The publication Foreign Relations of the United States constitutes the official record of the foreign policy of the United States. The importance of publishing the complete and comprehensive documentary record of U.S. diplomacy was set forth in an order by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925, and supplemented and revised by Department of State regulations in the Foreign Affairs Manual. (2 FAM 1350–1353)

The Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, is directed by the Foreign Affairs Manual to collect, edit, and publish the authoritative diplomatic record, including papers from other concerned government agencies. (1 FAM 857) Official historians of the Department of State seek out relevant official foreign affairs documentation in other agencies and documentary repositories bearing on subjects documented in the volumes of the series. The topics to be documented are determined by the editor of the series in concert with the compilers of individual volumes.

Secretary of State Kellogg’s order, as codified in the Foreign Affairs Manual, remains the official guidance for editorial preparation of the series:

“The editing of the record is guided by the principles of historical objectivity. There may be no alteration of the text, no deletions without indicating the place in the text where 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.” (2 FAM 1352)

Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, Volume XX

The documentation in this particular volume was compiled by David S. Patterson of the Office of the Historian from the Department’s centralized and decentralized files and the records of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library. For a complete listing of particular collections consulted within and outside of the Department of State, see the List of Sources.

[Page IV]

In selecting documents for inclusion, primary emphasis was placed on records of high–level discussions within the U.S. Government and National Security Council and Department of State policy papers. Because President Eisenhower made the major decisions on arms control policy in this period, his opinions and decisions on the various initiatives and options submitted to him are central to the compilation. Documentation is also presented on U.S participation in the international conferences on arms control and atomic energy matters held in New York, London, and Geneva and on U.S. diplomatic discussions with its NATO allies on these subjects.

Documentation on the decisionmaking process as it was affected by bureaucratic politics within the Executive branch is also included: particularly the interagency process headed by Harold E. Stassen, who spent much time trying to resolve interagency differences in the development of a coherent U.S. position in the U.N. Disarmament Committee. Many of the formal proposals and reports generated by this bureaucratic process are included in this volume. Similarly, nuclear testing, which required U.S. responses not only to Soviet initiatives but to growing public concern about the dangers of radioactive fallout, receives considerable attention. The volume includes documents on President Eisenhower’s consultations with a wide range of scientific opinion on the testing question. Less important issues for senior policymakers and the available documentation are summarized in editorial notes.

While most of the documents that deal with arms control policies for this triennium are printed in this volume, a small portion are included in volume XXVII, Western Europe and Canada, which contains the compilation of documents on the United Kingdom. Three standards for the location of documents were followed:

Documents relating principally to disarmament or atomic energy are included in this volume, with the exception of documents involving; formal heads of government meetings which will appear in volume XXVII. An editorial note on each meeting is printed in this volume, summarizing those documents.
Documents on U.S.–U.K. relations involving disarmament or atomic energy but having wider ramifications for the bilateral relationship (e.g., intermediate–range ballistic missiles, military strategy, and free world cooperation) are included in volume XXVII.
Documents on U.S.–U.K. relations relating to disarmament or atomic energy but also involving third countries (e.g., other nations in the U.N. Disarmament Subcommittee, amendments to the Atomic Energy Act which relate to Canada, and NATO matters) are printed in this volume.

Moreover, because arms control was a crucial national security issue, some documents pertaining to arms control are included in volume XIX on national security policy. Printed in that volume are [Page V] summaries of oral briefings by Director of Central Intelligence Allen W. Dulles to the National Security Council on the Soviet nuclear program and nuclear tests.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Incoming telegrams from U.S. missions are placed according to the time of transmission rather than the time of receipt in the Department of State; memoranda of conversations are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the Editor in Chief and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in footnotes. Obvious typographical errors are corrected, but other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an omission in roman type. Brackets are also used to indicate text that has been omitted by the compiler because it deals with an unrelated subject. Ellipses are inserted to replace material that remained classified after the declassification review process. Ellipses of three or four periods identify excisions of less than a paragraph; ellipses of seven periods spread across the page identify excisions of an entire paragraph or more. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, drafting information, and, in the case of telegrams, the time of receipt in the Department of State. The source footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies, indicates if the President or Secretary of State read the document, and records its ultimate disposition.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in this volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, describe diplomatic reportage and key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs of participants and other first–hand accounts, available when this volume was originally compiled in 1978–1979, has been used where possible to supplement the official record.

[Page VI]

Declassification Review Procedures

Declassification review of the documents selected for publication is conducted by the Division of Historical Documents Review, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Department of State. The review is made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the criteria established in Executive Order 12356 regarding:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; and
a confidential source.

Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State and of other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and communication with foreign governments regarding documents or information of those governments. The principle of declassification review is to release as much information as is consistent with contemporary requirements of national security and sound foreign relations; some documents or portions of documents are necessarily withheld.

Dr. Patterson compiled this volume under the supervision of Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. Neal H. Petersen provided initial planning and direction. Rosa Pace assisted with the preparation of the lists of sources, names, and abbreviations. Althea W. Robinson of the Editing Division of the Historian’s Office performed the technical editing under the supervision of Rita M. Baker. Barbara Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Paul M. Washington, Chief) oversaw production of the volume. Victoria L.V. Agee prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs