Minutes of Historical Advisory Committee Meeting, November
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, 1966—Minutes. Limited Official Use.
Minutes of the 1966 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States
- The Advisory Committee:
- William W. Bishop, Jr., Chairman, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
- Robert H. Ferrell, Professor of History, Indiana University
- Philip E. Mosely, Director, European Institute, Columbia University
- Robert E. Osgood, Director, Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research, School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University
- J. E. Wallace Sterling, President, Stanford University
- Robert B. Stewart, Professor of International Law and Organization, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
- The Historical Office:
- William M. Franklin, Director
- Richardson Dougall
- S. Everett Gleason
- Edwin S. Costrell
- Arthur G. Kogan
- Fredrick Aandahl
- Velma H. Cassidy
- Rogers P. Churchill
- Herbert A. Fine
- John P. Glennon
- Ralph R. Goodwin
- Marvin W. Kranz
- Neal H. Petersen
- John G. Reid
- William Slany
- David H. Stauffer
- Howard M. Smyth
- Almon Wright
- The Bureau of Public Affairs:
- Richard I. Phillips, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
- The Publishing and Reproduction Services Division:
- Jerome H. Perlmutter, Chief
- Peter A. Smith
- Bureau of European Affairs (EUR):
- Milan W. Jerabek
- Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EA):
- Oscar V. Armstrong
The morning session began at approximately 9:30.
AGENDA ITEM 1: Opening remarks
Mr. Franklin announced that the new Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Dixon Donnelley, was unable to attend the meeting of the Committee and that Deputy Assistant Secretary Phillips would welcome the members. He stated that not all of HO’s hopes and plans had been realized but that we would have been much worse off without “Dick” Phillips.
Mr. Phillips conveyed the Assistant Secretary’s regrets at not being able to be present. He expressed his appreciation of the time and effort given by the Committee to the Foreign Relations series. He welcomed its advice and pointed out that its sage counsel had been followed almost consistently by the Department, with one major exception - its plea for increased staff. Its advice, in this connection, had not been followed, not because the advice was not sound nor because the Bureau was not in agreement, but because of budgetary stringency.
Mr. Phillips noted that the idea of restricting the number of volumes compiled to that which could actually be published, about six a year, entailed greater selectivity and less comprehensiveness. This approach, at the same time, fitted the realities of the budgetary situation and therefore merited consideration by the Committee. Mr. Phillips then departed.
Mr. Franklin called on Mr. Mosely, who proposed Mr. Bishop as Chairman. After this was agreed to, Mr. Bishop took the chair and stated that he was pleased to be with the Committee after having missed the meeting the year before. He expressed the hope that the Committee would contribute to the furtherance of the series through its report and by making personal contacts.
Mr. Franklin announced that Stanley D. Metzger of Georgetown University was not present as a participating member of the Committee because of teaching activities in Ceylon and that Mr. Ferrell, delayed by a snowstorm, would put in an appearance shortly after 11 a.m. He noted also the two changes in the Foreign Relations staff during the past year, the transfer of George O. Kent to the Library of Congress and the reappointment of an old friend, David H. Stauffer, after service with the Peace Corps.
AGENDA ITEM 2: Report on status of series and publication plans
Mr. Aandahl handed a chart to each of the Committee members showing the 12 stages of the various compilations through 1948, from manuscript in preparation to actual release, and giving target dates for anticipated publication. He noted that the animal volumes had caught up with the China volumes as far as publication was concerned, so that we were not in such disarray as before; that all 1947 volumes were close to completion of compilation; that the 1948 volumes were organized in name only - although several were in process - except for the China volumes, which were already in galleys. He also commented on the bottlenecks in the clearance pipelines.
Mr. Franklin detailed for the Committee the organizational structure of the Foreign Relations Division in its three branches. He pointed out that the notable stage on Mr. Aandahl1s chart was No. 7, i.e., completion of clearance, at which point the basic HO work on a volume was completed.
Mr. Franklin announced that at 3:30 the Public Affairs Officers of EA and EUR would discuss clearance problems with the Committee. He noted that Mr. Armstrong of EA was receptive to our needs but that action was still needed. He mentioned that release of the 1944 Chine volume was being held up this time pending the vote of the General Assembly regarding the admission of Communist China to the United Nations. He suggested that the Committee “lean on” the PAO from EA to ensure early release of the volume.
Mr. Aandahl stated that advance paperback copies of 1944, volume I were now ready. This volume contained documents on the European Advisory Commission and various other general subjects, and it should be published within the next few weeks. He then distributed a second chart, showing an ever widening interval between events and publication if we continued to release volumes at the present rate of about four per year. On this basis, the manuscript for the Latin American volume for 1947, which was sent to PBR for copy editing three weeks ago, would not be released until 1975, 28 years after the events covered. Similarly, it would require nearly three years just to publish the 11 volumes for 1946, and this would further increase the spread for all future years. Mr. Bishop inquired whether the target date of 1971 for publication of the 1946 Paris Peace Conference documentation, as set forth in the Aandahl chart, meant that the two volumes would take five additional years to release, even though compilation was completed. Mr. Franklin replied that he expected Messrs. Perlmutter and Smith at 11:30 to give the Committee insight into the technical editing problem. We had been pressing PBR to expedite production, but that office had been handicapped by inability to obtain replacements. Some indexing had been contracted out, but this practice had been far from an unqualified success. It was hoped that with further contracting out of indexes, with greater safeguards, we would be able to release up to five volumes this year.
Mr. Franklin then raised the question of the relative rates of progress by the staff in compiling and the actual release of printed volumes. Mr. Gleason stated that compiling was a speedier process than publication.
Mr. Bishop asked, looking at the chart once more, whether there would be five years more of time lag for volumes III, IV, V, and VI for 1946. Mr. Gleason noted that PBR could process about four volumes a year. Mr. Franklin commented that PBR was unable to replace any retirees and was therefore farming out work on indexes, hoping thereby to process five volumes annually.
Mr. Bishop asked at what stage clearance took place. Mr. Gleason informed him that clearance took place after printing of the galleys. The galleys for any given volume were sent to the one or more bureaus concerned with the substance of the documents. There was normally no further clearance after the page-proof stage but rather the processes of editing, indexing, and binding.
