The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major United States 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 accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. A statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Title IV of the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351 et seq.) which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991.

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 which contributed to the formulation of policies and records providing 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.

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The volume presented here, which was originally compiled and prepared as a book manuscript in 1979 and 1980, meets all the standards of selection and editing prevailing in the Department of State at that time and complies fully with the spirit of the standards of selection, editing, and range of sources established by the statute of October 28, 1991. This volume records policies and events of more than 30 years ago, but the statute allowed 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 triennial subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the final 3 years (1958–1960) of the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This subseries comprises 18 print volumes totaling more than 16,000 pages and 7 microfiche supplements presenting more than 14,000 pages of original documents.

In planning and preparing this 1958–1960 triennium of volumes, the editors chose to present the official record of U.S. foreign affairs with respect to South, Southeast, and East Asia in five print volumes and four microfiche supplements. Documentation on U.S. relations with and policies toward the nations of South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon)) as well as with the Southeast Asian nations of Thailand and the Philippines are in this volume. Volume I of this subseries presents documentation on the diplomacy of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war. Volume XVI presents the record of U.S. relations with Cambodia and Laos as well as documentation on U.S. regional policy in East Asia. Volume XVII (with a microfiche supplement) documents policies toward Japan and Indonesia, and Volume XVIII (with a microfiche supplement) presents the record of relations with China and Korea. In addition, a two-part microfiche supplement to Volumes XV and XVI will include documentation on relations with Burma, Singapore, and Malaya as well as documents on general Southeast Asia policies and particular issues in relations with Cambodia and Laos that supplement those printed in Volume XVI.

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The original research, compilation, and editing of this volume was done in 1979 and 1980 when its editors were still under the Department regulation derived from Secretary Kellogg’s charter of 1925. This regulation prescribed that the Foreign Relations series include “a comprehensive record of the major foreign policy decisions within the range of the Department of State’s responsibilities” and thereby presumed that the records of the Department of State would constitute [Page V] the central core of documentation presented in the series. The Department of State historians have always had complete and unconditional access to all records and papers of the Department of State. Access includes the central files of the Department, the special decentralized (lot) files of the policymaking levels, the files of the Department of State’s Executive Secretariat, and the files of all overseas Foreign Service posts and U.S. special missions. Any failure to include a complete Department of State record in the Foreign Relations series cannot be attributed to any constraints or limitations placed upon the Department historians in their access to Department records, information security regulations and practices notwithstanding.

Secretary Kellogg’s charter of 1925 and Department regulations derived therefrom required that further records “needed to supplement the documentation in the Department files” be obtained from other government agencies. Department historians preparing the Foreign Relations series since 1954, including the editors of this volume, fully researched the papers of the Presidents and, since the administration of President Eisenhower, other White House foreign policy records. These Presidential papers have become a major part of the official record published in the Foreign Relations series.

Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from other Federal agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency. All of this documentation has been routinely made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration and the particular Presidential library.

Department of State historians have also enjoyed steadily broadened access to the records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Joints Chief of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Selective access has been obtained to the records of several other agencies in order to supplement the official record of particular Foreign Relations volumes.

Completion of the declassification of this volume and the final steps of its preparation for publication coincided with the development since early 1991 by the Central Intelligence Agency in cooperation with the Department of State of expanded access by Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from among those records still in the custody of that Agency. The Department of State chose not to postpone the publication of this volume to ascertain how such access might affect the scope of available documentation and the changes that might be made in the contents of this particular volume. The Department is, however, using this expanded access, as arranged by the CIA’s History Staff, for compilation of future volumes in the Foreign Relations series.

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The statute of October 28, 1991, requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of all the major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the United States 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. This volume was prepared in a manner completely consonant with the standards and mandates of the statute, even though the research, compiling, and editing were completed in 1979 and 1980. The List of Unpublished Sources, pages XIII–XVII, identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of this volume.

Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, Volume XV

In selecting documents for this volume, the editors placed primary consideration on the formulation of U.S. policy by the Eisenhower administration and on the most significant U.S. diplomatic, economic, and military relationships with foreign governments. Documents of the National Security Council, both memoranda of discussions and policy papers, have been given as full treatment as possible. The editors had complete access to and made use of memoranda of discussion at National Security Council meetings and other institutional NSC documents included in the Whitman File at the Eisenhower Library, as well as more informal foreign policy materials in that file and in other collections at the Eisenhower Library. These Presidential files were supplemented by NSC and White House documents in Department of State files and Departmental files on Presidential activities.

