218. Message From President Carter to Prime Minister Callaghan1

Dear Jim:

I appreciated receiving your message of September 14th on the CTB2 and have carefully considered your views on the question of duration. I have not yet completed my review of all the CTB issues, but I would prefer that when the negotiations resume we should negotiate on the assumption that the duration of the agreement will be three years. I agree with you on the lower threshold. Further, assuming that the duration is three years, we should propose a network of ten simple seismic stations with a larger network deferred for consideration in the context of any negotiation of a follow-on agreement. I will keep in mind your suggestions regarding the CTB review conference provision and your views on the assurances I plan to give the Senate on resumption of testing.

I share fully your view on the importance of a CTB, and I am committed to achieving a CTB. But I want to be frank with you on the timescale for completion of the negotiations. In my view, it is important, while we continue to make progress on CTB, that the trilateral agreement should not be concluded before a SALT II agreement. I know this will likely result in a somewhat slower pace than both of us had hoped. [Page 542] But I am now convinced that this is the soundest approach to assure favorable Congressional action on both the CTB and SALT agreements.


  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, Box 20, United Kingdom: Prime Minister James Callaghan, 6–9/78. Secret. Transmitted via the Cabinet Line on September 25. Brzezinski forwarded a draft message to the President for his approval under a September 25 covering memorandum. (Ibid.) Carter initialed Brzezinski’s cover memorandum and wrote “Zbig—ok as amended.”
  2. See Document 215.