138. Memorandum From the Acting Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Brewster) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Arms Control Discussions Between Non-Official U.S. and Chinese Experts

Last year the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency examined a variety of possible arms control initiatives which might be taken toward the People’s Republic of China.2 Many of these proposals were further studied and have been incorporated in NSSM 124,3 among them a suggestion that some neutral organization be approached with a view to encouraging meetings between unofficial American and Chinese [Page 358] experts, similar to the early Pugwash sessions. Earlier this year we suggested that the Romanians urge China’s attendance at a Pugwash session this summer.4 Although the reply was somewhat ambiguous, the Romanians have informed us that the PRC will probably not attend.

Dr. Jack Ruina of MIT, who is a member of the General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament and has broad knowledge of U.S. arms control policy, will be working with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute from now until early August. If we were to wish to implement the recommendation in NSSM 124, ACDA and the Department propose that we take this opportunity to have Dr. Ruina suggest that the Institute extend invitations to U.S. and Communist Chinese experts to meet in the summer of 1972 in Stockholm. We believe Dr. Ruina would be willing to make such a suggestion at our request. We would make the request by having a member of the SALT delegation in Helsinki who knows Dr. Ruina well travel to Stockholm to talk to him.

In order to increase the chances of acceptance by the PRC, we would authorize Dr. Ruina to indicate to the Swedes that there is official U.S. government sanction for such a conference, making clear, however, that at any such meeting attendance from our side would be restricted to non-governmental specialists. We would leave to the Swedes the question of what other nations, if any, were invited to participate.

We would appreciate receiving your early views on our proposal.5

Charles F. Dunbar 6
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, EA/PRCM Files: Lot 74 D 400, DEF 18, Arms Control, 1971. Secret. Drafted by Brown and Farley who forwarded the first draft of this memorandum to the Acting Secretary of State on June 9; revised by Veliotes; and cleared in substance by Rogers, Irwin, and Spiers.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 96.
  3. See Document 129.
  4. See Documents 96 and 109.
  5. Haig’s July 27 response to Eliot is attached. It reads in its entirety: “We believe that the proposed action in your memorandum, dated July 3, 1971, is not appropriate at this time. The proposal may be appropriate at a later date after we have seen the trend of other related negotiations and after we have a more complete understanding of future United States policy in Asia.” Nonetheless, on August 3 Farley followed up with a memorandum to Kissinger on China and arms control. He stated that ACDA was studying ways to include the PRC in the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament in Geneva and other venues. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VIII)
  6. Brewster over Brewster’s typed signature.