109. Letter from Fisher to Gilpatric, March 221

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Dear Secretary Gilpatric:

This is in reply to your letter of March 16, 1962 dealing with the US negotiating position with respect to the nuclear test ban treaty. It is true, as you point out, that during the past few weeks the President authorized a number of changes in the April 18 treaty. He reexamined the authority with respect to a possible decrease in the number of [Typeset Page 298] control posts which was granted in August, 1961 and authorized an elimination of the threshold. These decisions were made by the President on March 9, 1962 after a series of conferences in which the Department of Defense was fully represented and in which representatives of the Department of Defense expressed the point of view that the elimination of the threshold was an improvement in our position favoring effective control rather than any degradation of that position.

I fully agree with the opinion stated in the last paragraph of your letter that there should be no substantial changes in our position without full consideration by all the interested agencies represented in the Committee of Principals. You will recall that in the meeting with the British scientists held over the weekend to discuss possible improvements in seismic detection and identification techniques, all agencies constituting the Committee of Principals were represented.


Adrian S. Fisher
Acting Director
  1. Changes in U.S. negotiating position on nuclear test ban treaty. Confidential. 1 p. Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD/OATSD (AE) Files: FRC 69 A 2243, 97 USP, Nuclear Test Suspension/Geneva, 1960–1962.