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The U.S. Senate, on November 10, 1975, by a vote of 63-15, gave its advice and consent to ratification of the 1974 Protocol to the Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (TIAS 7650; 24 L'ST 1439; entered into force June 19, 1973). The Protocol (Senate Executive I, 93d Congress, 2d Session) would limit the ABY deployments on each side to one site at any one time, but each side would retain the right to remove its ABM system and the components thereof from their present deployment area and to deploy an ABM system or its components in the alternative deployment area permitted by the ABM treaty. This right could be exercised only once.
See Cong. Rec., Vol. 121, No. 164, Nov. 6, 1975, pp. S19471–19474 (daily ed.), and No. 166, Nov. 10, 1975, pp. S19557–19562 (daily ed.).
Nuclear Weapons Tests
Peaceful Nuclear Explosions
In a statement to the opening session of the resumed Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD) at Geneva on March 4, 1975, Ambassador Joseph Martin, Jr., U.S. Representative to the CCD, recalled that the U.S. delegation at the previous General Assembly had called for thorough consideration of the question of peaceful nuclear explosions (PNE's) and had supported the Assembly's request in Resolution 3261D that the CCD consider the arms control implications of PNE's. He added:
The question of peaceful nuclear explosions has recently become a major topic in international disarmament discussions. We must start from the facts that a number of uncertainties about the feasibility and practicability of PNE's have yet to be resolved and that the use of PNE's is a highly complicated matter both politically and legally. Recognizing these facts, the U.S. delegation at the recent General Assembly called for thorough international consideration of the PNE question. We accordingly supported the Assembly's request in Resolution 3261D that the CCD consider the arms control implications of peaceful nuclear explosions.
Those implications have two aspects: implications for the development and testing of nuclear weapons by nuclear-weapon states and implications for the spread of nuclear-weapons capabilities among non-nuclear-weapon states.
With respect to the first of these categories, it is clearly important to insure that nuclear explosions carried out ostensibly for peaceful purposes are not used to gain weapons-related information in circumvention of agreed limitations on weapons testing. This is the central task of the bilateral negotiations now underway in Moscow, where the two sides are discussing criteria to insure that PNE's are consistent with the Threshold Test Ban Treaty. An analogous question arises with respect to any form of international test ban agreement. Indeed, this question would be particularly crucial with a comprehensive test ban, since in the absence of any authorized weapons testing, there would be a greater incentive to seek weapons information in the course of a PNE program.
With respect to PNE implications for the spread of nuclearweapons capabilities, my government's firm conviction remains that it would be impossible for a non-nuclear-weapon state to develop a nuclear explosive device for peaceful purposes without in the process acquiring a device that could be used as a nuclear weapon. It has been argued that the critical factor is not the capability to produce nuclear devices but the intention of the country producing the device. However, this is not the issue. The critical question is not whether we can accept the stated intentions of any country, but whether a world in which many states have the capability to carry out nuclear explosions—and in which all therefore fear the nuclear-weapons capability of others—would not be vastly less secure than a world that has successfully contained the spread of nuclear explosive technology. •
The full text of Ambassador Martin's statement is at Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXII, No. 1867, Apr. 7, 1975, pp. 454-458. See also the 1974 Digest, pp. 732734.
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
On June 6, 1975, the Department of State sent a note to the Embassy of Italy in Washington expressing the view of the U.S. Government regarding the application to nuclear explosive devices of the prohibitions in Articles I and II of the Treaty on the NonProliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) (TIAS 6839; 21 UST 483; entered into force for the United States March 5, 1970). The Italian Embassy on May 2, 1975, the date of deposit by Italy of its ratification of the Treaty, had delivered to the Bureau of European Affairs of the Department a note confirming a statement regarding the Treaty which the Italian Government had previously included in a note dated January 28, 1969, the date of its signature of the Treaty. In point eight of its statement, the Italian Government observed “that the prohibitions of Articles I and II of the Treaty-even within the general spirit of the NPT-refer only to nuclear explosive devices not distinguished from nuclear weapons; and that therefore when the day comes when technological progress permits the development of peaceful explosive devices as distinguished from nuclear weapons, the prohibition will not apply to their manufacture and use." (Department of State translation.)