From all these sources, the editors were able to provide extensive documentation on the deliberations of the National Security Council with respect to basic U.S. policies toward the South Asian region; formulation of Presidential policy with regard to individual countries of South and Southeast Asia; the visits of President Eisenhower to Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan during his world trip in December 1959; and the visits to the United States of President Carlos P. Garcia of the Philippines, Field Marshal Sarit Thanarit of Thailand, and Prime Minister Mohammed Daud of Afghanistan in 1958, and of King Mahendra of Nepal and Prime Minister Jawaharalal Nehru in 1960.

During the years 1958–1960, the Department of State participated actively in the formulation of U.S. policy. Secretaries of State John Foster Dulles and Christian A. Herter advised President Eisenhower and took part in the deliberations of the National Security Council. The Department prepared and coordinated exchanges of views and negotiations on policy matters with foreign governments. The editors had complete access to all Department of State files: the central decimal [Page VII] files; the special collections of the Executive Secretariat (which document activities of Department principals); the various specialized decentralized (lot) files originally maintained by Department policy-makers at the bureau, office, and division level; and the Embassy files of the pertinent U.S. Missions abroad.

The editors have selected from among these Department of State documents memoranda of the conversations between Secretaries Dulles and Herter and their counterparts in the South Asian and South-east Asian nations and internal U.S. Government policy recommendations and decision papers relating to such important initiatives as:

  • —the U.S. “package plan” for resolution of the most serious issues between India and Pakistan,
  • —formulation and execution of the U.S. Government policy of furnishing the maximum possible economic aid to India,
  • —stabilization of the U.S. alliance relationship with Pakistan,
  • —consultation between U.S. officials and officers of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development regarding loans to the countries in the South Asia region,
  • —development of policy measures designed to limit Soviet influence in Afghanistan and promote better relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and
  • —efforts to solve issues related to the U.S.-Philippine Military Bases Agreement.

Telegrams were selected to document the important policy recommendations of U.S. representatives in the area, especially the influential U.S. Ambassadors in India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. Embassy files were of special use in the compilations on Thailand and the Philippines.

In addition to Department of State, White House, and National Security Council records, the editors had access to a body of declassified JCS files at the National Archives. Copies of classified JCS materials were obtained from the Joint Staff on a request basis. The editors selected documents that indicated the policy recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding various major foreign affairs policies.

The editors also selected key National Intelligence Estimates and Special National Intelligence Estimates relating to the area documented in this volume. These documents were available from the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. 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.

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Editorial treatment of the documents published in 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. 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 addition in roman type. Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate 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. The amount of material omitted because it was unrelated, however, is not accounted for. 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, 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.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, 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 have been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Declassification Review

The declassification review process for this volume resulted in the withholding from publication of slightly over 3 percent of the documents originally selected for it. With two exceptions, the remaining documents provide a full account of the major foreign policy issues confronting, and the policies undertaken by, the Eisenhower administration in South and Southeast Asia.

Certain considerations pertaining to the U.S.-Philippine base negotiations and to the U.S. military presence in the Philippines remain classified, so the record of the conduct of the negotiations is not as complete as the editors intended. Documentation on U.S. economic and military aid to the Philippines, the tenor of U.S.-Philippine relations, and U.S. objectives in and the results of the base negotiations is, however, comprehensive. In the Ceylon compilation, withheld material [Page IX] contained speculation about developments in Ceylonese politics and references to intelligence sources and methods. While the overall objectives of U.S. policy in Ceylon are clearly delineated in the compilation, the editors do not believe it reflects the full range of policy options considered by U.S. officials.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, 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 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;
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; 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.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, in particular David Haight, who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume.

Under the supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon, Robert J. McMahon collected, selected, and edited all the compilations on South Asia except for Ceylon, which was compiled by William K. Klingaman. Madeline Chi prepared the compilation on the Philippines and Glennon and Chi the compilation on Thailand. Paul Claussen and David W. Mabon planned the volume and Mabon assisted in final [Page X] editing. General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie supervised the final steps in the editorial and publication process. Rita M. Baker and Althea Robinson did the technical editing and Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Natalie H. Lee, Chief) oversaw the production of the volume. Daniel J. Coyle prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian Bureau of Public Affairs

August 1992