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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons or Non-Prolfieration Treaty (NPT) is an international treaty developed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons technology. Between 1965 and 1968, the treaty was negotiated by the United Nation's Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament. The treaty was first opened for signatures in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. See also the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference collection. [Image: US Ambassador Llewellyn E. Thompson signs the NPT as Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko watches in Moscow, Russia, on July 1, 1968.]

  • October 08, 1963

    Letter from Gomulka to Khrushchev, Marked 'Final Version'

    Letter from Gomulka to Khrushchev discussing Polish opposition to Soviet proposal for a Non-Proliferation Treaty. Gomulka suggests that the treaty will further split the communist camp. While discussing the state of Sino-Soviet relations, the Polish leader suggests that the Soviet Union and the PRC adopt a common position in matters of foreign policy in order to strengthen the power of the Socialist camp.

  • October 14, 1963

    Discussion between Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vasilii Kuznetsov and the SED Politburo (Fragment)

    Excerpts of the meeting between Marshal V.V. Kuznetzov, Commander of the Warsaw Pact Forces, and the GDR politburo on issues of nuclear proliferation in Europe and Warsaw Pact planning.

  • January 20, 1965

    Minutes of the Meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact Member States, Warsaw

    (Excerpts) Minutes of discussions of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Committee concerning non-proliferation. The Romanian delegation argues against a joint declaration of the Warsaw Pact on non-proliferation for fear that it might be used against China. The other delegations argue that a joint declaration is necessary in order to prevent the creation of the Multilaterall Nuclear Force proposed by NATO.

  • July 15, 1965

    Research Memorandum REU-25 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Attitudes of Selected Countries on Accession to a Soviet Co-sponsored Draft Agreement on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons'

    With a nuclear nonproliferation treaty under consideration in Washington, INR considered which countries were likely to sign on and why or why not. INR analysts, mistakenly as it turned out, believed it unlikely that the Soviet Union would be a co-sponsor of a treaty in part because of the “international climate” and also because Moscow and Washington differed on whether a treaty would recognize a “group capability.”

  • September 29, 1965

    Research Memorandum RSB-106 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Soviet Conditions about Western Nuclear Arrangements for a Nondissemination Treaty'

    INR looked closely at Soviet positions on an NPT arguing that the Soviets appeared to “attach a higher priority in using the nondissemination issue as a means of attacking possible NATO nuclear arrangements than in concluding an agreement.”

  • October 13, 1965

    Research Memorandum RSB-115 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Soviet Views of Nuclear Sharing and Nonproliferation'

    INR looked closely at Soviet positions on an NPT arguing that the Soviets appeared to “attach a higher priority in using the nondissemination issue as a means of attacking possible NATO nuclear arrangements than in concluding an agreement.”

  • March 28, 1966

    Memo on US NPT Proposal

    Memo by A. Albonetti to GA on US NPT project. The paper focuses on the potentially adverse impact for Italy of signing the treaty. It also raises the issue of a "European clause"; suggestions for possible Italian counter-proposals to the project and consideration of the nuclear moratorium proposed by Italy.

  • March 01, 1966

    Analysis of the Italian Position vis-à-vis Nuclear Proliferation Nucleare and Disarmament

    Memo by amb. R. Ducci sent to MD Andreotti by A. Albonetti on problems related to the attitude of Italy with regard to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The paper discusses the opportunity for Italian national policy to link non-proliferation to nuclear disarmament measures by nuclear countries and defer commitment to the NPT.

  • August 02, 1966

    Telegram from Joint Secretary to the Ministry for External Affairs, 'Notice from Shri Madhu Limaye, MP... regarding non-proliferation proposals'

    Review of India's position on non-proliferation treaties.

  • February 07, 1967

    Draft Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    Euratom Commission Draft proposed by the US Government to the USSR. Contains six articles detailing the obligations and responsibilities of nuclear weapons and non-nuclear weapons states.

  • February 07, 1967

    Note to the French Council of Ministers on the Non-Proliferation Treaty

    This note to the Council of Ministers details the jurisdiction and consequences stemming from the American request that an Article III be included into the NPT.

  • February 28, 1967

    Telegram from Ambassador Trivedi on Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament

    Discussion of the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones.

  • March 01, 1967

    Research Memorandum REU-13 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Reasons for West German Opposition to the Non-Proliferation Treaty'

    By the late winter/early spring of 1967, controversy over the NPT was hurting US-West German relations, placing them at perhaps their lowest point during the Cold War. While this report suggested that West Germany would ultimately sign the Treaty, despite objections, only weeks later the INR issued another report wondering whether Bonn was trying to wreck the NPT.

  • March 10, 1967

    Note on Meeting of the Non-Aligned Group at the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament

    Disagreement between representatives of Mexico and the UAR on the non-aligned group developing a common position.

  • March 15, 1967

    Memorandum by the Euratom Commission on the Visit of Lord Chalfont on 9 March 1967

    Lord Chalfont described the international agreement on non-dissemination of nuclear weapons as a new phase in negotiations on disarmament.

  • March 29, 1967

    Euratom Commission, 'Project of Response to the Questions Asked by the Committee of Permanent Representatives to the Council'

    This project served as a response to questions asked by the Committee of Permanent Representatives to the Council. It discusses the compatibility of the NPT project and the Euratom Treaty as well as modifications.

  • April 08, 1967

    Intelligence Note 273 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Acting Secretary, 'Has West Germany Decided to Try to Scuttle the Non-Proliferation Treaty?'

    By the late winter/early spring of 1967, controversy over the NPT was hurting U.S.-West German relations, placing them at perhaps their lowest point during the Cold War. While an earlier report suggested that West Germany would ultimately sign the Treaty, despite objections, only weeks late INR this report was issued wondering whether Bonn was trying to wreck the NPT.

  • April 21, 1967

    Research Memorandum RSB-46 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Soviet Policy on Nonproliferation Moves in Two Directions'

    Not altogether sure whether the Soviets were really committed to the NPT, the fact that the Soviets had been discussing security assurances with the Indians was seen as evidence that Moscow was interested in having a treaty. India was one of the countries that was especially resistant to the NPT and the Soviets were only one of a number of governments, e.g. Canada, which vainly tried to persuade Indira Gandhi to sign on.

  • May 30, 1967

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on the India's Objectives Regarding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha and the Minister of External Affairs, Shri M. C. Chagla, on the government's goals for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  • September 13, 1967

    European Commission to the Council of Ministers on the Russian Draft of Article III of the Non-Proliferation Treaty

    This memo to the Council of Ministers from the Euratom Commission examines the Russian draft of Article III of the NPT. It draws attention to the gradual convergence of Russian and American positions on the control clauses of the Treaty.