194. Memorandum From Robert Hunter of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Your meeting with British Ambassador Jay, April 21, 12:10 to 12:35.

The following is a summary of the conversation:


Jay wanted to know how we are going to handle the problem of maintaining the reliability of nuclear stockpiles under a CTB. You indicated that there is not much to say right now, and that we are looking at three options: a 5-year review procedure, an exemption (i.e. a TTB), and one other. We are still on the same course as before, even though it is true that State and ACDA are for a CTB with a 5-year review. We will be looking at this matter intensively, and the President has been in[Page 470]formed of the issues. You also indicated that with some of the options, there in effect is no treaty—i.e. a CTB; and that we first have to know how severe the stockpile degrading problem is before determining whether to go to an option that is less politically significant. In response to Jay’s question about the value of a CTB on vertical and horizontal proliferation, you indicated that there is a subjective judgment; but that you see the importance of a CTB as being more in terms of U.S.-Soviet relations than proliferation. Jay indicated the Prime Minister’s concern about a CTB in terms of the Indian nuclear problem. You said that we are not approaching this issue as an excuse to back out of a CTB—although there are some people in the government who would use the issue in this way—but rather because there is a serious problem for review. We will move quickly, and within two weeks will be giving it close attention. Because of the May 4 resumption of the CTB talks, we should have a meeting here next week on the issue. There is a large number of unknowns—including on our own needs. Jay said that we understand the UK position on this.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to a comprehensive test ban.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 15, Great Britain: 4–8/78. Secret; Sensitive.