177. Editorial Note

On January 20, 1967, Leonard Meeker and Joseph Sisco wrote a memorandum to Secretary of State Rusk informing him of the preparations to sign the Outer Space Treaty. As summarized in the memorandum, it was proposed by the United States to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union that the signing take place in three depository capitals: Washington, London, and Moscow on January 27, and that President Johnson host the Washington ceremony scheduled for 5 p.m. at the White House. (Department of State, Central Files, SP 4) The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union subsequently agreed to the proposed signing date. After Secretary Rusk and U.S. Ambassador Goldberg signed the Treaty on behalf of the United States, the British Ambassador, Sir Patrick Dean, and the Ambassador from the Soviet Union, Anatoliy F. Dobrynin, signed it on behalf of their respective countries. For remarks by President Johnson at the signing ceremony, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, Book I, pages 91-92.

Signing ceremonies were also held in London and Moscow. Telegram 5985 from London, January 27, reported that the Outer Space Treaty was signed at 10:50 a.m. by Foreign Minister George Brown, Soviet Ambassador Smirnovsky, and U.S. Charge Kaiser. Foreign Minister Brown, the telegram related, “welcomed the Treaty as enlarging field of international agreement and as significant step forward in building mutual trust, understanding, and agreement in East-West relations.” Smirnovsky also welcomed the Treaty as opening up an “era of cooperation in outer space.” (Department of State, Central Files, SP 7)

The Treaty was subsequently signed by the representatives of 57 other nations.

On March 7, March 13, and April 12, the Committee on Foreign Relations held hearings to consider granting its advice and consent to the Treaty. (Treaty on Outer Space: Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninetieth Congress, First Session) Following his 2-1/2 hour testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in executive session on March 13, Goldberg telephoned President Johnson to report that “the Space Treaty has clear sailing because there appears to be no objection.” The President interjected, “wonderful.” Goldberg then continued that “there will be no reservations to the Treaty; there will be no understandings. The Committee report will reflect my interpretation of what we negotiated.” He then indicated that he was able to satisfy the lingering doubts of certain Senators on the Committee. In concluding their conversation, President Johnson lavished praise on Goldberg: “I salute you and honor you for a job well done… . God bless you; you did wonderful[ly].” (Johnson Library, Records and Transcripts, [Page 431] Recording of Telephone Conversation between President Johnson and Ambassador Goldberg, March 13, 1967, 12:38 p.m., Tape F67.08, Side B)

On April 25 the U.S. Senate gave its unanimous consent to the Treaty’s ratification, and it entered into force on October 10, 1967. For text of the Treaty, see 18 UST 2410.