. . . The enchanced radiation of the neutron bomb has been discussed and also has been under development for 15 or 20 years. It is not a new concept at all, not a new weapon.
It does not affect our SALT or strategic weapons negotiations at all. It is strictly designed as a tactical weapon. I think that this would give us some flexibility.
I have not yet decided whether to advocate deployment of the neutron bomb. I think the essence of it is that for a given projectile size or a given missile head size, that the destruction that would result the explosion of a neutron bomb is much less than the destruction from an equivalent weapon of other types.
The essence of the question is that if the neutron weapon or atomic weapon ever should have to be used against enemy forces in occupied territory of our allies or ourselves, the destruction would be much less.
Before I make a final decision on the neutron bombs deployment, I would do a complete impact statement analysis on it, submit this information to the Congress.
But I have not yet decided whether to approve the neutron bomb. I do think it ought to be one of our options, however. Atomic Weapons Use . . .
The ownerships of atomic weapons and their potential use is such a horrifying prospect, their use, that it is a deterrent to a major confrontation between nations who posses atomic weapons.
I believe that the nation that uses atomic weapons first would be under heavy condemnation from the other people of the world, unless the circumstances were extremely gross, such as an unwarranted invasion into another country.
But I an eager to work with the Soviet Union, with China, with France, with England, on a continuing basis, so that there will never be a need for the use of those weapons . . .
. . . My guess is, and my belief is that without the use of atomic weapons we have we have adequate force strength in NATO to stop an invasion from the Warsaw Pact forces.
There is some advantage in the commitment and effectiveness of the forces of a defending nation if they are fighting on their own invaded territory, and I think that this would mean that in a rough balance that the invading nations would have to have an overwhelmingly superior force.
We are now putting as a much greater priority in our budget request for defense expenditures, moneys for improving our conventional forces in Europe. In years gone by, 15 or 20 years ago, we had an overwhelming superiority in nuclear weapons. Now I would say we have a roughly equivalent strength in atomic weapons. We must ensure that within the bounds of measurement that our conventional forces are equivalent also,
And I don't acknowledge at all the fact that an invasion of the Warsaw Pact nations would be successful without the use of atomic weapons. Soviet Criticism
I don't know how to explain the unfriendly rhetoric from Moscow. Our proposals have been fair and reasonable and almost all of them have been made public. We have pursued our hopes for increased friendship with the Soviet Union, a reduction in nuclear weaponry and easing of the tensions between ourselves and the Soviets through quiet diplomatic channels, with myself talking to the ambassador, Cy Vance, Scretary of State, going to Moscow, and in continuing negotiations at Geneva and other places by Paul Warnke and other representative of me. I believe that the Soviets perphaps have some political reasons for spelling out or exaggerating the disagreements. I don't know what those reasons are.
Our positions have been carefully contrived and constantly reassessed. I have no inclination to change the positions that we have taken. I think they are fair, and I believe that calm and persisent and fair negotiations with the Soviet Union will ultimately lead to increased relationships with them.
And the public statements that the Soviets make attacking me personally or our own nation's good faith are both erroneous and ill-advised. But what their reasons for it might be I do not know . . . Mideast Peace
. . .We have never tried to define geographical boundaries for a so-caleld Palestinian entity. My own perference, which I have expressed since I have been President and also as a candidate was that the Palestinian entity, whatever form it might take, and whatever area it might occupy, should tied in with Jordon and not independent. But I don't have the authority nor the inclination to try to impose that perference on the parties that want to negotiate.
I think than in his coming over here to our country next week, on the 19th, the Isracli Prime Minister Menacham Begin is trying to bring with him an open mind, and an ability to go to a possible peace conference with all items being negotiable. He said this pubicly, and he has also sent me private messages to that effect.
I have seen an inclination in the Middle East in recent days toward an alleviation of tension. I got a private message from Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, for instance, that he is going to make every effort again to comply with the Sinai Agreement.
He had a few extra troops in the territory that had been identified. He is withdrawing those. He authorized me to announce that he is returning with full military honors 19 Isracli bodies that had been left in Egypt. He has expressed his willingness to go to Geneva without prior committments. He has had negotiations or talk lately with the King of Jordon. And they have agreed that the Palestinian entity ought to be tied in with Jordon.
So there is a general inclination on all parties for success, but I don't think it is advisable now for me to get any more specific than I have in the past . . . Abortions
I do not think that the federal government should finance abortions except when the woman's life is threatened, or when the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest. I think it ought to be interrupted very strictly.
In my opinion the federal government being willing to finance abortions as it has been in recent months is an encouragement to abortion and its acceptance as a routine contraceptive means. And I think within that strict definition that I have given you, I would like to prevent the federal government financing abortions.
I think it is accurate to say that Secretary of HEW Califano afgrees with me completely, and we are trying to make it possible for the people of this Nation to understand how to prevent unwanted preganancies with education programs and with the availability of contraceptives and other devices when they believe in their use as an alternative to obortion. But I do not believe that either states or the federal government should be required to finance abortions.
As you know, there are many things in life that are not fair, that wealthy people can afford and poor people can't. But I don't believe that the federal government should take action to try to make these opportunities exactly equa l, particularly when there is a moral factor involved."