Directors of White House Conferences
Office of Public Liaison


Materials compiled by Jeffrey Eves and his assistant and successor, John Shlaes, on their work organizing White House conferences, briefings, and field conferences. Arrangements and proceedings for the meetings are much better documented than policy impact. Also includes material on liaison with business and trade associations.

12 linear feet (ca. 24,000 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession numbers 77-107, 77-108)

Open. Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

President Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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.

Prepared by Paul Conway, September 1982 (Revised by William McNitt, February 1995).
[s:\bin\findaid\eves, jeffrey - files.doc]


Jeffrey P. Eves

May 1974-April 1976 - Staff Assistant, then Director of White House Conferences, White House Office of Public Liaison

April 1976-- Public affairs position, Potlatch Corporation, San Francisco

John B. Shlaes

March 17, 1942 - Born, Los Angeles, CA

1963 - B.A. in Advertising, University of Southern California

1964-67 - Manager of Special Projects, Chicago Tribune; Director of Public Affairs, Bellevue School District, Seattle, WA

1968-69 - Consultant to the Director, United States Information Agency

1969-70 - Associate Director of Public Affairs, Department of Health, Education and Welfare

1970-72 - Assistant to the Director, Peace Corps and Action

1972-73 - Directed the President's Legacy of Parks Program, Executive Office of the President

1973-74 - Assistant to White House Counsellor Anne Armstrong

1974-77 - Staff Assistant, then Director of White House Conferences, White House Office of Public Liaison


Jeffrey P. Eves and his successor John B. Shlaes oversaw White House conferences and briefings organized by the Office of Public Liaison during the last portion of the Nixon administration and the entire Ford presidency. Eves also served as liaison with business special interest groups in 1974. The materials described here consist partly of correspondence and topical files from Eves' work with business representatives, but are primarily working files accumulated by Eves and Shlaes or their assistants while planning, conducting or following-up on the conferences.

Eves came to the White House staff in May 1974 from his government relations post with the National Association of Manufacturers. Initially responsible for building Nixon administration contacts with business and industry representatives, Eves sought ways to increase the feedback from special interest groups outside Washington, DC. Apparently with Eves' strong urging, William Baroody initiated a regular program of briefings on administration policies (Wednesday Meetings) and a series of field conferences chaired by key administration officials. Vice President Ford hosted the Chicago conference in the summer of 1974. With President Ford's support, Baroody and the newly created Office of Public Liaison expanded the scope and frequency of these conferences. Ford attended eleven out of 14 conferences in 1974 and 1975 in large cities throughout the United States.

Based on a town hall concept, the conferences consisted of short presentations by high-level officials on major domestic and economic issues to representatives of business, labor, student, women and other special interest groups. The representatives then had an opportunity to respond with comments and questions. The conferences were funded by an $18 admission fee.

Eves and his assistant Shlaes handled most of the advance work, compiled the final invitation list, and managed each event, including the preparation of briefing books and itineraries. All fourteen conferences were heavily covered by regional and national press, whose comments were assembled by Eves and his assistants and forwarded to selected White House staff and the President. Other follow-up activities consisted largely of thank-you notes and mailings of conference transcripts.

John Shlaes joined the Public Liaison Office in December 1974 to help Eves. After January 1976, Shlaes acted effectively as co-director in arranging a series of White House conferences on President Ford's proposed consumer representation plans. The nine conferences in January, chaired by presidential special assistant Virginia Knauer and cabinet secretaries, were designed to air President Ford's alternatives to proposed consumer protection agency legislation to consumer groups and the press.

With Eves' April 1976 departure and increased emphasis on primary and general election campaigns, Shlaes and Public Liaison did not continue the series of "non-political" conferences. He concentrated instead on briefings for carefully chosen groups and presidential spokespersons. Shlaes worked with John Vickerman on business liaison matters and the Wednesday Meetings, handled housing and hospitality arrangements for the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, and acted as advance man and planner for the President's campaign swing on the paddlewheel boat "Natchez".

