President Nixon's endorsement of Congress's approval of the nuclear arms limitation treaty in Washington on Saturday (September 30 now limits for five years the United Stats and the Soviet Union to those inter-continental ballistic missiles (IBMs) under construction or already in development.
GV EXT. White House (silent)
SV Nixon site at table with Congressmen & newsmen around (silent)
CV Nixon speaking
IN: "We've asked..."
OUT: "... in this room".
NIXON: "We've asked you to come to this room because we do feel that this room is one that has very special significance. All of you who have come many times before know that it was the cabinet room from the period of Abraham Lincoln up until 1902, when the West Wing was completed. But it's now known as the treaty room because the war between Spain and the United States, as you know, was ended by a treaty signed in this room.
"I would simply say in that connection this is not a treaty which ends a war. This is not an agreement which guarantees that there will be no war. But what this is ??? the beginning of a processes which is enormously important....that will limit now and we hope later reduce the burden of arms and thereby reduce the danger of war. We think, therefore, it deserves this kind of attendance by the leaders of the Congress and the administration of the armed forces -- and its deserves also to be signed in this room."
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Background: President Nixon's endorsement of Congress's approval of the nuclear arms limitation treaty in Washington on Saturday (September 30 now limits for five years the United Stats and the Soviet Union to those inter-continental ballistic missiles (IBMs) under construction or already in development. Thus the Soviet Union 'allowance' of IBMs -- "offensive" weapons -- is frozen at about 1,600, while the United States has about 1,050.
The two countries have already concluded a permanent defensive missile treaty, limiting each country to two anti-missile sites -- one protecting each capital, and one each covering an offensive missile site. Both arms agreements were reached during President Nixon's visit to Moscow last May (1972).
Signing the I.B.M. agreement ratification in front of Congress leaders, President Nixon said it did not guarantee there would not be war between the two nations. But it did reduce the danger of war, he said, and was only the beginning of an 'enormously important process'.