Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Controls (Record Group 220)


The records of the Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Controls from Record Group 220 were transferred into the custody of the Nixon Presidential Library by the Office of Records Services, Washington, DC, National Archives and Records Administration. See the Guide to Federal Records for more information on Record Group 220.

  • Number of Boxes:  32
  • Approximate number of pages:   25,500
Organizational Note

On March 25, 1969, President Richard Nixon announced the formation of a Cabinet task force, headed by Secretary of Labor George Shultz, to "accomplish a comprehensive review of oil import controls." This seven member Task Force was aided by seven observers from selected Federal agencies and a small staff, which operated under the guidance of an executive director, Dr. Phillip Areeda. A list of the members, observers, and staff can be found below.

Two months later, on May 22, the Task Force published a list of questions in the Federal Register (34 F.R. 8055) in order to solicit information and opinions from both interested parties and the general public. In response, a large number of replies, or "submissions," were received from Members of Congress, private individuals, business firms and associations, and Federal agencies. These submissions were collated by a private consulting firm, The Foster Associates, which prepared summaries of responses to specific questions. The Task Force subsequently solicited public and Federal agency comment and rebuttal to the summarized submissions; and its staff also compiled parallel "fact papers" on specific questions and issues which were, in turn, referred to agencies and interested private groups for reply before being compiled into a final report. To provide the latter assistance, the Task Force members and observers called upon their constituent department and agency staffs to provide advice, furnish information, prepare formal studies and give detailed critiques of Task Force drafts of statements and "fact papers."

The Task Force presented its final report, The Oil Import Question, to the President on February 2, 1970. Included was a separate dissenting report by the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Chairman of the Federal Power Commission.



Secretary of State William P. Rogers
Secretary of the Treasury David M. Kennedy
Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird
Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel
Secretary of Commerce Maurice H. Stans
Director of Office of Emergency Preparedness George A. Lincoln
Secretary of Labor George P. Shultz, Chairman


Director of the Bureau of the Budget Robert P. Mayo
Chairman of the Federal Power Commission John N. Nassikas
Assistant Attorney General Richard W. McLaren
Council of Economic Advisers Member Hendrik S. Houthakker
Special Representative for Trade Negotiations Carl J. Gilbert
Office of Science and Technology Adviser S. David Freeman


Phillip Areeda, Executive Director
James McKie, Chief Economist
Roland Homet, Jr., Chief Counsel
Dudley Chapman, Assistant Counsel
David Anderson
Joseph Bell
Rachel Larson
Richard Mancke
Thomas Stoel
Herbert Winokur


Edward Erickson
Thomas Stauffer

Scope and Content Note

Among the records of the Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Controls are the files of its executive director; these are included as Series 7-11 and 14-20. Also included, as Series 21-24, are some files which originated with General George A. Lincoln, Director of the Office of Emergency Planning and one of the task force members.

Series Description

Boxes:   1
Series:   Daily Log of Material Received
Spans:   April 1969-January 1970
Description:   Contains entries listing incoming material received by the Task Force; entered in order of receipt and subdivided according to file location: letters, submissions, rebuttals, and special materials.

Boxes:   2-4
Series:   General Incoming Correspondence Files
Spans:   April 1969-January 1970
Description:   Contains incoming letters and a few replies. Items were numbered sequentially, corresponding to their entry under "Letters" in the Daily Log, and filed in three groups. Group I consists of letters from Members of Congress, and are identified by alphabetical letters entered on each first page; Group II is a special file containing letters written to Mrs. Virginia H. Knauer, Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs, and which were referred to the Task Force; and Group III contains letters from the general public, and are identified by roman numerals entered on each page.

Boxes:   5-15
Series:   n.d.
Spans:   Studies and Statements Submitted
Description:   Includes memoranda, studies, and other forms of written submissions, omitting informal communications. Incoming material was numbered sequentially in arabic numerals and entered in the Daily Log under "Submissions" and "Rebuttals." Roman numerals after each entry in the Daily Log indicate the file group in which the material was palced. Under each file group the material was placed in alphabetical order. The file groups are: I. General Public (including all oil companies that replied); II. Members of Congress; III. Federal Departments and Agencies; IV. State and Local Governments (by states); V. Foreign Governments; VI. Miscellaneous (communications not keyed to Federal Register questions); and VIII. Rebuttal Submissions.

