189. Memorandum From the Acting Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Fisher) to Secretary of State Rusk1


  • Non-Proliferation Negotiations

Attached is a proposed memorandum to the President drafted to carry out the decisions you made at our Saturday meeting.2 The memorandum and its enclosure have been cleared with EUR.

At the risk of sounding like a stuck whistle and at the risk of overloading even your magnificent quality of patience, I can’t help but say that I believe this course of action would be a mistake. Myron Kratzer of the AEC, who has just returned from intensive technical consultations in the FRG, is of the view that a safeguards article along the lines we have been previously discussing could be agreed on with the FRG if we took care of certain of their objections.3

I have attached a safeguards article which I would recommend. It contains three changes helpful to the FRG. The new draft makes clear [Page 459] that there is the same substantial transition period for all undertakings in the article. The provision relating to safeguards on the exports of non-nuclear materials or equipment makes it clear that it is only the fissionable material produced with these items, and not the items themselves, which are subject to safeguards. And there is a statement that the purpose of the article is to prevent diversion of materials to nuclear weapons development or manufacture. These last two changes could be quite helpful to gain FRG assent since the FRG has feared that the present article might be a basis for communist espionage or for interference in peaceful industrial endeavors. Mr. Kratzer also believes the FRG can be satisfied that they will not have to accept Soviet inspectors from the IAEA by getting the FRG to understand that this is the case under the present IAEA rules, provided this interpretation is given them in writing and we assure them of our support in case their rejection of Soviet inspectors is challenged in the IAEA.

I have discussed this matter with Mr. Leddy and he does not agree with the views expressed in this memorandum except that he does agree with the Memorandum to the President.

Adrian 4

Attachment 15

ARTICLE III (Safeguards)

For the purpose of providing assurance that nuclear materials used or produced in peaceful nuclear facilities are not diverted to the development or manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices:

Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to this Treaty undertakes to accept IAEA safeguards on all its peaceful nuclear activities. In assisting non-nuclear-weapon States with respect to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, each State Party to this Treaty undertakes not to provide to any such non-nuclear-weapon State:
source material or special fissionable material unless the material shall be subject to such safeguards; or
equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of fissionable material unless the fissionable material shall be subject to such safeguards.
The safeguards required by this Article shall be applied as soon as practicable but not later than three years after the entry into force of this Treaty.

Attachment 26



  • Non-Proliferation Negotiations

We are now entering a new phase in our consultations with our allies on non-proliferation. Bill Foster will be visiting key European capitals—Bonn, Rome, The Hague, and Brussels—during the next two weeks to further clarify questions that have been asked about the treaty draft, and hopefully to convince key leaders that their legitimate concerns are or will be taken care of.

We will also consult with the Japanese and Canadians here in Washington—though their concerns are in some instances different than those of our other allies.

As part of the consultation process we have already given key allies an Oral Note which includes draft Summary of Interpretations of the present treaty text,7 which we would propose to show the Soviets after this phase of allied consultation, but before a treaty text is actually tabled in Geneva. We have also given our allies a fuller version of the treaty text. This version is complete except for Article III, dealing with safeguards, the text of which is still under consideration. This Article will be considered as part of new consultations.

It is my hope that these new consultations would end in a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, held as soon as possible after Mr. Foster’s trip. At the Council meeting we will seek a “no objections” agreement to the U.S. and Soviet Co-Chairmen tabling a joint draft in Geneva which would be recommended by the two governments for consideration by the Conference.

The problems which will be dealt with during these talks fall into three general areas:

The first relates to the development of an acceptable Article dealing with safeguards. The second relates to the manner in which we make it clear that the non-proliferation treaty will not prevent the creation of a federated European state. The third relates to a variety of other problems, [Page 461] some dealing with NATO security arrangements but more dealing with problems of national competition in the field of peaceful nuclear energy.


I am attaching as Tab A a draft revision of Article III which, in accordance with our discussions of a few days ago, specifies the possibility of IAEA verification of Euratom safeguards.8 The revised draft contains changes which should be helpful to our allies.

The key question with respect to the handling of this proposed revision relates to the timing of the discussions of this revised Article III with our allies. In view of the strong feelings of our Euratom allies on this subject, I would propose that ideas in the revised Article III be discussed by Bill Foster with our allies on his forthcoming trip. I would hope that one of them can be persuaded to sponsor the text of a revised Article III as its own; I have either the Federal Republic of Germany or Belgium particularly in mind for this purpose.

