development of these principles and procedures. The initial decision, embodied in the 1946 plan, established two levels of compilation, a general United Nations level embracing procedural and organizational questions and substantive UN questions. An example of the latter type was the question of furnishing military contingents to the UN. Compilations centering on these questions were to be treated in the UN compilation. The second level was concerned with area or regional problems which during their course involved the UN, e.g., the Iranian appeal. Problems of this kind were assigned to the appropriate geographic or area compilation.

A second decision involved the creation of terms of reference for compiling on the general UN level. Four concepts gradually had emerged:

1. Primary emphasis was to be placed on the United Nations proper rather than on the United Nations system, thereby largely excluding the specialized agencies.

2. Preponderant weight was to be given to political and security issues as the area in which the United States was engaged in “major foreign policy decisions”.

3. Within the political and security field, emphasis was to be placed on those issues in which the United States determined that the “universal” or global approach was more effective than bilateral, regional, or other multilateral channels and utilized the machinery of the UN for the implementation of a particular United States policy. Examples of these issues were general security matters, trusteeship and the development of law in international relations.

4. The UN as a political institution and United States policies relating thereto warranted careful treatment in Foreign Relations. Examples of pertinent issues were United States involvement in constitutional, organizational and political matters directly affecting the structure of the UN itself and the balance of political power there.

A third decision related to the establishment of procedures for compiling those sections of bilateral subjects in which there was a UN presence. Initial responsibility has been placed on the area specialist. The UN specialist has been charged with contributing to and ensuring that the UN aspects of the compilation have been adequately treated.

Mr. Goodwin made mention of the earlier decision to focus on political and security issues as the area in which the United States was engaged in “major foreign policy decisions”. He raised the question as what this expression meant in terms of United States involvement with the UN. He then set forth the formula to be used, in the following terms: “The term ‘major foreign policy decisions’ will be construed to mean those policy decisions and diplomatic actions that utilized the machinery of the United Nations at any given moment as the most effective medium for the expression of a particular United States policy; or that, in response to the United Nations policies of another state or states, resulted in the assumption of a strong leadership position by the United States at the United Nations: or that involved the United States significantly in United Nations political and constitutional issues; such actions standing in an immediate relationship to a vital United States interest and being of consequence in the diplomatic history of that interest.”

Mr. Goodwin then set forth the organization developed for 1946 compilations involving the UN. The General volume would deal with the general policy of the United States toward the UN, voting in the Security Council, admission of new members, the trusteeship system, general security matters and United States interest in the furtherance of the rule of law. The European and British Commonwealth volume would treat such problems as refugees, war crimes and the Southwest Africa question. The Near East volume would document the actions of the Security Council involving Iran, Greece, and Syria and Lebanon. The Far East volume would deal with Siam and Indonesia.

Mr. Goodwin concluded his remarks by describing some of the compilation procedures that had been developed for stories involving UN subjects: the establishment of forms and styles for headings and for footnote citations to the Official Records of the several UN organs; the setting up of priorities as between UN and other official sources for purposes of citation; and the establishment of differing compilation objectives and procedures (the broadening of the volume of documentation, the extent of the use made of the verbatim record and the utilization of footnotes and bracketed notes to expand and clarify the record) for subjects of prime significance to the United States, e.g., the Iranian question, as opposed to subjects of lesser importance, e.g., the Spanish question.

The Committee adjourned at 3:30 p.m. for coffee with the Secretary of State in the Monroe Room. The Foreign Relations staff members were excused from further participation in the Committee’s discussions.

Saturday Session, November 7, 1964, 9 a.m.


  • The Advisory Committee:
    • Richard W. Leopold, Chairman
    • William W. Bishop, Jr.
    • Robert H. Ferrell
    • Philip E. Mosely
    • Robert E. Osgood
    • Robert R. Wilson
    • (Mr. Stewart was attending another meeting elsewhere in the Department)
  • The Historical Office:
    • William M. Franklin
    • Richardson Dougall
    • S. Everett Gleason
    • Fredrick Aandahl

Mr. Leopold opened the meeting by asking whether the Committee’s report should take approximately the same form as in previous years. Mr. Franklin thought that it should and pointed out that brevity increased its chances of being read in the Department and printed by the learned journals. Mr. Leopold thought the report should cover the status of the series, prospects for holding the 20-year line, clearance, access to files by unofficial researchers, personnel, and budget. Mr. Franklin remarked that this was crisp and clear and that he had no special recommendations. The Committee might wish to note that this year it had reviewed the question of deletions and had seen various examples, and they might wish to comment on this. Mr. Franklin also mentioned the open hint from Mr. Harriman and Mr. Greenfield that the Committee might be well advised to approach appropriate members of Congress directly in the interest of the series; this should not go into the written report, of course.

Mr. Gleason said that he expected to have the minutes sent out by the end of the following week.

Mr. Wilson asked if there had been any problem in getting the Committee’s report of last year printed. Mr. Leopold said only the historians had lagged on this; the international law and political science journals had published the report in full and sooner. He also asked about the Department of State Bulletin and the Newsletter, and Mr. Franklin said he would see what coverage could be arranged. Mr. Leopold then asked if there were any other aspect of the work of the Historical Office on which the Committee could usefully comment, and Mr. Franklin replied that the Office was pushing hard on the Current Documents volumes, which were mentioned in last year’s report, and that in addition to the regular staff headed by Messrs. Parks and Curl various specialists from Mr. Dougall’s Historical Studies Division were also being used. The volumes for 1961 and 1962 should be published in 1965, and the manuscript for 1963 and 1964 should be well advanced.

