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

Mr. President:

Bill Foster called to say that the Russians have informed him that they are prepared to table the NPT jointly with us with a blank Article III.2

There are two Soviet proposed amendments3 to work out; but they look to Foster manageable.

He will inform the Gore sub-committee tomorrow morning; testify before the Appropriations sub-committee tomorrow afternoon;4 return to Geneva, leaving Dulles at 8:00 p.m. Saturday.

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Now the game will move to the non-nuclear powers; and some months of negotiations lie ahead. But it is something of an event.

He is, of course, available if you wish to see him.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Non-Proliferation Treaty, 7/21/67, Vol. II, Box 26. Confidential. A handwritten notation on the source text reads: “rec’d 1:46 p.m.”
  2. For a discussion of this Article, see Foster’s statement, August 24, to the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee on the draft Non-Proliferation Treaty, printed in Documents on Disarmament, 1967, pp. 342-347.
  3. Foster sent President Johnson a memorandum, August 10, on the “Proposed Submission by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to the Geneva Conference.” This memorandum was also sent to Secretary Rusk. In this memorandum Foster informed the President that in the U.S. text of the Treaty which was recommended to the Soviets, Article V, the amendments’ clause, contained two alternatives. Foster wrote, “The first alternative provides only the nuclear weapon parties with a veto on amendments, but does not oblige any party to accept amendments which it does not approve. The second alternative provides a veto for the nuclear weapons parties and all other parties who are members of the IAEA Board of Governors, but also provides that once adopted amendments are applicable to all.” The United States preferred the first, and informed the Soviets and its allies of this, though either was acceptable. The Soviets, however, preferred the second. (Memorandum for the President; Washington National Records Center, RG 383, ACDA/D Files: FRC 77 A 52, Memoranda to the White House, 1967)
  4. For Foster’s testimony on the afternoon of August 11, see Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1968: Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, 90th Congress, 1st Session. (Washington, 1968), pp. 989-1019.