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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963, Volume XXV, Organization of Foreign Policy; Information Policy; United Nations; Scientific Matters

Paul Claussen
Evan M. Duncan
Jeffrey A. Soukup
General Editor:
David S. Patterson

United States Government Printing Office

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs


The editors of the volume sought to present documentation illuminating responsibility for major foreign policy decisions in the U.S. Government, with emphasis on the President and his advisers. The documents include memoranda and records of discussions that set forth policy issues and options and show decisions or actions taken. The emphasis is on the development of U.S. policy and on major aspects and repercussions of its execution rather than on the details of policy execution.

The first section of this volume deals with the organization and administration of foreign policy. Following the 1960 election, President-elect John F. Kennedy and his transition advisers focused on various proposals for modifying and streamlining the structure of the National Security Council apparatus. Documentation is presented on the interdepartmental review of foreign policy, the abolition of the Operations Coordinating Board, the use of Country Teams in the planning process, and enhanced involvement of the Vice President in national security affairs. This section also provides documentation on organizational changes in the Department of State, such as combining the positions of Counselor and Chairman of the Policy Planning Council, upgrading the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, abolishing 109 intra- and inter-departmental committees, closing marginal consular posts, improving the reporting system, and planning for the use of automation to expedite Department operations. Another part of this section covers the organization and administration of the Intelligence Community. The documents on information policy presented in the volume illustrate the U.S. Information Agency's initiatives in seeking to cooperate more closely with the State Department and other U.S. Government agencies, to present U.S. foreign policy objectives to the world in a positive manner, and to assess more accurately foreign opinion of the United States and its policies.

President John F. Kennedy and his advisers took a keen interest in United Nations affairs. This volume includes documentation on the summer strategy sessions that discussed themes that the President would use when addressing the UN General Assembly. In the United Nations, U.S. policy shifted from supporting a "moratorium" on considering the question of Chinese representation to declaring it to be an "important question." Other major topics include the election of U Thant of Burma as Secretary-General after the death of Dag Hammarskjold, and the financing of UN operations in general and of peacekeeping operations in particular in view of Soviet opposition to paying for UN activities that it opposed.

Also presented are documents on Department of State involvement in the U.S. space program, U.S. cooperation with the Soviet Union in scientific research in outer space, support for UN resolutions concerning the peaceful uses of outer space, and the Department's role in the organization of space-based communications systems.