Boxes:   16-18
Series:   Source Materials Library
Spans:   n.d.
Description:   Contains copies of speeches, articles, research papers, and congressional testimony made available to the Task Force and kept on public file for reference. Items are listed in the Daily Log under "Special Materials" and in the final report under "Part II, Appendix N," page 338. Unarranged.

Boxes:   19
Series:   Foster Assocates Study
Spans:   July-September 1969
Description:   Contains summary of responses to questions asked in the Federal Register, rebuttal statements to the responses, and supplemental responses received after August 15, 1969. Filed according to date released by The Foster Associates and thereunder by question number from the Federal Register.

Boxes:   19
Series:   Summaries of Submissions
Spans:   n.d.
Description:   Contains summaries of the major arguments advanced by most of the oil companies. Arranged alphabetically by name of the company which submitted the statement.

Boxes:   20
Series:   Fact Papers
Spans:   September-October 1969
Description:   Contains drafts, completed copies, and responses submitted by agencies in response to "Fact Papers" prepared by the Task Force staff and circulated to government agencies for their comments. Series "A" papers date from September 1969, and have the responses of government agencies. Series "B" papers date from October 1969, and there are no agency responses to these papers. These are arranged by series and thereunder by number.

Boxes:   21
Series:   Agency Comments to Staff
Spans:   April-October 1969
Description:   Contains material of a general nature on oil import problems communicated to the staff by government agencies. Filed partially by subject and partially by agency of origin.

Boxes:   22-23
Series:   Meetings Files
Spans:   April-December 1969
Description:   Contains memoranda, briefing papers, and notes relative to the meetings held by the Task Force with various individuals and agencies, including press releases and staff correspondence regarding such meetings.

Boxes:   24-31
Series:   Internal Staff Working Papers
Spans:   n.d.
Description:   Contains working papers for final report, interim position papers, drafts of the final report, and two printed copies of the final report. This series is divided into two sub-series, I and II. Subseries I consists of working papers which relate to submissions and interim position papers. Subseries II consists primarily of working papers which relate to fact papers and rough drafts of the final report. Arranged by sub-series and thereunder in the chronological sequence in which the papers were finished.

Boxes:   32
Series:   Agency Comments on Draft Report
Spans:   n.d.
Description:   Contains comments from agencies on the draft copy of the final report. Arranged by agency of origin.

Boxes:   33-34
Series:   Administrative Files
Spans:   n.d.
Description:   Contains various administrative files pertaining to travels of members, xeroxing facilities, Task Force budget, and various administrative function files. Arranged by subject.

Boxes:   35-36
Series:   Clipping Files
Spans:   n.d.
Description:   Contains clippings and reproductions of newspaper articles about the Task Force and oil import problems. Partially arranged by identified source, but mostly unarranged and many sources are neither identified nor dated.

Boxes:   37-38
Series:   Miscellaneous Reports
Spans:   March-July 1969
Description:   These reports are mostly from the Department of the Interior, but there are some from other Federal agencies. Included are papers delivered at a symposium on March 9, 1969, "An assessment of Some Factors Affecting the Availability of Oil and Gas in the United States Through 1980." Also included are news releases on oil imports for the months January-June 1969. Unarraged.

Boxes:   39
Series:   Oil Petro-Chemical Industry Correspondence.
Spans:   March 27-December 12, 1969
Description:   This series consists mainly of incoming and carbon copies of outgoing correspondence between Dr. Phillip Areeda, Executive Director of the Task Force, and oil and petro-chemical company executives. Also included are copies of letters originally sent to President Richard Nixon and Cabinet Task Force Chairman George Shultz. Most of the letters to Areeda, Shultz, and Nixon (often with attached enclosures) express views on the oil import program and U.S. oil policy. Arranged in alphabetical order.

Boxes:   39
Series:   Carbon Copies of Outgoing Acknowledgment Letters
Spans:   June-December 1969
Description:   Carbon copies of outgoing acknowledgment letters which express appreciation for the addressee's earlier letter and assure that his epxressed views "will be considered most carefully." A few pieces of incoming correspondence are included. Arranged alphabetically by name of addressee.

