123. Draft Notes of Committee of Principals Meeting, April 111

[Facsimile Page 1]


  • Rusk; Foster, Fisher, Gathright; Gilpatric, McNaughton; Lemnitzer, Dale Smith; Seaborg, Haworth, Cavanaugh; Wilson; Wiesner, Kaysen, Keeny

1. Mr. Rusk called on Mr. Foster to present the major issues. Mr. Foster first referred to the difference between ACDA and the other agencies concerned on the question of reduction by categories versus reduction by types as a mode for defining how arms reduction takes place. The ACDA view that reduction by categories was preferable rests on two grounds: (1) it was desirable for us to have a large capacity to improve the mix of our armaments, especially our strategic delivery vehicles; second, there are problems of clear statement involved in describing reductions by type. Since in fact some types might increase in numbers during the first stage describing the plan of reduction by type might be misleading and appear to be deceitful. Mr. Foster gave an example in terms of Polarises involving the very large increase over the period. Mr. Rusk then stated that the problem of the mix of strategic [Typeset Page 325] delivery vehicles was so important that it could not simply be turned loose for each side to play with, but would necessarily become a subject of negotiation and agreement in the event of any real prospect of a treaty. He asked Mr. Gilpatric to comment on the question of whether the Defense Department would prefer the situation in which [Facsimile Page 2] changes in mix were constrained by agreement to one in which they were free. Mr. Gilpatric answered that he much preferred to stay with a known mix or to stay near a known mix than to leave the possibility of large unforeseen changes in the mix open. He further added that with respect to production during Stage I the actual amount of production was a secondary matter. What was important was that minimum necessary to keep production capacity alive. Mr. Foster asked for clarification on this point. Mr. Gilpatric re-stated his remarks with emphasis. He said that the Defense Department was satisfied with the relative mixes prevailing now or those expected to prevail in the next year, that the Defense Department prefers to negotiate and to inspect in terms of knowns rather than unknowns. Dr. Wiesner affirmed his agreement with this argument and added that discussion in terms of type is simpler and clearer than discussion in terms of categories. Mr. Foster denied that either mode of discussion was simple. He raised the question of whether it was not much easier for the Soviet Union to increase production quickly than for the U.S. and referred to a letter from Mr. McCone to him on this subject. He also emphasized the importance to us of a choice in production. Mr. Rusk asked whether it might be possible to get Dean license to explore the consequences of the two formulae, but this point was not followed up. He then noticed that the smaller the production allowance, the simpler the negotiating problem, and asked whether Mr. Gilpatric’s statement did not imply that we could accept a small production [Facsimile Page 3] allowance. Mr. Gilpatric agreed. There was some general discussion on what was meant by small, and it was agreed that this meant a figure well under 10% per year, although no one was prepared to settle on a figure at that moment. It was agreed that it would be appropriate to transmit this sense of small to the negotiators. Mr. Kaysen pointed out that relevant to any given rate of arms reduction and any given production allowance, reduction by types constrained, a possible shift in mix much narrower than would reduction by categories. Mr. Foster asked whether the security of the US would be safe if the possible change in mix were narrowly constrained. Mr. Gilpatric answered yes, as did Dr. Wiesner. Mr. Foster again re-stated his question. Mr. Gilpatric responded that it was better to hold fast to what we know are our five-year program and our intelligence estimates of what the Soviets are doing than to embark on a speculative game of playing for a shift in mix which the Joint Chiefs could play. Dr. Wiesner suggested that, since all the principals except for Mr. Foster preferred reduction by types to reduction by categories, [Typeset Page 326] the draft treaty outline be presented in this manner and that the reduction by categories be presented as alternative language. Mr. Foster declined to accept this suggestion and said that he intended to present it as it presently stood. Mr. Rusk agreed that both sides should be presented to the President.

2. Next topic discussed was the problem of fixed launching [Facsimile Page 4] pads and related facilities (Pages 7–11 versus Alternate language, pages 1–2)

Mr. Foster indicated that it was the ACDA view that inclusion of this item as proposed by DOD would create difficulties in negotiation and might lead to discussion of overseas bases and similar other items, and he asked for the views of the DOD and the Chiefs of Staff. Mr. Gilpatric indicated that the Chiefs of Staff agreed with ACDA that it was too soon to put this item in, but that the Secretary of Defense, Harold Brown and he felt that it should be not in the way it is presented in the DOD alternate draft. General Lemnitzer indicated that the Chiefs were uncertain about whether this language would apply to Polaris. Dr. Wiesner pointed out that the Polaris was already included as a type of armament subject to reduction. By including missile pads along with missiles we were closing a loophole that has been serious from a security viewpoint. Mr. Marengo, speaking for the CIA, indicated that the Agency strongly endorses the Secretary of Defense’s viewpoint both from the point of view of the ease of inspection and verification and from the point of view of security. It was a mistake to concentrate on the missiles alone and fail to deal with missile pads. The fact that we had only one missile, and we believed the Soviet Union had several. He argued for inclusion of missile pads with missiles. Mr. Rusk asked Mr. Gilpatric what his judgment was. Mr. Gilpatric said he thought it should be in, and it was so concluded.

3. The next item brought up was armaments intended for reserve forces (Alternate language, pages 8 and 9 (Annex A)). Mr. Foster [Facsimile Page 5] stated the ACDA position that we should get rid of them in Stage I. Gen. Lemnitzer thought that this was impractical because of the impossibility of defining what reserve armaments were. Mr. Rusk asked whether the logistics backup of armaments for active forces wasn’t a variable which could be stretched or compressed. Mr. Gilpatric indicated that he shared the Chiefs’ view that this was a difficult item to deal with. No doubt it would be offered by the Soviet Union, but he thought it better to deal with it on a negotiating basis than to deal with it in our treaty draft. On Mr. Gilpatric’s indication that he would prefer to see it removed from the draft, Mr. Rusk so concluded.

4. The next item brought up was the question of whether civilian members in military establishments should be subject to defined controls. After a brief discussion, it was agreed to retain this provision in the draft treaty.

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5. The next item brought up was the treatment of replacement production in Stage II. (page 43, 4a). The question was whether the treaty should specify production of parts required for maintenance, or should also allow for replacement in kind on a one-for-one basis. Mr. Gilpatric and Gen. Lemnitzer both argued against replacement in kind and it was agreed that the language should speak in terms of limiting production to parts required for maintenance of the agreed level of armaments. The final question raised was of location by categories of the B–47 assuming that the categories scheme was used (page 8, 2b). Mr. Gilpatric raised this question. After a brief discussion, it was reserved for further consideration by ACDA.

  1. Discussion centered on arms reduction, fixed launching pads, armaments for reserve forces, civilian controls, replacement production, and B–47 concerns. Secret. 5 pp. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Kaysen Series, Disarmament, Basic Memoranda, 2/62–4/62.