98. Memorandum From Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr., of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • Soviet Draft Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Attached for your information is a copy of the Soviet draft Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that was submitted to the UNGA with a request that an item on the “Non-proliferation of nuclear weapons” be included on the agenda of the 20th Session of the UNGA.2 Also attached are a talking paper for Rusk on the Soviet Treaty and a preliminary analysis of the Treaty by ACDA.3

The Treaty, the substance of which is contained in Articles I and II, clearly rules out the MLF and would also appear to rule out existing bilateral NATO arrangements. Note particularly the use of the extremely restrictive phrase, “participate in … use of nuclear weapons,” in Articles I and II. Unless there were a clear understanding to the contrary, I would interpret this language to prohibit our existing NATO arrangements. [Page 257] This has always been the point that has worried me as lying behind our debate with the Soviets on the MLF and a non-proliferation Treaty.

The question now is whether the Soviets have tabled this draft to answer criticism that they have not been forthcoming with specific proposals and will insist on the details of their draft, or whether the Soviets are simply trying to get a good bargaining position for future negotiations on a Treaty. For example, they might eventually propose to give up the language outlawing our NATO arrangements if we were prepared to give up the MLF. Only time will tell.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, U.S. Draft Non-Proliferation Treaty, Box 27. Confidential.
  2. For text of the Soviet Draft Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, transmitted by letter from Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko to the President of the U.N. General Assembly, September 24, 1965, see Documents on Disarmament, 1965, pp. 443-446.
  3. Not printed.