180. Editorial Note

Documentation on the Geneva Summit Conference comes from three principal sources in Department of State files. The most extensive set of records is in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CFs 451–533A. Similar materials are Ibid., CFM Files: Lot M–88, Boxes 170–171. The third repository is Ibid., Central File 396.1–GE, which contains a smaller, but significant amount of documentation. These three sources duplicate each other extensively. In the Eisenhower Library, the White House Office Files (Office of the Staff Secretary) also have materials on the Conference which largely duplicates documentation in Department of State files.

Department of State, Conference Files: Lots 63 D 123 and M–88, in addition to considerable documentation on the preparations for the Conference, contain sets of the documents (CF/DOC 1–28), records of decisions (CF/DOC/RD 1–13), and administrative papers [Page 362] (CF/ADM 1–16) of the Conference. They also include the United States Delegation verbatim minutes of the plenary sessions (USDEL Verb l–8), memoranda of the conversations during the time in which the Conference sat (USDEL/MC 1–23), orders of the day (USDEL OD 1–7), administrative papers (USDEL/ADM 1–16), and records of the several meetings of the four Foreign Ministers. In general these records are more nearly complete in Lot 63 D 123. The Conference Files also contain complete sets of the telegrams to and from Secretary Dulles (designated Tedul and Dulte), telegrams to and from the United States Delegation (designated Tosec and Secto), and sets of the 15 series of delegation reference papers (designated SUM D), which are not present in Lot M–88. The material Ibid., Central File 396.1–GE is largely confined to the two series of telegrams although some of the memoranda of conversations and records of the plenaries are also present.

Supplementing these sources are two collections of documents on the Conference which were made public shortly after its completion. The first, a British publication, Documents Relating to the Meeting of Heads of Government of France, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States of America, Geneva, July 18–23, 1955, Miscellaneous No. 14 (1955) (hereafter cited as Cmd. 9543), presents eight statements that were made at the Conference and includes the text of the final directive of the meetings. The second, a United States publication, The Geneva Conference of Heads of Government, July 18–23, 1955 (hereafter cited as Geneva Conference), in addition to materials preceding and following the Conference, presents statements made during the meetings and documents of the Conference. Reference to these two publications has been used to provide citations for the full texts of statements which are otherwise summarized in the following documentation.

In addition to these official publications some of the participants in the Conference have left records of their impressions in published and unpublished accounts: President Eisenhower in Mandate for Change, pages 503–527; Major John Eisenhower and Ann Whitman in manuscripts in the Whitman File at the Eisenhower Library; Livingston Merchant in Recollections; and Ambassador Bohlen in Witness, pages 381–388. Prime Minister Eden and Foreign Secretary Macmillan recorded their views of the Conference in Full Circle, pages 327–345, and Tides of Fortune, pages 614–625; and First Secretary Khrushchev in Khrushchev Remembers, pages 392–400.

A further source of material on the Conference is a 346–page classified study, undated, which covers the plenary sessions and the meetings of the Foreign Ministers and includes a number of the Conference documents. A copy of this study is in Department of State, CFM Files: Lot M–88, Box 171.

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In the documentation that follows the editors present in chronological order a full record of each day’s activities during the Conference. The editors have not printed the verbatim records of the plenary sessions or of the Foreign Ministers meetings, because of their extensive bulk. An exception was made for those records of the restricted session on July 23. In some cases two or more records of a particular meeting or conversation have been included when they either represented markedly different accounts or when they reported on different parts of the event. It is not possible to give a complete record of the Conference even from the United States side, as many meetings were held for which no record was been found. In these cases the editors provide an editorial note describing the meeting and noting the source from which the available information was drawn.