While the American and Soviet negotiators draft the final details to the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II) in Geneva, President Carter of the United States faces a political battle for its ratification in the US Senate.
GV United States President Jimmy Carter being greeted by host PULL BACK TO dinner guests applauding. (2 SHOTS)
GV Carter on rostrum as audience looks on.
SV Carter speaking.
SV Senator Alan Cranston (Democrat) at microphone.
CARTER: "We'll continue to maintain an effective, and flexible strategic capability. The SALT Two treaty and the protocol preserve our right to pursue all of the defence programmes we've planned or which we may need in my judgement, or in the judgements of the joint chiefs of staffs. But SALT Two also has to limit and define the threat that we must face, thus it will make out defence efforts more certain and less costly with this treaty."
CRANSTON: "The treaty, basically, must stand on its own merits.. If it's good, it should be approved, if it's bad it should not be approved. No treaty's perfect, so we have to consider its imperfections. And we do have to consider the alternatives to SALT. I suspect that if SALT was defeated, if a good SALT treaty was defeated for reasons inexplicable to the Soviet Union, we would then have such a developing hostility and suspicious circumstances and cloud our relationship, there would be a deterioration and a great escalation in the arms race. And then there would be no verification at all. We wouldn't know what they were doing, they wouldn't know what we were doing. We'd have to assume the worst. We'd both spend more. We'd have probably equivalents, at a higher level, of danger and of cost. And that would be catastrophic."
The first official news on the Soviet reaction to the SALT agreements was reported on Thursday (10 May) by Tass News Agency. It quoted Mr. Brezhnev as saying that the agreement would raise hopes for a peaceful, bright future for the Soviet Union and the United States. In a message from the Kremlin to the United States, on the opening of two Soviet Art Exhibitions in the United States he said mutual understanding between the two peoples depended on the success of their ending the arms race.
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Background: While the American and Soviet negotiators draft the final details to the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II) in Geneva, President Carter of the United States faces a political battle for its ratification in the US Senate. President Carter will ask Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev when they meet, probably in mid-June in Vienna, to agree to annual US-Soviet summit talks, American officials announced on Thursday (10 May). Such an agreement would reportedly strengthen President Carter's hand in his expected tough ratification battle with the Senate.
SYNOPSIS: It was at a Democratic Party dinner that President Carter defended the SALT agreement against the criticism by some, that is was substantially unequal and unverifiable.
Democratic Senator Alan Cranston later gave his views.