363. Memorandum for the Record0

On August 13, at 4:30, the President and Dr. Seaborg discussed a number of matters relating to future policy under the limited test ban treaty.

The President made it clear that the U.S. will maintain an active program of underground testing; total yields of such testing are expected to be greater than in recent years. The President stated that he expects to approve all underground tests which have substantial value for the [Page 881] national security, and that the underground testing program as a whole will be such as to ensure continued vitality in the two great laboratories.
Dr. Seaborg presented a number of alternative levels of readiness for resumed testing in the environments prohibited by the test ban in the event of violation by others, or U.S. withdrawal. The President decided that the U.S. ought to maintain a readiness for very prompt proof testing in the event of violation by others, and a readiness for development and effects testing in all three environments, beginning not more than three months after a decision to resume such testing.
The President decided that existing and planned preparations for the maintenance of Johnston Island as a base for such test readiness should be made public promptly.
The President and Dr. Seaborg agreed that the French nuclear weapons program satisfies the technical criteria for cooperation in this field under the McMahon Act.
The President and Dr. Seaborg agreed that Dr. Seaborg could draw fully on these decisions and conclusions in his public testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the limited test ban treaty.1 It was further agreed that Dr. Seaborg would refer all questions relating to political aspects of our relations with France to the Department of State.
McG. B. 2
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, ACDA, Disarmament, Test Ban General 8/63. Secret. Drafted by Bundy.
  2. For Seaborg’s testimony before this Committee on August 14, see Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, pp. 205-269.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.