136. Memorandum of Discussion at the 350th Meeting of the National Security Council0

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and Agenda Item 1. “Significant World Development Affecting U.S. Security.”]

2. U.S. Policy on Control of Armaments (NSC Action No. 1419; NSC Action No. 1513 and Annex thereto; NSC Action No. 1553 and Annex thereto; NSC 5707/8; NSC Actions Nos. 1676 and 1722;1 Memos for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated December 26, 1957,2 and January 3, 19583)

Mr. Cutler introduced Governor Stassen, and gave a brief background statement on Governor Stassen’s “Proposals for the Revision of U.S. Policy on Disarmament”. (A copy of Mr. Cutler’s comments is filed in the minutes of the meeting.)4

Governor Stassen then commented briefly on the substantive recommendation for a revision in the “Proposals for Partial Measures of [Page 534] Disarmament” which had been made by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada in London last August.5 Governor Stassen stated his belief that his three specific recommendations for revision of the August proposals would not only have the support of the other NATO governments, but of almost all other Free World countries. He also predicted that his proposed revisions would have the support of more than two-thirds of the members of the United States Senate, as well as the backing of most of the leading American scientists. Furthermore, he believed that his proposed revisions were largely in accord with the views of General Norstad, even though these proposed revisions had not been wholly agreed upon in the NATO Council.

In essence, Governor Stassen said that his three specific recommendations for revision of the August 1957 proposals were designed to move forward certain parts of the agreed U.S. position as of August 1957. He said he believed that these recommendations offered a very good chance of initiating an inspections system within the Soviet Union, and were in the interest of the United States as well as of the Free World generally. Governor Stassen also felt that the USSR itself would find in these recommendations an element which corresponded to their own interest in preventing global nuclear war. At any rate, these were the premises on which Governor Stassen had proceeded in drawing up his recommended revisions, and he warned that the United States would lose the support of world public opinion if we took a negative attitude with respect to any change in the August 1957 position.

Thereafter Governor Stassen dealt briefly with his first recommendation for a revision—namely, for the installation of some eight to twelve test monitoring inspection stations in the USSR and a like number in the United States. On a map he indicated the sites within the Soviet Union at which these test monitoring inspection stations would be located. He pointed out that the choice of sites for these stations in the Soviet Union had been selected on the basis of the opinion of experts in the Department of Defense. He went on to point out that following satisfactory agreement on the inspection stations and on prompt installation of the inspection system, his proposal recommended a 24-month suspension of nuclear testing. He added that he felt that in making this suggestion he was in line with a statement made by the President in June 1957,6 and he [Page 535] also admitted that there were possibilities of evasion of the test suspension by the USSR, although he thought that successful evasions were not likely.

Governor Stassen then turned to his second recommendation, which he pointed out could be put forward separately or in combination with his first recommendation. Again using a map, he indicated that his second recommendation called for the establishment of an initial inspection zone against surprise attack in the Western USSR and Central Europe. This zone would be from approximately 3° East longitude to 28° East longitude, and from 45° North latitude to the Arctic Circle zone. In describing this inspection zone, Governor Stassen pointed out that it covered a larger territory than General Norstad had described as the essential minimum. It also fitted in with Chancellor Adenauer’s statement at Hamburg.7 If the Soviet Union could be brought to accept such a zone, Governor Stassen felt that it would be an entering wedge to loosen the Soviet hold on the East European satellites.

Governor Stassen next turned to his third recommendation, calling for the establishment of an inspection zone in Eastern Siberia, the Arctic, the Northwestern United States and Western Canada. This, again, was illustrated on a map. Governor Stassen felt that there was some genuine hope of Soviet acceptance of this proposal.

