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Declassified Documents, 1953-1959
Collection Description & Creator Information
The collection consists of 192 reels of microfilm, totaling about 131,000 individual microfilm frames, as well as a series of declassified documents. The collection can be characterized in general as the State Papers of Secretary John Foster Dulles, 1953-1959. The originals of all papers, with the exception of Mr. Dulles's personal appointment book, are located in the Department of State. At the time these documents were filmed for this collection (1956-61)they were located in various State Department repositories, including the Central Files, maintained by the Divison of Records Management (RM), the Conference Files, maintained by the Reports and Operations Staff of the Secretariat (S/S-RO), miscellaneous files kept in the S/S/-RO Message Center, and various individual State Department Bureau and Office files. It can be presumed that eventually all of these records will be retired to the Central Files where the master copies will be maintained.
The collection can be broken down into nine general categories as described below:
(1)Conferences held between Secretary Dulles and representatives of foreign nations. This category includes (a) special, high-level international conferences, e.g., the Geneva Summit Meetings, July, 1955; (b) regular international meetings attended by Secretary Dulles, e.g., the annual Spring meetings of the NATO Ministerial Council; and (c) bilateral meetings between Secretary Dulles and representatives of foreign poewrs either in Washington or in other capitals. The documents in this category as well as in categories (2) and (3) below are chiefly telegrams exchanged between the Department of State and various US Missions, memos of conversation, conference minutes, and background and position papers prepared for the Secretary's use prior to meetings which he was to attend.
(2) Negotiations with foreign powers carried out chiefly by representatives of Secretary Dulles. The most important of these are (a) the Korean Truce negotiations; (b) the Trieste Treaty negotiations; (c) the Austrian State Treaty negotiations; (d) the Baghdad Pact (Henderson mission) negotiations; (e) the Formosa-Offshore Island negotiations; and (f) negotiations with Communist CHina for the release of US prisoners.
(3) General foreign relations with individual nations or groups of nations (1953-1956). In this category falls background material not fully covered in conference files (Category 1) or elsewhere. It includes documents dealing with relations in the period 1953-1956 between the United States and (a) Indo China; (b) Pakistan and India; and (c) Israel and the Arab League of Nations.
(4) Secretary Dulles's Memos of Conversation. This is an almost complete file of all official memoranda of conversations in which the Secretary participated from January 1953 through 15 April 1959. The other participants were chiefly representatives of foreign nations. Some of these memos are duplicated in the conference files (Category 1).
(5) Secretary Dulles's Appointment Book. This is a daily record kept in pencil by Mr. Dulles personal secretary of all appointments kept by him either in Washington or abroad. It covers the entire period of Mr. Dulles's term of office as Secretary of State. Because there was no room to do so, the pages of these books were not stamped with frame numbers. These books represent the only part of this collection that cannot technically be labeled official documents; consequently they bear no security classification.
(6) Top Secret Daily Staff Summaries and Top Secret Afternoon Summaries. The Top Secret Staff Summary (including, after 13 September 1956 the Top Secret Afternoon Summary) is edited and produced daily (except Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) by the Reports and Operations Staff of the Secretariat (S/S-RO). It is the joint work of S/S-RO and the policy information officers in various bureaus of the Department of State including the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. It reports on a daily basis major policy decisions or related developments as contained in Top Secret telegrams, dispatches, etc., exchanged between the Department of State and various US Missions. The master copies of the Summaries, which have been filmed for this collection, identify by number the specific telegrams or dispatches on which the summaries are based. For a time, the Top Secret Staff Summary contained a section on "Congressional Relations" and a daily "Signature Record" of correspondence signed by the Secretary, the Under Secretary, and the Acting Secretary. The Congressional Relations section was dropped after 8 May 1953, and the "Signature Record" was dropped after 19 March 1956. Beginning 4 August 1953, a section was added summarizing "major decisions" made daily by the Secretary, Under Secretary, and Acting Secretary. The title of this section was later changed to "The Staff Record" and (in the Afternoon Summary)"Record of Actions." The Top Secret Staff Summary has a very restricted circulation in the Department of State and is considered an "Eyes Only" document, that is for the "personal information and use of the designated recipient only." It was one of the most important documents regularly studied by Secretary Dulles. For the study of major developments in US foreign policy on a daily basis these documents provide a highly useful starting point.
(7) The Daily Summary. The Daily Summary is edited and produced daily (except Saturday, Sundays, and holidays) in the Reports and Operations Staff of the Secretariat (S/S-RO). It is the joint work of the S/S-RO and the policy information officers in various Bureaus of the Department of State. It reports, on a daily basis, major policy decisions or related development as contained in telegrams, dispatches, etc., classified up through Secret. It is produced primarily for the use of officers at the level of Assistant Secretary, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office Director, and Deputy Office Director.
(8) Secretary's Staff Meetings (Tuesday and Thursday). These are minutes of the semi-weekly large staff meetings held by the Secretary of State and attended chiefly by Assistant Secretaries and staff assistants.
(9) Secretary's Staff Meetings (Mondays, Wednesday and Friday). These are informal and uncleared minutes of the Secretary's small staff meetings attended chiefly by the Under Secretary, the Deputy Under Secretaries, and the Assistant Secretaries or their equivalents. There are some gaps in the record for the years 1953-1955, and for the same period the record consists mostly of pencilled notes. After March 1956 the record is complete and is in typescript.
- Custodial History:
The records were selected by Philip A. Crowl, a representative of Princeton and later a U.S. State Department employee. Crowl relied initially on Secretary Dulles's selection of subjects to be filmed, but later he based his choice on his own knowledge of events at State. Filming was conducted between 1956 and 1961.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No materials have been separated from this collection.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Records in this series are available for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.
- Credit this material:
Declassified Documents; John Foster Dulles State Department Records, MC074, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA
- Storage Note:
- Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 10