Boxes:   39
Series:   News Clippings
Spans:   October-November 1969
Description:   Original and xerox copies of news clippings relating to the oil import quota, U.S. oil policy, and the reaction of the oil industry to proposed changes in the import quota policy. Unarranged.

Boxes:   39
Series:   Invitations
Spans:   Invitations in the form of RSVP cards and letters to Dr. Areeda to address various oil industry organizations or attend various receptions sponsored by such organizations. Unarranged.

Boxes:   39
Series:   Miscellaneous Records
Spans:   1963-1969
Description:   A miscellaneous collection of reports, newsletters, correspondence, and memoranda. Included are a report of the American Petroleum Institute, "Standard Definitions for Petroleum Statistics"; and a Department of Interior paper, "Cost of the Oil Import Program to the American Economy." Unarranged.

Boxes:   40
Series:   Internal Staff Memoranda
Spans:   April 24, 1969-January 26, 1970
Description:   Working papers by Dr. Areeda defining procedures to be followed and issues to be studied by the Task Force; memoranda commenting on Areeda's working papers; proposed draft for a Presidential proclamation concerning oil import controls; some correspondence; reports, including "The Effect of the Jones Act on Oil Movements Under Liberalized Trade"; memoranda summarizing the positions of Federal agencies; summaries of conversations; "Memorandum re Proposed Disclosure Policy for the President's Task Force on Oil Import Quotas"; summary of minutes of meetings of the Rocky Mountain Petroleum Economics Institute, held June 22-25, 1969, with attached list of participants. Arranged as described.

Boxes:   40
Series:   Correspondence with Federal Agencies
Spans:   April 7-December 16, 1969
Description:   This series consists of reports created or received by General George A. Lincoln, Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness (O.E.P.), in the course of his service as a member of the Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Control. Arranged in alphabetical order by name of agency.

Boxes:   41-43
Series:   Notebooks
Spans:   n.d.
Description:   Seven loose-leaf notebook binders consisting of the following: (1) "Volume A"--summary of submissions made by Federal agencies, oil companies, and various private organizations in answer to certain general and specific questiona concerning the impact of changes in oil import policy on national security and domestic energy supplies. (2) "Volume B"--summary of submissions made by Federal agencies, oil companies, and other interested parties in answer to certain general and specific questions concerning costs of present oil import policy, possible alternatives to import quotas, and possible changes in the present import quota system. (3) "Oil Import Study"--history and structure of the present oil import system. (4) "Announcements, Responses, and Submissions"--copies of public announcements concerning the Cabinet Task Force, lists of submissions, composite summary of contents of submissions, and copies of O.E.P. submissions to the Task Force. (5) "Papers for Oil Task Force Meeting on November 8"--a collection of papers to serve as briefing and discussion papers for General Lincoln. (6) "Papers for Oil Task Meeting on November 21-22"--a collection of papers to serve as a briefing book for General Lincoln. (7) "Excepts, Tables, and Studies"--excerpts of the majority and minority task force reports; tables; O.E.P. studies, comments on proposed legislation, and "talking papers." Arranged as described.

Boxes:   44-45
Series:   Chronological Files
Spans:   February 1969-February 1970
Description:   Contains reports, submissions, correspondence, studies and memoranda received by General Lincoln. Many of the reports and studies were prepared by O.E.P., including a study on rationing, "Petroleum Rationing in the Continental United States During World War II and A Current Severe Emergency," dated June 30, 1969. Arranged chronologically in bimonthly file folders.

Boxes:   46-48
Series:   Subject Files
Spans:   April 1969-March 1970
Description:   Copies of reports, studies, minutes of meetings, correspondence, "Talking Papers," and memoranda received by General Lincoln. Most of the studies and reports consist of O.E.P. responses to particular questions raised by the Cabinet Task Force. Included are: a series of O.E.P. critiques of various "fact papers" prepared in answer to specific questions raised by the Task Force members; a Task Force staff critique of the Minority Report of Walter Hickel, Maurice Stans, and Federal Power Commission Chairman John Nassikas; a study entitled "Limits of Petroleum Rationing During Crises," dated November 15, 1969, and a copy of a study, "Assessment of Possible Supply Interruptions," dated October 10, 1969. Arranged by general topic.