These files consist of Eves' and Shlaes' working files. They primarily document conference planning and coordination activities, especially the extensive liaison with participating federal officials and local co-sponsoring groups that handled logistical details for each White House conference; details of invitations, press coverage, and follow-up correspondence; and the actual proceedings of each conference. In addition, the Eves files include information on Eves' work with business special interest groups in 1974; general administrative matters; and Shlaes' work on briefings, speeches, and general public liaison matters.

Aside from press comments and public statements, the files contain only limited evidence of larger policy considerations implied by President Ford's avid support and participation. Also obscure are the lines of communication and coordination between Public Liaison and the White House Press Office, Domestic Council staff, or various executive agencies, all of whom conducted briefings and conferences on frequently overlapping topics. The Eves materials are incomplete for the earliest conferences, especially on financing details and full lists of participants. In addition, there is no information on Shlaes' campaign advance work in 1976.

Related Materials (February 1995)
Related materials include the Public Liaison Office files of William J. Baroody, John Vickerman, and Wayne Valis; White House Central Files - Subject File MC (Meetings-Conferences); papers of Vice President Ford (Miltich and Rustand files) containing information on Ford's Chicago speech; files of administration participants in conferences, including L. William Seidman, Paul MacAvoy, Frank Zarb; files of Domestic Council staffer Ray Hanzlik, responsible for coordinating Vice President Rockefeller's series of domestic policy forums; and files of Kathleen Ryan, who handled consumer issues for the Domestic Council..


Eves Business Association Subject File, 1974-76.  (Boxes 1-6, 2.2 linear feet)
Correspondence exchanged between Eves and business and industry representatives; and memoranda, briefing papers, schedule proposals, lists and other materials accumulated by Eves mainly in his capacity as liaison with lobbying groups in Washington. Also included are travel vouchers, planning memoranda, mailing lists and other items on Eves' early efforts to organize White House conferences in 1974 and 1975. Although Eves continued to monitor business association matters into late 1975, most of the file dates from 1974 and early 1975.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Eves Correspondence File, 1974-76. (Boxes 6-8, 0.8 linear feet)
Correspondence sent and received by Eves, arranged in two sequences. A chronological file of correspondence from Eves spans his service in the Nixon and Ford administrations and covers the full range of his responsibilities, including liaison with business association representatives, planning the series of White House conferences and working with Baroody on a variety of Public Liaison matters for which he was not directly responsible. Material arranged by correspondent includes business annual reports, invitations, letters of recommendation, requests for information and comments on Ford administration policies. Many were unanswered.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series

Shlaes General Subject File, 1975-76. (Boxes 8-12, 1.6 linear feet)
Correspondence and memoranda exchanged between Shlaes and business representatives, government officials and White House staff, copies of Shlaes remarks and selected Baroody speeches accumulated by Shlaes while assisting Eves in 1975 and 1976, and as Director of White House Conferences following Eves' departure. Also included are press releases, lists, transcripts, memoranda and other information on briefings for business officials and others conducted by Shlaes, especially for presidential spokespersons and following the 1975 State of the Union address.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

White House Conferences General Subject File, 1974-76. (Boxes 12-16, 1.6 linear feet)
ranscripts, invitations, memoranda and follow-up correspondence from the October 1975 series of briefing on Ford administration economic proposals conducted by Shlaes and Eves; routine correspondence received by Public Liaison from individuals interested in hosting or helping with White House conferences that were never held; and miscellaneous materials, including lists, correspondence and financial information on conferences in 1975.

Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder chronologically.

View container list for this series

White House Conferences on Domestic and Economic Affairs File, 1974-75. (Boxes 16-21, 2.2 linear feet)
Working files on each of the fourteen White House conferences in late 1974 and 1975, including transcripts (with the exception of New Orleans). Additional information may include but is not limited to: briefing books with detailed schedules and agenda; background and issues papers on local political and economic affairs; press clippings on the conferences; financial and planning details; lists and general administrative correspondence,memoranda and printed materials exchanged between Eves or Shlaes and local officials and community leaders.