Governor Stassen reiterated the point that if any one of these three recommendations, or all three together, were accepted by the Soviet Union, such acceptance would be tantamount to beginning to open up the Soviet Union, which had long been an objective of the United States. Of course, he added, in putting forward these three specific recommendations we were leaving a number of very important subjects for follow-up negotiations. The reasons for leaving these subjects for subsequent negotiation was that, for example, our proposal for the cessation of the production of nuclear weapons would require a most long-drawn-out, detailed, and comprehensive inspection system. Further-more, cessation of nuclear production in the absence of a thoroughgoing inspection system would not be in the interests of the United States. It took only a certain relatively small number of nuclear weapons to provide the means for a surprise attack. It took a much larger number of nuclear weapons to provide an adequate defense against nuclear attack. The field of ballistic missiles, likewise, was an area to be left for follow-up negotiations after the initial step had been taken. Ballistic missiles required an even more complete inspection system than other means of delivery of nuclear warheads. Accordingly, this was not a suitable proposal for an opening step.

[Page 536]

At this point, Governor Stassen passed around copies of a draft letter of reply by the President to Bulganin8 (copy filed in the minutes of the meeting). In this he had suggested ways and means of resuming negotiations with the Soviet Union on disarmament. Simultaneously with this proposal to Bulganin, the United States could also take the initiative toward negotiations in the United Nations as well as through ordinary diplomatic channels. Also, if the National Security Council agreed with these three recommendations, Governor Stassen recommended that consultations be begun promptly with appropriate members of the United States Senate.

Upon the conclusion of Governor Stassen’s statement, Mr. Cutler called on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide the Council with the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which were in opposition to the recommendations made by Governor Stassen. General Twining read portions of the written views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which had previously been circulated to the members of the National Security Council. Secretary McElroy pointed out that the Department of Defense supported the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in opposition to Governor Stassen’s proposals.

Thereafter Mr. Cutler called on Admiral Strauss, who said that he would limit his comments on the Stassen proposals to those aspects which concerned nuclear weapons; he would not speak on inspection zones or force levels, in which fields he was not an expert. Admiral Strauss then proceeded to indicate to the Council what the cessation of nuclear testing would mean to the United States and the USSR nuclear weapons programs. He noted in particular that the proposed 24-month suspension of nuclear testing would have rather severe repercussions on our present programs to achieve small “clean” nuclear weapons. While we would be in a position, even if nuclear testing were suspended for 24 months beginning in September 1958, to stockpile nuclear warheads for our ICBM and our IRBM missiles, such a cessation of testing would very adversely affect our program for developing peaceful uses of hydrogen explosions.

After a similar description of the estimated effects of the test cessation on the Soviet programs, Admiral Strauss went on to comment on the effect of a 24-month suspension on our laboratories. He said that the work in our laboratories would certainly lose momentum as a result of the cessation, but they would not suffer a serious setback if testing were renewed at the end of two years as the result either of a failure of the [Page 537] Soviets to follow the rules of the game or as the result of a more comprehensive disarmament agreement.

After reading a message from Ambassador Thompson on the subject of the attitude of the USSR toward disarmament,9 Admiral Strauss stated that in his opinion the principal weakness of Governor Stassen’s proposal for a revision of our August 1957 disarmament proposal lay in the fact that it constituted a retreat from what the United States had originally regarded as a sound position. Speaking personally, and not presenting the views of the Atomic Energy Commission, Admiral Strauss said he felt that such a retreat was unfortunate. Finally, said Admiral Strauss, both Dr. Teller and Dr. Lawrence felt that several score of inspection stations would be required to monitor testing in the Soviet Union, rather than the eight or twelve which Governor Stassen proposed as requisite to detect clandestine nuclear testing within the Soviet Union.

