Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


George C. McGhee Papers

Dates: 1949-1954

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs, 1949-1951
Ambassador to Turkey, 1951-1953.

The Papers of George C. McGhee mostly relate to his work as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs and as Ambassador to Turkey. The collection consists of copies of memoranda of conversations relating primarily to Turkey, documentation of State Department regional conferences that were chaired by McGhee, and McGhee’s correspondence.

See also George C. McGhee oral history.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one linear foot (about 1600 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: No donation of copyright was received with this collection. Documents created by U.S. government employees in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: C.W. Ohrvall (1983); Elizabeth Carrington (2005) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1912 (March 10)Born, Waco, Texas
1933Bachelor of Science, University of Oklahoma
1937Doctor of Philosophy, Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar)
1940Began career as independent explorer for and producer of oil
1941-1942Senior Liaison Officer, Stockpile and Import Shipping Branch, Office of Production Management and War Production Board
c. 1942-1945Served as naval intelligence officer during World War II
1947-1949 Coordinator for aid to Greece and Turkey, Department of State
1949 Special Assistant to the Secretary of State
1949-1951 Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs
1951-1953 U.S. Ambassador and Chief of the American Mission for Aid to Turkey
1961 Chairman, Policy Planning Council and Counselor, Department of State
1961-1963 Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
1963-1968 U.S. Ambassador to Germany
1968-1969 Ambassador-at-Large
1969-2005 Active as member of boards of directors of many corporations, and author of books and articles on diplomacy
2005 (July 4) Died, Leesburg, Virginia

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The George C. McGhee Papers are comprised of copies of memoranda of conversations, reports, meeting minutes, and correspondence relating to his career as a State Department official and diplomat during the Truman administration. The collection is comprised of three series each of which is arranged chronologically.

The first series, Memoranda of Conversations, mostly records conversations from McGhee’s work as Ambassador to Turkey. Many of the conversations were between McGhee and Turkish Foreign Minister Fuad Koprulu mainly regarding Turkish relations with other nations and the development of Turkey as a nation in the Middle East. There are some earlier memoranda from McGhee’s work as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs which pertain largely to U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia.

The second series, Regional Conferences of U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Officers, contains minutes and other documents relating to regional conferences which were chaired by McGhee during his term as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs. The conferences were held in Lourenco Marques; Tangier, Morocco; Istanbul, Turkey; and Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon. Each conference dealt with issues in that area such as international relationships, United Nations activities and their effects on the area, communist influences in the area, local attitudes toward the United States and its foreign policy, the Point Four program, the Economic Cooperation Administration, and other relevant topics.

The third series, Correspondence, contains correspondence, memoranda, and newspaper clippings mostly pertaining to McGhee’s work as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs. The bulk of the correspondence is from 1950 as McGhee traveled through Africa and the Middle East, notably Saudi Arabia, meeting with foreign leaders. The series includes letters sent to foreign leaders from McGhee thanking them for hospitality during his visit, memoranda regarding McGhee’s travel plans, reports written by McGhee and others after meetings with foreign leaders, newspaper clippings regarding the areas McGhee visited, and other correspondence among American and foreign leaders.

Related information can be found in the oral history of George C. McGhee and in Official File 2089, White House Central Files, Harry S. Truman Papers.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1 MEMORANDA OF CONVERSATIONS, 1950-1953
Memoranda of conversations primarily between George C. McGhee and Turkish Foreign Minister Fuad Koprulu during McGhee’s term as Ambassador to Turkey. Arranged chronologically.
1-2 REGIONAL CONFERENCES OF U.S. DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICERS, 1949-1951
Minutes of regional conferences of State Department Officials chaired by George C. McGhee during his term as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs. Arranged chronologically.
2 CORRESPONDENCE, 1950-1954
Correspondence, memoranda, and newspaper clippings from George C. McGhee and others relating to McGhee’s work as Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Turkey. Arranged chronologically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST
    MEMORANDA OF CONVERSATIONS, 1950-1953

Box 1

  • 1950-1951
  • 1952, January - June
  • 1952, July - October
  • 1952, November - December
  • 1953, January - June
  • Summaries
    REGIONAL CONFERENCES OF U.S. DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICERS, 1949-1951
  • East-West African Conference, Lourenco Marques, February 27-March 2, 1950
  • North African Conference, Tangier, Morocco, October 2-7, 1950
  • North African Conference, Tangier, Morocco, October 2-7, 1950, Summary of the Proceedings

Box 2

  • Near Eastern Chiefs of Mission Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, February 14-21, 1951
  • South Asia Conference, Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon, February 26-March 3, 1951
    CORRESPONDENCE, 1950-1954
  • 1950, January - February
  • 1950, March
  • 1950, April - May
  • 1950, June - December
  • 1951, January - March
  • 1951, April - October
  • 1952, 1954

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