89. Message From Foreign Secretary Stewart to Secretary of State Rusk1

Thank you for your message about our draft treaty on non-dissemination of nuclear weapons.2

I am as anxious as you are not to cause strains in the Alliance or to allow the Russians to exploit Western disagreements, although we must recognise that a real difference of view exists between our two Governments on the question of the so-called “European option.” I should make it clear that our draft treaty has been in the hands of NATO Governments for several weeks, which should have given ample time for them to form views on it. But we shall certainly want to review our position, rather [Page 232] than proceed at once to tabling the draft treaty at Geneva, if unfortunately we cannot get a NATO consensus of view.

I am naturally very glad to hear that Mr. Foster will be able to come to London to discuss the whole problem with Lord Chalfont before the NATO meeting on Monday,3 and I very much hope that a satisfactory way of handling our differences can be found.4

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Disarmament, Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee, Vol. I, Box 13. Secret. The source text is attached to a covering note of transmittal from British Ambassador Dean to Secretary of State Rusk, July 23. The source text contains no salutation or signature.
  2. Document 88.
  3. Telegram 354 from London, July 25, reported that in his meeting with ACDA Director Foster in London on that day (Sunday), Lord Chalfont agreed to inform other NATO members at the NATO meeting on July 26, that he did not intend immediately to table a draft treaty at Geneva and that “there would be opportunity work out agreed language.” (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 18-4)
  4. Printed from an unsigned copy.