191 Cablegram from Embassy in Washington to Department of Foreign Affairs

Washington, 3 April 1973

1777. Confidential Priority

NPT Safeguards Agreements

Our 1714.

On 2 April, we had a further meeting with Webber1 (Director, Atomic Energy Affairs, State Department) and Brewster2 (Deputy Director) who had with them Yeomans3 and Spingarn4 (USAEC) and Maurer5 (Legal Adviser's Officer, State Department). We spelt out your concerns with the proposed draft protocol along lines set out in paragraph 6 of your telegram 1524.6

  1. The Americans recalled the recent background to their policy of progressively transferring the administration of safeguards agreements from the United States to the IAEA. The United States had already completed some twenty-one transfers of bilateral atomic energy agreements to trilateral arrangements involving IAEA inspections. Five transfers of trilateral arrangements to NPT safeguards had already been completed and more were to be negotiated. All these transfers were based on the principle, contained in clause 1 of the draft protocol, that one set of safeguards would be suspended 'to the extent' that the new arrangements were being applied.
  2. The main difference between the trilateral agreement and the NPT safeguards was that the trilateral agreement prohibited transfer of United States supplied materials for military non-explosive purposes while the NPT safeguards contained no such prohibition. To accord with United States law and policy, it was necessary to close this 'gap' in the NPT system. At the same time it continued to be United States policy to get out of the business of policing safeguards agreements and to transfer this responsibility to the IAEA.

[matter omitted]

  1. We asked the Americans to explain the philosophy behind the prohibition of transfer of materials to non-explosive military systems. Their reply was that American civil atomic energy agreements were designed to cover the use of American supplied materials for purely peaceful purposes. Any military applications (e.g. naval propulsion) would have to be the subject of a separate military assistance agreement. The United States had concluded such an agreement with Britain.

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A1838, 919/10/5 part 36]