5. Editorial Note
The first meeting of the Cabinet Level Task Force on Oil Import Controls took place on April 8, 1969, and served as its organizing meeting, introducing Philip Areeda as the Executive Director. (Minutes of meeting, April 8; National Archives, RG 174, Records of Secretary of Labor George P. Shultz, 1969–1970, Subject Files, Box 62, Cabinet Committee on Oil Imports, 1969 Cabinet Committee on Oil Imports, January–April) In order to collect information on the workings of the oil import system to date, the Task Force submitted a lengthy questionnaire to all interested parties in both governmental and private sectors through the Federal Register. (34 Fed. Reg. 8055, May 22, 1969) The bulk of the responses are in the National Archives, RG 174, Records of Secretary of Labor George P. Shultz, 1969–1970, Subject Files, Box 62, Cabinet Committee on Oil Imports, 1969 Cabinet Committee on Oil Imports, January–April. Such varied governmental bodies as the Anti-Trust Division of the Justice Department, the Department of State’s Bureaus of Legal Affairs and Economic Affairs, the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Office of Emergency Preparedness, other Cabinet level posts and agencies designated as Task Force members, and almost every interested private sector oil-related business responded. Absent was any overt input from the National Security Council.
The Task Force weighed the responses from major oil producing states, major oil companies, and the larger independents involved in downstream and upstream operations and produced counter-papers. As the Task Force operations developed, governors, senators, and representatives from oil producing states and oil dependent states submitted responses. Concerned citizens added to the voluminous response to the workings of the Task Force.
Although the Task Force did not meet between July and October 1969, it engaged in the amassing of responses and the clarification of the questions the final report should address. (Memorandum from Shultz to the principals, September 10, 1969; ibid., 1969 Cabinet Committee on Oil Imports, September) By mid-September the Task Force had created the A-Series papers, which were referred to as “fact” papers and served as early versions of projected chapters in a final report. The A-Series papers are ibid., RG 220, Records of the Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Control, Box 20, Fact Papers “A Draft” Series, September 1969.