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 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 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.

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The editors of this volume, which was compiled in 1991, are convinced that it meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing. Although this volume records policies and events of more than 30 years ago, the statute of October 28, 1991, 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 triennial subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series. This subseries documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the 3 years (1961-1963) of the administration of John F. Kennedy. In planning and preparing the 1961-1963 triennium, the editors chose to present the official record of U.S. foreign affairs with respect to Europe, the Soviet Union, and Canada in six print volumes and one microfiche supplement.

Volume V, Soviet Union, includes documentation on U.S.-Soviet bilateral relations. Volume VI, Kennedy-Khrushchev Correspondence, includes the comprehensive record of correspondence between President Kennedy and Soviet Chairman Khrushchev. Volume XIII, Western Europe and Canada, documents U.S. policy regarding European economic and political integration, U.S. participation in NATO, and U.S. bilateral relations with Canada, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Volume XIV, Berlin Crisis, 1961-1962 (presented here), and Volume XV, Berlin Crisis, 1962-1963, document U.S. involvement in the continuing Four-Power negotiations over divided Germany and the status of the Western-occupied sectors of Berlin. A combined microfiche supplement to volumes XIII, XIV, and XV will be published separately. Volume XVI, Eastern Europe, presents the basic record of U.S. relations with Austria, Finland, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey, as well as documentation on general U.S. policy toward the Eastern European region and U.S. efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.

The statute of October 28, 1991, requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on all the 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 judge that this volume was prepared in complete accordance with the standards and mandates of this statute.

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Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

In planning and preparing this volume and the other five documenting U.S. foreign policy regarding Europe during the Kennedy administration, the editors concluded that the records of the Department of State would constitute the central core of the published record. In preparing this volume, Department of State historians have enjoyed complete and unconditional access to all records and papers of the Department of State: 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, which comprehend the official papers created by or submitted to the Secretary of State; the files of all overseas Foreign Service posts and U.S. special missions; and the official correspondence with foreign governments and with other Federal agencies. Any failure to include a complete Department of State record in the Foreign Relations series cannot be attributed to constraints or limitations placed upon the Department historians in their access to Department records, information security regulations and practices notwithstanding.

The editors of this volume fully researched the papers of President Kennedy and 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 National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of this documentation has been routinely made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the consent of these agencies and the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration. Particular thanks are due to officials at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library for their assistance in preparing this volume.

These Presidential files were supplemented by White House documents in Department of State files. The Department of State files were valuable for the implementation of the policy decided at the White House and, at the beginning of 1962, in following the course of the talks between Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.

The editors also used their complete access to the papers of General Maxwell Taylor, which proved to be an invaluable source for the formulation of policy under President Kennedy. The Taylor papers and a smaller collection of the papers of General Lyman Lemnitzer, both at the National Defense University in Washington, are indispensable to the understanding of U.S. policy during the Berlin crisis.

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The editors have selected from White House, Department of State, and National Defense University records memoranda of conversation and records of meetings between the President and his principal foreign policy advisers. They have also included internal U.S. Government policy recommendations and decision papers relating to Berlin. In addition, the editors made use of a body of declassified JCS files at the National Archives and Records Administration. 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.

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 access by Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from among those records still in the custody of that Agency. The Department of State historians have been provided selective access to particular special files of the Agency. The Department has used this access, as arranged by the CIA’s History Staff, in the compilation of this volume.

The List of Sources identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of this volume.

Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, Volume XIV

In selecting documents for inclusion in volume XIV, the editors recognized the predominant role of President Kennedy and his advisers at the White House in formulating policy with respect to Berlin and to the German question. This volume focuses on the many meetings of the President with his advisers from the White House, the Department of State, and other agencies, as well as the written advice to the President from these advisers. The editors also included the advice and recommendations on foreign policy issues from top-level military commanders and advisers.

The volume presents a comprehensive collection of the records of the President’s meetings with heads of state and government with respect to Berlin. Also presented are records of the principal negotiations on policy and military contingency planning regarding Germany and the Berlin crisis that took place among the Western Allies as well as with representatives of the Soviet Union.

In focusing on the major lines of the development of the crisis, the editors have expanded the principles of selection adopted for previous volumes documenting the Berlin problem, focusing more extensively on its military aspects. As before, they have presented a record of the U.S. reaction and response to the major political events within the Federal [Page VII] Republic of Germany insofar as they figured directly in ongoing high-level political negotiations.

Intelligence information regarding Soviet intentions with respect to Berlin and Germany in general was vitally important during the Berlin crisis and found its way into political documents selected for publication. The editors did not, however, attempt to document any particular operational activities by intelligence authorities in connection with the German problem or to explore the scope and impact of intelligence operations.

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 [Page VIII] of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The unnumbered 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 of this volume in 1991 and 1992 resulted in the decision to withhold less than one percent of the documents originally selected. The remaining documentation provides a full account of the major foreign policy issues confronting, and the policies undertaken by, the Kennedy administration during the first part of the Berlin crisis.

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 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.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under Title IV of the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act, amended on October 28, 1991, 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 assists with any access and/or clearance problems that arise. Time constraints prevent the Advisory Committee from reviewing all volumes in the series.

This volume has not been reviewed by the Advisory Committee.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the John F. Kennedy Library, in particular Suzanne Forbes, who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume.

Under the supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon, Charles S. Sampson collected, selected, and edited all the material presented in this volume. General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie supervised the final steps in the editorial and publication process. Rita M. Baker and Vicki E. Futscher did the copy and technical editing and Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Natalie H. Lee, Chief) oversaw the production of the volume. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index.

William Z. Slany

The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

September 1993