Mr. Franklin stated that the suggestion of clearing manuscript instead of galleys to save time would not work satisfactorily. The making of sufficient copies would be very expensive and the material would be very bulky and difficult to read. The result would be to lengthen the present clearance time of about one year. He noted that, except for the China volumes, once the galleys were cleared, that was final and there was no further submission to the desks at the page-proof stage. The sole problem at the latter stage centered around the time of release, lest publication of a volume be interpreted per se as an act of foreign policy. Deletion of documents from page proof was rare, fortunately, as this would bring the credibility of the series into question. PBR was efficient at catching errors. Its standards were high and very few errors had ever gotten into print.
Mr. Stewart inquired whether Miss Vary’s staff had any function dealing with the substance of compilations. Mr. Franklin replied that PBR did not deal with substance but that its technical editing was of a very high order. Those sharp-eyed ladies caught inconsistencies which might be a thousand pages apart in a volume or even in different volumes. Mr. Bishop asked about the length of time required for release of a typical volume after compilation of the manuscript. Mr. Gleason answered that average clearance took about 18 months. To this should be added the long time expended in getting to the page-proof stage, indexing and binding. He noted that although he had been Editor of Foreign Relations for several years, he had yet to see published any of the volumes he had edited. He observed that the manuscript for 1944, volume I, one of the better ones, for time taken, had been sent to PBR in fiscal year 1963; the master galleys had been received on December 1, 1964; the cleared galleys had been sent to PBR in May 1965, and the volume was only now about to be released.
Mr. Bishop queried how much delay was accounted for by clearance, how much by PBR editing and indexing, and how much by the Government Printing Office. Mr. Franklin underscored the distinction between the work of clearing by the desks and the work of PBR in processing the volumes. In the bureaus, our work often lay untouched for long periods of time presumably at the bottom of file cabinets; the problem was to get a desk man to devote time to it. In PBR, our work did not lie buried. The time spent there was used to improve our product. In the one, however, it was a question of getting to the job; in PBR it was a problem of insufficient manpower. Some had suggested that PBR be combined with HO, as indeed it once was. The manpower shortage, however, would remain a problem regardless of where PBR was domiciled. Mr. Franklin noted, parenthetically, that PBR had not been as successful in securing replacements as the Foreign Relations Division.
Mr. Bishop asked if there would still be long delay, even if clearance were speeded. After Mr. Franklin’s affirmative reply, Mr. Bishop inferred the need for more personnel in both PBR and in the staff of Foreign Relations.
AGENDA ITEM 3: Report on wartime conference volumes
Mr. Dougall reported that two wartime conference volumes were still to be released. One, dealing with the three Washington Conferences and the Casablanca Conference, covered the period December 1941 to the middle of 1943 and had been in galleys for many months. Mr. Dougall mentioned three clearance problems that were giving us difficulties. A problem involving the Australian Government might well be brought to a head soon. The problem with EA centered around an old difficulty - not so much the question of substance as the matter of getting that bureau to review the galleys. The third problem was the most difficult because it involved a question of substance - the problem of the occupation of the Azores under certain contingencies by the United States and the United Kingdom. The Portuguese desk had exhibited deep sensitivity on the matter and HO had been turned down flatly on one occasion. Our Embassy at Lisbon had also expressed grave disquiet, and the views of our new Ambassador there, Tapley Bennett, were being sounded out. Mr. Franklin was not sanguine that the Ambassador would “rock the boat”. He pointed out that a memorandum by Mr. Gleason had demolished the argument against publication. It showed that knowledge of Allied efforts to gain bases in the Azores was already in the public domain, placed there by authoritative memoirs, by the Potsdam and Cairo-Tehran volumes, and by Portuguese historians. Thus there was no possibility that Salazar would be surprised by new revelations. Mr. Dougall thought it ironic that the later events in the story were already public knowledge while we were being asked to withhold the earlier portions of the record on the grounds that publication would adversely affect our current relations with Portugal. He regarded the Anglo-American plan as an important element in our wartime diplomacy, which must be documented, and said that we were now fighting the battle for clearance through Assistant Secretary Donnelley. A further problem was that the desks shied away from clearing Foreign Relations because the publication was official but cleared the work of private scholars more freely since they felt no responsibility for them.
Mr. Franklin noted that one of the effects of our clearance difficulties was the growing gap between the year of the printed record and the present time. Foreign Relations was falling back to a gap of 30 years. The British, on the other hand, were hoping to move from a lag of 50 years to one of 30 years in the opening of their records.
Mr. Gleason suggested that we encounter greater difficulties in the matter of clearance with our own officials than with foreign governments. Mr. Sterling inquired whether our difficulties were related to current problems. Mr. Gleason answered in the affirmative. Yet he confessed his inability to discern why our uneasy relations with Portugal caused by our current attitude on Angola and Mozambique would be worsened by publishing documentation on other matters that took place over 20 years ago.
Mr. Dougall concluded his discussion of the Washington-Casablanca conference volume by stating that the attitude of the Assistant Secretary for European Affairs was all-important. If he were understanding and sympathetic to printing the record, the problem would be solved quickly. Otherwise, we might still appeal to the Secretary of State, something we would do only if we thought we would win.
Mr. Dougall then discussed the volume documenting the Quebec Conferences of 1943 and 1944, which was not nearly so far along as the one for the Washington-Casablanca Conferences. We had largely collected the documents and done much annotation for First Quebec, but we were trying to get additional documents from Defense, Hyde Park and elsewhere. Second Quebec was not being worked on because its compiler, Mr. Kogan, was engrossed with his new duties as Chief of the Research Guidance and Review Division.
Mr. Franklin explained that the open and closed periods of the State Department files presented no difficulty to Mr. Kogan. Rather it was the restricted period, geared to the release of Foreign Relations, which provided the bulk of his work. One effect of the slowing down of publication of the series was to narrow the restricted period and thus reduce the potential volume of work for Mr. Kogan’s office. Mr. Franklin was optimistic, therefore, that Mr. Kogan would get back to Second Quebec as the pressure of his current duties lessened.
Mr. Bishop summarized the situation regarding the two remaining conference volumes, stating that they were the furthest behind currency. Clearance problems, he noted, were a challenge to the former; as for the second, compilation of manuscript was the problem.