The Department's note of acknowledgment of June 6, 1975, stated in part:
The Department of State affords itself of this opportunity to advise the Embassy of Italy in regard to point eight of its note that the prohibitions contained in Articles I and II of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons apply not only to nuclear weapons. The Treaty specifically applies prohibitions against both “nuclear weapons” and “other nuclear explosive devices," and any attempt to erode this comprehensive language is, in the view of the United States Government, inconsistent with the object and purpose of the Treaty.
The Department also advised the Embassy that the latter's note of May 2, 1975, would not be circulated by the Government of the United States of America to the governments of other parties to the Treaty, since the U.S. Government had not received the Embassy's note in its capacity as depositary government pursuant to the Italian Government's ratification of the Treaty.
Dept. of State File No. P75 0091–1911.
Article 1 Each nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear. weapon state to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.
Article 11 Each non-nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
The Italian Government also deposited instruments of ratification of the NPT with the British Government in London and the Soviet Government in Moscow. In each case, it presented a declaration identical to the statement it had conveyed to Department of State officials in Washington, but which the Department had not considered to be an integral part of the deposit of ratification.
When the British Embassy in Washington informed the Department of State, by note dated June 16, 1975, of the Italian declaration given in London on May 2, 1975, the Department took the view that the Government of Italy was bound by all of the terms of the NPT without exception. In a note of August 4, 1975, to the British Embassy, the Department stated, in part:
While the Government of Italy has made its views on this subject known to the United States Government in an identically worded statement, the Department of State notes that the Italian instrument of ratification of this Treaty was deposited with the United States Government in Washington without any declaratory text or statement.
The Government of the United States of America is of the view that it is not possible to envisage the development of nuclear explosive devices which would not be capable of military applications; all existing or foreseeable nuclear explosive devices designed for peaceful purposes could be employed in some fashion as a weapon. The United States Government recalls, moreover, that the prohibitions contained in Articles I and II of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons apply not only to nuclear weapons. The Treaty specifically applies prohibitions against both “nuclear weapons” and “other nuclear explosive devices," without qualification.
The Government of the United States considers that the Government of Italy is fully a party to the Treaty on the NonProliferation of Nuclear Weapons, bound by all of the terms of the Treaty without exception.
Dept. of State File No. P75 0126–1524.
NPT Review Conference
The first Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) (TIAS 6839; 21 UST 483; entered into force for the United States March 5, 1970) met at Geneva May 5 to May 30, 1975, and adopted a Final Declaration stating, inter alia, that all parties had faithfully observed the Treaty provisions that prohibit transfer of nuclear weapons and their technology from nuclear-weapon to non-nuclear-weapon states, and making several recommendations for strengthening the nonproliferation regime. The United States participated along with 57 other states parties to the Treaty; seven states which had signed but not yet ratified the Treaty (with rights to speak but not to participate in conference decisions); seven countries neither parties not signatories (with rights to attend conference meetings that were open to the public, but not to speak or participate in decisions).
The review was made in accordance with Article VIII, paragraph 3, of the Treaty which calls for such a conference five years after its entry into force "with a view to assuring that the purposes of the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty are being realized."
Dr. Fred C. Iklé, U.S. Representative to the conference and Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, in an opening statement on May 6, 1975, read a statement from President Ford expressing U.S. support for the NPT. Dr. Iklé summarized the major accomplishments under the Treaty from the U.S. point of view, and some of the issues remaining to be resolved. The following are excerpts from his statement:
We believe the developing countries party to the treaty should be given favored consideration in nuclear assistance. Last year, my government announced that parties will be given preference in the allocation of our in-kind contributions to the technical assistance program of the International Atomic Energy Agency. ...
The promotion of peaceful uses of the atom is inseparably linked with safeguards to inspire international confidence that fissionable materials are not being diverted to destructive purposes. ... the International Atomic Energy Agency has accomplished a great deal. Its efforts deserve the wholehearted support of us all.
Virtually every party to this treaty with nuclear facilities requiring safeguards has negotiated an agreement with the Agency; and almost every nuclear facility now operating in the non-nuclear-weapon states is subject to Agency safeguards or will be in the near future. This is a good record.
But much remains to be done. We need to insure:
- That all parties to the treaty conclude agreements with the Agency;
- That safeguards are effective and efficient; and
- That safeguards cover, as comprehensively as possible, the nuclear facilities of non-nuclear-weapon states not party to the treaty and preclude diversion of nuclear materials for any nuclear explosive device.
Also, we have to concern ourselves seriously with the threat of theft and other criminal seizure of nuclear material. We hope this conference will recognize the need for international measures to deal with this grim danger.