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Nuclear Testing

1. Khrushchev said two basic questions were: (1) number of suspicious events to be inspected and (2) organization of control.

2. Since events in the Congo the Soviet Union cannot accept proposed controls. Single administrator could set policy and Soviet Union could not accept neutral chairman as no person truly neutral.

3. Khrushchev said three inspections a year sufficient, greater number would be gathering of intelligence.

4. Khrushchev favored linking nuclear test question with disarmament. If disarmament agreement reached, USSR could accept any controls and would then drop Troika proposal and the requirement for unanimity. Two years should be sufficient to develop general and complete disarmament agreement.

5. President said testing treaty along lines Khrushchev proposed would not provide reasonable deterrent against violations and he could not send it to the Senate.

6. Khrushchev said test ban alone not important to national security if weapons production continued.

7. President stressed effect on proliferation of nuclear weapons and Khrushchev said this was why USSR had entered negotiations.

8. Khrushchev said in absence of link between test ban and disarmament other countries may say they are in unequal position and test weapons like France is doing.

9. President stressed treaty provisions for abrogation if other parties tested and noted relevant ease of controls on testing because they are based on scientific instrumentation.

10. (Gromyko defended the Soviet proposals for a tripartite administrator at great length in separate conversations with the Secretary.)

11. President said test ban would at least be very significant step and would facilitate disarmament agreement.

12. President said prospect of indefinite continuance of uncontrolled moratorium is a matter of great concern to U.S. Difficult to see how test ban could be included in disarmament negotiations which will probably require a long time. Perhaps we should make another effort at Geneva or recess the conference.

13. The President stated we would begin bilateral discussions on June 19 whether or not there was an agreement on nuclear testing. Khrushchev agreed to continued Geneva negotiations but reiterated USSR could not accept controls tantamount to espionage if weapons themselves were not eliminated.

14. In response to Khrushchev's question, President said he would not agree to tie test ban question to disarmament unless there was assurance disarmament agreement could be reached speedily. He said espionage problem insignificant in comparison with consequences of development of nuclear capability by other countries.

Disarmament

1. In response to President's question, Khrushchev said Soviet disarmament proposals provided for proceeding by stages and for control in each stage.

2. President inquired whether if general and complete disarmament accepted as a commitment of national policy and a nuclear test ban was included in the first stage would test ban be subject to inspection without veto.

3. Khrushchev replied that he would try to persuade President not to start with test ban as it not the most important measure. He said any measures, such as prohibition nuclear weapons, prohibition of manufacture of such weapons or elimination of military or missile bases, could come first.

4. In separate luncheon conversation Khrushchev said cooperation in outer space projects would be impossible without disarmament.

Germany and Berlin

1. Khrushchev attacked German militarism and said no delay in signature of a peace treaty was justifiable. USSR wanted agreement with U.S. but in its absence would sign a separate peace treaty with GDR, the state of war would cease and all commitments, including rights, institutions and allied access would become invalid. U.S. troops could stay in Berlin under certain conditions; Soviet troops should also be there and neutral troops under UN guarantee would be acceptable.

2. The President contrasted Berlin with Laos. He said we fought to get to Berlin. Our national security is affected by what happens there, and we have contractual rights to which every President involved has reaffirmed his obligations. If we allowed ourselves to be expelled from Berlin no one could have confidence in our commitments and this deeply involves our national security. He, no more than Khrushchev, is prepared to preside over isolation of his own country.

3. President rejected Khrushchev's charge that reference to national security signified U.S. wanted to improve its position. The U.S. was not pushing but was interested in maintaining position in and access to Berlin. Situation might be unsatisfactory but situations elsewhere unsatisfactory and this not the right time to change Berlin situation. Neither U.S. nor USSR could accept the change in balance of power that would result from Soviet proposal.

4. Khrushchev defended peace treaty as restraint on German revanchists. Said no force could prevent USSR signing treaty. GDR sovereignty would then be established and its violation regarded by USSR as open aggression.

5. In reply to President's question, Khrushchev specifically said allied access to Berlin would be blocked by peace treaty. President reiterated that our views and interests should be carefully considered and said Khrushchev had laid down a most serious challenge with unforeseeable consequences. Expressed hope Khrushchev would consider both his and President's responsibilities toward their own countries.

6. Khrushchev maintained USSR wished only to formalize existing situation and gain recognition as a fait accompli of the existence of the GDR socialist state. Continuance of U.S. occupation rights after a peace treaty was impossible to imagine.

