4. Notes of Meeting1

[Here follow notes of a meeting on the impact of the impending reactor shutdowns.]

At 3:30 p.m. until about 4:30 p.m. I met with the President in the Oval Room of the White House, along with Rusk, McNamara, Taylor, William Bundy, General Marshall Carter,2 Fisher, Moyers, and Valenti. The President called on Rusk, who said that the purpose of the meeting was to obtain clearance on the statement to be made, in President Johnson’s name, to the Geneva Conference of the 18-Nation Committee on Disarmament. A draft statement was given out.3 It was decided to add the word “now” at the end of the first sentence of paragraph (2) on page 2. The President asked about the sentence concerning appropriate international verification of the reactor shutdowns already scheduled in our country, and I explained the situation with respect to the three reactors at Hanford and the one reactor at Savannah River, namely, that two of the reactors at Hanford were old and there is no problem of international inspection, but the reactor at Savannah River is essentially the same as the four reactors that would continue to operate, and therefore, there would be problems in revealing the internal construction of this reactor. Rusk and McNamara asked whether there would be problems concerning the inspection of the shutdown reactor at Savannah River if the inspection entailed no more than standing in the door to watch whether operating personnel were working at the reactor, or monitoring the electrical power that was going into the reactor. I said that, with that interpretation, there would be no problem with the language of the last sentence of paragraph (3) on page 3, namely, “… we are prepared to [Page 8]accept international verification of some or all of the reactor shutdowns already scheduled in our country.” I also pointed out that we might want to start the reactors up again either for the production of electrical power or for production purposes, and it was agreed that this was consistent with the President’s statement. The other issue in the statement was whether the paragraph (5) (c), on page 3, should be deleted as the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested, and the President decided that it should be deleted.4

The President asked Fisher to give him a 1,000-word statement that he could make to the American people Tuesday morning concerning this matter (attached on January 16).5 The President said that he would take care of the consultations with the congressional leadership at the breakfast on Tuesday morning (January 21)6 and asked McNamara to take care of consultations with the foreign relations people in Congress. It was also agreed that Fisher would take care of informing Senators Pastore and Anderson of the JCAE. Carter said that the Director of the CIA (McCone) is opposed to several points in the memorandum; but, upon further discussion, it appeared that the memorandum, as changed, is now satisfactory from his point of view. It was also agreed that the President’s letter to Khrushchev would be released on Monday morning (January 20).7

[Here follows discussion of a possible appointment of an AEC Commissioner, the President’s concerns about leaks at the Department of State, and other meetings and conversations.]

  1. Source: Seaborg, Journal, Vol. 7, pp. 251-252. No classification marking.
  2. Deputy Director, CIA.
  3. A January 17 draft is reproduced in the Seaborg Journal, Vol. 7, pp. 229-231. For the text of the final version of President Johnson’s message to the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee, January 21, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, pp. 171-172.
  4. Paragraph (5) (c) in the January 17 draft cited above states: “on the principles which could lead to the establishment of nuclear-free zones.”
  5. Reference should be to the President’s statement on Tuesday, January 21, not January 16. Fisher’s statement has not been found, but the White House press release derived from it is reproduced in Seaborg, Journal, Vol. 7, pp. 261-262, and printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, pp. 174-175.
  6. No record of this meeting has been found.
  7. See footnote 6, Document 2.