Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The 1991 Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government engaged in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support 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. Most of the sources consulted in the preparation of this volume have been declassified and are available for review at the National Archives and Records Administration.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series have complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. All of the Department’s central files for 1974-1980 have been scanned onto the Central Foreign Policy File system and are available through the National Archives and Records Administration (Archives II) at College Park, Maryland. Many of the Department’s decentralized office files, which the National Archives deems worthy of permanent retention, have been transferred or are in the process of being transferred from the Department’s custody to Archives II.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of Presidents Ford and Carter and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from the Department of State and other Federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Henry Kissinger and James Schlesinger have approved access to their papers at the Library of Congress. These papers are key sources for the Nixon-Ford subseries of Foreign Relations. Department of State historians also have full access to records of the Department of Defense, [Page X] particularly the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense as well as their major assistants. The Central Intelligence Agency has provided full access to its files.

Research for this volume was completed through special access to restricted documents at the Ford Presidential Library, the Carter Presidential Library, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all of the material printed in this volume has been declassified, some of it is extracted from still classified documents. The staffs of the Ford and Carter presidential libraries are processing and declassifying many of the documents used in this volume, but they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication.

Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XXXVII, Energy Crisis, 1974–1980

To prepare this volume, the editor made extensive use of records from the administrations of both Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter. Because the National Security Council—led by Henry Kissinger until November 1975, and then by Brent Scowcroft until January 1977—was deeply involved in the conception of foreign energy policy, the editor found the files of the National Security Adviser, held at the Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to be an essential starting point. Within this collection, the files that best reveal how the Administration’s foreign energy policy was conceived and executed are the National Security Council Meetings File, the National Security Study Memoranda and Decisions File (folders on “NSSM 237: U.S. International Energy Policy”), the Presidential Files of NSC Logged Documents (folders on “Oil Price Increase”), the NSC Institutional Files (folders on “NSSM 237”), the NSC Staff for International Economic Affairs: Convenience Files (particularly the Presidential and Institutional Subject Files on “Energy,” “Oil,” and “OPEC”), the Presidential Subject File (the folders on “Camp David Meeting of Foreign and Finance ministers on Energy, Sept. 28-29, 1974,” “Energy,” and “OPEC”), and the Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office File (folders on “Energy”). These contain the highest level memoranda, minutes of meetings, and papers on the fundamental issue of how the Administration sought to control the high price of oil. While not quite as useful, the Presidential Agency File contains 12 installments of the CIA’s “International Oil Developments” series, which analyzes trends in the international oil industry from January 1976-January 1977, and also has energy-related documents from the Federal Energy Administration, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Council on International Economic Policy, and the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

Next, one should explore the files that concern the major oil consuming and producing countries, U.S. relations with which were critical to the Ford Administration’s efforts to control oil prices. The con[Page XI]suming nations that, along with the United States, led efforts to reduce petroleum consumption among the advanced industrialized democracies were France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan, while the producing nations that the Administration most lobbied to restrain oil prices were Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela. As a result, the memoranda of conversations between leading U.S. officials and their counterparts in the aforementioned countries, as well as the Presidential correspondence with the leaders of those countries, are particularly useful. Furthermore, the Presidential Country Files, grouped into regions such as Africa, East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Europe and Canada, Latin America, and Middle East and South Asia, are replete with the most relevant Department of State telegrams to and from the leading consuming and producing countries. Such telegrams can also be found in the NSC Staff Convenience Files, the working files of the NSC staff members responsible for analyzing information on the regions under their purview. These files contain valuable memoranda, papers, and letters, and the material is divided into the same regional categories as the Country Files. Finally, the Presidential and Institutional Subject files within the NSC Staff for International Economic Affairs: Convenience Files also has documents concerning the major oil producing countries.