It is not at all certain, however, that an Article of this kind will be negotiable with the USSR because, among other reasons, of the implied blessing they might feel that it gives Euratom. I am particularly anxious to avoid a situation in which we lose a month or so of valuable time, or having agreed with our allies with an Article III which the Soviets reject, find ourselves under increasing pressure from both allies and Soviets to drop the safeguards article. To initiate Soviet consideration of this approach I am instructing Bill Foster to indicate the concept, but not the details, of this particular solution to his Soviet counterpart before he leaves Geneva. At the same time the allies should be advised that if the revised Article III should prove non-negotiable with the Soviets, it would not mean that we would lose interest in the subject of safeguards, but we would be considering other approaches, including those along the lines of the original Article III that has been the subject of our recent consultation.

It would help overcome some allied fears that safeguards would hinder peaceful nuclear programs and involve risk of industrial espionage, if we would indicate at a propitious time that we are considering an offer to invite IAEA to apply safeguards on a broad scale to U.S. peaceful nuclear facilities at such a time as IAEA safeguards are applied to non-nuclear weapons states. In concert with the AEC, I have instituted a program of consultations with key Congressional leaders on this point. The initial reaction has been favorable, but I will let you know when we have carried this program somewhat further.

[Page 462]


With respect to the federated Europe problem, the objective which we can realistically hope to achieve is Soviet silence, or non-contradiction, when our allies and later the United States, assert that the treaty would not bar succession by a new federated European state to the nuclear status of one of its former components. We cannot realistically expect the Soviets to say that they have agreed to the creation of such a new federated European state since they would have political objections to such a merger which transcend the problems of non-proliferation, but we can expect them not to assert that this treaty bars a federated Europe with nuclear weapon capabilities.

The Oral Note which we have given key allies contains a number of our interpretations dealing with the effect of the treaty. One of them, dealing with the problem of European unity, states that the draft treaty:

“... does not deal with the problem of European unity, and would not bar succession by a new federated European state to the nuclear status of one of its former components. A new federated European state would have to control all of its external security functions including defense and all foreign policy matters relating to external security, but would not have to be so centralised as to assume all governmental functions. It would bar, however, transfer (including ownership) of nuclear weapons or control over them to a new multilateral or other entity lacking the attributes of a federated state essential to bring into play the legal doctrine of succession.”

This is based on the principle that the treaty deals only with what is prohibited. We will state that this is what we have told our allies, that this is what we will be required to state in our Congress and if they publicly contradict us, by stating that the Treaty prohibits a federated Europe succeeding to nuclear assets of component states, such contradictions would undoubtedly result in the collapse of the Treaty.


With respect to the other articles of the treaty we would anticipate that the Oral Note Ambassador McGhee gave Kiesinger on February 22 will meet most German requirements. There are various other German concerns and requests; some of these we can probably meet although some of them, such as the request for a U.S.-German treaty assuring the Federal Republic of continued American supplies of fissionable material, special nuclear guarantees beyond our commitments involved in NATO, and veto rights on the use of U.S. nuclear weapons deployed on German territory, we cannot meet in the context of the negotiations on the draft text to be tabled in the ENDC. We can at this time tell the Germans that we are prepared to discuss the question of assuring the continued supply of fissionable materials—though not in treaty form. We [Page 463] should also tell them that we are prepared to work out veto arrangements similar to those we have with some of our other NATO allies. We do not believe we can or should give any encouragement to their request for further security guarantees. A favorable response to the first two requests may prove to be strong inducements for German support for the Treaty.

In any event, resolution of most of the additional points the Germans wish to discuss need not be obtained before tabling the draft treaty but rather would have to be resolved before the Germans were faced with the question of ratifying a final text. What we will need to nail down with the Germans in order to obtain their “no objection” to our tabling a draft will be the questions of the text of Article III and whether the interpretations of the treaty which we have given them are satisfactory. We therefore will seek an early German response on these points.

I believe that the question of whether the Italians can be persuaded to acquiesce in the “no objection” formula will be in large part dependent upon whether we have the Germans on board at that time. The Italians are less likely to object if, at the time of the NAC discussions, they are the only holdouts. A letter from me to Fanfani might be in order and perhaps one from you to the Prime Minister.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 383, ACDA/D Files: FRC 77 A 52, Memoranda to the Secretary of State, 1967. Secret.
  2. This meeting with Rusk at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 4, was attended by Eugene Rostow, Kohler, Leddy, and Fisher. At this meeting an action memorandum was circulated on the topic of the nonproliferation safeguards article; see footnote 1, Document 188.
  3. On Monday, March 6, AEC Chairman Seaborg met with Myron Kratzer and other members of the Atomic Energy Commission to discuss Rusk’s recommendation that Article III be modified to accept verification of Euratom safeguards by the IAEA. For documentation on the AEC’s position on and objections to Rusk’s proposal, see Seaborg, Journal, Vol. 14, pp. 272-275.
  4. Printed from a copy that indicates Fisher signed the original.
  5. Secret.
  6. Secret.
  7. See Document 183.
  8. Not printed.