133. Telegram 55038 From the Department of State to the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization1 2


  • Revised Seabeds Treaty Draft


  • GENEVA 1145, GENEVA 1146
US NATO should circulate to other delegations text of revised Seabed Arms Control Treaty contained GENEVA 1145 which was presented to US Co-Chairman by Soviet Co-Chairman at Geneva on April 13 and which US prepared to table at CCD as new joint co-chairmen draft. In view of fact that most changes in revised draft were discussed in NATO and with Allies in New York last fall, you should seek to obtain concurrence at special [Page 2] Council meeting on April 21, or at latest at regular meeting April 22, for Co-Chairmen tabling April 23.
To expedite considerations revised treaty by NATO govts, embassies at NATO capitals should convey draft text to FonOffs. Following points will serve as partial basis for explanatory material to be circulated to NATO delegations with draft text by US NATO:
Soviet response is gratifying since it represents virtually complete acceptance of changes which we proposed to Sovs at UNGA last fall and elaborated on at CCD this February. New text incorporates, with few modifications, amendments contained in working papers tabled at UNGA by Argentina, Canada, and Mexico. These in turn were designed to meet concerns of various countries that had found October 30 draft Co-Chairmen treaty text (GENEVA 39805, NOTAL) lacking in certain respects. Canadian and [Page 3] Argentine amendments were circulated with explanations to all NATO allies last fall and should be available in capitals. Additional minor and editorial changes in new draft reflect various improvements suggested by UK, Belgium, Japan, and others.
In view of fact that new substantial improvements desired by many other govts, we are hopeful that tabling of new text, after further discussion in Geneva, will result in achievement of treaty that will be broadly acceptable.
For GENEVA. You should call meeting Western Five plus Japan to make new draft and explanations available to CCD dels of our allies. Re proposed USSR statement on UAR problem, we are prepared go along with Roshchin text since first sentence of text makes clear that right under Charter to go directly to Security Council is not [Page 4] prejudiced. However, we would not ourselves wish to make statement in identical terms. You should include in speech presenting treaty to CCD, following statement parallel to Roshchin’s: BEGIN TEXT. The procedures provided for in Art III do not, of course, prejudice or limit the right of any State to apply directly to the Security Council in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. END TEXT.
For TOKYO: Embassy may draw on above in advising Japanese govt of new developments and our desire to table revised Co-Chairmen draft soonest.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–1973, POL 33–6. Confidential; Priority. It was also sent to all NATO capitals, USMission Geneva, and Tokyo. It was repeated to Moscow, USUN, and Vienna. Drafted by Malin (ACDA/IR); cleared by NEIDLE (ACDA/IR) and in draft in ACDA/GC, PM/DCA, LO/PMO, EUR/RPM, IO/UNP, OSD/ISA, and the White House; and approved by Farley (ACDA/DD). The treaty, the text of which was essentially the same as in Document 131 was submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament on April 23 and is printed, along with statements by the U.S. and Soviet representatives to the Committee, in Documents on Disarmament, 1970, pp. 175–188.
  2. The telegram directed that U.S. NATO distribute the Soviets’ revised draft seabed treaty to NATO delegations and that embassies in NATO capitals circulate it to their respective Governments. It then concluded with a positive projection for the passage of the new draft at the upcoming CCD meeting.