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 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. 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. The statute also 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.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is the final volume to be published in a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the administration of John F. Kennedy (1961–1963). The subseries presents in 25 print volumes and 5 microfiche supplements a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of President Kennedy’s administration. This [Page IV] volume documents the organization and management of U.S. foreign policy; U.S. information policy; U.S. policy toward the United Nations; and various global issues such as human rights, refugees, and international scientific matters.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, Volume XXV

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. A focus on the need for crisis management led to the establishment of the Department of State Operations Center to deal with emergencies on an interdepartmental basis. President Kennedy redefined and expanded the role of U.S. Ambassadors, emphasizing the need for leadership, decision-making authority, and responsibility for overseas representatives of other departments and agencies. Organizational changes included the establishment of several new foreign affairs departments and agencies: the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), the Peace Corps, and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA).

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. President Kennedy held an off-the-record meeting on March 30, 1962, in the new Department of State Auditorium with policy officers of the Department down to the desk level. Secretary of State [Page V] Dean Rusk urged a broadening of the recruitment process for the Department of State and the Foreign Service, and he criticized discrimination and the slowness of the Department in recruiting minorities for “responsible positions.”

Another part of this section covers the organization and administration of the Intelligence Community. During its last month, the Eisenhower administration considered the report of the Joint Study Group on the Foreign Intelligence Activities of the U.S. Government. The Kennedy administration subsequently adopted many of the Joint Study Group’s recommendations. One of the most far-reaching was the need for modernizing and streamlining the military intelligence system, which led to the creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency in August 1961. President Kennedy assigned new duties to John McCone as Director of Central Intelligence in January 1962, spelling out his role both as the government’s principal foreign intelligence officer, responsible for coordination of the total U.S. intelligence effort, and as head of the Central Intelligence Agency. Documentation is included on the establishment of the National Reconnaissance Program (NRP), consisting of all satellite and overflight activities, and on the increased role of the Bureau of the Budget in the coordination and management of intelligence operations.

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.” Under this formula, a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly would be necessary to admit the People’s Republic of China and to expel the Republic of China. 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. The United Nations was at this time the principal forum for U.S. consideration of human rights conventions, international assistance to refugees, and the international control of narcotic drugs. Lyndon B. Johnson quickly reaffirmed his support for the United Nations after he became President.

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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. Despite the initial Soviet advantage in manned space flight, President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Khrushchev sought areas of scientific cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union in space-related research. This led to the signature in Rome of a memorandum of understanding between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Soviet Academy of Sciences on March 20, 1963. Vice President Johnson chaired the National Aeronautics and Space Council during this period.

Documentation in the volume on international scientific issues includes coverage of the organization of science-related activities in the Department of State, population, international programs in atmospheric science, consultative meetings under the Antarctic Treaty, preparations to implement the international inspection system that the treaty provided for, and U.S. policy on a proposed multilateral convention on Law of the Sea.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. 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.

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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 with headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. All brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the source of the document, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document.

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 has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

The numbers in the index refer to document numbers rather than to page numbers.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, 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 advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Advisory Committee does not attempt to review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on problems that come to its attention.

The Advisory Committee has not reviewed this volume.

Declassification Review

The Information Response Branch of the Office of IRM Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review for the Department of State of documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958 on Classified National Security Information and applicable laws.

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The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. 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.

The final declassification review of this volume, which began in 1997 and was completed in 2000, resulted in the decision to withhold about .9 percent of the documentation proposed for publication; 3 documents were withheld in full.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the John F. Kennedy Library of the National Archives and Records Administration, especially Suzanne Forbes, who provided key research assistance. The editors also wish to acknowledge the assistance of historians at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Evan M. Duncan collected, selected, and edited the compilations on United Nations affairs and international scientific matters; Jeffrey A. Soukup the compilation on information policy; and Paul Claussen those on the organization of U.S. foreign policy. David S. Patterson, General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, oversaw and coordinated the preparation of the volume. Rita M. Baker and Vicki E. Futscher did the copy and technical editing, and Susan C. Weetman coordinated the final declassification review. Max Franke prepared the index.

Marc J. Susser
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

September 2001