Other collections within the Ford Presidential materials also include documents related to foreign energy policy. The papers of Arthur F. Burns of the Federal Reserve Board has material on the September 1974 Camp David Energy Meeting as well as oil in general, while the papers of Frank G. Zarb of the Federal Energy Administration contain documents on Ford’s energy program. Finally, the records of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers include material on Energy, OPEC, and the International Energy Review Group.

For the Ford era, the records of the Department of State—Record Group 59—at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) are essential to understanding how the Administration’s foreign oil policy was conceived. Most important are the transcripts of Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, which provide a valuable window into the sometimes contentious back-and-forth between the Secretary and his senior staff as well as into Kissinger’s thinking on energy issues. Also essential are the records of the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, which, along with the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, helped formulate U.S. foreign energy policy in both the Ford and Carter eras. Since most of the Lot Files for the Bureau’s Office of Fuels and Energy have been destroyed, the relevant papers and memoranda should be located on P-Reel, as should the records of the regional Bureaus that contributed to foreign energy policy, not to mention those of the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs. Of course, Department tele[Page XII]grams are available on P-Reel as well, but the majority of the ones cited in this volume were found on the State Archiving System (SAS). For the details of International Energy Agency meetings, including the Governing Board and the various subcommittees, these telegrams are essential.

The records of the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency, and the papers of Henry Kissinger at the Library of Congress, are useful to greater and lesser degrees, but it should be noted that the latter two are closed to the public. For both the Ford and Carter Administrations, the records of the Secretary of Defense, his deputy, and his assistants are at the Washington National Records Center and contain oil field and pipeline vulnerability studies that are also available in the National Security Adviser files at the Ford and Carter Libraries. The CIA records, which are in Agency custody, contain various international oil studies and research related to particular countries but, as with the DoD material, the highest-level documents are in the Ford and Carter National Security Adviser files. Finally, there are the Papers of Henry Kissinger at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The collection was available, by permission of Kissinger himself, to the staff at the Office of the Historian for use in the Foreign Relations series and is useful for obtaining occasional material not found—or not easily found—at the Ford Library or in Record Group 59 at NARA.

For the Carter period, research should begin at the Carter Library in Atlanta, Georgia. As with the Ford Administration, the editor found the records of National Security Adviser—in this case Zbigniew Brzezinski—the best place to start. The part of the collection that best reveals how the Administration’s foreign energy policy was conceived and executed is the Staff Material. In particular, Henry Owen’s Special Projects File (Collection 19), Rutherford Poats’ Chronological File within the International Economics File (Collection 29)—the Subject File within the Middle East File (Collection 25), and the Robert Pastor File within the North/South File (Collection 24) are extremely valuable for documents on broader foreign energy policy and on relations with the most important oil producers. Within the Subject File, the “Oil” folders in Box 48 are critical for NSC memoranda on the Carter Administration’s efforts to control petroleum prices and other energy-related matters. The H-Files (Collection 132) contains the minutes of the Presidential Review Committee and Special Coordination Committee meetings on oil—as well as the papers and memoranda related to those meetings. An alternative place to look for such documents is in the Staff Material Office File (Collection 17), which helps to fill in the gaps that appear in the H-Files.

Except in the context of the annual G7 Economic Summits, the Carter Administration did not focus its foreign energy policy on the in[Page XIII]dustrialized consuming nations as much as the Ford Administration did, but instead concentrated on the producers. Mexico was of particular interest as a non-OPEC source of energy that the United States could exploit to offset its dependence on OPEC sources. The best material on efforts to reach an oil and gas deal with Mexico are in the aforementioned Pastor File. For documents related to the major producers—such as Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and others—the aforementioned Staff Material Files, the Country File (Collection 6), the folders containing Memoranda of Conversation within the Subject File, and the President’s Correspondence File (Collection 3) are the most fruitful. As with the Ford era, Department of State telegrams to and from these countries are in Record Group 59 at NARA.

