Peter G. Peterson (White House Special Files: Staff Member and Office Files)

Date Start
Date End

The Presidential historical materials of Peter G. Peterson, an Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and an Executive Director on the Council on International Economic Policy, are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provision of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify personal or private materials or nonhistorical materials. No such materials were found.

Materials covered by the act have been archivally processed and are described in this register. Materials which are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed from the file and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record, GSA Form 7279, with a description of restricted documents has been inserted at the beginning of each folder from which material has been removed. A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn items.

Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening materials which no longer require restriction. Certain classified documents may be declassified under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to a Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear feet of materials:   1.3
  • Approximate number of pages:   2,400
Biographical Note

1926 June 5 Born in Kearney, Nebraska

1947 B.S., summa cum laude, Northwestern University

1948 Joined Market Facts of Chicago

1951 M.B.A. with honors, University of Chicago

1952 Executive Vice President of Market Facts

1953 Married Sally Hornbogen

1953-1957 Director of Marketing, Vice President, General Manager, Chicago Office, and Director of McCann Erickson of Chicago

1958 Executive Vice President and Director, Bell and Howell of Chicago

1961 President Bell and Howell

1963 Chief Executive Officer, Bell and Howell

1968 Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Bell and Howell

1971 Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Executive Director of the Council for International Economic Policy

1972 Secretary of Commerce

1973 June Vice Chairman, Lehman Brothers, Inc. of New York

1973 August Chairman and Chief Executive, Lehman Brothers

1980 April Married Joan Ganz Cooney

Organizational Note

Council on International Economic Policy, 1971-1977

The Council on International Economic Policy (CIEP) was created in the Executive Office of the President by Presidential memorandum, January 19, 1971, and authorized by the International Economic Policy Act of 1972 (86 Stat. 646). At the expiration of statutory authority, CIEP was terminated on Sept. 30, 1977.

The Council's function was to coordinate the numerous agencies and groups involved in some manner of foreign economic affairs and to achieve a consistent foreign and domestic economic policy. It also advised the President on the whole range of international economic policy and assisted him in the preparation of his international Economic Report. During the first year, CIEP was composed of the President as Chairman; Peter G. Peterson as Executive Director; the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and Defense; the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors; Assistant to the President for National Security Agency; the Executive Director of the Domestic Council; the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations; and Ambassador-at-Large David M. Kennedy.

Scope and Content Note

The materials of Peter G. Peterson, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Executive Director of the Council on International Economic Policy (CIEP), reflect Peterson's role as the first director of the CIEP and CIEP's role as the coordinator for U.S. international economic policy. The files deal primarily with the Nixon administration's efforts to establish imports quotas for Far Eastern textile products. The bulk of the materials fall between January 1971 and January 1972. The materials contain textual material in typed, printed, carbon and photocopy, teletype, and handwritten form. The security classification material in this file includes Department of Defense and CIA documents.

The materials are arranged into one series:

  1. Subject Files

Peterson, his assistant, Don Webster, and other CIEP staff members corresponded with the following: members of the CIEP, the President, the Department of Justice and the President's legal counsel; foreign governments and trade organizations; U.S. manufacturers, trade organizations, and textile unions; U.S. Congressmen and other interested government agencies.

A major part of the file deals with Ambassador-at-Large David M. Kennedy's trip to negotiate a formal textile quota pact with Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. These negotiations took place between June and October 1971 and concluded with the signing of separate Memorandums of Understanding with all four countries by October 16, 1971. Preliminary negotiations also reflected in the files are those between Secretary of Commerce, Maurice Stans and Premier Eisaku Sato of Japan, and between Peter M. Flanigan and Japanese Ambassador Nobuhiko Ushiba. There is also material dealing with Rep. Wilbur Mills' independent promotion of voluntary quotas and his meetings with the Japanese on the subject. The single Subject Files series is a selection of files from various sources, drawn together as part of White House Special Files, Staff Member and Office Files, because of their sensitivity.

The files labeled "Textiles-Negotiations-Cables" and "Textiles-Negotiations-Far East" [2 folders] were received directly from Peterson's office by the White House Special Files Unit. These files deal with Ambassador Kennedy's Far East trip. The principal correspondents are Peterson (who acted as the liaison to the President), Ambassador Kennedy, and State Department officials. The high level of policy planning and negotiations with important foreign officials is indicated by the large percentage (between 75-80% of security classified material in these files.

The file "Textiles-L. Brady" (Lawrence J. Brady, Special Advisor for Congressional Relations, CIEP) was apparently also received from Peterson's office. The "CIEP-Textiles-Rm. 131" file and the "371.4-Textiles" file were once parts of a larger group of Peterson's files sent from CIEP to the White House Central Files, where they were maintained until removed to Special Files Unit. These three files reflect the more routine functions of the CIEP. They cover a longer period of time and deal with broader textile quota issues, as well as the Kennedy negotiations. The files also include legal advice and interpretations, charts, studies, newspaper clippings, and correspondence with congressional and commercial textile interests. Ten to thirty percent of the material is security classified.

NARA accessioned the organizational records of CIEP for the Nixon and Ford administrations. They are available as part of Record Group 429.

Materials related to this group are also among the White House Central Files, 1971-1974, which includes subject categories for trade, individual countries, government organizations and staff members. Consult the White House Central Files Manual for specific categories. The White House Special Files, Confidential Files, which contain sensitive and classified information from these subject categories, may yield further information.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-4
Series:   Subject Files
Description:   Memorandam letters, telegrams, cables to and from Peterson and the CIEP (several to the President), reports, charts, newspaper clippings, speech drafts, news releases, and handwritten notes. Arranged by subject in folders as follows:

Textiles-Negotiations, [April-October 1971], Boxes 1-2. Arranged by subject and thereunder chronologically.

Textiles-L. Brady, [January-August 1971], Box 3. Unarranged

CIEP-Textiles-Rm. 131, [January-August 1971], Box 3. Unarranged

371.4-Textiles, [February 1971-January 1972], Box 4. Arranged by subject within the CIEP numeric subject code for textile negotiations.

Folder Title List


Box 1

Textiles-Negotiations (Cables) [May-Sept, 1971]
Textiles-Negotiations (Far East) [April-July, 1971]

Box 2

Textiles-Negotiations (Far East) [July-Oct, 1971] File #2
Textiles-L. Brady

Box 3

CIEP [Council on International Economic Policy]-Textiles, Rm. 131 [1 of 5]
CIEP-Textiles, Rm. 131 [2 of 5]
CIEP-Textiles, Rm. 131 [3 of 5]
CIEP-Textiles, Rm. 131 [4 of 5]
CIEP-Textiles, Rm. 131 [5 of 5]

Box 4

371.4 TEXTILES [1 of 4]
371.4 TEXTILES [2 of 4]
371.4 TEXTILES [3 of 4]
371.4 TEXTILES [4 of 4]