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Sources for the Foreign Relations Series
The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant U.S. diplomatic activity. It also 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 historians 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 also 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 President Nixon and other White House foreign policy records, including tape recordings of conversations with key U.S. and foreign officials. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries and the Nixon Presidential Materials Project include some of the most significant foreign affairs-elated 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. The papers are a key source for the Nixon-Ford subseries of Foreign Relations.
Research for this volume was completed through special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, 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. Nixon's papers were transferred to their permanent home at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, in Yorba Linda, California, after research for this volume was completed. The Nixon Library staff and Ford Library staff are processing and declassifying many of the documents used in the volume, but they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication. Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XXVIII
For the Nixon period, the Nixon Presidential Materials Project contains several collections from the National Security Council Files that are relevant to research on Southern Africa. The administration conducted a series of policy reviews on Southern Africa, focusing on individual countries and the region as a whole. This collection of National Security Study Memoranda (NSSM), the interagency studies, and the National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDM) are in the NSC Institutional Files (H-Files). These files also contain records of high-level meetings and policy papers. The Country File for Rhodesia focuses primarily on the issue of sanctions on Rhodesian chrome and the Byrd amendment. The Country File for the United Kingdom focuses on the U.S.-U.K. strategy for resolving the Rhodesian crisis. The Country File for South Africa contains materials covering the denial of a visa to Arthur Ashe, the U.S.-South African understanding on gold and the proposed nuclear fuel agreement, as well as the assignment of a black Foreign Service Officer to the Embassy. The Presidential Tape Recordings at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project contain little regarding administration decision making. However, they do provide greater insight into Nixon's attitudes toward Africans in general and his personal beliefs about Rhodesia and Portuguese Africa.
The Central Files of the Department of State are a particularly useful collection located at the National Archives. These files contain detailed information from the Department and African posts. The most relevant subject-numeric designations for South Africa's administration of South West Africa are POL 15-2 SAFR, POL 23-5 SAFR, POL 19 SWAFR and POL 29 SWAFR. The most relevant subject-numeric designations for U.S. relations with South Africa are POL SAFR-US, POL 1 SAFR-US, POL 17 SAFR-US, POL 23 SAFR, DEF 12 SAFR, DEF 12–5 SAFR, SOC 14 SAFR and PPT Ashe, Arthur. The most relevant subject-numeric designations for Rhodesia are POL UK-US, POL 16 RHOD and FT 11-2 RHOD. For Portuguese Africa, the most relevant subject-numeric designations are POL PORT-US, POL 17 PORT-US and POL AFR-PORT.
For the Ford period, the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), contain documentation about U.S. relations with South Africa pertaining to maritime defense. The issue is also covered in the Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Scowcroft Chronological Files. NSSMs and NSDMs dealing with South Africa can be found in both the Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSSMs and NSDMs file and the Ford NSC Institutional Files (H-Files).
The documentation for Angola is located in multiple collections. One of the richest sources is the Kissinger Papers located in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. Within this collection, there are several sub-collections which contain detailed memoranda of conversation on this topic. They include: Presidential File, Memoranda of Conversation, and Memoranda of Conversation, Chronological File. National Security Council meetings on Angola are located in NSC Committees and Panels, as well as in the Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Meetings File. Other important collections are at the Ford Library as well. The Presidential Country Files for Zaire provide documentation of U.S. efforts to enlist Mobutu Sese Seko's support to serve as a conduit for American aid to Holden Roberto and Jonas Savimbi. This is also documented in the Kissinger and Scowcroft West Wing Office File, Angola. Communications between Kissinger and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin regarding Angola are located in the same file. The Scowcroft Daily Work Files contain backchannel messages seeking support for U.S. efforts to thwart an MPLA victory. The Country Files for Portugal provide details on the situation in Angola and Department efforts to ensure an orderly transition to independence. Memoranda for the record of 40 Committee meetings are located in the National Security Council Files, Ford Administration Intelligence Files, 40 Committee Meetings. Details on the covert operation in Angola are contained in the Africa, Latin America, Inter-Agency Intelligence Committee Files section of the INR/IL Historical Files at the Department of State. These collections also contain a number of interagency studies and papers on Angola. The Department of State's State Archiving System (SAS) is a word-searchable database and an excellent source for cable traffic after 1973. Historical documents from this system have been transferred to the National Archives and are part of the online Access to Archival Database (AAD). This is a valuable source for all cables, but is particularly useful for chronicling the effort to establish diplomatic relations with Mozambique and for documenting the Portuguese exit from Angola.
Kissinger's negotiations on Namibia and Rhodesia are found primarily in the Kissinger Papers, Department of State Memoranda, Memoranda of Conversations and the Geopolitical File, Africa Chronological File. Kissinger's reports on the progress of his talks with various African leaders are located in the Kissinger Papers, Cables File and the Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Henry A. Kissinger Trips File. The Presidential Country Files for the United Kingdom at the Ford Library is an excellent source for the U.S.-U.K. efforts to resolve the Rhodesia crisis. The Country Files for Switzerland provide comprehensive documentation on the Geneva conference negotiations. The Presidential Country Files for Zambia and South Africa contain correspondence to and from African leaders on the progress of the negotiations.
In addition to the paper files cited below, a growing number of documents are available on the Internet. The Office of the Historian maintains a list of these Internet resources on its website and encourages readers to consult that site on a regular basis.
Department of State
Central Files. See National Archives and Records Administration below.
January 22, 1975
National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State
Central Files 1970–1973
INCO-CHROME 17 US-RHOD, industries and commodities, chrome trade,
Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records
National Security Council Institutional Files (H-Files)
National Security Study Memoranda
National Security Council Meetings