Mr. Cutler next called on Ambassador Lodge, who had come from New York in order to attend the Council meeting on this subject. Ambassador Lodge pointed out that he was speaking as one who was in daily touch with world trends in the disarmament field, but that he could not be a spokesman for the technical considerations governing this question. He had to assume that our massive retaliatory power existed and was going to be protected. Under this assumption, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations he felt that the proposals put forward by Governor Stassen would be very advantageous to the United States. The only chance that we would have to achieve disarmament would be to win the great debate on this subject after raising a great hue and cry. The danger in these proposals to the strength of American arms seemed to Ambassador Lodge fairly remote; but the danger to the support we get from our allies would be immediate if we ignored the Stassen proposals. To illustrate his point, Ambassador Lodge analyzed the recent vote in the United Nations,10 and pointed out that even among our good friends we were getting a good deal of blame for the existing deadlock. Ambassador Lodge felt that Governor Stassen’s proposals, if adopted, would get us out of this unfortunate position.

On the other hand, Ambassador Lodge felt that Governor Stassen’s proposal for the establishment of an “armaments regulation organization” should be under the aegis of the Disarmament Commission rather than under the aegis of the Security Council of the United Nations, as [Page 538] Governor Stassen had proposed, for the reason that in the UN Security Council the Soviet Union would have a veto. Summing up, Ambassador Lodge pointed out his conviction that in the long run the effect of world public opinion is very important, and at the present time the United States is in not a very good posture with respect to world public opinion on disarmament.

Mr. Cutler next called on Secretary Dulles, who reminded the Council that we have a Four-Power position on disarmament which had been put forward in London at the end of August 1957. This position had been reached only with the greatest difficulties, among ourselves as well as with our allies. Secretary Dulles said he wished to address his own remarks to other than technical matters or the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in neither of which fields could he claim any expertise. He preferred to aim his remarks at the effects which the change in the Four-Power August 1957 position, now being proposed by Governor Stassen, would have on our allies and on the world position of the United States.

In this context, Secretary Dulles pointed out that Governor Stassen had claimed that the proposals he was making would be acceptable to our allies. Secretary Dulles said he felt bound to dissent from Governor Stassen’s opinion.11 On the contrary, adoption by the United States of Governor Stassen’s proposals would cause serious altercations between the United States and its allies, without at the same time providing any assurance that the Soviets would in subsequent negotiations go on to agree with what we regarded as a sound position on disarmament set forth in the Four-Power position at London presented in August 1957. Indeed, continued Secretary Dulles, the United Kingdom was categorically opposed to any proposal for test suspension unless and until there was an amendment to the U.S. atomic energy legislation which would permit the British to secure our technical information if they agreed to [Page 539] stop testing their own weapons. The French, predicted Secretary Dulles, would take very much the same position.

As far as the inspection zones proposed by Governor Stassen were concerned, Secretary Dulles expressed the conviction that these zones went far beyond anything which had been approved by the NATO Council, and he strongly doubted that the NATO Council would approve of them. Secretary Dulles also expressed great doubt that two-thirds of the members of the United States Senate would agree in approving the Stassen proposals. Most Americans don’t like gerrymandering, and members of Congress from the West Coast would strongly oppose having their areas opened to Soviet inspection while the rest of the country was free of such inspection. Finally, said Secretary Dulles, on this subject of zones he agreed with the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the effect that Governor Stassen’s proposed zones were heavily weighted in favor of the Soviet Union in terms of both military and industrial significance.

Secretary Dulles said that he must, however, agree that from the world standpoint the Council must consider the views expressed by Ambassador Lodge, together with other significant views on this subject. Secretary Dulles felt that the ordinary run of people in many countries were going along with the simplified Soviet views on disarmament. This, however, was not true of the governments of these countries, most of whom thought our own position was sound even though they had to make apparent concessions to their public opinion. This ill-informed public opinion was undoubtedly important, but so also was the fact that we had taken a firm position last August on the subject of disarmament, had insisted that this position was sound, and had likewise stressed in public statements the emphasis that we were now giving to the achievement of “clean” tactical weapons. If we retreat from this general position sketched above, Secretary Dulles predicted that we would momentarily appease hostile public opinion, but at the same time we would invite a new Soviet propaganda campaign, the essential keynotes of which would be either that the United States is now thoroughly frightened and willing to make any kind of disarmament agreement, or, alternatively, that the USSR had always been right in its own proposals for disarmament and now at long last the United States was coming to admit it. It seemed to Secretary Dulles that this was a very wrong time to make these concessions. This was a time when everybody was looking for signs of weakness in the United States. It was also a time which would provide the occasion for a fresh Soviet propaganda onslaught on the subject of disarmament.

