95. Memorandum from Bundy to Amb. Ormsby Gore, March 101

[Facsimile Page 1]

The President has asked me to transmit this summary of the current position of the United States Government on the test ban issue at Geneva.

[Facsimile Page 2]

We are willing to accept the Treaty of April 1961, and we are also willing to offer a new version with the following modifications.

To meet new dangers we would like to shorten the time between signature of the treaty and the beginning of the inspection process; this is not a matter of treaty language but of Soviet responsiveness. We would also like to have something on preparations for testing; our view is that there ought to be declarations against such preparations and a right to inspect certain numbers of test sites from time to time.

On the other hand, in the direction of things that may be more acceptable to the Soviet Union, we would propose:

(1) to drop the threshold of test events to zero; we think this is both more acceptable to them and safer for us;

(2) to make certain other changes and modifications which Ambassador Dean has previously been authorized to put forward;

(3) to allocate the agreed number of inspections according to zones defined in terms of natural seismic activity.

In our view, the first public presentation in Geneva should include not only our joint willingness to sign the Treaty of 1961, but our joint willingness to offer these modifications in the light of new experience.

McGeorge Bundy
[Typeset Page 282]



  • Mr. Lucius D. Battle Executive Secretary Department of State


  • McGeorge Bundy

The attached copy of memorandum (Secret) to Ambassador Ormsby Gore is sent to you for information.

The President is sending his own instruction to the Secretary from Palm Beach, but meanwhile he asked me to send this summary to Ormsby Gore, and I have just done so.

  1. Current U.S. positions on test ban issues at Geneva Conference. Attached is memo from Bundy to Battle noting reason for Ormsby Gore memorandum and transmitting copy for information. Secret. 2 pp. Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, Secretary Rusk’s Conversations with UK Officials, 1961–1962, Vol. 1.