Disarmament Files, Lot 58 D 133
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson) to the Secretary of State
Subject: Regulation of Armed Forces and Armaments
You will recall that over the past several months, considerable effort both in State and Defense has been devoted to the development of a program for the regulation of armed forces and armaments. The general principles to govern such a program have been approved in NSC 112. Simultaneously and independently, the U.K. has developed a similar program.
About three weeks ago, I arranged with Sir Pierson Dixon that a representative of the Foreign Office should come to Washington with a view to coordinating the two programs. During the past week, we have engaged in extended discussions with the British and have jointly drafted the attached “Outline of Program for Regulation, Limitation and Balanced Reduction of All Armed Forces and Armaments”. This paper goes as far as possible to meet the British point of view without in any way altering the basic U.S. position as set forth in NSC 112. The paper is acceptable to the expert of the British Foreign Office, who believed that in the light of the comments he had already received, it would be approved by his government. We pointed out to the British that the paper at this time does not represent a U.S. position and that you had not yet seen it.
I have informally transmitted a copy of the paper to Frank Nash,1 likewise explaining to him that you have not yet seen the paper. Pending your approval of the paper, he is proceeding informally to ascertain the reactions of Defense.
It is our view that the program should be advanced jointly by U.S., U.K. and France. With this in mind, we would commence discussions with the French as soon as possible after the program receives Presidential approval—perhaps during the week of October 15. We contemplated presenting the program as follows:
- Identical statements containing a brief explanation of the program would be released simultaneously by U.S., U.K., and France on or about November 7. The President would issue the statement here.
- Simultaneously, the President would make a speech to the country built on the statement and our willingness to disarm but our unshakable determination to continue to build upon our strength until Soviet good faith is proved and a dependable agreement enters into force. Presumably, U.K. and France would take similar steps.
- The program would be elaborated in your statement and in the [Page 534]British and French statements in the General Debate during the forthcoming General Assembly. It would be important to arrange for you to speak in the debate before Vishinsky speaks and I shall endeavor to do this as soon as you approve this program.
- We would request that the matter be considered by the General Assembly as an additional item to be included on its agenda as a matter of urgency and importance.
In view of the extremely tight time schedule which we must follow in order to reap the maximum benefits in the General Assembly from this program, I am anxious that you should consider this program as soon as possible and let me know if you approve it.
This program has been approved by S/P, EUR, Gordon Arneson, and myself.
“Outline of Program”.