Secretary Dulles expressed the opinion that we should, of course, not be rigid in our views on disarmament and, indeed, we had not been rigid. But to change our position on disarmament at the present time, in [Page 540] ways that would threaten the strength of the alliance and which would be interpreted as a great Soviet victory, was an error. He did not think this was the time to take such an action and, furthermore, such an action would be incompatible with our basic policy. Indeed, Secretary Dulles said he did not think that he would be able to maintain a belief in the posture of U.S. strength and confidence if these proposals were adopted. Our allies are invariably fearful of bilateral negotiations between the United States and the USSR.

Beyond all these considerations, Secretary Dulles also emphasized the fact that we are now coming face to face with the problems of outer space. We should now strive to do our level best to see that outer space was used for peaceful purposes only. Much of our energy should be directed to this kind of study.

To repeat, said Secretary Dulles, he did not believe it was desirable for the United States to take too rigid a position in the matter of disarmament agreements. He was perfectly willing to take some chances. We could never be one hundred percent sure. Indeed, he might be willing to support Governor Stassen’s proposals if they were looked at only under technical and military aspects, but not if looked at on the political and foreign policy side. Accordingly, Secretary Dulles recommended that the United States for the time being stand firm on the August 1957 proposals. We must not panic. We must not give in to the Soviets under present conditions. After all, it took two years of negotiation with the Soviets to achieve the armistice in Korea, and an even longer time to achieve the treaty on Austria. In both instances, however, the Soviets had finally come round to our point of view, and in this connection our disarmament proposal was only four months old. Secretary Dulles repeated that he didn’t claim that we shouldn’t change our August 1957 proposals; but he did insist that we shouldn’t do it now, and especially we shouldn’t do it until the requisite changes in the atomic energy legislation had been assured.

Mr. Brundage expressed his view of the desirability of some kind of middle ground. He felt that some kind of U.S. initiative would be very helpful, and believed that we should not stand pat on the August 1957 position.

The President said he had some questions to put to the Council. First of all, we must remember that we do not know what the Congress will do on our recommendations for changes in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. The President believed that we could contemplate the break-up of NATO if we ceased nuclear testing in agreement with the USSR before the terms of this Act had been changed.

Now as to his second point, the President said he found himself in agreement with Governor Stassen and Ambassador Lodge with respect to the importance of world public opinion. Much of this public opinion is [Page 541] very uninformed in the area of disarmament. What the world wants is easy answers to the disarmament dilemma, and we must be clear that this opinion on the necessity for disarmament steps is steadily growing stronger and insisting on results. Even in confidential talks at the NATO meeting, the President said that he encountered very strong insistence that something must be done to advance disarmament.

The President next expressed his great concern about the difference of views of the experts in this field. There was the Teller article in Foreign Affairs12 referred to earlier by Mr. Cutler, which doubted the effectiveness of any inspection system. On the other hand, Dr. Rabi was at the same time urging a cessation of nuclear testing provided there was an adequate inspection system. Apparently Governor Stassen believes in the opinion of one group of scientists and Admiral Strauss follows the views of another group. It was clear to the President, however, that we should never make any inspection proposals which precisely delineate any areas we are going to accept as being open to Soviet inspection, because as soon as you agree on a certain area as subject to inspection, the Soviets will attempt to expand these areas. Accordingly, said the President, he found himself in agreement with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the matter of Governor Stassen’s proposals on zones of inspection.

