334. Telegram 141330 From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1 2


  • Response to Soviet Five-Power Nuclear Conference Proposal
Ambassador requested when he next sees Gromyko to raise Soviet June 15 proposal for five-power nuclear disarmament conference (State 108820), and [Page 2] advise him that US Government had not commented to USSR previously since we were still engaged in study of Soviet proposal at time we received word over weekend of formal Chinese rejection. Despite this rejection, which was not altogether unexpected, US considered subject raised by Soviets as worthy of serious consideration. Our view had been that such a conference would require careful preparation and consensus among all Five Powers on what measures were feasible for discussion, and that, if held, such a conference should in no way prejudice current bilateral negotiations between US and USSR on limiting strategic arms of the two countries, nor detract from multilateral consideration of arms control measures in the CCD. US also believed it important in considering ways to make progress on arms control measures that interests and concerns of non-nuclear states be taken into account.
We presupposed, of course, that all Five Powers would be willing to attend such a conference. Chinese reply now makes this question academic for time being.
US NATO: Mission may inform Allies of US oral comments to USSR on Soviet proposal following confirmation that Ambassador Beam has conveyed them to Gromyko.
Canberra, Tokyo, and Wellington: We will be informing host government Embassies here of US comments to USSR after they have been conveyed to Gromyko.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 716, Country Files, Europe, USSR Vol. XV. Secret; Priority. It was repeated to all NATO capitals, Canberra, Wellington, Tokyo, Hong Kong, USMission Geneva, and U.S. Delegation to SALT. Drafted by Spiers (PM); cleared by Brown of EA, Farley (ACDA), Sonnenfeldt (White House), and Richardson; and approved by Hillenbrand.
  2. The U.S. Government responded to the Soviet proposal for a five-power nuclear disarmament conference. This response noted that, even though the Chinese refused to take part in the proposed conference, the U.S. Government considered the proposal worthy of continued interest.