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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. National security affairs; foreign economic policy

United States policy at the United Nations with respect to the regulation of armaments and collective security: the international control of atomic energy; regulation of conventional armaments; efforts to implement article 43 of the United Nations charter by placing armed forces at the disposal of the Security Council,   pp. 1-125 PDF (51.4 MB)

Page 4

2. Is there any prospect of Soviet acceptance which would involve
     more than a paper agreement?
   If we were to suggest the idea of a moratorium on atomic energy,
 there is no reason to believe that the necessary safeguards would be
 any more acceptable to the Soviet Union than those in the U.N. plan.
 Neither is there any reason to believe that the Soviet Union would
 accept the suppression of atomic energy. Such a proposal could also
 lend substance to a very damaging charge, already being made, that
 the U.S. is trying to deny the use of atomic energy to nations deficient
 in power.
 3. Is the procedure andt solution acceptable to our closest friends, par-
     ticularly the United Kingdom, Canada and France?
   As the S/P paper points out, an a-pparent by-passing of these coun-
 tries and the U.N. could be disastrous, and doubly so, should there be
 another such "leak" as occurred in the Smith-Molotov conversationsY
 If we avoid these dangers and do make an approach, it should be on
 a much broader base than that of atomic energy. The approach should
 be on the general problem of the Soviet Union, and, specifically, it
 should not, as the SS/P paper suggests, exclude the problem of con-
 ventional armaments. Although the solutions to the problem of atomic
 energy control and the problem of the regulation and reduction of
 conventional armaments are necessarily separate and different, the
 implementation of both systems must be coordinated. There must be
 some redressing of the existing imbalance between the Soviet armed
 forces and those of the rest of the world. The U.S. position on this
 point has never, to my knowledge, been thought through.
   I do not believe that the suggested procedure contained in Part VII
 (pages 57-67) and the suggested possibilities in paragraph 6, pages
 62-64 10 in the S/P paper meet these criteria at all adequately.
 I do not believe that, much as we desire to have atomic weapons
 really prohibited, the U.S. should unilaterally renounce this weapon.
 It is difficult to see what possible effect this renunciation might have
 on the Soviet Union, other than being interpreted as a revelation of
 weakness with all its implications. Its effect on Western Europe might
 well be disastrous. The same considerations apply to the super-bomb,
 although a clear distinction must be drawn between possession and
 'For documentation on the conversations between U.S. Ambassador Walter
Bedell Smith and Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov at Moscow in May 1948,
see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. iv, pp. 788 ff.
  10 See Part VIII of the Kennan memorandum of January 20, p. 40.

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