The President then alluded to the date of September 1958 when, if the Stassen proposals were adopted, nuclear testing would cease for 24 months. This would include the period when the Atomic Energy Act could have been changed and Operation Hardtack13 would be concluded. These two matters are at the moment prerequisite to making any new proposals.

The President said that he had yet another point. Secretary Dulles had spoken of the significance of outer space. Was he talking about outer space in connection only with ballistic missiles? Or was he speaking of other matters, such as satellites and the exploitation of outer space for peaceful purposes? Secretary Dulles replied that the proposals which we had put forward at London dealt with outer space above the atmosphere. The President said that such a proposal would include not only ballistic missiles but also vehicles sent into outer space for peaceful purposes. We should clarify this distinction.

[Page 542]

Finally, said the President, on the supposition that we made the changes that Governor Stassen was suggesting in our August 1957 position on disarmament, through what channels would our proposals for change be put forward? Certainly we could not proceed bilaterally with the Soviets. We would have to coordinate our proposals with our allies. By and large, the President concluded that this was not the time to make any new proposals. We have not concerted either with our allies or even among ourselves. Secretary Dulles commented that the President’s position did not preclude proposals for change in the August 1957 position at some future time.

Dr. Killian read from a report of the Science Advisory Committee’s Panel on Disarmament,14 in which the Panel had concluded that the United States should not proceed with additional proposals for nuclear test suspensions without up-to-date technical appraisals made in advance by the most highly-qualified U.S. scientific and technical personnel.

Governor Stassen reverted to the President’s question as to the channels through which we would now or at some future time put forward proposals for changes in our position on disarmament. He explained his conviction that if we stood pat on our August 1957 position we would not hold the support of NATO but actually lose it. He also explained what must have appeared to the Soviets as the inequity of the European zone of inspection which we had proposed in August at London. The Soviets had rejected this proposed inspection zone. Nevertheless, our NATO allies clearly do not want us to stand pat on this zone and refuse to consider any modification.

Likewise, continued Governor Stassen, he could not agree with the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the inspection zones he was proposing were undoubtedly disadvantageous to the United States or were weighted in favor of the USSR. He defended the proposed new zone, and expressed again the feeling that if the United States did not now take the initiative in proposing other zones of inspection, we could be sure that some other NATO country would do so. Governor Stassen also insisted that his proposals as a whole did not constitute a retreat by the United States, but rather a manifestation of U.S. leadership. It was not only the ill-informed public opinion of the world, but the well-informed people of the world, who are looking to the United States for new leadership. We cannot ignore this opinion, and our national security requires the support of other free nations.

With respect to the question posed by the President as to how we should proceed to advance any new proposals we should decide on, [Page 543] Governor Stassen suggested the following outline: First, we would confer with the appropriate Senate leaders. Then we would take up the matter with the British, the French, and the NATO Council. Governor Stassen said he believed that all of these would support his proposals, and ended with a plea for support in the National Security Council for these proposals.

In reply, Secretary Dulles said he simply could not agree with the accuracy of Governor Stassen’s presentation of what had occurred in the presentation of the U.S. position on disarmament at London last August. He did not care to argue this matter, but he was not sure that Governor Stassen qualified as an expert in the knowledge of what our NATO allies will or will not accept, though, he added, he did not question Governor Stassen’s sincerity.

Ambassador Lodge said that apropos of the matter of timing, he found himself opposed to any meeting of the Disarmament Commission in January, even though it was chaired by the United States and even if we were to have a new position on disarmament. He would much prefer to have a meeting in some three months’ time, during which period the necessary preparations could have been made.

As to inspection, Ambassador Lodge said that he had never visualized spelling out in a UN resolution what the precise inspection system would be. He thought we would only agree in principle to inspection in the resolution. We would have to confer most carefully with our allies on the size and shape of any actual inspection zones.

Secretary Dulles said he felt that the situation was very fluid at the moment, and that we might want to change our position on disarmament later.

