Memoranda of the National Security Adviser and National Security Council staff, cable traffic between the State Department and U.S. embassies, and comparable material concerning U.S. relations with countries in eastern Asia and the Pacific Ocean. Arranged by name of country, with separate sequences for NSC documents and State Department telegrams.
8.4 linear feet (ca. 16,800 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 donorís 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Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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.
Prepared by Helmi Raaska, April 2002
[S:\bin\findaid\presidential country files for east asia and the pacific.doc]
The Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific is one of many subcollections that comprise the National Security Adviser Files.
The Presidential Country Files described here concern U.S. relations with countries of eastern Asia and the Pacific Ocean, and address regional issues as well as issues specific to individual countries. Materials in the first several folders concern Southeast Asia, and the remainder of the collection is arranged by country name, with separate sequences for National Security Council documents and State Department telegrams. The Country Files include folders for the dependencies of Guam and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands.
Scope and Content of the Materials
Presidential Country Files include materials prepared for and by the National Security Adviser and National Security Council staff. Memoranda, reports, briefing papers, schedule proposals, and telegrams make up the bulk of the collection.
The materials filed under “Southeast Asia” are primarily related to unfolding events in Indochina. These materials concern intelligence reports on the situation in Vietnam and Cambodia, the administration’s request of Congress for supplemental assistance, and contingency planning for the evacuation of Americans and refugees. After the fall of Saigon, the focus is on refugee resettlement, disposition of American military equipment left in Vietnam, and consideration of America’s policy interests and presence in the region under the new circumstances.
Many significant foreign policy events are covered in these files. Among these are the wars and their aftermath in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos; seizure of the Mayaguez and subsequent investigations into the administration’s handling of the incident; and the normalization process with the People’s Republic of China. Other major topics are U.S. military bases and the presence of American troops, especially in Thailand, Philippines, Diego Garcia, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Korea. General topics covered throughout the collection include trade, arms transfers, mutual defense agreements, and meetings between American and foreign leaders.
Several countries are worthy of mention for materials on various topics. Thailand is important for research on the Vietnam War, Vietnamese refugees, Mayaguez incident, and U.S. troop withdrawals. Visits of nuclear powered warships are a matter of concern, especially with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Materials relating to Timor are available in the folders for Indonesia and Australia. Folders for Japan include materials concerning the defection of a Soviet pilot, and Korea has materials on the “tree incident” in which American soldiers were killed by North Korean soldiers while pruning a tree in the demilitarized zone.
Materials concerning President Ford’s trips to the region are also available. The President visited Japan and Korea in 1974, and the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 1975.
State Department telegrams provide an interesting look at communications between officials in Washington and staff at embassies throughout the region. They are valuable for on the scene, current reporting and analyses of conversations and events. The content of the messages covers many topics, and subject access is provided through PRESNET search reports.
All National Security Adviser file titles that include the name of an Indochina country, person, entity, or event have been located and reviewed. A special guide, Core Collections on the Vietnam War, is available on request.
Related materials on topics in addition to the Vietnam War are available in other processed segments of National Security Adviser Files. Researchers can identify the file locations of these materials from PRESNET search reports, which are available on request. Additional related materials will undoubtedly become available as processing continues on National Security Adviser Files.
Materials relating to East Asia and the Pacific are available in various White House Central Files Subject File categories, especially the CO-Countries categories. WHCF Subject File TR-Trips has case files for the President’s Asian trips in 1974 and 1975. The papers of Wolfgang Lehmann, foreign service officer in Vietnam, include materials relating to the fall of Saigon. The papers of James Wilson, a State Department official, contain materials relating to Micronesian status negotiations and refugee issues. The Wilson Papers also contain miscellaneous materials relating to Thailand, the Philippines, and East Asia and the Pacific which predate the Ford administration.