Much of the interaction between the United States and the major consuming countries on energy issues involved U.S. officials explaining the Carter Administration’s strategy to limit domestic energy consumption. Administration officials discussed these efforts in the context of the annual Economic Summits, IEA Governing Board meetings, and bilateral conversations. The largest collection of economic summit material is in Henry Owen’s aforementioned Special Projects File, while accounts of the IEA Governing Board meetings and bilateral discussions with consuming country representatives are in Department of State telegrams at NARA. Of course, in the records of the National Security Adviser at the Carter Library, the Memoranda of Conversation within the Subject File and the President’s Correspondence File are also a good source for documentation on bilateral communication between the United States and consuming countries. Less helpful in this regard are the Staff Material regional files, such as Europe, USSR, and East/West (Collection 23), and the aforementioned Country File.

Records unique to the Carter Administration include those of the Department of Energy and the James Schlesinger Papers at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, both of which are closed to the public. The former contains the valuable Executive Secretariat Files, material from which is often unavailable elsewhere. These include important memoranda of conversation as well as memoranda to and from the Secretary of Energy, the Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, and the Deputy Secretary of Energy. Likewise, Schlesinger’s papers at the Library of Congress contain memoranda and memoranda of conversation not found in other repositories.

[Page XIV]

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State
    • Central Files. See Record Group 59 under National Archives and Records Administration below.
    • Lot Files. See Record Group 59 under National Archives and Records Administration below.
  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Record Group 59, Files of the Department of State
      • Central Foreign Policy Files
      • Lot Files
        • Lot 78D443, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977
        • Lot 91D414, Records of Henry Kissinger
        • Lot 80D212, S/S-NSC Files
        • Lot 82D85, S/S Files
        • Lot 84D241, S/S Files, Records of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, 1977–1980
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • National Security Adviser
      • Backchannel Messages
      • Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files
      • Memoranda of Conversation
      • NSC Institutional Files
      • NSC Operations Staff for Middle Eastern and South Asian Affairs Convenience Files
      • NSC Staff for International Economic Affairs Convenience Files
      • NSC Staff for Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs: Convenience Files
      • Outside the System Chronological File
      • Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders
      • Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific
      • Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada
      • Presidential Country Files for Latin America
      • Presidential Country Files for the Middle East and South Asia
      • Presidential Subject File
    • National Security Council Institutional Files
      • President’s Daily Diary
  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, Georgia
    • National Security Affairs
      • Brzezinski Material
        • Agency File
        • Brzezinski Office File
        • Country File
        • President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders File
        • Subject File
        • Trip File
      • Staff Material
        • International Economics File
        • Middle East File
        • North/South File
        • Office File
        • Special Projects File
    • National Security Council
      • NSC Institutional Files
    • Plains File
    • President’s Daily Diary
    • Staff Offices
      • Council of Economic Advisers File
      • Domestic Policy Staff File
    • White House Central Files
      • Subject File
  • Central Intelligence Agency
    • Files of the Office of the Director of Intelligence
      • Executive Registry Files
        • Job 80–M01009A
  • Department of Energy, Germantown, Maryland
    • Files of the Executive Secretariat, Job #8824
  • Library of Congress, Washington, DC
    • Manuscript Division
      • Papers of Henry A. Kissinger
        • Geopolitical File
      • Papers of James R. Schlesinger
  • Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland
    • FRC 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
      • 78–0058
      • 79–0049
      • 82–0263
  • National Security Council, Washington, DC
    • Subject Files
[Page XVI]

Published Sources

  • New York Times
  • Skeet, Ian. OPEC: Twenty-Five Years of Prices and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  • United Nations. Yearbook of the United Nations. New York: Department of Public Information, United Nations, 1974-1980.
  • United States. Department of State. Department of State Bulletin, 1974-1980. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1980.
  • United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Gerald Ford, 1974, 1975, 1976-1977. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975, 1977, 1979.
  • United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979, 1980, 1982.
  • Washington Post