AGENDA ITEM 4: Report on annual volumes for 1947
Mr. Gleason stated his report would constitute “minor variations on a melancholy theme by Gleason”. His Division had set three major objectives for 1947 compilations: (1) to cover the major themes for the year in six or seven volumes, exclusive of the China volume; (2) to limit the size of the volumes to about 1,000 printed pages; and (3) to compile the manuscript in the space of one year. These objectives reflected the view, he thought shared by the Committee, that since no additional staff was likely, our only hope of staying even in sight of the 20-year line was to limit the number of volumes by being more selective in our choice of subjects. The attempt to achieve these objectives meant the disappearance of certain favorite themes of the past for which we could expect criticism. It had also meant a more rigorous definition of the major American policies to be covered as well as a more austere treatment of them, an economy he did not think would be universally applauded. On the other hand, we could point to the advantage to scholars in obtaining access to the files immediately after publication. This emphasized the desirability of trying to keep within sight of the 20-year gap.
Mr. Gleason said that we had not achieved our objectives but had come close enough to warrant optimism that further progress may be attained in another year. The bulk of the work on 1947 had been done and completion of the remainder was anticipated by the end of the winter. If we decided on six volumes, several would exceed the desired thousand-page limit, but except for the China volume, which was already in galleys, by not very significant margins. If the seven-volume plan seemed more desirable, most would fall within this limit. The China volume, because of the exceptional circumstances of its compilation, would approximate 1300 pages.
In view of the fact that the 1946 volumes totaled nine, not including two China volumes, Mr. Gleason felt that we were making progress toward attainment of the first two objectives. As to the third objective of compiling a year in a year, progress was much less notable. No single volume had been compiled within the space of a year, although two might be described as near misses. He was not sanguine that this objective could be achieved in the future without additional personnel unless the character of the series were drastically altered. Paper in the files would continue to proliferate by geometric progression and our efforts to reduce the number and size of the volumes by greater selectivity would be increasingly time-consuming.
Mr. Gleason reminded the Committee that even if the staff succeeded in achieving the three objectives, there was no likelihood that we alone could close the 20-year gap or even keep it from falling further behind the 22-year gap it has reached. This unfortunate situation derived from the lack of sufficient personnel in PBR and, unless some means were found to speed its technical editing and indexing, six or seven volumes could not be published is one year, even though compiled.
Mr. Bishop commented that according to Mr. Aandahl’s chart, the 1947 volumes would not be published for 6 to 7 years. Mr. Gleason agreed. In reply to a question from Mr. Stewart, Mr. Gleason stated that we were sending manuscript to PBR as rapidly as possible.
Mr. Franklin commented on one aspect of the PBR bottleneck - the question of indexing. PBR had come up with the idea of contracting out the preparation of indexes. Its experience in this field had been unfortunate. The work had not been satisfactory and had to be redone by PBR. Normally an index prepared in PBR took one experienced person at least three months full time.
Mr. Goodwin reported for the General Branch. He noted that if he stuck narrowly to the agenda, he would have little to say as his branch was immersed in 1946 and had not gotten deeply into 1947. Yet the situation was favorable, possibly because it had been so unfavorable before. He stressed two reasons for the previously unfavorable situation: (1) new types of compilations had produced unfamiliar substantive and procedural problems with respect to the United Nations; and (2) problems had inevitably been created by the advent of new personnel. Actually, there had been a complete turnover in the Branch’s personnel since 1962. Admittedly, the Branch had been in a wilderness, but with the staff approaching a level of optimum performance, it was now coming out into the open.
The problem of the UN had been brought under control, both as to what was going to be done and how it was going to be done. Much of the planning brought to the attention of the Committee two years ago had by now become reality and was being tested in a second round with the UN in 1947. He emphasized that the General Branch handled United States policy on constitutional and organizational problems involved at the UN. These, basically, were projections of issues of Dumbarton Oaks and San Francisco. Regional and substantive issues at the United Nations were being handled by area compilers. He was pleased to report that many of the critical UN issues for 1946 diminished in scope and intensity in 1947 and even disappeared. He predicted that in no future year would the UN documentation printed be as bulky or present such acute problems as that for 1946. Mr. Goodwin noted that he was personally responsible for this part of his Branch’s work.
Mr. Petersen compiled the record in a second area of multilateral and conference diplomacy for which the General Branch had responsibility, and in which the UN factor continued to loom large. He referred to that whole segment of United States foreign relations that might be described loosely as “disarmament and related matters”. The whole vast subject of international control of atomic energy and regulation of conventional armaments fell within this field, as well as so-called collective security subjects. Also within this area, the Branch covered the interminable Soviet attempts at the UN to get the armed forces of the West out of foreign countries and foreign bases. It also had a whole new field of politico-military subjects, separate from the armaments and atomic energy subject, yet closely related. This field, described as “national security policy”, would include such items as “think pieces” ground out by the State Department, the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reflecting the new partnership between the political and military elements in the Executive Branch in the formulation of United States foreign policy. Other subjects to be covered here could be the United States development of atomic energy, that is, questions relating to accessibility to raw materials, the relationship of the United Kingdom to the United States, etc.
The third major area of multilateral and conference diplomacy related preponderantly to economic foreign policy. Mr. Kranz was handling these compilations, which included such large-scale subjects as the efforts by the United States to bring about the establishment of an International Trade Organization and GATT. A complex 1946 story done by Mr. Kranz on the foreign financial and loan program of the United States in the 18-month period following the end of the war had led him into the Western Branch jurisdiction and the General Branch has undertaken to compile the record of the diplomacy of the Marshall Plan. It is also doing a story relating to the British financial crisis of 1947 and its impact upon the multilateral financial diplomacy of the late 1940’s, with specific reference to the implementation of the Anglo-American Financial Agreement of 1945. Mr. Goodwin stated that we were thus tackling this complex of issues relating to international commercial and financial policy and diplomacy as a more or less unified subject although jurisdictionally the individual components fell between two of our Branches.
As to the volumes themselves, volume I for 1946 would be a fat 1600 printed pages; volume I for 1947 had just been started and was projected at about 1200 pages, to be completed by April 1967, except possibly in the field of economic foreign policy. Little could be said about volume I for 1948. A very rough, tentative projection had been made calling for its completion by the end of 1967 in a slightly smaller volume than that for 1947.