7. President said Soviet Union cannot give U.S. rights to the GDR.

8. Khrushchev said USSR prepared to accept interim agreement not involving prestige of two countries right now. Agreement could set six months time limit for Germans to solve question of reunification. Then U.S. and USSR could disavow responsibilities and anyone would be free to conclude a peace treaty. He expressed confidence that our people would not start cutting each other's throats for ideological reasons. Said USSR can delay no longer, will probably sign peace treaty at the end of the year. He later specifically referred to December.

9. Later Khrushchev said that USSR would be defending peace if the U.S. started a war in Berlin. U.S. should avoid miscalculation, but if U.S. wants war over Germany let it be so. He was confident common sense would gain the upper hand and peace prevail.

10. The President denied any wish to precipitate a crisis but stressed our profound commitment in Berlin. It is strategically important that the world believes the U.S. a serious country whose commitments one could rely on. Said signing of a peace treaty not a belligerent act but denial of our contractual rights would be.

11. Khrushchev said USSR would not accept U.S. rights in Berlin after a peace treaty and was convinced the world would understand the Soviet position.

12. The President said our position in West Berlin was strongly supported by the people there. President is prepared to discuss any problem between us but we should take carefully into account each other's views and interests. He did not assume office to accept arrangements totally inimical to U.S. interests.

13. Referring to an interim agreement Khrushchev said it would be a formal factor giving the semblance of turning the problem over to the Germans. He referred to the aide-memoire (later handed to U.S. officials) and concluded U.S. could study it and perhaps return to the question later if it wished./2/

/2/At its meeting on June 13 the National Security Council discussed Berlin based on this paper. Although no NSC record of the meeting has been found, General Lemnitzer's handwritten notes on the meeting read as follows:

"Vienna--

"Difficult time in store on Berlin.

"Sec State--reviewed pol. situation. 1st step--answer aide-memoire, timing is rather vague. cannot abandon. Western position is difficult.

"Pres--status of supplies. Sec reviewed. civil defense? reorg on CD--costs, $300m. $50m to be used for shelters. $100m for new buildings.

"Pres--We must get in touch with every American--he must be resp--what can he do--etc." (National Defense University, Lemnitzer Papers, Box 29, L-215-71)

 

96. Current Intelligence Weekly Review/1/

Washington, June 15, 1961.

/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency: Job 79-S01060A. Secret; Noforn. Prepared by CIA's Office of Current Intelligence. Concurred in by CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence. The source text comprises pp. 7-8 of the Weekly Review section of the issue.

Nuclear Test Talks

Soviet delegate Tsarapkin at the Geneva test talks has dropped all pretense of serious interest in concluding an agreement and is seeking to induce the US and Britain to take the initiative in terminating the negotiations. He charged on 12 June that the West now is interested only in ending the talks and placing the blame on the USSR.

At the same session Tsarapkin formally introduced the Soviet aide-memoire of 4 June on nuclear testing which was handed to the US at the conclusion of the President's talks with Khrushchev in Vienna./2/ This memorandum proposed that, in view of the failure to reach an agreement on a test ban, the powers take up the "cardinal question" of general and complete disarmament and settle the disarmament and nuclear test problems interdependently.

/2/For text, see Documents on Disarmament, 1961, pp. 162-166.

The Soviet memorandum stated that the USSR would agree to sign a general disarmament treaty including Western proposals on the cessation of nuclear testing and implied that a test ban could be part of the first stage of such a treaty. Tsarapkin contended that these proposals demonstrated the USSR's flexibility and "constructive approach" and denied any intention of issuing an ultimatum. He stressed, however, that the West has the choice of either signing a test ban treaty on Soviet terms or merging these talks with negotiations on general disarmament.

The Soviet proposal is clearly aimed at prolonging the present uncontrolled moratorium on testing. Moscow probably also calculates that the opening of bilateral Soviet-US disarmament talks on 19 June and the international conference on general disarmament scheduled to begin on 31 July in Geneva will act as a brake on any US move to resume nuclear weapons tests this summer.

The Soviet move to terminate separate negotiations on the nuclear test issue by submerging them in the complex subject of general disarmament probably springs from two main considerations. Now that Khrushchev has restored top-level contact with the US by his meeting with the President, which he believes will open the way for negotiations on the key political issues of Berlin and Germany, he has no further interest in keeping the test talks alive as a means of promoting an accommodation with Washington.

Another and probably more important motivating factor is Communist China's long-standing opposition to a test ban without the complete destruction of all existing nuclear weapon stockpiles--a condition which Peiping insists on in order to preclude a test ban agreement. {Here follows further discussion of the nuclear test talks.}

 

FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES - 1961-1963 - Volume V - Soviet Union P56

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