Arranged by conference and thereunder by topic.

View container list for this series

Consumer Representation Plans Conference File, 1975-76. (Boxes 22-30, 3.6 linear feet)
Working files on the consumer conferences.

Arranged in two sequences. Arranged by subject are: memoranda and correspondence, lists, newsletters, press and wire clips, and printed workshop proceedings which document the background planning and oversight of the conference series in general. Arranged by each conference are: briefing books, transcripts, memoranda and miscellaneous items which detail the arrangements and follow­up for each of the nine consumer conferences, and the summary conference in Washington, DC.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Eves Business Association Subject File

  • Advertising Council
  • American Society of Association Executives
  • Annual Line of Business Report (National Association of Manufacturers Mailing)
  • Anti-Inflation Task Force
  • Association Liaison Log, Sept.-Dec. 1974
  • Automobile Industry - General Motors (1)-(2)
  • Automobile Industry - Miscellaneous
  • Biographies - Administration Officials
  • Briefing Papers
  • Capital Requirements Study Group
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Consumer Affairs Office (HEW) - Harry Wells
  • Consumer Protection Agency Legislation
  • Conventions
  • Cost of Living Task Force
  • Council on International Economic Policy
  • Domestic Council Hearings, 1975
  • Domestic Council Seminars, 1974
  • Economic Briefings, Oct. 9-10, 1974 (1)-(2)

Box 2 - Eves Business Association Subject File

  • Economic Briefings, Oct. 9-10, 1974 (3)
  • Economic Policy Board
  • Economic Summit Conference, September 1974
  • Engineers Joint Council
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines
  • Eves, Jeff - Personal
  • Federal Aviation Administration Weight Regulations
  • Federal Executive Associations List
  • Federal Executive Boards List
  • Foreign Investments (Printed Materials)
  • Handicap Project - Ford Motor Company
  • Housing Policy
  • Legislation
    - Blue Ridge Mountain Project (HR 1120)
    - Clean Air Act Amendments, 1974
    - Energy Bill, 1975 (S. 622)
    - Miscellaneous Bills (Including Regulation of Lobbying)
  • Lists
  • Meeting Requests - Miscellaneous

Box 3 - Eves Business Association Subject File

  • Memoranda for President Nixon, June-Aug. 1974
  • Memoranda for President Ford, Aug.-Sept. 1974
  • Memoranda - Miscellaneous (1)-(4)
  • Minority Meetings - Stan Scott
  • National Association of Manufacturers (1)-(2)
  • National Council of Professional Services Firms (1)-(2)
  • National Industry Council
  • Natural Gas Deregulation
  • Noise Standards
  • Office of Public Liaison - Division of Responsibilities

Box 4 - Eves Business Association Subject File

  • Omsbudsman for Business, Department of Commerce
  • Personnel Matters, A-Z
  • Presidential Commissions and Boards
  • Presidential Meetings - Lists and Possible Invitees
  • Project Independence
  • Requests for Presidential and Administration Appearances (1)-(3)
  • Royster Article in Wall Street Journal
  • Rush, Kenneth - Meetings with Business Leaders and Economists
  • Schedules Proposals, 1974

Box 5 - Eves Business Association Subject File

  • Schedules Proposals, 1975
  • Schedules Proposals, 1976
  • Small Aircraft Accident Litigation, Phase II (Publication)
  • Small Business Conference - Boston
  • Speaking Requests - Baroody
  • Speaking Requests - Eves
  • Speeches - Eves
  • Standard Oil Company (Indiana) - Publication
  • State of the Union Briefings, 1975
  • Summer Intern Program
  • Travel - General
  • Travel Vouchers - Eves, 1974
  • Travel Vouchers - Eves, 1975 (1)-(3)

Box 6 - Eves Business Association Subject File

  • Universal Oil Products (1)-(2)
  • Washington Representatives - Business and Industry
  • Wednesday Meetings (1)-(2)
  • White House Youth Conference
  • WIN Program

