The publication Foreign Relations of the United States constitutes the official record of the foreign policy of the United States. The volumes in the series include, subject to necessary security considerations, all documents needed to give a comprehensive record of the major foreign policy decisions of the United States together with appropriate materials concerning the facts which contributed to the formulation of policies. Documents in the files of the Department of State are supplemented by papers from other government agencies involved in the formulation of foreign policy.
The basic documentary diplomatic record printed in the volumes of the series Foreign Relations of the United States is edited by the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, Department of State. The editing is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and in accordance with the following official guidance first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925.
There may be no alteration of the text, no deletions without indicating where in the text the deletion is made, and no omission of facts which were of major importance in reaching a decision. Nothing may be omitted for the purpose of concealing or glossing over what might be regarded by some as a defect of policy. However, certain omissions of documents are permissible for the following reasons:
- To avoid publication of matters which would tend to impede current diplomatic negotiations or other business.
- To condense the record and avoid repetition of needless details.
- To preserve the confidence reposed in the Department by individuals and by foreign governments.
- To avoid giving needless offense to other nationalities or individuals.
- To eliminate personal opinions presented in despatches and not acted upon by the Department. To this consideration there is one qualification—in connection with major decisions it is desirable, where possible, to show the alternative presented to the Department before the decision was made.
Documents selected for publication in the Foreign Relations volumes are referred to the Department of State Classification/Declassification [Page IV] Center for declassification clearance. The Center reviews the documents, makes declassification decisions, and obtains the clearance of geographic and functional bureaus of the Department of State, as well as of other appropriate agencies of the government. The Center, in coordination with the geographic bureaus of the Department of State, conducts communications with foreign governments regarding documents or information of those governments proposed for inclusion in Foreign Relations volumes.
This volume was initially prepared under the general supervision of Fredrick Aandahl and, at a later stage, of William Z. Slany, his successor as General Editor of the Foreign Relations series. N. Stephen Kane was responsible for the planning, review, and editing of the volume. Mr. Kane compiled the documentation relating to United States policy toward the individual Latin American countries and the Latin American states as a regional group, with the exception of the compilations concerning Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and political developments in the Central American area, which were prepared by William F. Sanford, Jr.
Rita M. Baker of the Publishing Services Division (Paul M. Washington, Chief) performed the technical editing under the supervision of Margie R. Wilber. The index was prepared by the Twin Oaks Indexing Collective.
Bureau of Public Affairs