181. Memorandum From President Johnson to Secretary of Defense McNamara1


  • FY 1969 Nuclear Weapons Stockpile

I approve the proposed Nuclear Weapons Stockpile for the end of [Page 557] FY 1969 and the proposed adjusted stockpile composition for the end of FY 1968, submitted to me by the Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission on April 3, 1967.2

Accordingly, I approve a total of [number not declassified]nuclear warheads as the stockpile composition for the end of FY 1969. I also approve a total of [number not declassified] nuclear warheads as the adjusted stockpile composition for the end of FY 1968. This will mean a planned production by the Atomic Energy Commission of [number not declassified] nuclear warheads and a planned retirement of [number not declassified]nuclear warheads during FY 1969, resulting in a net reduction of [number not declassified] nuclear warheads during FY 1969 under the adjusted FY 1968 stockpile.

I have directed the production and retirement of those quantities of atomic weapons and atomic weapons parts necessary to achieve and maintain the approved FY 1969 stockpile, as well as the production of the additional nuclear warhead parts necessary for transfer to the United Kingdom pursuant to the agreement for cooperation. I have also directed the production of the additional weapons required for quality assurance and reliability testing.

I have authorized the Atomic Energy Commission in coordination with the Department of Defense to initiate production of such long lead time nuclear warhead parts as may be necessary to prepare for FY 1970 production of warheads required by the approved Five Year Defense Program.

I authorize you, in coordination with the Atomic Energy Commission, to make such changes in the total stockpile not to exceed [number not declassified] of the specifically stated numbers of nuclear warheads to be produced and retired in FY 1968 and FY 1969 as may be necessary to adjust production schedules to meet AEC material availabilities or production capability.

I further authorize you to make minor changes [number not declassified] in strategic, tactical, and fleet anti–submarine/anti–air warfare warhead totals that may be required because of adjusted delivery assets or changes in military requirements. Any changes indicative of a major shift in defense policy or AEC production capability will be submitted for my approval.

Lyndon B. Johnson
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330 72 A 2467, A–400.23 1967. Top Secret; Restricted Data. A stamped notation on the memorandum, dated June 16, indicates that Secretary McNamara saw it.
  2. Not printed. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Nuclear Weapons—Stockpile, Vol. I, Box 32)