The President said he couldn’t believe that Governor Stassen’s inspection proposal could properly be called a retreat, and Secretary Dulles agreed with him. Again Governor Stassen insisted that his proposal was not a retreat, but merely a new initiative.

The Vice President said he had a question to put to Secretary Dulles. Supposing that an agreement for the cessation of testing occurs and tests thereafter would be frozen. The Vice President assumed that we would be ahead. If this is the case, what is the explanation of the fact that the Soviets are pressing other nations so hard for a cessation of nuclear tests?

Secretary Dulles replied that he supposed that the Soviets feel they have all they need in the way of nuclear weapons for an aggressive attack on the United States. On the other hand, we do not feel that we have enough nuclear weapons for the defense of the United States.

Admiral Strauss added, in explanation to the Vice President, that the Soviets probably believe that we would not conduct clandestine tests if we agreed to a cessation. On the other hand, there was no reason why [Page 544] they would not conduct clandestine tests and so ultimately they would overtake us.

Governor Stassen added still another point. He felt that the Soviets were very concerned about the possible proliferation of nuclear weapons into other hands. They fear that if this occurs some other nation will trigger a war which would ultimately involve all-out nuclear conflict between the United States and the USSR. Secretary Dulles expressed his agreement with this point, but added that the nuclear cut-off was the surest defense against that kind of situation.

The President expressed the hope that we could advance rapidly in our discovery of detection devices. Dr. Killian indicated that we could not surely detect all nuclear tests. Secretary McElroy pointed out that, as compared to certain other nations, the population of the United States was relatively small. Accordingly, we were compelled to rely on greater fire power. The continued development of small “clean” nuclear weapons, therefore, was of the very greatest importance to the United States. The President commented that certainly we were in the midst of an arms race, and the burdens of armament hung heavy everywhere. We must keep the hope of disarmament before the world.

At the conclusion of the discussion of this subject, Mr. Cutler gave his view as to the consensus, and suggested a possible Council action, which was subsequently modified in part by proposals from the President, Secretary Dulles, and Dr. Killian.

The National Security Council:15

Noted and discussed the enclosure to the reference memorandum of December 26, 1957, prepared by the Special Assistant to the President for Disarmament; in the light of the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thereon, transmitted by the reference memorandum of January 3, 1958.
Noted the President’s decision that the United States should continue to adhere to the Four-Power proposals of August 29, 1957 (Annex D to the reference memorandum of December 26, 1957) for the time being; having in mind the importance, in any further consideration of this subject, of such matters as determining the Congressional attitude to changes in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.
Noted the President’s approval of the recommendation of the Science Advisory Committee Panel on Disarmament (as summarized by Dr. Killian at the meeting) that the following technical studies be made by representatives of the Science Advisory Committee, the Department [Page 545] of Defense, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Central Intelligence Agency:
In the area of nuclear testing, the following three studies:
A study of the losses to the United States consequent on a total suspension of nuclear tests at specific future dates.
A symmetrical study of the losses to the USSR that would accrue from cessation of nuclear testing, using the same hypothetical dates.
A study of the technical feasibility of monitoring a test suspension, including the outlines of a surveillance and inspection system.
A study to cover the technical factors involved in monitoring a long-range rocket test agreement to assure that it is carried out for peaceful purposes (such as the launching of scientific reconnaissance vehicles).

Note: The action in b above, as approved by the President, subsequently circulated to all holders of the reference memoranda, and referred to the Secretary of State for appropriate implementation.

The action in c above, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman, AEC, and the Director of Central Intelligence, for appropriate implementation.

[Here follows Agenda Item 3; see Document 2.]

S. Everett Gleason



Report by Caryl P. Haskins of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for Science and Technology (Killian)


  • Report of SAC Panel on Disarmament

The SAC Panel on Disarmament met on January 4, 1958 to review current arms limitation proposals with a view to assisting your participation [Page 546] in the NSC meeting on January 6, 1958. In attendance at the Panel meeting were C.P. Haskins, H. A. Bethe, I.I. Rabi, H. Scoville, H. York and G. Kistiakowsky (part time).

