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

Disto 748. For Secretary and Foster from Dean. My instructions, Todis 469,1 stated that if the Sov Union continues to indicate unwillingness to accept obligatory on-site inspection, the US should be ready to discuss affirmatively an atmospheric, outer space, under water test ban treaty possibly latter part August. The clear Sov rejection of on-site inspection by Zorin in our informal meetings2 and in the test ban subcommittee and by Kuznetsov today in the plenary meeting of the conference3 will undoubtedly be repeated in further meetings but the clarity [Page 551] and firmness of the rejection of obligatory on-site inspection is now well established. Both our own general tactic of focusing on the inspection issue and not being drawn into detail on the numbers of detection posts or on-site inspections, or the degree of international supervision required, as well as our continuing differences on the last point with the British, argue for early introduction of an atmospheric test ban offer.

The Secretary has, of course, already brought this up with Dobrynin,4 but we should make a formal presentation here in Geneva and I believe the appropriate time would be next week.

I would hope, very strongly, that we could accompany our offer of an atmospheric agreement with the text of at least the essential portions of a draft treaty. I understand there may be some difficulties about precise language on peaceful uses explosions but I should think, for our present purposes, we could table a draft which merely permitted such explosions in accordance with an annex which we would not need to table simultaneously. It would, of course, be helpful in our relations with the British to have a draft treaty soon enough so that we could discuss it with them here at least a couple of days before we table it in the conference.

We have already made use of the presence of our scientists here in informal discussions of the technical problems of a comprehensive treaty5 and intend, insofar as test ban matters are concerned, to continue our present general line for at least the remainder of this week. But I believe we should be fully prepared to table a draft atmospheric treaty next week, and possibly as early as Monday though believe we should pursue some negotiating tactics on atmospheric with Kuznetsov as we did with Zorin on comprehensive before formal tabling which would mean few days delay. I would greatly appreciate it if clearance of a draft atmospheric treaty could be expedited and if I could be given discretionary authority for tabling it as early next week as may seem appropriate in the light of further developments of discussions here of a comprehensive agreement.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 600.0012/8-1462. Secret; Priority; Eyes Only.
  2. Document 211.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 215.
  4. Vasily Vasilevich Kuznetsov replaced Zorin, who was going on vacation and leaving Geneva on August 15, as Soviet Representative to the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee. (Disto 741 from Geneva, August 13; Department of State, Central Files, 396.12-GE/8-1362)
  5. See the source note, Document 216.
  6. Wiesner, Long, Haworth, Matthew L. Sands (ACDA consultant), and Carl Romney (AFTAC) traveled to Geneva as scientific experts on August 11 to brief Western and neutral delegations on their conclusions on present scientific knowledge of the limits of identification capabilities without inspection. On August 13, the U.S. team, “with UK scientists attending and contributing as desired,” briefed seven of the eight delegations that had earlier put forward the eight-nation memorandum. (Disto 744 from Geneva, August 13; Department of State, Central Files, 396.12-GE/8-1362) They briefed the eighth (Mexico) on August 14. (Disto 751 from Geneva, August 14; ibid.) For Wiesner’s report on these discussions, see Document 220.