92. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nutter) to Secretary of Defense Laird1 2


  • Proposed Memorandum for the President on the Seabed Arms Control Treaty Proposal

Subject memorandum sets forth DOD preferences for the wording of the operative paragraphs of a seabed arms control treaty proposal. These preferences have been developed with the assistance of the Joint Chiefs of Staff against the contingency that for political reasons the President might find it necessary to authorize a treaty proposal.

We recognize that this proposed wording presents a very tight and restricted opening position but believes that in light of the proposal tabled by the Soviets, on 18 March which calls for a ban on all military activities beyond the limits of territorial waters (12 miles in the Soviets’ case) with a right of reciprocal inspection. We believe that a U.S. proposal of this nature, in opposition to the Soviet draft, will bring about a meaningful discussion of the factors vital to an acceptable agreement, a discussion which the JCS and OSD have long held should be undertaken in the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC) prior to the consideration of any specific proposal by that body.

Dr. Bob Frosh, the ASN (R&D),who has been closely involved in this matter for the past 19 months, concurs in this approach and in the proposed memorandum. General Wheeler also concurs.


That you sign the attached memorandum for the President.

G. Warren Nutter
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 330–72–6309, 388.3 May–July 1969. Secret. The attachment is not published. The signed memorandum is Document 93.
  2. Nutter forwarded a proposed memorandum to the President from Laird articulating the preferred DOD wording for the proposed seabed arms control treaty and discussed its purpose.