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Microform: Minutes of Meetings of the National Security Council: First Supplement

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA MF 422-426; MF 548-552; MF 438-440
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: Microform: Minutes of Meetings of the National Security Council: First Supplement
Date(s): 1947-1956, 1988
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 11 reels
Name of creator(s): US National Security Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The National Security Act of 1947 and the Reorganization Plan of 1949 defined the composition and function of the National Security Council (NSC). Chaired by the President of the United States, the NSC consists of statutory members (the Vice President and the Secretaries of State and Defense), statutory advisers (the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency), the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and professional staff members who are on temporary assignment from the armed forces, the Central Intelligence Agency, elsewhere in the government, or who have been recruited from universities and think tanks. The statutory function of the NSC is to advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to national security. Since 1947 the NSC has evolved as a key foreign policy making arm of the president. Minutes of the Meetings of the National Security Council: First Supplement contains three separate types of materials: minutes of meetings, document associated with such meetings, and summaries and discussions held during the meetings. This collection relates to a period during the administrations of Presidents Harry S Truman and Dwight David Eisenhower (1947-1956), during which the National Security Council (NSC) met on a regular weekly basis. The NSC met more frequently during times of foreign crisis, less frequently when the president was travelling or pre- occupied with domestic issues. During the administrations of Harry S Truman and Dwight David Eisenhower, the NSC produced a series of formal policy papers whose purpose it was to analyse current and potential national security issues and make policy recommendations to deal with those issues. These policy papers were prepared by the NSC staff and occasionally by members of the NSC in response to requests by the NSC to study specific issues. When completed, these policy papers (NSCPP) were distributed to the NSC for study and comment. If the NSC decided to alter a policy paper, a revised draft would be produced. Once approved, the paper became the official (and usually secret) policy of the United States government. In contrast to Truman and Eisenhower, Presidents John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson held few NSC meetings, relying less on the formally structured NSC and more on ad hoc committees to discuss national security policy.


Scope and content/abstract:

Minutes of the Meetings of the National Security Council: First Supplement are microfilmed copies of minutes of meetings, official meeting files and supporting documentation, and detailed records relating to meeting of the National Security Council, 1947-1956. Document material relates to policies and procedures governing the National Security Council, 1947; initial directives to the Central Intelligence Agency, 1947; the US political position concerning Italy, Greece, China, and Palestine, 1947; US policy with respect to the Republic of Korea, 1948-53; conversations with the British in regard to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, 1948; US position with respect to perceptions of Soviet-directed world communism, 1948-55; the dispatch of US B-29 bombers to Great Britain, 1948; US policy on atomic and nuclear warfare, 1948-55; possible Soviet interruptions to the Berlin air-lift, 1948; organisation under the Atlantic Pact and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), 1949; the re- armament of the Federal Republic of West Germany, 1950; the position of the US with respect to Indochina, 1951-55; the death of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, President of the Soviet Council of Ministers and General Secretary, Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1953; the Mutual Security Program, 1953; US objectives with respect to Indonesia, 1953; US objectives in the event of a general war with the Soviet bloc, 1954; overseas reaction to the Atomic Energy Commission, 1955; US policy towards the People's Republic of China, Formosa and the government of the Republic of China, 1955

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Material in the collection is arranged into the following sections: 'Minutes of Meetings' contains the official records used for referencing NSC meetings; 'Documents' are the official meeting files of the NSC and consists of minutes of meetings and associated documentation, the latter of which includes agenda, memoranda, and briefing reports; 'Summaries of Discussions' are detailed records of NSC meetings under the Eisenhower administration, written by the Deputy Secretary of the NSC, S Everett Gleason. The summaries were for Eisenhower's personal use and are not part of the official documentation kept by the NSC. Each section is arranged chronologically therein

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided for research use only. Enquiries concerning the copyright of the original material should be addressed to University Publications of America, Inc., 4520 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD, 20814-3389, USA

Finding aids:

Summary guide available on-line at, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room, Paul Kesaris (ed.), Minutes of the Meetings of the National Security Council: First Supplement (University Publications of America,Inc, Bethesda, MD, 1988).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

University Publications of America, Inc., Bethesda, MD, with published fully indexed guides edited by Paul Kesaris

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Date of compilation:Jul 1999

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