Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963, Volume VII, Arms Control and Disarmament

  • David W. Mabon
  • David S. Patterson
General Editor:
  • Glenn W. LaFantasie


The primary focus of the documents in this volume is on the foreign policymaking process of the U.S. Government, including documentation illuminating policy formulation and major aspects and repercussions of its execution. Emphasis is placed on official memoranda that reveal policy positions, show differences within the U.S. Government over policy formulation, summarize developments and positions regarding an issue, contain intelligence or military assessments, and describe decisions or actions taken in the National Security Council. Some key instructions sent to diplomatic posts are included when they demonstrate the details of the execution of a policy. Memoranda of conversations with foreign leaders both abroad and in Washington were selected to provide additional information on the origins and impact of foreign policy decisions.

The major topics and issues the editors sought to cover in volume VII are as follows:

1) Debate within the administration over whether to resume nuclear testing.

2) Arms control bilateral talks with the Soviet Union and multilateral negotiations in the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee at Geneva.

3) Relations with U.S. allies, especially the United Kingdom, on the issue of nuclear testing.

4) Internal administration discussions on the relative merits and feasibility of negotiating a comprehensive test ban agreement versus a more limited treaty.

5) Initiation of talks on the non-transfer of nuclear weapons (nuclear non-proliferation) with U.S. allies, especially the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany, as well as with the Soviet Union.

6) Negotiations by the President's special emissary W. Averell Harriman leading to the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

7) The Kennedy administration's efforts to gain the approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the U.S. Senate for the Limited Test Ban Treaty.