Mr. Bishop inquired whether we would be documenting at length the activities of the specialized agencies such as the International Bank, the International Labor Organization, and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Goodwin stated we would try to avoid getting bogged down in this field unless United States policy were deeply involved. In reply to a further question from Mr. Bishop about the Chicago Civil Aviation Conference of 1944, Mr. Aandahl stated that the compilation on that Conference had been a very lengthy one but that it had been cut back drastically lately, its technical matter, particularly, being excised.
The meeting resumed after a short intermission.
Mr. Aandahl spoke of the activities of the Western Branch, which took in Western Europe and Latin America. He noted that Latin America was traditionally the area fastest compiled and the slowest cleared, and that compilation for Western Europe was being retarded by a shortage of personnel. He reported that the Latin American volume for 1947, compiled by Mr. Wright and Mrs. Cassidy, had recently been sent to PBR, the first of any of the 1947 volumes to be turned over to the technical editors. He concluded by saying that we were bound to have staffing complications when the 12 historians of the Division have had to deal with the 40 volumes now in process, covering the years 1944 through 1948 as well as the two earlier Conference volumes.
Mr. Ferrell arrived at 11:10.
Mr. Churchill then reviewed the work of the Eastern Branch. He advised that he and Mr. Slany had completed the 1947 compilations for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and that Mr. Reid had completed the compilations for the same year on the Far East. The Near East was well along, awaiting primarily Mr. Fine’s compilation on the Truman Doctrine, which he estimated would be completed by the end of this winter.
As for 1948, Mr. Churchill informed the Committee that except for the Near East, compilation was well under way. He predicted completion of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe by September 1967 and the Far East possibly by the end of 1967. The Near East volume was not expected to be completed until the end of the summer of 1968.
AGENDA ITEM 5: Efforts to expedite output (editorial procedures):
Messrs. Perlmutter and Smith joined the Committee at 11:15 to discuss efforts to expedite output through editorial procedures. Mr. Franklin referred to the second chart produced by Mr. Aandahl (agenda item 2) and stated that it illustrated painfully the time lag between completion of compilation and publication. He observed that the longer portion of the time interval was accounted for by clearance; the PBR record was much better and its efforts were devoted continually to improving our product. Yet it was barely able to keep pace with the manuscript sent over by HO.
Mr. Perlmutter announced himself as the bearer of good tidings regarding the editorial picture. PBR had turned the corner in production and would turn out five volumes in fiscal year 1967: volumes I, II, and VII for 1944 and I and II for 1945. It would thus bring out all volumes thus far cleared. He felt the prospects were excellent for bringing out volumes III, IV, and V for 1945 after June 30, 1967. Thereafter, he predicted, PBR would keep up with all cleared material. He lauded the splendid cooperation he had had from Mr. Franklin.
He then discussed the steps he had taken to accelerate progress on publication. The first had been to identify efficient outside indexers to take up the slack in that area. Then he announced that he was exploring the possibility of making arrangements with the Columbia University Press, which had edited the Alexander Hamilton Papers, to assume responsibility for processing one Foreign Relations volume, beginning next February. He stated lastly that the productivity of the PBR staff was increasing.
Mr. Perlmutter said that he had sent a questionnaire to some 150 publishers and indexers, hoping to recruit outside help thereby. He had no hope for increasing the PBR staff because of budgetary restrictions, but he did not feel this an unmitigated evil because the slack would be taken up by outsiders. He concluded by restating his optimism for the next year.
Mr. Stewart asked Mr. Perlmutter whether private enterprise in the field of technical editing would do the job more cheaply and efficiently than PBR. Mr. Perlmutter asserted that certain phases of the work would be done more cheaply and efficiently on the outside. Several veterans on his staff were being paid “top-dollar” wages that would not be matched outside. In any event, resort to outside contracting was made necessary by the lack of sufficient regular staff.
Mr. Franklin expressed concern that outsiders might dilute the qualitative job done by PBR and that it had to be proved that they would not do so. Mr. Smith replied that the work in PBR was of top quality but was expensive. He felt that if the outside work required a minimum of review by PBR, the system would be faster and more efficient. In response to questions from Messrs. Bishop and Sterling, he noted his intention to contract out for proofreading. Time limits, he said, would be set in the contract with Columbia University Press.
Mr. Bishop inquired whether there had been any difficulty with the work performed by outside indexers. Mr. Smith replied that one volume had been contracted out successfully. Mr. Bishop asked if Mr. Smith thought it necessary for outside editors to have familiarity with the content of the material. Mr. Smith said that it depended on the individual as to how well it would be done. He remarked also that it would be uneconomical to contract out a single volume to an outside indexer. Actually that indexer was acquiring training for subsequent work. He regarded the Columbia University Press as a pilot project which would be carefully reviewed by PBR. He hoped that the results would be such as to warrant extension of the plan.
After questions by Mr. Bishop, Mr. Smith commented on the security aspects of the pilot project. He cited the understanding with the Office of Security (SY) regarding handling manuscript material as confidential. Outside editors would have to be cleared by SY and their facilities for storage would require official approval. Many outside contractors were already cleared for handling classified material of the Department and the security aspects provided no major problem.
Mr. Dougall inquired whether PBR could increase its pace from the five volumes promised for fiscal year 1967 to six volumes the following year. Mr. Perlmutter asserted that every volume cleared in 1967 and 1968 would be published. Mr. Smith felt that chances were good for six volumes to appear in 1968. Mr. Bishop took note of the likelihood that PBR would cease to be a bottleneck if the steps contemplated by Mr. Perlmutter were successful. Mr. Perlmutter stated he had every confidence in the matter.
Mr. Stewart asked if the time forecast in Chart No. 2 for producing published volumes could now be shortened. Mr. Perlmutter said he believed so on the ground that our growing outside help would supplement a basically static in-house capability.
Mr. Franklin stated that last year, he and Mr. Perlmutter had had several conferences regarding shortcuts in technical editing and they had agreed to cut corners, some of a potentially dangerous character. HO had relieved PBR of checking footnote citations, taking responsibility for their accuracy in what could best be described as a calculated risk. Mr. Gleason stated that he was attempting to cut down on the number, length, and elaborateness of footnotes, retaining those that clarified the documents to which they were appended and eliminating those merely of general help to the reader. Mr. Bishop testified to the soundness of this approach, pointing out that our first duty was to bring out published volumes.
