356. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter 1

SUBJECT

  • French Proliferation Policy

Ambassador Hartman, Farley, Nye, and NSC staff met this morn-ing to discuss the important issues raised yesterday by the French on [Page 910]nuclear matters: (1) concerning their new conditions for participation in INFCE; and (2) the news, conveyed by cable, that they are trying to use INFCE as a means to disband the London Suppliers Group arguing that INFCE makes the London Group redundent. This is particularly disturbing because we believe that we are close to finally achieving a consensus in London on full-scope safeguards—one of our top proliferation goals. The consensus of all those at this meeting was that if time permits today, it would be very important if you could raise the following points with Barre:

—I’d like to just take a minute to return to the questions you raised yesterday on the subject of nuclear proliferation.

—We are pleased that we can reiterate the three assurances you raised on the subject of French participation in INFCE.

We understand the Soviets will participate.

We are agreed that the purpose of INFCE is to work out at the expert level a new consensus on the nuclear fuel cycle.

Thirdly, as Ambassador Smith said in Paris, we can agree with you that INFCE should not be used to prejudge other nuclear issues including those of nuclear supply.

—In this regard, let me also say that we believe that INFCE is not a reason to curtail our fruitful cooperation in the London Suppliers Group where there is still useful work to be done. In particular, I hope your government will look again at some formula by which we can reach agreement on comprehensive safeguards. 2

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Box 12, France: 1977. Secret. Hunter initialed the memorandum for Brzezinski. Carter initialed the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum.
  2. In their final meeting on September 16, Carter told Barre that the United States “will not prejudge issues. We also do not consider the study to be a substitute for the London Suppliers’ Group.” (Memorandum of Conversation, September 16; ibid.)