407. Minutes of Meeting1


  • Secretary McNamara
  • Under Secretary Katzenbach
  • Ambassador Harriman
  • Ambassador Lodge
  • Ambassador Goldberg
  • W.W. Rostow

[Omitted here is discussion of Vietnam and NATO matters.]

Amb. Goldberg then reported on UN matters. The Space Treaty was completed and would move forward.

In general, the UN session was notable for the willingness of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to move forward, despite Viet-Nam, on a practical basis. The Space Treaty was first raised in April; negotiations began on June 12; were completed in mid November; and adoption by the General Assembly will take place before January 1.2 He anticipated no objections in the Congress.

The President recalled Amb. Goldberg’s success with Article 19 and was warned that “a stitch in time saves nine” in dealing with Congress.

Under Secretary Katzenbach said he hoped Congress would be friendly to the Space Treaty but we must rap on wood because he saw difficulties with this Congress on East-West trade.

Amb. Goldberg then said the Soviets evidently want a non-proliferation treaty. Roschin will be going home on Tuesday and we should get a message to him in the wake of Secretary Rusk’s consultations in Europe. Amb. Goldberg believes the non-proliferation agreement should be negotiated by the Foreign Ministers, not by the ENDC, which is too slow.

On the UN issues of Korea and China, the vote was better than last year, in part because we were more flexible, in part because of the trouble inside Communist China.

U Thant’s reelection3 must be counted a plus although he will be difficult for us on Viet Nam. The alternatives would have been far worse.

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With respect to Rhodesia and Southwest Africa, we cannot wash our hands. The Soviet Union would exploit any opening we gave them by our getting out of Africa. He had talked with Senator Russell who was troubled about our Rhodesian position but when he understood that we under no circumstances planned to use force to make sanctions effective he pronounced himself satisfied. Amb. Goldberg said he told Senator Russell we would use a veto if necessary to prevent the use of military force to enforce sanctions against Rhodesia.

W. W. Rostow 4
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Rostow Files, Meetings, Dec. 17, 1966. Top Secret.
  2. For text, signed at Washington January 27, 1967, and entered into force October 10, 1967, see 18 UST 2410.
  3. December 2.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.