Messrs. Perlmutter and Smith left the meeting at 11:45.
AGENDA ITEM 5: Efforts to expedite output (clearance):
Mr. Gleason stated that in the past year there had been no appreciable change for the better or worse and that the situation remained, therefore, thoroughly discouraging. Within the Department, the best performance was clearance of a volume in 10 months; the worst, in 22 months, and then only a “threatening letter” had produced action. The average clearance time was approximately a year and a half, as against our goal of clearance in three months.
In may cases, the galleys simply lay at the bottom of a file cabinet, untouched for long periods of time. When the bureaus finally did take action, they often requested us to delete a few documents for what often appeared to us to be frivolous reasons. We could only conclude that the delay resulted from procrastination and inexperience.
In the case of Argentina, clearance was turned over to an FSO-5 who seemingly felt that he would keep out of difficulty by finding problems. What was required for this work was a mature, high level officer with continuity of experience and willingness to assume direct responsibility. A person of this caliber would have known that the Department’s Blue Book on Argentina long ago had said everything of substance that we proposed to print. The FSO-5 was apparently unfamiliar with the Blue Book.
Occasionally, there was a genuine problem of sensitivity, such as the case of Iceland, where there had been a realistic fear that the Government would fall if we published the compilation on American bases there. In this case, we had deleted the story. More typical were the dubious objections, such as those encompassed in the Argentine desk’s view that printing documents on Perón would make cold our present tepid relations with Argentina. Overlooked was the fact that the current Argentine Government was most anti-Perón and our relations with it were not likely to be injured by Foreign Relations.
Mr. Bishop asked if HO might send the Blue Book or similar work along with the galleys to assist clearing officers. Mr. Gleason stated that it had not been our practice to send supporting material with the galleys. Mr. Franklin asserted that in times past, however, we had marked with clips the passages HO thought might be regarded as sensitive by the clearing desks. Our idea in so doing was that the desks would concentrate their efforts on these matters and pass routinely and rapidly over the reminder. The results had been most unfortunate. The desks had requested deletion of the clipped items and then had requested further deletions from other portions of the galleys which we had felt were not sensitive. Mr. Franklin suggested that the long delays in clearance would be a fitting subject to bring up with Under Secretary Rostow during the Committee’s luncheon with him. As a new man, he might be appalled that it took almost two years to clear a volume.
Mr. Franklin suggested that what was needed was to get one or two men in each bureau, at the level of a Deputy Assistant Secretary or a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary, to do the clearing work. We have thus far been unable to get such high-level people with sufficient time to do this chore. Yet maturity, background and a firm conviction that the series was useful were necessary requirements for clearing officials.
Mr. Gleason deplored the fact that the desks did not think in terms of the value of a given volume but rather of the impact of page X; this negative attitude was most disturbing. Mr. Franklin noted that Mr. Rusk had made an address a few years ago at the University of Wisconsin and that we had been able to work into it a sympathetic word for Mr. Harrington and the Committee.
Mr. Osgood inquired whether guidelines were provided to reviewing officers by HO. Mr. Franklin replied that a “Notice to Reviewing Officers” suggested that they make no requests for deletions unless publication of a document or passage would constitute a “clear and present danger” to our current international relationships, requested that review be completed in three months, etc. The notice stressed that the reviewers should “think big”, but it seems to have made no impression.
Mr. Sterling inquired how much time was actually spent on clearance once the reviewing officer got around to it and whether there was one person in each bureau to “bird dog” the operation. Mr. Franklin stated that each bureau had a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) and that two of them would meet with the Committee in the afternoon. Mr. Gleason noted that the PAO’s played the “bird-dogging” role but not very effectively.
Mr. Bishop expressed great interest in HO’s efforts at obtaining a clearance time limit. Mr. Franklin stated that three years ago Mr. Manning had introduced a memorandum at a meeting of the Assistant Secretaries in which he had set a time limit of three months for clearance. The Assistant Secretaries had agreed to the time limit. Regrettably, HO had not enforced this limit because of its potential wastefulness. A bureau not giving direct clearance during the galley stage might make numerous requests for deletions in the page proof stage. In any event, we did not dare to take a strong stand on the matter without backing at the highest levels.
Mr. Gleason then turned to other aspects of the clearance question. He stated that compared with the difficulties we faced in the Department, those with other agencies and foreign governments were pale. The British Foreign Office patiently cleared large numbers of documents with only a rare refusal. Even the Quai d’Orsay had not discovered in refusal of permission to print French documents another way to irritate the United States. Defense was certainly slower than we wished in clearing political military documentation, but there was little point in increasing pressure on them when our own bureaus moved even more slowly.
Mr. Gleason then announced the impending retirement of Almon Wright from our Latin American field. He paid generous tribute to Mr. Wright’s contributions to the series and stated how great a loss his retirement would be to us. He spoke of the difficulty of replacing him; in fact, we were not even sure of being able to get a new employee to fill his slot.
Mr. Bishop then inquired whether Assistant Secretary Donnelley shared Mr. Manning’s convictions on the clearance operation. Mr. Franklin was not sure because of the paucity of his contacts with Mr. Donnelley, all of which, however, had been very helpful. Mr. Bishop suggested that since there had been so much turnover in the ranks of the Assistant Secretaries in the Department, it might be useful to submit a new memorandum on three-month clearance to be signed by Mr. Donnelley. Mr. Franklin agreed, proposing to incorporate examples of our worst experiences.
Mr. Stewart raised the question of clearance with Eastern European countries. Mr. Gleason said that in the past we had published documents from those Communist states without clearance from the Governments involved. Recently, the Office of Eastern European Affairs had suggested that we regard Yugoslavia as a “friendly government” and submit its documents for clearance. Mr. Gleason stated that he was horrified at the suggestion, for United States relations with Yugoslavia in 1946 and 1947 were as bad as almost any, and he had prevailed on EE to hold off on its suggestion at least until the 1948 papers. He anticipated great difficulty in clearance simply because Yugoslavia was a Communist state and he felt it likely that the Yugoslavs would not be interested in clearing documents anyway. Mr. Gleason also mentioned the case in which our Embassy in Nicaragua had recommended that certain Nicaraguan documents not be submitted for clearance. Needless to say we had hastened to concur.
