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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States. Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945

Preface,   pp. III ff. PDF (387.4 KB)

Page III

  It has long been the custom of the United States Government to
release to the public, after a suitable lapse of time, a substantially
complete documentary record of our country's diplomacy. This
custom, established early in our history, was crystallized by President
Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward through the inauguration of the
series of volumes now entitled Foreign Relations of the United States:
Diplomatic Papers (then called Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs).
  The publication of the Foreign Relations volumes has tended to fall
increasingly far behind the period which they cover. During the past
two decades, this lag has reached nearly 18 years. This gap is now
being gradually reduced, thanks to the action of the Appropriations
Committees of the two Houses of Congress, and efforts will continue
to reduce it, due consideration being given to the necessity of avoiding
any harm to our current negotiations with other countries or to our
national security interests.
  This volume of documents on the conferences at Malta and Yalta
is the first to appear in a special series of Foreign Relations volumes
on World War II conferences attended by President Roosevelt or
President Truman, along with Prime Minister Churchill or Marshal
Stalin, or both of the latter. The series is part of a special Foreign
Relations publication program prepared by the Department of State,
in response to expressions of interest by several Senators and the
Senate Committee on Appropriations in its report for fiscal year 1954.
This program also includes the preparation and release of a special
series on United States relations with China, 1942-1949, as well as
the accelerated publication of the regular volumes of the Foreign
Relations annual series already compiled through the year 1941.
  In order to make this volume as complete and useful as possible,
the Department of State has not only drawn upon its own files, but
has also sought the cooperation of other agencies and individuals, to
whom the Department is grateful for their assistance. The compiling
and professional editing of this volume were done by a special staff
in the Historical Division of the Department of State, under the
direction of the Chief of the Division. The technical editing was
done by the Division of Publishing Services.

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