The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accordance with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government, including facts that contributed to the formulation of policies and records that provided supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The statute confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

The editors of this volume are convinced that it meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing. Although this [Page IV] volume records policies and events of more than 30 years ago, the Foreign Relations statute allows the Department until 1996 to reach the 30-year line in the publication of the series.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of the Foreign Relations series for the years 1958–1960. The subseries presents in 19 volumes and 2 microfiche supplements a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the final 3 years of the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This volume is the last one published covering the 1958–1960 triennium.

A microfiche supplement to the volume presented here contains additional documentation on both national security policy and arms control and disarmament.

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major foreign policy decisions and actions of the U.S. Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. The editors believe that in terms of access this volume was prepared in accordance with the standards and mandates of the statute, although access to some records was restricted, as noted below.

The editors have had complete access to all the retired records and papers in the Department of State. The Department’s collections of NSC papers and correspondence were of the highest value. Some of these documents are available in the central (decimal) files and lot (office) files deposited at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C. Certain intelligence-related files maintained in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research became available to the Department historians only after this volume was compiled. Arrangements have been made for Department historians to have access to these records for future volumes.

When this volume was compiled, all Department of State records consulted were still under the custody of the Department, and the source notes and footnotes citing Department of State files suggest that the Department is the repository. Over the last several years, however, all the Department’s indexed central (or decimal) files as well as several of the decentralized office (or lot) files have been permanently transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (Archives II) at College Park, Maryland. The remaining Department lot files covering this [Page V] triennium are scheduled to be transferred to Archives II in the near future. The List of Sources indicates the location of the Department collections at the time this volume went to press.

The major decisions on national security and arms control questions were made by President Eisenhower, usually after recommendations from and discussion in the National Security Council (NSC) and his Committee of Principals, established in 1958 to advise him on disarmament matters. The most important Presidential records are the relevant White House files at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas, to which the editors had complete access. The Eisenhower Library contains, among other important collections, the memoranda of discussion at the NSC meetings, usually prepared by Deputy Executive Secretary S. Everett Gleason, and the memoranda of conference with the President, prepared by the President’s Staff Secretary, Andrew J. Goodpaster.

Records of the National Security Council located at NARA include the numbered NSC papers and related documentation. Because White House and Department of State records contain many significant Department of Defense documents, the editors sought only selected access to the Department of Defense files. The editors also perused the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the official papers of General Nathan F. Twining, General Thomas D. White, and Admiral Arleigh A. Burke.

Since 1991, the Central Intelligence Agency has provided expanding access to Department of State historians to high-level intelligence documents from those records in the custody of that Agency. Department historians’ expanded access is arranged by the History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, pursuant to a May 1992 memorandum of understanding. Department of State and CIA historians continue to work out the procedural and scholarly aspects of this access, and the variety of documentation made available and selected for publication in the volumes has expanded.

The List of Sources (pages XIII–XVI) lists the files consulted and cited in this volume.

Principles of Document Selection for the Foreign Relations Series

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary. Some general decisions are also made regarding issues that cannot be documented in the volume but will be addressed in a microfiche supplement or in editorial or bibliographical notes.

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The following general selection criteria are used in preparing volumes in the Foreign Relations series. Individual compiler-editors vary these criteria in accordance with the particular issues and the available documentation. The compiler-editors also tend to apply these selection criteria in accordance with their own interpretation of the generally accepted standards of scholarship. In selecting documentation for publication, the editors give priority to unpublished classified records, rather than previously published records (which are accounted for in appropriate bibliographical notes).

Selection Criteria (in general order of priority):

Major foreign affairs commitments made on behalf of the United States to other governments, including those that define or identify the principal foreign affairs interests of the United States;
Major foreign affairs issues, commitments, negotiations, and activities, whether or not major decisions were made, and including dissenting or alternative opinions to the process ultimately adopted;
The decisions, discussions, actions, and considerations of the President, as the official constitutionally responsible for the direction of foreign policy;
The discussions and actions of the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and special Presidential policy groups, including the policy options brought before these bodies or their individual members;
The policy options adopted by or considered by the Secretary of State and the most important actions taken to implement Presidential decisions or policies;
Diplomatic negotiations and conferences, official correspondence, and other exchanges between U.S. representatives and those of other governments that demonstrate the main lines of policy implementation on major issues;
Important elements of information that attended Presidential decisions and policy recommendations of the Secretary of State;
Major foreign affairs decisions, negotiations, and commitments undertaken on behalf of the United States by government officials and representatives in other agencies in the foreign affairs community or other branches of government made without the involvement (or even knowledge) of the White House or the Department of State;
The role of the Congress in the preparation and execution of particular foreign policies or foreign affairs actions;
Economic aspects of foreign policy;
The main policy lines of U.S. military and economic assistance as well as other types of assistance;
The political-military recommendations, decisions, and activities of the military establishment and major regional military commands [Page VII] as they bear upon the formulation or execution of major U.S. foreign policies;
The main policy lines of intelligence activities if they constituted major aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward a nation or region or if they provided key information in the formulation of major U.S. policies;
Diplomatic appointments that reflect major policies or affect policy changes.