Mr. Bishop asked whether Mr. Gleason shared the optimism expressed and radiated by Mr. Perlmutter. Mr. Gleason said he was quite skeptical and had reservations about the quality of work by outsiders. Mr. Mosely referred to some of his dealings with Columbia University Press in which he had found them very slow. In fact, he had withdrawn from the Press certain studies on the Soviet Union and sent them elsewhere for editing and printing.
The Committee adjourned at 12:15 for luncheon (AGENDA ITEM 7) with Under Secretary Rostow.
The afternoon session began at 2:30.
Mr. Bishop announced the Committee’s intention to complete its work the same afternoon, obviating any need for a Saturday session.
AGENDA ITEM 6: Problems of technical editing:
Mr. Bishop requested the Committee to turn its attention to the technical editing reforms proposed by the PBR officers. Mr. Stewart felt it was the consensus of the members that the Perlmutter-Smith report had been overly optimistic and that the program of contracting out a portion of PBR’s work was not likely by itself to result in the elimination of the bottleneck posed by technical editing.
Mr. Mosely left the meeting at this point.
Mr. Franklin expressed the view that the proposed PBR measures were being undertaken because it was easier for government agencies to obtain funds for external contract activities than to hire additional government employees. He said that the quality of outside editing procedures remained to be assessed. In response to a question from Mr. Bishop, Mr. Franklin thought that a report on the success of these procedures could be made at the Committee meeting next November, and that the agenda for that meeting could include an item for assessing their effectiveness. He felt, tentatively, that the contracting-out system might be of some help since it was impossible for PBR to hire new personnel. He also took occasion to review the great difficulties encountered so far in contracting out Foreign Relations indexes, pointing out that considerable time was often expended by PBR personnel in bringing the indexes prepared by outsiders up to acceptable standards. Mr. Bishop, similarly, related the difficulties encountered by the American Journal of International Law in letting a contract for outside indexing.
Mr. Aandahl expressed doubt that outside contracting was going to be of decisive help since the work to be contracted for was in the early stages of technical editing, whereas the real bottleneck existed in the area of final editing. Mr. Dougall expressed skepticism that the contracting out of technical editing would progress far enough by next November to permit the Committee to evaluate its merits.
Mr. Churchill observed that editing by out-of-town contractors would make impossible the current regular consultation by PBR with the personnel in HO who had prepared the manuscript.
Mr. Sterling emphasized the seriousness of the fact that two of the three senior technical editors were approaching retirement age and that, in view of current and prospective job freezes, the Department had a real problem in being able to hire replacements.
Mr. Bishop wondered whether the Committee should urge the grooming of replacements for the senior editors in addition to approving the proposed contracting out of technical editing, for the latter in any case would not be the sole solution of the editing problem. He requested that Mr. Franklin have a memorandum prepared for the Committee, reviewing the organization and numerical strength of PBR personnel and setting forth the approximate dates of anticipated retirement.
Mr. Ferrell gave his opinion that the technical editors, who were turning out for publication only five volumes a year, were being much too thorough in their work. He recalled that the 25-member staff of the Indiana University Press prepared over 50 volumes a year for publication, and that not only technical editing but promotional and other activities were included. He reiterated his shock at learning that the 11 technical editors turned out but five volumes annually and speculated that perhaps a too-leisurely work pace contributed to this record.
Mr. Franklin spoke out in defense of PBR, stating that it was dangerous to hack away at the standards used. He averred his complete satisfaction with the thoroughness, dedication, accuracy and skill of the PBR staff, but admitted it might exhibit a degree of over-conscientiousness and over-attention to detail. He reminded the Committee that in the past few years, by agreement between HO and PBR, various short cuts in editorial practices had been introduced. He also noted that technical editing of Foreign Relations did not involve straight narrative texts such as produced by university presses. A sample of raw, difficult manuscript was shown to the Committee as typical of the kind that PBR works on. The volumes, moreover, were much larger than those generally produced by university presses.
Mr. Smyth noted, by way of comparison, that the technical editing of the German Foreign Office documents in Washington by PBR was at a substantially higher level of accuracy and speed than for those volumes edited in London. Mr. Aandahl noted that the Foreign Relations volumes included extensive cross-referencing of intricate inter-relationships which required considerable time and effort by PBR.
Mr. Ferrell expressed his desire for a 15-year time lag for Foreign Relations and subsequently said that a 20-year limit should be our target, even at the expanse of less meticulous preparation of the volumes. Mr. Franklin pointed out the dangers of appreciably lowering editorial standards. One could not be certain whether errors which might then creep in were major or minor ones. He cited the possibility of unfavorable reviews and comments by users.
Mr. Ferrell gave his opinion that there were relatively few scholarly reviews of the series. Generally, the reviewers restricted themselves to “sizing up” the volumes and there was little likelihood that they would detect the occasional typographical errors that might result from relaxation of editorial standards. In any case, expedited publication would result in earlier opening of the State Department archives--Mr. Ferrell stressed the great importance he attached to this--so that scholars would be able to detect and correct any errors. Mr. Franklin reiterated his fear that lowered editorial standards might result in major errors, thereby compromising the series in the eyes of its users.
Mrs. Cassidy recalled that the 1946 Paris Peace Conference volume, which she compiled and fully prepared for publication in about three months in 1947, received one unfavorable review for poor editorial practices that are eliminated in Foreign Relations by the painstaking and time-consuming PBR processes. Because the aim of the Department was to release her special publication as speedily and cheaply as possible, the original Conference papers, most of which were poorly mimeographed and full of errors, were reproduced by the photo-offset process, without correction of errors, without annotation, without benefit of technical editing, and without an index. The above-mentioned critic complained, also, of the limited documentation in the single volume, and various individuals here and abroad sent written requests to the Department for additional material and information. Mr. Franklin added what he termed a sorrowful postscript--that the compilation on the Peace Conference had had to be redone, this time in a manner consonant with Foreign Relations standards. Mr. Bishop noted that the only real problem with the Cassidy volume was that it was released in too short supply. Many potential reviewers were unable to obtain copies. If the volume had been issued in sufficient numbers, the critical review would likely have been outweighed by more favorable ones.
Mr. Sterling summarized the situation posed to the Committee by the proposed PBR reforms: (l) it would be necessary for the Committee to examine the quality of the editorial work accomplished under private contract; (2) as a tool to aid in evaluating the efficiency of editorial practices within PBR, the Committee should be provided with a memorandum giving a detailed picture of the practices and procedures of that office.
Mr. Stewart made a strong plea for retention of cross-referencing devices currently employed in Foreign Relations as they were of tremendous value to scholars. Mr, Franklin said that cross-references within the series would be retained; but other types of annotation would have to be curtailed in order to save time. These included such items as elimination of references to printed sources for treaties, statutes, and the like.
Mr. Osgood stated that Mr. Ferrell’s basic point concerning the desirability of hewing to the 20-year line and its relationship to the question of access to the files by scholars, even at the expense of lowering somewhat the quality of the volumes, should be represented in the report of the Committee. He also expressed his concern that Under Secretary Rostow was not thoroughly familiar with the situation. (Mr. Rostow, during luncheon with the Committee, had expressed his desire to retain the qualitative standards of Foreign Relations, and had said that if this involved a further slipping away from the 20-year line, it was a price he was willing to pay.)
Mr. Ferrell, who had been engaging in arithmetic computations, asserted that given an annual production of five volumes, each of the technical editors was turning out an average of two pages a day, a shockingly low figure. He reiterated the necessity for speeding technical editing by reducing qualitative standards. He then suggested elimination of the index in order to maintain the 20-year line.
Mr. Sterling thought it would be very useful for the Committee to have detailed information on the actual range of activities of the PBR staff, the number of volumes each editor worked on, etc. Mr. Bishop was also of the opinion that the Committee needed additional knowledge of PBR’s operations and procedures and called for a detailed memorandum on the matter.
Mr. Franklin recalled that in 1962, when he and Mr. Perlmutter had recently assumed their present duties, both had been impatient with the slowness of the technical editing process. They had investigated the problem thoroughly and had agreed to cut out certain of the operations. They had both deemed it unwise to cut out further steps for fear of grievously lowering standards.
Mr. Franklin took issue with Mr. Ferrell’s statistics about the daily work-rate per PBR editor, noting that they failed to take into account, for example the time-consuming job of preparing indexes.
Mr. Ferrell recalled that he and his wife had completed the index for his recent book on Secretary Marshall in two days. The process of indexing Foreign Relations should be speeded up enormously.
Mr. Smyth suggested that the rate of producing Foreign Relations be compared with that of other major diplomatic documentary series such as those of the British, French, and Italians. He felt certain that the rate of producing the American volumes would be found to compare most favorably with those of the others. He spoke additionally of the high quality of our product. Mr. Ferrell agreed that the Foreign Relations series was the best of its kind published and the closest to currency as well. He insisted, however, on the importance of maintaining the 20-year line. Mr. Franklin noted that an appreciable lowering of standards might make Foreign Relations look poor in comparison with similar publications of other nations.
In response to a request by Mr. Bishop, Mr. Franklin promised to supply the Committee with a descriptive list of PBR processes recently prepared at his request by PBR. Mr. Bishop concluded the discussion of technical editing by requesting that a PBR senior editor appear before the Committee at its next meeting.
AGENDA ITEM 8: Discussion with Public Affairs Officers on clearance problems:
Mr. Bishop inquired whether Committee members cared to make any observations on clearance before the Public Affairs Officers arrived at 3:30. Mr. Stewart observed that the present system of using PAO’s as the liaison agents to clear galleys had resulted in great delay. He speculated whether the Committee should request the views of the PAO’s as to whether the process would be more expeditious if they should turn over their clearance role to Deputy Assistant Secretaries, who had greater prestige and knowledge. Mr. Franklin went a step further and suggested that the PAO’s be asked whether the Deputies could assume the entire clearance responsibility, rather than have our material parceled out to the various country desks.
Mr. Aandahl suggested referral to the Bureaus, initially, of only a table of contents with a request that clearance be given immediately to compilations whose title promised no difficulty, and that only galleys specifically requested by the Bureaus because of their sensitivity be sent.
Mr. Bishop queried whether the PAO’s were really “sold” on the desirability of rapid clearance. Mr. Ferrell deplored the widespread indifference to the series apparent in the Department. He said the basic question was how such an attitude could be corrected. Mr. Bishop emphasized the need for an educational campaign to convince Department officers, both at the highest level and the lowest, of the importance of the series. It was not enough to educate one group of officers any more than it sufficed to educate one group of students at a university. Such a campaign should be a continuing one and the Committee should maintain a continuing responsibility in this field.
Mr. Franklin assured the Committee of HO’s appreciation of the work already done by the Committee along these lines. He recalled that articles by Dick Leopold and others had made quite a “splash”. In response to a question from Mr. Osgood, Mr. Franklin agreed that the Committee’s efforts to have pro-Foreign Relations material placed in the Congressional Record had been useful but that benefits had been minimal.
Mr. Goodwin cited Joseph M. Jones’ The Fifteen Weeks (1955) as authority for the existence of a “deep and yawning chasm that existed between the operational and informational areas of the Department”. Mr. Gleason observed that much of the clearance difficulty was caused because the geographic desks were badly overworked and understaffed and were subject to rapid and continuing turnover.
Mr. Jerabek, PAO for the Bureau of European Affairs, joined the meeting at 3:30. Mr Franklin introduced him to the Committee as a veteran PAO who had expended great efforts and time on the clearance problem and that HO was much further ahead because he had filled his role well. Mr. Bishop summarized for Mr. Jerabek the efforts to be taken by PBR to speed editing of the series and asked in the name of the Committee whether he, Mr. Jerabek, could suggest measures to speed clearance.
Mr. Jerabek reviewed the past and present status of EUR clearance. He noted that clearance of wartime volumes had presented no special problems and had moved along well. Difficulties began to crop up with the ending of the war. Procedural difficulties in EUR had also resulted in clearance delays. He recalled two specific clearance problems, in connection with Tito in mid-1945 and with de Gaulle; but once these had been settled, clearance had moved swiftly. The major problem in recent years had been the Azores. In connection with the ease of difficulty of clearance, he gave his theory that where relations with a foreign government were hopelessly bad or exceptionally good, clearance presented few problems at the geographic desk level; but that where relations were in between these extremes, clearance was more difficult.
In response to a question from Mr. Ferrell, on actual clearance procedures in EUR, Mr. Jerabek stated that he reviewed all the galleys and decided which of them required no further review. He sent to the desks only those galleys which required further scrutiny.
