201. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of State Rogers1 2


  • Submission of the Geneva Protocol to the Senate for Its Advice and Consent to Ratification

The President has reviewed the Acting Secretary’s memorandum, of February 18, 1970, requesting decisions preparatory to the submission of the Geneva Protocol to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.

The President has decided that the United States shall expressly reserve the right of retaliation with chemical weapons only. Additionally, the President has decided that the Administration will inform the Senate of its understanding that the United States does not consider the Protocol to prohibit the use of riot control agents and chemical herbicides in war, but this understanding will neither be included in the Senate resolution to be proposed by the Administration nor formally communicated to the Parties to the Protocol.

The foregoing specific decisions of the President as to the form of the presentation of the Protocol to the Senate should be closely held.

The President has requested that the final Geneva Protocol papers be forwarded by August 11, 1970, for his consideration and has designated you to coordinate the Administration’s presentation of the Protocol to the Senate.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–1973, POL 27–10. Secret; Eyes Only. A copy was sent to Laird and Moorer.
  2. Kissinger notified Rogers of the President’s decisions regarding three Administration amendments to the Geneva Protocol prior to its submission to the Senate.