COLLECTION FINDING AID
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR.
PRESIDENTIAL AGENCY FILE, 1974-1977
Material, organized by agency name, that often relates to President Ford’s involvement in specific policy decisions, budget and personnel matters, meetings, and issues affecting national security or diplomacy. The largest files concern Department of Defense, CIA, NATO, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
8.8 linear feet (ca. 16,600 pages)
Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-118)
Open, but some materials continue to be national security classified and restricted. Access is governed by the donor’s deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, and National Archives and Records Administration regulations (36 CFR 1256).
Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.
Revised by Helmi Raaska, April 2010
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The Presidential Agency File is one of many sub-collections that comprise the National Security Adviser Files. The provenance of the Ford National Security Adviser Files and an explanation of the designations “Presidential” and “Institutional” are provided in Appendix A.
The Agency File is one component of the material collected and maintained by the National Security Council as a “Presidential Acquisition” file for eventual deposit in the President’s Library. It contains the originals of many documents addressed to President Ford, quite a few of which were stamped “The President has seen” by the White House Staff Secretary’s Office. The collection also includes many documents to or from National Security Advisers Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft that relate to presidential policy decisions, meetings between the President and agency officials, or issues in which the President was heavily involved.
The collection is arranged by the names of government agencies or international organizations. The largest files concern the Department of Defense, CIA, NATO, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Smaller, but significant, files concern the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, the Department of State, planning for State visits by foreign leaders, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Security Council.
Prominent recurring topics include decisions on agency budgets, presidential personnel appointments, and the organization and operations of agencies. There is much policy advice to President Ford on weapons systems, nuclear nonproliferation, arms control, intelligence issues, and a wide variety of other matters.
Across the collection, the frequently high-level communications provide insight into the leadership and personalities of such agency heads as William Colby and George Bush at CIA, James Schlesinger and Donald Rumsfeld at the Defense Department, Donald Rumsfeld as Ambassador to NATO, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan as Ambassador to the United Nations.
Some noteworthy topics are clustered according to agency. The CIA and PFIAB folders contain significant material relating to Rockefeller Commission and Congressional investigations of the intelligence community. Document requests, testimony, reorganization recommendations, and the Intelligence Oversight Board are treated. The CIA folders include many widely-distributed economic and oil reports from 1976.
PFIAB folders also concern an experiment in competitive analysis of Soviet military and other capabilities. This PFIAB initiative led to the formation of a group known as “Team B,” whose reports provided an alternative analysis to that given in a National Intelligence Estimate.
NATO folders are especially relevant to issues in Spain and Portugal, and to the dispute involving Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey. Much of the latter topic relates to the impact on NATO of the U.S. arms embargo against Turkey.
United Nations folders relate in large part to the Middle East. Topics include UN Emergency Forces in the Sinai Peninsula, UN Disengagement Observer Forces in the Golan Heights, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and a UN resolution equating Zionism with racism. Other areas of concern are Cambodia, North and South Vietnam, North and South Korea, and the so-called North-South dialog over the needs of developing countries.
Related Materials (October 2009)
Other materials on these Federal agencies and international organizations appear in White House Central File Subject File categories FG (Federal Government Organizations) and IT (International Organizations).
Documents on the agencies and issues reflected in this collection appear in numerous locations in many different collections. Most are in collections received from the office of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Researchers can locate relevant materials via PRESNET search reports, which are provided upon request. New information is entered into the PRESNET database as collections become available for research. Researchers are encouraged to consult the Ford Library website for announcements of collection openings and to view online collections and documents.
Agency File, 1974-77. (Boxes 1-22, 8.8 linear feet)
Memoranda, briefing papers, reports, testimony, speeches, and occasional memoranda of conversations. The materials are arranged by the name of agencies or international organizations. Folders for individual agencies contain both documents originated by the agency and those originating elsewhere that concern the operation or work of the agency.
The agencies/international organizations with the largest files are the Department of Defense, CIA, NATO, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Some of the issues documented include arms control, defense budget, intelligence matters, international economic and energy matters, military weapons systems, nuclear nonproliferation policy, State visits of foreign leaders, and Vice President Rockefeller’s foreign trips and meetings with foreign officials.
Arranged by agency/international organization name and chronologically thereunder. For some agencies with extensive materials there are separate folders at the end of the chronological sequence for large reports, State Department telegrams, testimony before congressional committees, or briefing books.
Container ListBox 1 - Agency File