Scope and Focus of Documents Researched and Selected for Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, Volume III

Most of the research for this volume was completed in 1988, prior to a protracted declassification review. The compilation on national security policy focuses on the most significant aspects of the U.S. defense posture. Among the many issues, a major one throughout the 1958–1960 triennium was the formal, detailed annual reviews of basic national security policy, which began to reevaluate the concept of “massive retaliation” and take into account the possibilities of limited war. These reviews also considered changes in strategic doctrine because of the virtual parity in nuclear weapons that the Soviet Union had achieved with the United States. In addition, senior Eisenhower administration officials engaged in intensive discussions on the recommendations of the 1957 Gaither Report on strategic offensive and defensive weapons systems, including the vulnerability of the Strategic Air Command to a hypothetical Soviet surprise attack and measures to enhance U.S. military readiness, and the advisability of initiating a nationwide fallout shelter program. Further, they were engaged in ongoing evaluations of the Soviet Union’s ballistic missile and nuclear testing programs and the relative positions of the U.S. and Soviet strategic forces. Some documents also describe briefings of the National Security Council on the disastrous effects of an all-out U.S.-Soviet nuclear war on the two nations.

The Eisenhower administration’s ongoing attempt to negotiate a comprehensive agreement banning nuclear testing dominates the compilation on arms control and disarmament. Documents trace the proposals advanced by the administration’s disarmament specialists calling for a testing cessation, which were usually opposed by the Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission. The compilation also covers the Eisenhower administration’s internal and public reactions to the Soviet announcement in March 1958 of a suspension in its nuclear testing program, and it provides documentation on meetings of technical experts from the Western and Soviet blocs in Geneva to try to find common ground on an effective inspection system. The U.S. objections to Soviet demands for a veto on inspections and disagreement over the required number of them to detect underground explosions in disarmament talks are covered in some detail. The compilation also documents the administration’s consideration of a threshold concept banning tests [Page VIII] above a certain measurable seismic magnitude and efforts to maintain British and other Allied support for U.S. arms control initiatives.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Incoming telegrams from U.S. Missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation 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 General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. The amount of material omitted from this print volume and from the microfiche supplement because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All 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, and drafting information. The source footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote. Footnotes often summarize documents [Page IX] or refer to others reproduced in the microfiche supplement that space limitations prevented from printing.

Editorial notes describe other pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources from the large body of records on U.S. national security and arms control policies, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

In addition to providing readers with a more complete context for the issues, these editorial devices will assist scholars who are interested in undertaking additional research to learn more about the complexities and nuances of the policymaking process on national security and arms control issues.

Declassification Review

The declassification review process for this volume was unprecedently lengthy, requiring 8 years to complete. It resulted in the withholding from publication of 1.4 percent of the documentation originally selected for publication by the editors; 4 documents were denied in full. Documentation withheld from the volume consists largely of certain still classified information pertaining to intelligence and nuclear weapons. The declassified documentation provides an accurate account of the major foreign policy issues and the major policies undertaken by the U.S. Government on national security and arms control policies during this period.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information, which was superseded by Executive Order 12958 on April 20, 1995, and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
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; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security and law. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. Although the Advisory Committee does not attempt to review the contents of individual volumes in the series, it does monitor the overall process and makes recommendations on particular problems that come to its attention.

The Advisory Committee did not review this volume.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the National Archives and Records Administration and at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, in particular David Haight, who provided invaluable help in the collection of documents for this volume.

David W. Mabon and Edward C. Keefer compiled and edited the material presented in this volume under the supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. Dr. Mabon also provided planning and direction. Former General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie supervised the final steps in the editing and publication process. Deb Godfrey prepared the lists of persons and abbreviations and, with Rita M. Baker, performed the technical editing. Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division oversaw the production of the volume. Juniee Oneida prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

August 1996