151. Letter From the Representative to the United Nations (Yost) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

Dear Henry:

May I ask your advice and assistance on a matter of considerable concern to us here.

The Disarmament debate is due to open in the First Committee about November 12. While the Seabeds Treaty will no doubt be featured, the real center of interest is likely to be CBW. Not only have the Soviets introduced a special item on this subject but the Swedes and many others have been and will be pushing it intensively.

We of course are handicapped by the fact that our policy review of the subject is still incomplete. Could you give me an estimate as to whether we are likely to have clarifying decisions on this matter by mid-November?

Of course what would be most useful to us here would be a decision to seek ratification of the old 1925 Convention. I very much hope that this might be our initial decision on the matter which we could use in the course of the debate here. If it seems necessary we could make clear in the course of testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee, whenever that occurs, that we do not consider that the Convention applies to tear gas.

We shall be in very considerable difficulties during the 3 or 4 weeks of debate here if our whole position on CBW is still unsettled.

Best regards,


Charles W. Yost
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 296, Agency Files, U.S.U.N., Vol. II, 1 Aug 1969–31 Jan 1970, Pt. 3. Confidential and Personal.
  2. Yost noted that the U.S. delegation would be in considerable difficulties if the U.S. position on CBW remained unsettled and expressed hope that a decision could be made to seek ratification of the 1925 Protocol.