338. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)0
- Purchases of Uranium from Foreign Countries
Attached is a copy of a letter to the President from the Acting Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, dated 7 February 1961, which [Page 759] reviews projected U.S. uranium purchases from foreign governments through 1966. I believe the letter adequately covers the points which the President, at the 1 February 1961 NSC meeting, asked me to investigate with the AEC, as indicated in your National Security Action Memorandum No. 4.1
You will note that most of the uranium purchases, involving a net dollar outlay of $700 million, will be made from Canada and the Union of South Africa, countries now having foreign exchange problems; that the contracts with these countries have recently been renegotiated to obtain the maximum benefit for the U.S.; and that there is no reasonable expectation that further deferment in purchases or payments can be negotiated, although the possibility of bartering surplus commodities for some South African uranium is being explored by the AEC.