Box 6 (Continued) - Eves Correspondence File

  • Eves Correspondence, May-Sept. 1974

Box 7 - Eves Correspondence File

  • Eves Correspondence, Oct. 1974-April 1976
  • General Correspondence - A-C

Box 8 - Eves Correspondence File

  • General Correspondence - D-Z

Box 8 (Continued) - Shlaes General Subject File

  • American Advertising Federation
  • American Gas Association
  • Baroody Biographies
  • Baroody Speeches
    - Schedule
    - 5-17-76, Los Angeles
    - 5-18-76, Las Vegas
    - 5-19-76, San Francisco

Box 9 - Shlaes General Subject File

  • Baroody Speeches
    - 6-2-76, Toledo
    - 6-3-76, Los Angeles
    - 6-6-76, Seattle
    - 10-18-76 to 10-19-76, St. Louis
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Bicentennial
  • Briefings - Miscellaneous
  • Briefings - Spouses of Presidential Spokespersons, 7-29-76
  • California Engineering Foundation
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicago International Trade Exposition
  • Commodity Club of Washington, DC
  • Commonwealth Club of California
  • Computer (Office of Public Liaison)
  • Consumer Issues and Conferences
  • Cosmetic and Toiletry Industry
  • Energy
  • "Ford Administration Efforts to Reform Government Regulation of Business" (Publication)
  • Gifts for Distribution
  • M & M Association
  • Media - Miscellaneous
  • Media - Office of Public Liaison Handouts
  • Memoranda - Office of Public Liaison Business (1)-(4)

Box 10 - Shlaes General Subject File

  • Miscellaneous Correspondence - Shlaes (1)-(3)
  • National Bicentennial Conference Series (Proposed)
  • National Explorer Presidents' Congress
  • Office of Public Liaison - General
  • Office of Public Liaison - Conference Schedule
  • Panama Canal (Clippings)
  • Photo Requests
  • Presidential Events
  • Presidential Spokesperson's Briefing, 7-14-76
    - Baroody Remarks
    - Clearance List
    - General
    - Handouts
    - Invitees and Attendees - Preliminary Lists (1)-(2)
    - Invitees and Attendees - Shlaes Book (1)-(3)

Box 11 - Shlaes General Subject File

  • Presidential Spokesperson's Briefing, 7-14-76
    - Invitees and Attendees - Working Lists (1)-(3)
    - Programs
    - Transcripts
  • Presidential Statements
  • Quaker Oats Briefing
  • Schedule Proposals
  • Seminar on Government Regulation of Business
  • Shlaes Speeches
    - Miscellaneous
    -10-24-75, Philadelphia
    - 6-11-76, Grove Acres Prep School (Cancelled)
    - 6-15-76, Presidential Classroom
    - 6-22-76, National Association of Plumbing - Heating - Cooling Contractors
    - 6-23-76, DECA
    - 7-5-76, Chicago Rotary Club
  • Small Business Conference, May 1976
  • Space Exploration - Miscellaneous
  • Space Exploration - Moon Tree Project (1)-(2)

Box 12 - Shlaes General Subject File

  • State of the Union Briefings, 1975
    - "Exhibits"
    - General (1)-(2)
    - List of Attendees
    - Schedules
  • State of the Union Briefings, 1976
  • Steorts, Nancy
  • Sub-Cabinet Briefing, 1-21-76
  • Television Bureau of Advertising Briefing
  • Town Hall of California
  • Wheeling, West Virginia - Chamber of Commerce
  • Young Presidents Organization

Box 12 (Continued) - White House Conferences General Subject File

  • Energy and Tax Cuts Briefings, October 1975
- Correspondence (1)-(3)
- October 17, Morning

Box 13 - White House Conferences General Subject File

  • Energy and Tax Cuts Briefings, October 1975
    - October 17, Afternoon
    - October 20, Morning
    - October 20, Afternoon
    - October 21, Morning
    - October 21, Afternoon
    - Forms and Outgoing Letters
  • Future Conferences - Correspondence (Alabama - Kansas)

