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 U.S. 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 the Department’s indexed central files through July 1973 have been permanently transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland (Archives II). Many of the Department’s decentralized office files covering the 1969–1976 period, 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 Nixon and Ford as well as 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. Dr. Henry Kissinger has approved access to his papers at the Library of Congress. These papers are a key source for the Nixon-Ford subseries of the Foreign Relations series.

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Research for this volume was completed through special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Ford Presidential Library, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all the material printed in this volume has been declassified, some of it is extracted from still classified documents. In the time since the research for this volume was completed, the Nixon Presidential Materials have been transferred to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. The Nixon Presidential Library staff is 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 E–11, Part 2

As is typical of Foreign Relations volumes covering periods after the beginning of the Cold War, the core documentation is located in the National Security Council (NSC) files in the Presidential Libraries. For this volume, editors consulted the NSC files at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, in College Park, Maryland, and the Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The NSC Country Files for the Nixon administration provide key documentation for individual Latin American countries, as well as documents on U.S. policy toward the region. Editors also consulted one other important collection in the Nixon Presidential Materials Project—the NSC Presidential Correspondence File.

At the Ford Presidential Library, editors consulted the National Security Adviser, NSC Presidential Country Files for Latin America and the NSC Latin American Affairs Staff Files (Convenience Files). In addition to the Country Files, the NSC Institutional Files (or Historical Files) contain important documents produced by the inter-departmental group that made policy on Latin America. The Institutional Files contain minutes of NSC meetings and supporting material. A particularly useful collection, the National Security Adviser’s Memorandum of Conversation Files, contains transcripts of important conversations among the President, National Security Adviser, and foreign leaders. Two other collections at the Ford Presidential Library proved important in the compilation of this volume: the Presidential Handwriting File and Presidential Correspondence with Heads of State.

The Nixon Administration Intelligence Files and the NSC Intelligence Files, housed at the NSC, contain the most useful information regarding high-level intelligence activities. In particular, memoranda and reports located in the 40 Committee files and Subject and Country Files proved especially fruitful. In addition, the Central Intelligence Agency files contain important finished intelligence and analyses of significant trends in Latin America. The most useful sources on related intelligence activities were files from the Office of the Director of Cen [Page XIII] tral Intelligence, the National Intelligence Council, and the Office of Support Services.

The core of Department of State documentation is located in the Subject-Numeric Files, 1970–1973, located at the National Archives research facility (Archives II) in College Park, Maryland. These files contain telegrams, airgrams, letters, and memoranda. In addition, material from mid-1973 to 1976, in particular memoranda of conversation among Kissinger and Foreign Ministers and heads of state, are located in digitized form in the Access Archival Database (AAD) and the Central Foreign Policy File, including documents from the P, D, and N Reels. Particularly useful are Kissinger’s memoranda of conversation and transcripts of his staff meetings. This documentation is located in two collections, both housed at Archives II—the files of the Office of Secretary of State, Transcripts of Henry A. Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, and the Office of the Secretary, Records of Henry A. Kissinger, 1973–1977. Other important Department documentation is located in the Lot Files of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, housed at Archives II. These are divided into lot files for individual officers, regional policy, and individual countries. One Lot File of note is National Security Study Memoranda, 1969–1977, Lot 80D212. Located in that file are important top-level documents on the inter-agency policymaking process.

In addition to NSC, CIA, and Department of State records, other repositories were consulted. The Kissinger Papers at the Library of Congress contain mainly copies of documents available in the NSC files of the Nixon Presidential Materials Project and the Ford Library. However, some material could only be located in the Kissinger Papers. In particular, Kissinger’s summaries for the President of his meetings with foreign leaders during his trip to Latin America in early 1976 proved informative. The Geopolitical File and the Memorandum of Conversations File proved especially useful. In addition, Kissinger’s transcripts of his telephone conversations (telcons) are an important source of information on Kissinger’s relationship with other Cabinet officials, top White House officials, and members of Congress.

Department of Defense records, housed at the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, Maryland, are instrumental in documenting U.S. policy toward Latin America, in particular sales of armaments. The most useful documentation can be found in the Office of the Secretary of Defense files. The Department of Defense documentation is housed in Record Group 330.

For researchers interested in Chile, the U.S. Government, in an inter-agency effort, declassified documents on U.S. relations with Chile from 1968 to 1991. The declassified documents are available on the Department of State website in the FOIA Electronic reading room, in the [Page XIV] State Chile Collections. In preparation for this project, entities of the U.S. Government were required to collect classified documents that would perhaps be of use to the U.S. officials who were coordinating the declassification project. In the Ford Presidential Library, those materials are located in the Project File in the Pinochet/Chile collection.

