194. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1

Mr. President:

In the attached memorandum, Sec. Rusk endorses a memorandum from Bill Foster2 requesting that you approve an offer on our part to let the International Atomic Energy Agency apply its safeguards on “a broad scale” to our peaceful nuclear facilities in connection with the negotiations on the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The draft safeguards article in the NPT would apply IAEA safeguards only to the peaceful facilities of non-nuclear-weapons states since it is clear that the Soviets will not accept IAEA inspection on their facilities at this time. This is considered discriminatory by some non-nuclear-weapons states and has also led to the charge that it might permit industrial espionage to the advantage of the existing nuclear-weapons states. This voluntary action on our part would help to answer these objections to the treaty.

It is proposed to rely on voluntary cooperation of U.S. industry to implement this offer. However, if it became necessary, the government would determine the additional action required to enforce it. Sec. McNamara and Chairman Seaborg concur in this proposal, as do Senator Pastore and Representative Holifield, and it is reportedly acceptable to the atomic energy industry.

Nick3 called this morning to urge that you clear this for presentation next week in NATO, because our willingness to do this may prove the key to solving the Euratom safeguards problem in the NPT context.

[Page 474]

Approved, without further review4

Approved, subject to White House clearance of statement



  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Non-Proliferation Treaty, 7/22/66, Vol. I, Box 26. Confidential. A handwritten notation on the source text reads: “rec’d 1:45 P.” Another reads, “4/9/67—Mr. Rostow telephoned Mr. Katzenbach.”
  2. Not attached; presumably a reference to Document 193. This proposal had been introduced earlier by ACDA in a February 21 memorandum from Fisher to Rusk, McNamara, Seaborg, Wheeler, Rostow, and Hornig. Fisher wrote “Several non-nuclear-weapon countries have expressed concern over the discriminatory aspects of the safeguards Article (III) for the Non-Proliferation Treaty and fear that this would leave them vulnerable to industrial espionage. One method which has been suggested for overcoming these objections would be for the U.S. to offer to apply IAEA safeguards on a broad scale to U.S. peaceful nuclear facilities.” Fisher requested that the addressees of this memo concur, by noon February 23, on a draft instruction cable to the U.S. Representative to the North Atlantic Council authorizing him to explore the U.S. offer with the Council. A special North Atlantic Council meeting was expected to convene Friday, February 24, to discuss Article III. (Washington National Records Center, RG 383, ACDA/D Files:FRC 77 A 52, Memoranda to the Secretary of Defense 1967)
  3. Nicholas deB. Katzenbach.
  4. This option is checked.