211. Telegram From the Department of State to the Delegation to the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee 0

Todis 469. Eyes only for Ambassador Dean. Following are your instructions on the nuclear test ban issue at Geneva:

Comprehensive Test Ban. The United States should declare its willingness to discuss a comprehensive test ban treaty involving internationally-supervised national control posts, including some on Soviet soil and involving a possible reduction in the number of on-site inspections. Our position on the nature of the international supervision is that it must be effective international control but that it might range from an arrangement similar to that contemplated in the April 18, 1961 treaty draft to an arrangement providing for the permanent stationing of international inspectors at the station. We should avoid negotiating the precise arrangements for international supervision for specific numbers of control posts or of on-site inspections on the ground that we see no point in suggesting or debating details or numbers until the Soviet Union accepts the principle of on-site inspections. After a period of time spent focusing on the political significance of the USSR’s refusal to accept on-site inspections, we should be prepared to provide the Conference with as much recent data as we can relating to detection, location and identification capabilities of internationally-supervised national systems while making the point that this data does not eliminate the need for on-site inspections. As part of the scientific presentation we should be prepared to discuss the range of possible numbers of control posts in the order of magnitude of 70-80 of all types. We should indicate in general terms a willingness to relate the number of on-site inspections to the number of unidentified events but should not refer to any specific number.
Atmospheric Test Ban. If the Soviet Union continues to indicate unwillingness to accept obligatory on-site inspections on Soviet soil, the United States should be ready to discuss affirmatively an atmospheric-outer space-underwater test ban treaty, possibly around the latter part of August, taking the position that the Soviet refusal to agree to on-site inspection makes it necessary to go to this type of treaty. We should indicate this is an attempt to reach the widest area of agreement in banning nuclear tests but should make it perfectly clear that our proposing such a treaty does not involve any willingness to consider a moratorium on [Page 535] underground testing. We would not accept an atmospheric ban without the necessity for considering the security aspects of further Soviet testing which may make it in the interests of U.S. security to conduct further tests following the Soviet series. Therefore we should indicate receptivity to a cut-off date which is either very soon or reasonably far off such as mid-summer 1963.
The issue of nuclear proliferation will be the subject of a separate instruction.
As you know the President is deeply and personally interested in the course of these discussions. You are faced with complex problems of timing and tactics in the interrelation of technical discussions and proposals of others with these instructions. For this reason the President hopes to have unusually close communication between Geneva and Washington and at moments of decision we will try to respond speedily.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.12-GE/8-362. Top Secret. Drafted by Foster and Fisher; cleared by Edward S. Little (S/S), Bundy for the President (White House), Haworth/Seaborg (AEC), Nitze/McNaughton (DOD), and McCone (CIA); and approved by Secretary Rusk.