Transcript

2 The Western position for the coming Disarmament talks is based on the United States Disarmament programme, presented by President Kennedy to the United Nations General Assembly in September, 1961. We played a considerable part ourselves in the drafting of this. The Russian position will be based, so far as we know, on their Disarmament Plan presented to the United Nations General Assembly in September, 1960, though they may still come forward with a new plan. The main differences between the two are

  1. The Russian provision for fixed time limits (four years for the whole process of disarmament)....
  2. Russian insistence that 'foreign bases' should be evacuated in the first stage of their plan, and foreign troops withdrawn from Europe as a preliminary measure.
  3. Russian provision that all nuclear delivery vehicles, without distinction between "strategic" and "tactical", should be destroyed in the first stage,
  4. United States provision for a 'cut off' of production of fissionable material for weapons purposes in the first stage (the Russians provide for a second stage cut off only).
  5. Russian insistence (made clearer in subsequent memoranda than in their plan) that "control" or "verification" should apply only to the destruction of agreed quantities of weapons, and that there should be no check on the stocks remaining, or the new weapons produced, after destruction
  6. United States insistence that the later stages of disarmament should be accompanied by the rapid development of effective international peace- keeping machinery, including an effective international peace-keeping force.

3. The Russian proposals are quite unacceptable to us, principally because of their position on verification; their effort to restrict our deployment by demanding the evacuation of foreign bases and troops; and their proposal to abolish the nuclear deterrent completely at an early stage. In spite (or because) of this, their plan has considerable appeal to thoughtless or frightened people every- where …

… it is most likely that the opening stages of the Geneva Conference will witness an intense propaganda effort by the Russians to sell their existing plan, or something like it … and to discredit the United States Disarmament Programme.

4 Whether the Geneva Conference is to degenerate into a propaganda battle, therefore, or, as is possible, to open the way ultimately to some limited positive steps, our own task should remain the same;

to show that the Russian plans are full of contradictions and designed to give themselves one-sided advantages,

to show that our own are by contrast sober, realistic and fair, and above all to show that ours provide at a very early stage for some important concrete measures of disarmament.