30. Memorandum From David Klein of the National Security Council Staff and Steven R. Rivkin of the President’s Office of Science and Technology to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) and the President’s Science Adviser (Hornig)1

Mr. Fisher wants to review items for consideration at a possible Principals meeting Friday.2 He will raise two issues—non-proliferation and inspection for the freeze—in preparation for resumption of the ENDC June 8 at Geneva.


Non-Proliferation. An ACDA paper (not yet circulated) proposes modifications in our non-proliferation position to circumvent continuing Soviet attacks at Geneva on the MLF.3 It suggests that we a) settle for a less comprehensive agreement (dropping prohibitions on transfer and concentrating on an agreement not to assist manufacture by potential nuclear powers) and b) undertake publicized preparations “to assure that the MLF charter will contain nuclear weapon non-manufacture and non-transfer provisions.” Fisher believes the Soviets have a forceful argument in charging that we are “keeping two sets of books” on proliferation and consequently would like the Principals’ agreement on a formula that characterizes the MLF as a definitive step toward non-proliferation.

The Secretary opposes circulating the current non-dissemination paper (Tab A)4 because of its MLF references, and Fisher therefore is thinking about softer language for Geneva to indicate that the U.S. will seek “assurances” from its MLF partners against proliferation. He feels we should emphasize what is now only “implicit” in our existing characterizations of the MLF, i.e., that the weapons involved will not—or even never—be transferred to national control. At the same time, he is clearly aware of possible British and Italian domestic embarrassment (forecast by the disarmament negotiators of both countries at four-power discussions here last week),5 should non-dissemination be pushed hard this summer.


Verification of Production Freeze of Strategic Delivery Systems.

ACDA negotiations with DOD (Barber) for authority to elaborate on our proposal have stalled on the unresolved aerial overflight issue. Mr. McNamara has indicated he is prepared to overrule the JCS if and when the Soviets express interest in the proposal and, preferably, not before. ACDA, on the other hand, believes the Russians may be frightened off and will continue to distort our proposal, unless we give clear assurances that we do not seek to inspect their operational launch forces.

To do this, ACDA suggests we now spell out general procedures for a quota of on-site inspections of suspected new construction without mentioning aerial overflights (Tab B).6 DOD and the Chiefs, however, believe that this approach would leave the implication that we do not seek comprehensive inspection rights. Fisher acknowledges that semantic foot-work could help somewhat—e.g., if we change our language from “control over the number of launchers” to “verification of limitations on launchers”—but he continues to desire early agreement along the lines of ACDA’s proposed quota presentation.


Other issues.

Of the other issues considered for inclusion on the agenda, only the cut-off of fissionable material production is likely to be ready; except for second thoughts by AEC on minor details, no particular troublesome problems should arise at this late date. The ACDA paper on prototype testing is not likely to be discussed,7 because of DOD and JCS reservations. Barber does not now accept the conclusion of the interagency task force that significant major changes in re-entry bodies—other than the development of multiple warheads—can be monitored with confidence. At the same time, the JCS continues to react strongly in principle against restraints on prototype testing. Also, the Chiefs have yet to review the prototype testing problem from the point of feasibility—as opposed to desirability—and the results of their review are not expected until two weeks hence.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Disarmament, Vol. 1, Box 10. No classification marking. A handwritten note on the source text reads, “McGB: For your mtg with Butch Fisher this afternoon. DK” The source text is signed only by Rivkin.
  2. The Committee of Deputies to the Principals met on Friday, June 5, but not the Committee of Principals.
  3. Reference presumably is to May 19 ACDA draft position paper, “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement.” (Ibid.)
  4. Not attached, but presumably either the same paper referenced in footnote 3 above, or an unidentified memorandum by Secretary Rusk.
  5. A summary of these discussions between U.S., British, Canadian, and Italian officials (with a French observer present) on May 27-28 is in CA-12610, June 3. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 18-2)
  6. Not found.
  7. Reference is to the report of the Interagency Task Force on Strategic Vehicle Prototype Testing, May 15. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Disarmament,ACDA Publications, Vol. II, Box 12) This task force was convened in response to action taken by the Committee of Principals at its meeting on February 28. See Document 14.