At this point the members of the Historical Office withdrew, and the Committee discussed the contents of its report, to be prepared subsequently.

At 10:20 a.m. the full meeting reconvened.

Mr. Leopold said that the Committee was strongly in favor of the proposed “alumni association” of its former members and felt that they should be kept informed of current work.

Mr. Leopold then said that the Committee wished to discuss with the Historical Office two things: the nature of its report, and the nature of the Committee itself.

The report would follow last year’s pattern, but would be shorter and follow a somewhat different order. It would again make a play on personnel and budget and would mention the efforts of the Division of Publishing and Reproduction Services to solve the problem of indexing. For the benefit of the associations represented in the Committee the report would briefly summarize the situation with regard to access to Department of State files by unofficial researchers. Mr. Ferrell commented that tying such access to the appearance of Foreign Relations volumes meant that many people would wish to push the publication of these volumes.

Noting that there was no clear line setting off the closed, restricted, and open periods, Mr. Franklin suggested that interested persons write to the Historical Office for specific information on their particular projects. Much depended on which volumes had been published as of any given time.

Mr. Leopold then said that the Committee’s report would probably comment on the clearance problem, indicating that there had been some improvement but that there was still a long way to go. The problem seemed less pressing than in some previous years.

Mr. Franklin said that since he would circulate copies of the report to the public affairs officers in the various bureaus it might be good to put in a friendly word on their efforts to expedite clearance.

Referring to the problems of selecting documents and of deletions required by the various bureaus, Mr. Leopold said that the report would state that the Committee had considered the matter and that the Historical Office seemed to be acting wisely and in accordance with the high standards that have characterized the series. Mr. Franklin commented that when deletions were involved we did not always think these standards were so high, but that we sometimes had little choice.

There would be no mention of the Truman Papers, Mr. Leopold continued, but there would be a word on the Current Documents series. As previously noted, the main emphasis in the report would be on the status of the series, personnel, and budget, and account would be taken of the points raised on Friday by Mr. Murphy. The proposal for an intern program would not be mentioned in the report, but would be handled in letters to Messrs. Harrington and Berdahl.

The report would say something about recruitment and future staff needs, Mr. Leopold went on, and an attempt would be made to provide an arresting first paragraph.

Turning to the other main subject to be discussed at this time with the Historical Office, Mr. Leopold then spoke of the structure of the Committee itself. As for terms of office, there had been informal but by no means unanimous agreement on 4 years instead of the present 3. As for selection of a new chairman, the most dignified way seemed to be for the retiring chairman to write in late September or in October to the other members to ask their preference for the following year.

Mr. Franklin thought that the 4-year term would, be acceptable to the administrators of the Department, and Mr. Dougall noted that the proposed change would affect the terms of the continuing members of the Committee. Mr. Franklin pointed out that (so as to avoid possible conflict of interest) the official chairman must be an officer of the Department, but that the selection of the group’s spokesman was an internal matter for the Committee to decide.

Mr. Wilson asked what would happen if a member were out of the country or otherwise unavailable. There was no quorum rule, but Mr. Franklin said that in order to meet this contingency he had each year kept the outgoing members officially eligible until their successors were sworn in. In case of need clearance could be reactivated on a previous member from one of the three learned societies represented on the Committee.

Mr. Leopold noted that the Committee had authorized him to thank Mr. Harriman and other officers for their hospitality.

Mr. Ferrell said that he wished to express appreciation to Mr. Gleason for the way he had taken on his new job, and Mr. Leopold said that he was greatly impressed by what Mr. Gleason and his staff were doing.

Mr. Gleason responded that it was a terrific boost to the morale of the Foreign Relations Division to have the Committee make its appearance annually to give serious and sympathetic consideration to the work being done.

Mr. Wilson as a retiring member expressed his personal appreciation for the opportunity to serve this important enterprise of the Department of State. He had found it enjoyable, interesting, and enlightening,

Mr. Franklin replied that the Committee had tremendous value in raising the prestige and stature of the whole operation, for the annual meetings enabled the Office to bring out many things. The Committee’s presence was impressive to the Secretary of State and other officers, and it led them to focus once a year on the work going steadily forward. The Committee provided a favorable and persuasive backdrop which greatly strengthened the efforts of the Historical Office.

Apropos of a remark made to the group by Mr. Rusk on Friday, Mr. Wilson asked how were the six telegrams a day requiring the Secretary’s attention selected? Mr. Franklin described the Secretary’s staff meeting, and said that unfortunately the Historical Office was not present, so that problems within its area of competence trickled down to us instead of coming directly, as for example a recent inquiry on the Oder-Neisse line. Mr. Dougall said that he had discussed possible remedies with Mr. Greenfield.

In conclusion, Mr. Leopold expressed the Committee’s gratitude to Mr. Franklin and his staff, and said that this was the best working committee he had served on in Government. It really “dug in” and was not all window dressing.

Mr. Franklin again expressed the Department’s thanks to the Committee, and noted with appreciation the remarkably high attendance rate through the years.

  1. These new members of the Committee were sworn in by Angier Biddle Duke, Chief of Protocol, in ceremonies in the West Diplomatic Reception Room, at 9:15 a.m. (AGENDA ITEM l)