Mr. Bishop inquired if some improvement in the clearance procedure might be realized by shifting the first overall galley clearance from the PAO’s to the Deputy Assistant Secretary level. Mr. Jerabek stated that this procedure had not been tried in EUR, but he was most dubious that the Deputies would be able to devote the necessary time to clearance. They would doubtless refer the galleys to desk officers for examination in much the same way the PAO’s now did.
Mr. Sterling asked if it were true, as the Committee understood, that galleys often lay unexamined for months in file cabinets of desk officers. Mr. Jerabek conceded that this was often the case. Not only were desk officers extremely pressed for time but they usually had higher priority work. Because of these pressures, desk officers found that the only way to review the galleys was to come to the Department on weekends. Mr. Sterling inquired whether a reluctance to make decisions was a factor in delay. Mr. Jerabek said that this was probably true in some cases.
At this point, Mr. Armstrong, PAO for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EA), arrived and was introduced to the Committee. It was noted that he was newly arrived at his job, having come from USIA about two months ago. Mr. Franklin explained to him the functions of the Committee in examining the operations and problems of the Foreign Relations series. He said that while clearance had been singled out for attention at this point, the practices of HO and PBR were also under scrutiny. He pointed out that clearance delays involving the Defense Department and foreign governments were generally much less severe than those involving the geographic bureaus.
Mr. Bishop referred to Mr. Manning’s memorandum of 1963 which specified that clearance was to be completed in three months. He noted for the PAO’s that the Manning memorandum had been concurred in at the time by the Assistant Secretaries in charge of the bureaus and asked whether reissuing the memorandum at this time would serve to expedite clearance. Mr. Jerabek informed the Committee that he reminds his desk officers of the necessity of working on the galleys after three months. He felt uncertain whether a reissue of the Manning memorandum would provide a sufficient prod to accomplish HO’s purposes.
Mr. Sterling suggested that the PAO’s obtain clear authority to fix clearance deadlines, but there was no discussion of this point.
Mr. Osgood asked whether publication of diplomatic documents had interfered with or adversely affected the conduct of diplomacy. In his own experience, he said, he remembered virtually no documents that had had such impact. He observed that the burden of proof as to whether publication of documents would upset current negotiations should be placed on the desks, not on HO. Mr. Armstrong told the Committee that Department officers were not opposed to publication of the series and that delay in clearance was not the result of a negative attitude. Rather it was simply a question of having time to get around to the work.
Mr. Dougall wondered how adverse would be the effect of publishing the 1944 China volume in comparison with the impact of the President’s decision not to visit Taiwan on his recent Asian trip. Mr. Armstrong expressed his hope that EA would approve publication of that volume so that it could be released with the other 1944 volumes. Mr. Franklin informed him that the rest of the 1944 volumes would be in print shortly, so that EA would have to hurry to attain that goal and prevent the China volume from looking conspicuous by coming out long after the remainder of the volumes for that year.
Mr. Ferrell explained to the PAO’s two major reasons why historians were anxious to speed publication of the series. The first was that access to the Department’s files was geared to publication of the series; the second was that by publishing a comprehensive record speedily, the United States would influence all written history. He cited the very speedy publication of pre-1914 diplomatic correspondence by the German Republic soon after the ending of World War I and stated that the history of the origins of that war was written on the basis of the German documents since they were the first and for long the only official documents published.
Mr. Franklin recalled that when the series was sliding from 15 years behind currency to 20 years, everyone had felt that the longer lapse would facilitate clearance. Clearly this had not happened.
In response to a question from Mr. Armstrong about the seriousness of the delays in clearance, Mr. Gleason asserted that currently the time required for clearance varied from 10 months to 22 months, despite the three months that the bureaus had agreed to “in principle”.
Mr. Sterling described as unacceptable the fact that Foreign Relations material was simply put aside and cleared only after great delay. He noted that he had been a university president for 18 years and knew well that there were not enough hours in a day. Yet if clearance were accomplished in 22 months, why couldn’t the process be accomplished much earlier. “If it can be done on Tuesday, why can’t it be done on Monday?,” he asked. He expressed his utter inability to understand the interminable delay and characterized it as irresponsible.
Mr. Armstrong stated that the pressures on clearance officers in their regular assignments kept mounting and they were simply unable to undertake clearance until the pressures relaxed somewhat. He observed, in answer to a question from Mr. Bishop, that PAO’s did not need greater power in as much as they already had authority to clear galleys if they saw fit to do so.
At one point, Mr. Armstrong stated that only recently he had discovered in a file cabinet certain galleys to be cleared in EA. Mr. Churchill asked him if these galleys were those for 1945, volume VI, which had been sent to his predecessor on August 30, 1965. After the laughter had subsided, Mr. Armstrong replied that they probably were the ones Mr. Churchill had referred to. Mr. Franklin suggested that perhaps clearance would be expedited by pre-dating our transmittal memoranda.
Mr. Gleason pointed to the dangers in assigning clearance tasks to young, inexperienced, low-level FSO’s, who were reluctant to risk clearing material for publication. Would it not be preferable, he asked, to assign clearance to mature, experienced, high-level officers who would be able to clear galleys with confidence and dispatch?
Mr. Franklin recalled that at the time of the Manning memorandum, it had been recognized that some weeks would be too full for officers to work on clearance but that three months was a realistic time limit. He felt that it might be worthwhile to renew the three-month rule; the PAO’s agreed it would be worth trying.
Mr. Bishop stressed that not only did delay in clearance hold up publication of a historical series but that it was also detrimental to the morale of the HO staff who, after striving to cut down the time expended on compilation, saw the product of their labors lie idle in the clearance stage.
Mr. Bishop again asked Messrs. Jerabek and Armstrong for suggestions on speeding clearance. Their sole suggestion was to have the galleys downgraded. Mr. Franklin promised to see what could be done about downgrading the galleys to Limited Official Use. At this point he showed the PAO’s Mr. Aandahl’s projection indicating that if publication continued at the present rate for the next four years, the series would soon drop behind an additional six years.
Mr. Bishop expressed the Committee’s appreciation to Messrs. Jerabek and Armstrong for participating in the meeting, and they departed. The Committee discussed their contributions to solving the clearance problem.
At this point, the HO staff withdrew and the Committee went into private session.