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State
  • Central Files. See National Archives and Records Administration below.
  • Lot Files. For lot files already transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration, see RG 59, National Archives and Records Administration.
    • INR/IL Historical Files
      • Historical files of the Office of Intelligence Liaison of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, in the custody of the Department of State, 1940s–1980s, including: Asunción, 1969–1979; Brasília, 1975; Lima, 1963–1979; Montevideo 1962–79; Santiago, 1963–1979; Uruguay 1973–1980; and ARA–CIA Weekly Meetings, 1976–1977.
  • FOIA Electronic Reading Room. This resource, located at, provides access to various collections of declassified Department of State records, including the following relevant to the subject matter of this volume:
    • Argentina Project
    • Chile Project
    • Kissinger Transcripts
  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Nixon Presidential Materials
      • National Security Council Files, Country Files, Latin America
      • National Security Council Files, Institutional Files (H-Files)
        • Senior Review Group Minutes
        • NSC Meeting Minutes
        • NSSM
        • NSDM
        • NSDM Policy Papers
      • Nixon Tapes
  • RG 59, Records of the Department of State
    • Subject-Numeric Central Files. The subject-numeric system is divided into broad categories: Administration, Consular, Culture and Information, Economic, Political and Defense, Science, and Social. Within each of these divisions are subject subcategories. For example, the Political and Defense category encompasses four subcategories: POL (Politics), DEF (Defense), CSM (Communism), and INT (Intelligence). Numerical subdivisions specified in the Department Record Classification Handbook further define the subject of filed material. This filing system was in use from 1963 through 1973. The following are the principal central files consulted and cited in this volume.
      • ORG 7 S: visits of the Secretary of State
      • POL 7 ARG: Argentina, visits and meetings
      • POL ARG–US: Argentine-U.S. political relations
      • POL 7 BOL: Bolivia, visits and meetings
      • POL 29 BOL: political prisoners in Bolivia
      • POL 1 BOL–US: general policy and background on Bolivian-U.S. relations
      • POL BRAZ–US: Brazilian-U.S. political relations
      • POL 1 BRAZ–US: general policy and background on Brazilian-U.S. relations
      • POL 23–9 CHILE: rebellion and coups in Chile
      • POL 29 CHILE: political prisoners in Chile
      • POL CHILE–US: Chilean-U.S. political relations
      • POL COL–US: Colombian-U.S. political relations
      • POL 1 COL–US: general policy and background on Colombian-U.S. political relations
      • POL PERU–US: Peruvian-U.S. political relations
      • POL 15 UR
      • POL 23–8 UR
      • POL VEN–US: Venezuelan-U.S. political relations
      • POL 1 VEN–US: general policy and background on Venezuelan-U.S. relations
    • Central Foreign Policy File. Beginning in mid-1973, Department of State telegrams were stored and indexed electronically, and beginning in 1974, other Department of State records were catalogued electronically and preserved on microfilm. The electronic telegrams are accessible through NARA’s Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system ( Paper copies of most microfilmed records are available at NARA.
    • Electronic Telegrams
    • P-reel index
    • P-reel documents
    • D-reel telegrams
    • Lot Files. These are the decentralized files maintained within individual offices of the Department of State.
    • ARA Files: Lots 75D476, 80D43, 81D324
      • Subject and country files of the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs and U.S. Coordinator, Alliance for Progress, 1964–1975
    • ARA/AND Files: Lot 78D46
      • Records Relating to Bolivia, 1976–1978
    • ARA/AND Files: Lot 79D18
      • Records Relating to Peru
    • ARA/BR Files: Lot 75D224
      • Records of the Office of Brazilian Affairs relating to Brazil, 1963–1975
    • ARA/ECA/A Files: Lot 78D56
      • Records of the Office of East Coast Affairs relating to Argentina, 1967–1975
    • ARA/NCA/C Files: Lot 78D45
      • Records of the Office of North Coast Affairs relating to Colombia, 1967–1975
    • ARA/NCA/V Files: Lots 73D423, 76D465
      • Records of the Office of North Coast Affairs relating to Venezuela, 1967–1975
    • Defense Attache Files: Lot 94D501
      • Defense Attache Files 1960–81
    • HA Files: Lots 77D391, 80D177
      • Subject and country files of the Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, 1973–1977
    • L/ARA Files: Lot 81D324
      • Subject and country files of the Deputy Legal Adviser for Inter-American Affairs, 1965–1979
    • National Security Study Memoranda, 1969–1977: Lot 80D212
    • Personal Papers of Ambassador David H. Popper: Lot 82D280
    • Records of Henry Kissinger: Lot 91D414
      • Records of Secretary of State Kissinger, 1973–1977, primarily memoranda of conversation
    • S/S–I Files: Lot 77D149
      • Principal Memoranda
    • Secretary’s Calendar of Events: Lot 76D284
      • Executive Secretary Briefing Books, 1958–1976
    • Transcripts of Kissinger Staff Meetings, Entry 5177
      • Minutes of Secretary of State Kissinger’s staff meetings, 1973–1977 (formerly Lot 78D443)
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • National Security Adviser Files
      • HAK-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files
      • Memoranda of Conversation
      • NSC Latin American Affairs Staff Files
      • NSC Staff for Information Liaison with Commissions and Committees,
      • Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, 1974–1977
      • Presidential Country Files for Latin America
      • Scowcroft Daily Work Files
      • Trip Briefing Books/Cables of HAK
    • Collections of Individuals
      • Seidman, L. William
      • Shmultz, Edward C.
    • White House
      • White House Central Files, Subject Files
    • Other Collections
      • Presidential Handwriting
      • Project File on Pinochet/Chile
  • Central Intelligence Agency
    • National Intelligence Council
      • Job 79R01012A
    • Office of Support Services (DI) Files
      • Job 79T00861A
      • Job 79T00863A
      • Job 79T00865A
      • Job 79R01099A
    • Office of the Director of Central Intelligence Files
      • Job 80M01066A
      • Job 80M01048A
    • Office of Current Intelligence Files
      • Job 85T00353R
    • FOIA Electronic Reading Room,
  • Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland
    • Record Group 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
      • OSD Files: 330–78–0001, 330–79–0037, 330–79–0061
        • Decimal subject files of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1973–1976
    • National Security Council
      • Nixon Administration Intelligence Files
      • NSC Intelligence Files
    • Library of Congress
      • Henry A. Kissinger Papers
        • Geopolitical File, 1964–1976
        • Memoranda of Conversations, 1969–1977
        • Telephone Records, 1969–1976

Published Sources

  • Kissinger, Henry A. Years of Renewal. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999.
  • U.S. Department of State. The Department of State Bulletin. 1973–1976.
  • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1973, 1974. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975 and 1975.
  • _______. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Gerald R. Ford, 1974, 1975, 1976–1977. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975, 1977, and 1979.