599. Memorandum From Charles E. Johnson of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1
- South African Reactor Fuel Problem
It looks as though this problem is under control. Harriman has talked with Foreign Minister Muller and plans to talk further with him this afternoon along the following lines:
- For obvious reasons we wish to delay shipment a reasonable time—about two to three months—but we will honor our contractual obligation to supply the fuel.
- We expect the publicity on our shipment will be minimized.
- We wish to apply IAEA safeguards to the South African nuclear program and we would like to do this even before the present agreement expires in 1967. (The present agreement provides that IAEA controls will be accepted at the end of the agreement or the agreement will not be extended.)
Harriman seems confident that Muller will go long with at least the first two points, which will get us past our immediate political problem.
Harriman had also been considering the possibility of having the UK supply the enriched uranium. Following a meeting this morning, he has discarded this idea.
This note covers both Bob’s activities and mine.2