Box 14 - White House Conferences General Subject File

  • Future Conferences - Correspondence (Kentucky - Texas)

Box 15 - White House Conferences General Subject File

  • Future Conferences - Correspondence (Virginia - West Virginia and Miscellaneous)
  • Luncheon Invitees (1)-(2)
  • White House Conferences
    - Certificate of Appreciation
    - Finances, General
    - Finances, New Hampshire
    - General and Administrative, June 1974 - Feb. 1975

Box 16 - White House Conferences General Subject File

  • White House Conferences
    - General and Administrative, March 1975-November 1976
    - GSA Auto Bills (Atlanta and Miami)
    - Mailing Lists, Miscellaneous
    - Thank You Letters (1)-(2)

Box 16 (Continued) - White House Conferences on Domestic and Economic Affairs File

  • Portland, 11-1-74 (1)-(2)
  • Minneapolis, 11-26-74 (1)-(2)

Box 17 - White House Conferences on Domestic and Economic Affairs File

  • Atlanta, 2-3-75 (1)-(3)
  • Hollywood, Florida 2-25-75
  • San Diego, 4-3-75 (1)-(6)

Box 18 - White House Conferences on Domestic and Economic Affairs File

  • Concord, New Hampshire 4-18-75 (1)-(3)
  • Cincinnati, 7-3-75 (1)-(4)
  • Peoria, 8-19-75 (1)-(3)

Box 19 - White House Conferences on Domestic and Economic Affairs File

  • Milwaukee, 8-25-75 (1)-(17)

Box 20 - White House Conferences on Domestic and Economic Affairs File

  • Seattle, 9-4-75 (1)-(7)
  • St. Louis, 9-12-75 (1)-(3)
  • Omaha, 10-1-75 (1)-(4)

Box 21 - White House Conferences on Domestic and Economic Affairs File

  • Knoxville, 10-7-75 (1)-(13)

Box 22 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • Agency Newsletters and Press Releases
  • Cabinet and Agency Memoranda (1)-(2)
  • Conference Planning and General Administration (1)-(4)
  • Consumer Conference Feedback
  • Consumer Group Newsletters
  • Consumer Representation Plans
    - Agriculture to EPA
    - FEA to HUD
    - Interior to Labor
    - Small Business Administration to Transportation
    - Treasury to Veterans Administration

Box 23 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • Correspondence - Thank You Letters (1)-(4)
  • Criticism of Consumer Representation Plans by Consumer Organizations
  • Expenses - Miscellaneous
  • Federal Register - Proposed Consumer Plans, 11-26-75
  • General Correspondence
  • Invitations Regretted (1)-(3)
  • Miscellaneous Agendas, Lists, Schedules
  • Office of Public Liaison Press Releases
  • Press Information
  • Press and Wire Clips - General (1)-(3)

Box 24 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • Thank Yous
  • Thank Yous - Letters Returned
  • Workshop on Consumer Representation
    - Agriculture
    - Defense
    - ERDA
    - EPA
    - GSA
    - HUD (1)-(2)
    - Interior
    - Justice

Box 25 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • Workshop on Consumer Representation [Continued]
    - Labor (1)-(3)
    - Small Business Administration
    - Transportation
    - Veterans Administration
  • Chicago, 1-13-76

Box 26 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • Kansas City, 1-14-76
  • Boston, 1-16-76

Box 27 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • Boston, 1-16-76
  • Atlanta, 1-19-76
  • Houston, 1-21-76

Box 28 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • Houston, 1-21-76
  • Philadelphia, 1-23-76

Box 29 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • Denver, 1-26-76
  • San Francisco, 1-29-76

Box 30 - Consumer Representation Plans Conference File

  • San Francisco, 1-29-76
  • Los Angeles, 1-30-76
  • Washington, DC, 2-23-76 to 2-27-76