United States President Carter has dismissed as totally irrelevant a suggestion by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev that Moscow would forego production of the neutron bomb if Washington agreed to do likewise.
GV: Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev speaking at Congress
SV: delegates listen (5 shots)
LV: Congress as delegates applaud.
SV/CU: United States President Jimmy Carter speaking (3 shots)
CARTER: "President Brezhnev knows that the neutron weapon is designed to be used against a massive, and perhaps overwhelming, tank forces.
And, in the Western and Eastern European areas, the Soviets have greatly built up their tank forces and others, stronger than have the NATO allies. The neutron weapons are designed to equalise that inequality, along with many other steps which our country is now taking. The Soviets have no use for a neutron weapon, so the offer by Brezhnev to refrain from building the neutron weapon has no significance in the European theatre, and he knows this. We are strengthening NATO in other ways, ourselves; our NATO allies will meet here in Washington the last of May, with a recommitment which is already well in progress for a long range strengthening of NATO, in all its aspects, but this statement by Brezhnev concerning the neutron weapon has no significance at all."
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Background: United States President Carter has dismissed as totally irrelevant a suggestion by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev that Moscow would forego production of the neutron bomb if Washington agreed to do likewise. The statements from the two leaders came on Tuesday (25 April) only hours apart. President Carter declared that the Soviet suggestion was irrelevant because the USSR had no use whatsoever for that weapon.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Brezhnev's suggestions came in a speech, to the Komsomol Young Communist League, when he told delegates that the Soviet Union would refrain from starting production of its own neutron bomb in response to Mr Carter's decision to defer making the weapon. But he indicated that that was as far as Moscow was willing to go, unless the Americans agreed never to make the bomb., ... when the Soviets would also agree. Moscow, said Mr Brezhnev, was taking active steps to prevent development of the neutron bomb....which he dubbed "an especially inhuman weapon of mass destruction."