The discussion centered principally on two recommendations of Gov. Stassen, (a) that the U.S. propose a two-year nuclear test suspension as of September 1958, and (b) that the U.S. support the creation of a UN technical committee to study ways to monitor the development of outer-space vehicles for peaceful purposes. The Panel also noted that the U.S. has, through the final NATO communiqué, supported the creation of a technical group of NATO to advise on problems of arms control arising out of new technical developments.

It is the conclusion of the Panel that the U.S. should not proceed with additional proposals for a nuclear test suspension or for international studies on ways to limit long-range rocket testing without up-to-date technical appraisals of these two possibilities, made in advance by the most qualified U.S. scientific and technical personnel having access to highly-classified information. It believes that previous scientific studies are no longer current nor were they originally of sufficient technical scope and detail to fully develop potential areas of technical agreement or lack of agreement within the U.S. Government. It recommends that certain studies, to be confined strictly to technical fact-finding and appraisal, be undertaken immediately to assist in national policy determination. They are outlined below.

In the area of nuclear testing, there is need for three subsidiary studies:
A study of the losses to the U.S. consequent on a total suspension of nuclear tests at specific future dates. This study would include such technical subjects as the effects of suspension on the development of ICBM and Polaris warheads, on development of very small tactical nuclear weapons, on AICBM and anti-aircraft rocket warheads, and on the production of “clean” nuclear weapons. Insofar as possible, it should include an appraisal of the relative importance of such losses to total U.S. military capabilities. These assessments should be based on the assumption that tests are banned (a) before the scheduled summer 1958 Pacific tests, and (b) in September 1958.
A symmetrical study on the losses to the USSR that would accrue from cessation of nuclear testing, including effects on long-range missile capabilities, and air defense, using the same hypothetical dates.
A study of the technical feasibility of monitoring a test suspension, including the outlines of a surveillance and inspection system. Such a study should carefully consider the possibilities of successfully evading such monitoring and the practicability of clandestine weapon development.
A second major study would cover the technical factors involved in monitoring a long-range rocket test agreement to assure that it is carried out for peaceful purposes (such as the launching of scientific [Page 547] reconnaissance vehicles). It would attempt to broadly outline a surveillance and inspection system. It would assist the possibilities of evasion in terms of the clandestine development of a significant operational capability with long-range missiles.

It is important that these studies be undertaken at the earliest possible time due to (a) the need to assess the disadvantages of instituting a test cessation prior to this summer’s Hardtack series, and (b) the probable development by the USSR, within a year’s time, of a prototype ICBM. Unless a U.S. proposal for a missile test limitation is made before such developments, it would probably be delayed until after development of an operational missile by both powers.

The Panel recommends that the above studies be made for the President or the National Security Council by a full-time task force of the most qualified individuals, selected with the participation of the AEC, DOD, and the President’s Science Advisory Committee. The task force should lean heavily on contributions by research organizations having technical competence in the subject areas.

The President’s Science Advisory Committee unanimously supports the Panel’s recommendations for factual technical studies on international limitation of nuclear and missile testing (with the exception of four members who were unavailable for comment).

