I am writing this letter in order to correct several statements attributed to me in Robert Toth's front-page article (June 2), "U.S.-Soviets Curbing Spread of A-Arms." That article incorrectly states that I date "U.S. anxiety about proliferation to the Indian explosion in 1974."
What I in fact wrote in my Washington Quarterly article referred to by Toth is that it was not until the 1974 Indian nuclear explosion that the United States "fully recognized the danger of the spread of nuclear technology and imposed stringent nuclear-export controls." U.S. anxiety about proliferation clearly existed well before this date, as evidenced by U.S. efforts to draft the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Toth also misquotes me in suggesting that after 1958 the Soviet Union "broke promises to Hungary and Czechoslovakia to build huge nuclear power plants." My article in fact states that the unfulfilled promise to Hungary was for a 100-megawatt reactor--hardly a huge power plant. Finally, while Toth is correct in citing me to the effect that the Soviet Union's non-proliferation record is imperfect, the thrust of my research, as accurately reported in an earlier Times article by Ernest Conine (Editorial Pages, Feb. 12), is that Soviet nuclear-export policy has been remarkably circumspect and constant over the past 25 years.
WILLIAM C. POTTER
Center for International
and Strategic Affairs