175. Telegram 122 From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1 2

For the Secretary

ACDA for Smith

White House for Kissinger


A US decision not rpt not to ban use of toxins or to continue their manufacture would in my view be widely interpreted by UN members as retreat from Pres’ position announced to GA Nov 25. Pres’s significant policy decision was warmly welcomed by Assembly then considering CBW not only because of his action on Geneva Protocol but even more because of his initiative in renouncing retaliatory as well as first use of all methods of biological warfare and disposing of existing stocks of bacteriological weapons. While recognizing that toxins are chemical rather than bacteriological agents, I fear that, in view of their origin, our continued use or manufacture of them would seriously undercut impact of Pres’ decision.

Additionally, if US were to retain bacteriological facilities for the manufacture of toxins, we would have difficulty in overcoming suspicion that we were in fact maintaining bacteriological weapons capability.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 296, Agency Files, U.S.U.N. Vol. II, 1 Aug 69–31 Jan 70–. Confidential; Limdis. It was repeated to the White House
  2. Yost advised that a decision not to ban the use of toxins, or to allow for their continued manufacture, would be seen as a retreat from the President’s position announced November 25 by members of the United Nations.