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Foreign Relations of the United States

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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The British Commonwealth; Europe

Franklin, William M.
Preface,   pp. III-V ff. PDF (784.6 KB)

Page IV

                      "FOREIGN RELATIONS"
  The principles which guide the compilation and editing of Foreign
Relations are stated in Department of State Regulation 2 FAM 1350
of June 15, 1961, a revision of the order approved on March 26, 1925,
by Mr. Frank B. Kellogg, then Secretary of State. The text of the
regulation, as further amended, is printed below:
1351 Scope of Documentation
  The publication Foreign Relations of the United States constitutes
the official record of the foreign policy of the United States. These
volumes include, subject to necessary security considerations, all
documents needed to give a comprehensive record of the major foreign
policy decisions within the range of the Department of State's re-
sponsibilities, together with appropriate materials concerning the
facts which contributed to the formulation of policies.-When further
material is needed to supplement the documentation in the Depart-
ment's files for a proper understanding of the relevant policies of the
United States, such papers should be obtained from other Government
1352 Editorial Preparation
  The basic documentary diplomatic record to be printed in Foreign
Relations of the United States is edited by the Historical Office, Bureau
of Public Affairs of the Department of State. The editing of the record
is guided by the principles of historical objectivity. There may be no
alteration of the text, no deletions without indicating where in the
text the deletion is made, and no omission of facts which were of major
importance in reaching a decision. Nothing may be omitted for the
purpose of concealing or glossing over what might be regarded by
some as a defect of policy. However, certain omissions of documents
are permissible for the following reasons:
    a. To avoid publication of matters which would tend to impede
      current diplomatic negotiations or other business.
    b. To condense the record and avoid repetition of needless
    c. To preserve the confidence reposed in the Department by
      individuals and by foreign governments.
    d. To avoid giving needless offense to other nationalities or
    e. To eliminate personal opinions presented in despatches and
      not acted upon by the Department. To this consideration
      there is one qualification-in connection with major deci-
      sions it is desirable, where possible, to show the alternatives
      presented to the Department before the decision was made.

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