169. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State1

Delga 536. Re Disarmament. Kuznetsov and Sobolev (USSR) at their request talked to Lodge and Stassen regarding disarmament at UN at 10 am January 17.

Kuznetsov said he wished to discuss four points:

Would the US clarify the reaffirmation of the Eisenhower Geneva proposals on the one hand and the reference to progressive inspection?
In a reduction to the level of 2.5 million how much air inspection and other inspection would be needed?2
What was the US opinion on the 1.5 million final level and on the USSR proposals on 1/3 reduction in Germany, reductions in Warsaw Pact and NATO Pact territory, and European aerial photography.3 USSR had noted that Ambassador Lodge’s opening statement4 had not covered these points.
The USSR was willing to consider a procedural resolution and did the US have a reaction to the Soviet resolution including the Special Assembly provision.5

Lodge responded that he would ask Stassen to comment on the first three and he would cover the resolution.

Stassen stated with reference to (1) That the US continued to be willing to implement the complete Eisenhower Geneva proposal as a first step, but US did not insist that this must be an exclusive gateway. If an agreement could be reached on adequate inspection for some other first step, this would be considered. The US continued to believe that a comprehensive inspection system must include an aerial component.

(2) The inspection system could be progressively installed concurrent with first step reductions to two and a half million measurement. Precise method of progressive installation was a matter of technical agreement involving military experts. US did not have a rigid pattern in mind.

(3) It continued to be US view that reduction below 2.5 million level required progress in settling some of political issues. US did consider that successful implementation of a first step of arms reduction would improve climate of negotiations for political settlements. But at present time with unsettled Far East and China issues, divided Germany and Near East problems, US could not agree to levels of one and a half million even under an inspection system. US policy was to contemplate reductions below two and half million with parallel political settlements under an adequate inspection system. US had not commented on European disarmament portions in Soviet November 17 proposals because such discussion seemed more appropriate for subcommittee and US was not clear whether Soviets envisioned reunification of Germany in connection with its proposals for arms reduction. US position that reunification of Germany was essential [Page 451] and would improve security of Europe and of world and would in fact be mutually desirable was well known to Soviet Union and had been thoroughly discussed at summit meeting and at the Geneva Foreign Ministers meeting. The US continued to contemplate that European settlement could include ceilings and control and inspection over armaments in Europe and a European security arrangement.

(4) Ambassador Lodge advised the Soviets of the Western and Indian agreement on a procedural resolution (see following telegram),6 gave Kuznetsov a copy, and said the US was willing to have the USSR cosponsor and would like to put the resolution in Friday. Kuznetsov said that the Soviet delegation would study the draft, and would advise during the day whether it was necessary to obtain Moscow reaction, in which case Friday wouldn’t give enough time.

Kuznetsov noted absence of reference to a special session of the GA on disarmament. The US view was explained that such a special assembly or broad convention should only come after agreement by principal powers concerned on substance. The example of the IAEA negotiations was noted. Some reference of this kind was possible. The US considered it more desirable to leave out reference to special assembly at the present time.

In closing, Stassen asked whether the Soviets had any reaction to the nuclear portions of the Eisenhower proposals. Kuznetsov stated that he did not have any other than that it was better to start with the prohibition of nuclear tests.

Stassen also confirmed that the US considered that a sound adequately inspected opening step in either the nuclear or conventional or surprise attack problem or a combination of all should be favorably considered.

(Kuznetsov advised officer of US Mission later in day that he had sent resolution to Moscow. Kuznetsov has been advised that India and Japan have agreed to cosponsor.)

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 330.13/1–1757. Secret; Priority.
  2. Regarding the U.S. proposals for progressive inspection and force levels, see point 8 of the Annex to NSC Action No. 1553, Document 112. The United States submitted these and other disarmament proposals in a memorandum to the First Committee of the U.N. General Assembly on January 12, 1957; see Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, vol. II, pp. 731–734.
  3. the Soviet proposals on these matters were submitted as a declaration on the question of disarmament and reduction of international tension by Bulganin along with his letter to Eisenhower, November 17, 1956, printed ibid., vol. I, pp. 721–729, and Department of State Bulletin, January 21, 1957, pp. 90–93.
  4. For Lodge’s opening statement made in the First Committee of the U.N. General Assembly on January 14, see ibid., February 11, 1957, pp. 225–228.
  5. The Soviet draft resolution introduced in the First Committee on January 14, calling for a special session of the General Assembly on disarmament, is printed in Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, vol. II, pp. 737–738.
  6. Delga 537 from New York, January 17, quoted the revised text of a U.S. draft resolution on disarmament. The revised text incorporated changes suggested by India and was also given to France, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Soviet Union, Australia, El Salvador, Japan, Norway, and Yugoslavia. (Department of State, Central Files, 600.0012/1–1757)