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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • September 24, 1973

    Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Nuclear Cooperation with France -- Gallery-Schlesinger Meeting September 25, 1973'

    Overview of Foster’s meeting in France on September 10, and a memorandum of points and observations to be touched upon in the upcoming meeting on the 25th. There are six areas of consultation, with the area of MIRV being the most urgent issue.

  • July 04, 1974

    Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, 'US-French Military Cooperation'

    Sonnenfeldt describes for Secretary Kissinger the state of US-French relations after a schism developed in the wake of the 1973 October War, and what impact this would have on the two countries' nuclear cooperation.

  • October 17, 1974

    Memorandum from Winston Lord, Fred Iklé, and Helmut Sonnenfeldt to the Secretary, 'Follow-up with French on Nuclear Export Controls'

    With an approach to the Soviets already in the works, Kissinger’s top advisers emphasized the importance of a parallel approach to the French, given their centrality to the prospects for a suppliers’ group. While no one could be sure whether the French would abandon their “case-by-case” approach to nuclear exports, the advisers believed that the French disliked nuclear proliferation and wished to remain the only nuclear weapons state in Western Europe.

  • April 23, 1975

    Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Meeting with French on Missile Cooperation'

    Description of a meeting between Sonnenfeldt and Jean-Laurens Delpech, French Minister of Armaments. Delpech was concerned about the slow response to the French requests for further nuclear assistance. Sonnenfeldt explained that they were awaiting a detailed technical analysis of the requests and limitations of US policy. Delpech also raised the issues of French use of the Nevada Test Site. Attached to the memorandum is a handwritten letter by Delpech to National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft.

  • September 23, 1975

    Memorandum from George S. Vest to Secretary of State, 'September 16-17 Nuclear Suppliers' Meeting'

    The September 1975 meeting of the suppliers’ group brought out a conflict over a decisive issue, whether supplying countries should require recipient countries to place all nuclear facilities under safeguards or require them only for the technology and supplies at issue in the contract (“project safeguards”). The Canadians strongly supported the former, “full scope safeguards” (their terminology, which caught on), which the French saw as “tantamount to imposing NPT obligations” --a reference to the Treaty’s Article III--which they would not accept.

  • October 09, 1975

    Memorandum for the Record by Helmut Sonnenfeldt, 'Conversation with Delpech'

    Description of conversation between Sonnenfeldt and Jean-Laurens Delpech, French Minister of Armaments, on October 7. Delpech asked about the status of US nuclear assistance to France. He specifically asks about French requests for testing of reentry vehicle material in US nuclear tests, the importation of advanced computers, technical assistance with booster trigger design, and information on submarine vulnerabilities. Other topics included the French sale of helicopters to China and the potential sale of ECM equipment to Arab states.

  • October 10, 1975

    George Vest to Mr. Sonnenfeldt, 'British Comprehensive Safeguards Initiative re Suppliers Conference'

    This document describes the differing views regarding safeguards. The Canadians strongly supported the former, “full scope safeguards” (their terminology, which caught on), which the French saw as “tantamount to imposing NPT obligations”--a reference to the Treaty’s Article III--which they would not accept. Arguing that full-scope safeguards was “alien to [their] philosophy,” the French suggested that a “traditional interpretation of the contamination principle (i.e., requiring safeguards on any materials produced in exported facilities),” would make it possible to achieve “the practical equivalent” of the Canadian proposal.

  • November 25, 1975

    Memorandum of Conversation between Roger C. Molander and M. Conze, 'Meeting with M. Conze of France, November 24, 1975'

    Conze asked about the status of several French requests for nuclear assistance. These included their request for a CDC 7600 mainframe computer, the testing of reentry vehicle material, and technical help with the M-4 ballistic missile. Sonnenfeldt informed Conze that assistance with booster trigger design had not be authorized as it conflicted with US legal restriction in the Atomic Energy Act.