(1947). As one leading commentator has noted: "No one would suggest that discovery should be allowed of information that has no conceivable bearing on the case. But it is not too strong to say that a request for discovery should be considered relevant if there is any possibility that the information sought may be relevant to the subject matter of the action." 8 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2008, at 46-47 (1970).
The Court has also considered that these documents are being sought as part of the culmination of discovery efforts that have lasted several years, and that the subject matter of discovery has been narrowed by the Oklahoma court in which these actions are consolidated. Although no claim of privilege has been asserted, the Court is also aware that these documents are nonetheless sensitive, in that they represent confidential communications between top government officials.
The Court has concluded that all eleven documents, in general, are "relevant" to the conspiracy issue as defined by the Oklahoma court. As to the seven documents which have been withheld in their entirety, however, the government's summaries are so complete that little purpose would be served by ordering production of the actual documents. In fact, the seven summaries now in plaintiffs' possession might better be termed "paraphrases" than summaries. They often verge on verbatim rendition of the underlying documents. Those few substantive omissions which have been made in these seven documents relate for the most part to U.S. negotiating tactics and strategies which have no conceivable bearing on plaintiffs' case. Although it is possible that the plaintiffs may encounter some evidentiary problems should an attempt be made to introduce these summaries into evidence, the Court is confident that the court or courts which eventually hear these actions can work out such difficulties through mutual agreement of the parties. Having closely examined the documents in question and compared them to the government summaries, this Court is convinced that the summaries are accurate and, with regard to potentially relevant material, complete.
The situation with regard to the four documents which have been produced with deletions is somewhat more complex. Document I, identified in the record as Moscow telegram 8434 of November 12, 1971, contains only one deletion -- the name of the source of information set out in the document. Should the source in some way be identified with any of the defendants, the name may well be quite relevant to the conspiracy issue. The fact that the document here may relate to a period of time preceding the U.S.-Soviet agreement, as well as the period of actual conspiracy defined in the Oklahoma court's order, is not important. The telegram clearly relates to the grain requirements of the Soviet Union and may therefore shed light on knowledge which one of the defendants could later have used in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. Therefore, the name of the source is relevant to the subject matter of the conspiracy issue and the government will be directed to divulge the deleted portion of the document. For identical reasons, the deleted portion of Document II, identified in the record as Moscow telegram 1574 of February 23, 1972, will also be ordered disclosed. This deletion, like that in Moscow telegram 8434, relates to the identity of the source of information contained in the telegram.
With regard to Document VI, identified in the record as Moscow telegram 2691 of March 27, 1972, one full paragraph has been deleted. This paragraph has been summarized for plaintiffs, and the Court has determined that the actual substantive omission relates to only two sentences. This material has no conceivable relevance to the subject matter of the defined conspiracy. It deals only with an inquiry made by U.S. officials and a brief response by Soviet officials. The government's objection to further disclosure of this telegram will therefore be sustained.
Finally, document number XI, identified in the record as Moscow telegram 8894 of September 5, 1972, is the fourth document produced for plaintiffs in original form with deletions. One of the deletions is the entire second paragraph. This paragraph, however, only serves to identify various Soviet officials and is therefore not in dispute.
Paragraph nine has likewise been deleted in its entirety. The first thirteen words of this paragraph may have some bearing on the conspiracy issue and the Court will order that portion of the paragraph disclosed. The remaining twenty-six words deal with what may be a sensitive matter which has no conceivable bearing on plaintiffs' case.
The other deletions in telegram 8894 all relate to the identity of the representative of American business who conveyed the information in the telegram to the American embassy. Even though this representative visited Moscow on September 2, 1972 -- one day after the conclusion of the relevant period of conspiracy defined by the Oklahoma court -- whatever the telegram may reveal about his knowledge on that date regarding the Soviet grain situation or the grain sales generally is certainly relevant to what he knew at an earlier time. The Court will accordingly order the government to divulge the identity of the representative, as well as the name of the business which he represented.
Nothing herein should be taken to indicate what action the Court may have taken had the government asserted a formal claim of privilege regarding any of the deletions in the four documents. Absent such a claim, the Federal Rules dictate that "relevant" materials are, as a general matter, discoverable. The Court will therefore order that the above-described portions of the disputed documents be produced.
JOHN J. SIRICA / UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE