295. Journal Entry by the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (Seaborg)1 2

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the October 14 Under Secretaries Meeting]

After the Under Secretaries meeting I met in Irwin’s office with Irwin, Spiers, Kendrick, Custer, Pollack, Keeny and Myron Kratzer to discuss the Department of State’s aide mémoire to the Soviets protesting the venting from their large nuclear test on October 14th. Kratzer and I suggested that this is a poor time to protest to the Soviets on this because we are in the process of discussing with them the interpretation of the Limited Test Ban Treaty from the standpoint of conducting Plowshare experiments and projects and we want to keep our relationships in the best possible shape for these discussions. We also indicated that the October 14th test vented only gaseous fission products, indicating that the Soviets had taken reasonable precautions to keep it contained. We also said we hadn’t been protesting all ventings with the Soviets and they would wonder why we decided to emphasize this particular occasion.

Irwin and those with him felt that we should establish a good record of indicating to the Soviets our concern and particularly so that the Department of State could respond to queries that come up in the future from the Senate on the [Page 2]subject of the venting of Soviet tests. Irwin indicated that he wants to go ahead with the aide mémoire to the Soviet Union, but that it would be kept low key. He also indicated an interest in going ahead in our discussions with the Soviets in order to come to an agreement on the interpretation of the provision of the limited nuclear test ban treaty prohibiting the venting of radioactive debris beyond the borders of the country conducting the test.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the October 14 Under Secretaries Meeting]

  1. Source: Journal of Glenn T. Seaborg, vol. 23, pp. 621–622. No classification marking.
  2. At a December 15 meeting, Seaborg, Under Secretary of State Irwin, and other officials discussed the proposed aide mémoire to the Soviets protesting the venting of their October 14 nuclear test.