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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 10

  8. In connection with page 38,a it seems to me that the relation
between the atom bomb and the cold war might be developed in some-
what more detail, particularly on the impact of the Russian possession
of atomic weapons on the psychology of Europe.
  9. By and large, I would agree with the main lines of the con-
clusions. These may require working out in more detail in order to
see just what they need before they are accepted as a policy matter.
  10. Lastly, I specifically agree with each of the "things to avoid"
with which the paper concludes.
  'Reference is to Part IV of the memorandum of January 20. See bracketed
note, p. 31.
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations
                       Affairs (Hickerson)'
TOP SECRET                        [WASnNINGTON,] J anuary 11, 1950.
  1. The paper seems to me to be permeated with the assumption that
the use of the atomic bomb is morally wrong; that because the -atomic
bomb has terrible destructive powers it is different ethically 1from other
weapons that kill and maim, but on a smaller scale; and that the atomic
bomb should be prohibited by international agreement wholly without
reference to other weapons. Such an agreement would apparently rest
in considerable part on the good faith of the USSR, whose record in
matters of good faith is "well known". It seems to me that the
assumption would be that the only way to prevent the use of atomic
weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is -o prevent the
outbreak of war between countries posessing such weapons.
  2. The paper comes close to accepting the Soviet contention that
the United Nations Plan of Prohibition and -,Control was not put
forward in good faith, For example, the paper comments (page 12):
   "It is a good position to rest on if, and as long as, international
control and a prohibition of the weapon are not desired, and if it is
felt that the United iStates must nevertheless continue to hold out
for some plan for international control."''
  On January 24, Hickerson transmitted a copy of this memorandum to the
Executive Secretariat of the Department for the attention of the Secretary
State in the event that he had not already seen it.
  "The draft paper does not accompany the source text and has not been
specifically identified. For the final version, January 20, see p. 22.
  This quotation does not appear in the text of the memorandum of January

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