FILE ID:95120608.WWE




(Text: Letter to Dole from 37 Democratic senators) (800)

Washington -- Thirty-seven Democratic senators have written Senate

Majority Leader Bob Dole urging him to allow a ratification vote on

the START II Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention before the end

of 1995.

"Both treaties are overdue for Senate consideration," the letter said.

It reminded Dole that in 1993, he cosponsored a Senate resolution

commending President Bush on conclusion of the START II treaty and

pledging action on it at "the earliest possible moment.

The letter also pointed out that the Chemical Weapons Convention "has

a tough and intrusive verification regime which will be an effective

tool in promoting compliance by Russia and other nations."

Following is the text of the letter:

(Begin text)

December 5, 1995

The Honorable Robert Dole

Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington. D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. Leader:

We are writing to ask for your leadership in securing Senate action on

the START II Treaty and on the Chemical Weapons Convention before the

end of the year. The Senate should promptly exercise its

constitutional obligation to advise and consent to the ratification of

these treaties, which will greatly enhance our national security. Both

treaties have been fully reviewed by the relevant Senate committees

and have strong bipartisan support.

On February 2, 1993, you cosponsored Senate Resolution 54, commending

President Bush on the conclusion of the START II Treaty. That

resolution stated that the Senate "intends to take up the Treaty at

the earliest possible moment in pursuit of its constitutional duty to

advise and consent to the ratification of treaties."

On September 5, 1995, the Senate adopted an amendment to the Defense

Authorization Bill expressing the sense of the Senate that the United

States should "promptly ratify and fully implement" the START II

Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), along with other

parties to the treaties.

Both treaties are overdue for Senate consideration, and we seek your

assistance in scheduling START II and then the CWC for consideration

before the Senate adjourns for the year.

START II will continue the process begun by START I of making deep

reductions in Russian nuclear warheads. It will require Russia to

reduce its deployed warheads from a level of over 8,000 to 3,000-3,500

by the year 2003. The treaty will eliminate all Russian heavy

inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and all multiple-warhead

ICBMs, two longstanding U.S. goals. This will further reduce the

nuclear threat to the U.S. and also~ advance U.S. non-proliferation


Prom~pt U.S. ratification of START II will also encourage Russia to

complete its own START II ratification efforts in a timely manner.

These goals are clearly in our national interest and merit expeditious

action, as your resolution suggested.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is based largely on the treaty text

which was submitted by then-Vice President George Bush to the

Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in April 1984. First as vice

president and later as president, George Bush took a very personal

interest in the negotiation and conclusion of this convention. It was

signed by his Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, just days

before President Bush left office.

President Bush's commitment to the CWC and to fighting the

proliferation of chemical weapons received strong and active

bipartisan support from the Congress and from the American chemical

industry. Last year, President Bush wrote to friends in the Senate in

support of prompt ratification (see attached copy).

The CWC will ban a complete class of weapons of mass destruction, one

which has been repugnant to all civilized people ever since its first

use in battle during World War I. The Convention's non-proliferation

provisions will make it harder and more costly for proliferators and

terrorists to acquire chemical weapons by, among other things,

restricting trade in dual-use chemicals that could be used to make

chemical warfare agents.

The Convention has a tough and intrusive verification regime which

will be an effective tool in promoting compliance by Russia and other

nations. Under the CWC's challenge inspection provisions, for example,

the United States will be able to request short-notice inspections of

any site suspected of a treaty violation.

Nine hearings have been held on the CWC by the Foreign Relations

Committee, Armed Services Committee, and Select Committee on

Intelligence. These hearings, which responded exhaustively to issues

raised by the Senate, give us confidence that this treaty is one which

will be effective in reducing the threat to our soldiers and citizens

alike of being exposed to these deadly and horrific weapons.

We urge you to schedule both these treaties for Senate consideration

at the earliest possible opportunity, and certainly during the first

session of the 104th Congress.

(End text)