167. Editorial Note

On November 30, 1966, Ambassador Goldberg reported in telegram USUN 2813 that the Legal Subcommittee of the U.N. General Assembly’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, under the Chairmanship of Polish Representative Lachs, was working to finalize agreement on the Space Treaty, and to resolve several legal problems: (1) assistance to and return of astronauts and space vehicles; (2) questions concerning the definition of outer space; (3) regulations governing non-prohibited uses of outer space and celestial bodies; and (4) regulations governing space activities which may have effects on the territory of other states. (Department of State, Central Files, SP 4)

In a telephone conversation on the morning of December 8, President Johnson and Ambassador Goldberg discussed the preparation and [Page 405] agencies’ clearances of a presidential statement confirming that the U.N. Outer Space Committee had agreed to a draft text of the outer space agreement. (Johnson Library, Records and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation between President Johnson and Arthur Goldberg, December 8, 1966, 10:15 a.m., Tape F66.12.01, Side B) This statement was released later the same day. For text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966, Book II, page 1441.

On December 19 the U.N. General Assembly endorsed the “Treaty on the Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies,” and requested that three depositary governments: the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, open the Treaty for signature and ratification at the earliest possible date. (Department of State, Central Files, SP 4)