Caryl P. Haskins17
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Gleason on January 7.
  2. Regarding NSC Action No. 1419, see Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. XX, p. 154, footnote 8. For NSC Action No. 1513 and the Annex thereto, see ibid., pp. 329330. Regarding NSC Action No. 1553 and the Annex thereto, see ibid., p. 399, footnote 5, and pp. 444446. For NSC 5707/8, “Basic National Security Policy,” see ibid., vol. XIX, pp. 507524. Regarding NSC Actions No. 1676 and 1722, see ibid., vol. XX, p. 462, footnote 6, and p. 538, footnote 8.
  3. This memorandum transmitted to the NSC Stassen’s revised disarmament proposals, which are summarized in this memorandum of discussion. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the Nation Security Council, Official Meeting Minutes File, 350th Meeting, Tab A) See the Supplement.
  4. This memorandum transmitted to the NSC the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, December 31, 1957, on Stassen’s disarmament proposals (see footnote 2 above). The JCS noted that the major change that Stassen recommended was “abandonment of the provision for inseparability of individual items of the proposals.” The JCS believed that from a security point of view there was no justification for such a concession. Abandoning inseparability would present the Soviet Union with the opportunity of accepting only those proposals compatible with their national interests, such as suspension of nuclear testing, to the detriment of U.S. and NATO interests. The JCS also objected to deletion by Stassen of the provision for control of fissionable material for peaceful and weapons purposes and stated that the new inspection zones “are weighted heavily in the favor of the Soviet Union.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Official Meeting Minutes File, 350th Meeting, Tab A) See the Supplement.
  5. Not printed. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Official Meeting Minutes File)
  6. The working paper as submitted to the U.N. Disarmament Committee, August 29, 1957, is printed in Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, pp. 868–884. It is also attached as Annex D to the December 26 memorandum cited in footnote 2 above.
  7. Stassen’s reference is apparently to Eisenhower’s statements in reply to questions at a press conference on June 19, 1957, when the President stated, “I would be perfectly delighted to make some satisfactory arrangements for a temporary suspension of tests while we could determine whether we couldn’t make some agreements that would allow it to be a permanent arrangement.” (American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1957, pp. 1276–1277) For the full transcript of the press conference, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957, pp. 468–480.
  8. Not further identified.
  9. For text of the letter to Bulganin, January 12, see Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, pp. 932–941. Bulganin’s December 10 letter to Eisenhower is ibid., pp. 918–926.
  10. Not further identified.
  11. Apparent reference to the vote on U.N. Resolution 1148 (XII), November 14, 1957, “Regulation, Limitation, and Balanced Reduction of All Armed Forces and All Armaments; Conclusion of an International Convention (Treaty) on the Reduction of Armaments and the Prohibition of Atomic, Hydrogen, and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.” The resolution was approved by a vote of 56 (including the United States) to 9 with 15 abstentions. For text, see Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, pp. 914–915.
  12. At 3 p.m. on January 2, Secretary Dulles and Stassen discussed the proposals Stassen was to make to the NSC. According to the memorandum of conversation of the meeting, Dulles expressed his skepticism about Stassen’s recommendations. Dulles thought they “would involve a practical abandonment of our proposals” on the cut-off of fissionable material for weapons, supervision against surprise attack, and the use of space for peaceful purposes. Stassen disagreed and said his proposals would further U.S. objectives. (Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Memoranda of Conversation) See the Supplement.

    At 4 p.m. on January 2, Dulles informed the President that “it was getting increasingly difficult for us [Stassen and himself] to work together because he [Stassen] was not under my authority and yet he conceived of his disarmament task as running into many related problems such as the reunification of Germany, our relations with France as a potential nuclear power, and so forth.” Eisenhower was surprised that Stassen was still functioning as an Assistant to the President and agreed “it would probably be wise to effect a change at an early date.” (Memorandum of conversation by Dulles; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, Meetings with the President)

  13. The article, entitled “Alternatives for Security,” is in the January 1958 issue of Foreign Affairs.
  14. Hardtack was the designation given to atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific and Nevada in 1958. Hardtack Phase I was a series of tests in which 35 nuclear devices were detonated at the AEC proving grounds at Enewetak (Eniwetok) and Bikini atolls in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific from April 28 to August 18, 1958. Extensive information and technical data on Hardtack I has been published in a report by the Defense Nuclear Agency as Executive Agency for the Department of Defense, Operation Hardtack I, 1958, December 1, 1982, report number DNA 6038F.
  15. See the Attachment below.
  16. The following paragraphs and note, approved by the President on January 9, constitute NSC Action No. 1840. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)
  17. Secret.
  18. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.