Subseries 2H: Council on Foreign Relations - War and Peace Studies

3 boxes (2 partial)

This collection is stored at Mudd Manuscript Library.

Requests will be delivered to Public Policy Papers, MUDD Reading Room .

Collection Creator: Armstrong, Hamilton Fish, 1893-1973..

Dates: 1938-1947.

Extent: 3 boxes (2 partial)

Languages: English.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.


Upon the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939, Foreign Affairs Editor Hamilton Fish Armstrong and Council Executive Director Walter H. Mallory travelled to Washington to offer the State Department the Council's aid in preparing for the eventuality of American's entry into the war and the structure of a peace settlement at war's end.

Secretary of State Cordell Hull quickly approved a plan to involve the Department in such studies if they were sponsored by the Council. Working with the State Department, the Council appointed a Steering Committee for the War and Peace Studies and four (later five) working groups of Council members and State Department officials selected on the basis of their special expertise and experience with particular subjects.

The Council named a rapporteur and provided a research secretary for each group, all of them paid with funds committed to the project by the Rockefeller Foundation. All work was to be confidential. The groups prepared reports on a variety of topics suggested by the members and the State Department. In all, the Groups held more than 350 meetings and wrote nearly 700 documents.

In 1941 the State Department established its own Division of Special Research, headed by Leo Paslovsky. This Division, organized along the lines of the Council's working groups on War and Peace Studies, promptly hired the Council's research secretaries, to which the Council agreed with the proviso that these men continue to perform a similar role for the Council's own studies. In 1942 many of the leaders of the War and Peace Studies groups joined Hull's Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policies.

Hamilton Fish Armstrong was the vice-chair of the Steering Committee, which was the driving force behind the War and Peace Studies. The War and Peace Studies included five study groups: Security and Armaments Group (known as Armaments); Economic and Financial Group; Political Group; Territorial Group; and the Peace Aims Group (organized 1941). The papers principally contain materials from the Security and Armaments Group and the Peace Aims Group since Armstrong was a member of both groups.

This subseries contains separate folders for correspondence and for memoranda and meetings which are arranged chronologically between 1938 and 1945. The bulk of the correspondence deals with individual views of topics discussed at meetings and evaluations of the organization's progress. Additionally, many members of the organization sent each other drafts of letters and memos for editing. The memoranda and meetings folders document meetings and items generated from these meetings. After the chronological folders are several subject files, including Steering Committee records, a topical index and the final report of the project.


No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.

Preferred Citation

Subseries 2H: Council on Foreign Relations - War and Peace Studies; 1938-1947; Hamilton Fish Armstrong Papers, Public Policy Papers, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

    Request Checked Items
    Title Date Container
    Correspondence 1939-1940 Box 74, Folder 17
    Memoranda & Meetings 1938-1940 Box 74, Folder 18
    Correspondence 1941 Box 74, Folder 19
    Memoranda & Meetings 1941 January-June Box 74, Folder 20
    Memoranda & Meetings 1941 July-December Box 74, Folder 21
    Correspondence 1942 Box 74, Folder 22
    Memoranda and Meetings 1942 Box 75, Folder 1
    Correspondence 1943 Box 75, Folder 2
    Memoranda and Meetings 1943 Box 75, Folder 3
    Correspondence 1944 Box 75, Folder 4
    Memoranda and Meetings 1944 Box 75, Folder 5
    Memoranda and Meetings 1945 Box 75, Folder 6
    War and Peace Studies, Report 1946 Box 75, Folder 7
    Membership Lists 1938 1942 1944 undated Box 75, Folder 8
    Steering Committee 1942-1944 1947 Box 75, Folder 9
    Steering Committee Memorandum #SC-B1 to #SC-B6, #SC-C1 to #SC-C2 1941-1944 Box 75, Folder 10-17
    Topical Index dates not examined Box 76, Folder 1

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