The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee has begun a month of debate on the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, SALT II which the United States and the Soviet Union signed on the eighteenth of June.
SV Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Frank Church speaking in English (2 SHOTS)
SCU Secretary of State Cyrus Vance speaking in English (3 SHOTS)
CU Defence Secretary Harold Brown speaking in English
CHURCH: "We may report this treaty to the Senate much as we received it, or we may add such understandings, clarifications, interpretations or reservations as we believe necessary or we may recommend rejection. Our responsibility is clear and we will not be swayed from honest judgement by cajolery or intimidation by either our own executives or those of the Soviet Union who say that the treaty is, as delivered, is sacrosanct. But let us also keep in mind that the issue at hand is the SALT Treaty not a referendum on general Soviet behaviour. None of us in this room I'm sure have any delusions about the Soviet Union. Its leaders will remain aggressive in the pursuit of Russian interest, everywhere in the world. Still the basic question is whether the treaty serves American interests."
VANCE: "When the United States and the Soviet Union each have the capacity to destroy the other regardless of who strikes first, national security takes on new dimensions. First and foremost we must preserve a stable military balance with the Soviet Union. That is the surest guarantee of peace. Second we must have the best possible knowledge of the military capabilities and programmes of the Soviet Union. We must know the potential threat we face so that we can deal with them effectively. And we cannot rely upon trust to verify the strategic arms control regulations are being fulfilled. We must be able to determine that for ourselves through our own monitoring capabilities, Third we must sustain the process of placing increasingly more effective restraints on the growth of nuclear arsenals. Fourth and finally we must take those actions which will strengthen our alliances and enhance our leadership in the world."
BROWN: "IF SALT II is rejected or otherwise fails to come into effect its not certain that U.S. actions on strategic forces as compared to Soviet actions would produce a more favourable balance than what was resolved under SALT II. The U.S. could and I think would respond to a heightened competition in strategic arms if we had to. The result however would be more weapons, higher costs and probably less security for both sides. In any event to quote a recent editorial from the 'Chicago Tribune'. Quote 'We have no need to terrify ourselves into doing what is necessary for our security',. We intend to do what is necessary. Less will be necessary with SALT II than without it, and we will be at least as likely to do what is necessary. From this as from other points of view SALT is a contribution to our national security."
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Background: The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee has begun a month of debate on the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, SALT II which the United States and the Soviet Union signed on the eighteenth of June. Senate approval by a two-thirds majority is needed to ratify the treaty. The Soviet Union has said it will accept no Senate changes to the treaty and President Carter's administration will resist efforts to change it. However there are many in the Senate who dislike the treaty in its present form and a vote on the issue may not occur until November. Making their opening addresses to the Foreign Relations Committee on Monday (9 July) the Committee Chairman, Senator Frank Church, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Defence Secretary Harold Brown.