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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 23

   This being the case, we can reject the possibility of a wider signifi-
cance of the problem of international control, and judge the adequacy
of the present U.N. position to our purposes from the strict standpoint
of its relation to our national security in a world where Russia is what
we know it today to be.
   If, in the light of this situation, it is our final judgment that the
 elimination of the atomic weapon from national arsenals by interna-
 tional agreement would confront us with a wholly unacceptable situa-
 tion, and one which we would expect to remain unacceptable in the
 foreseeable future, then we should certainly not make any new moves
 at present which could have the effect of bringing us close to inter-
 national agreement in the foreseeable future. Whether, in such cir-
 cumstances, we should continue to support the present U.N. majority
 position is another question, which need not be examined at this point.
   If, on the other hand, we feel that elimination of the weapon from
our national arsenal by international agreement might conceivably be
acceptable to us, in the sense ,that the risks of such an agreement might
be conceived to be less than ,the risks of no agreement at all, then it
can be questioned whether: the present U.N. majority plan is entirely
adequate to our purposes,
  Why is this true ? In the first place, the U.N., plan is based in large
part on the thesis that there is a serious prospect for the early use
of nuclear fuels for peaceful purposes, and that an attemptmust be
'made to meet the problem of how to control production of such fuels..
Yet this prospect as 'far as the ,Staff can learn, is by no means favorable
enough today -to be permitted to stand in.the way of an abolition of
atomic weapons by international agreement, if there were a real ,chance
that this could be. achieved.*. If there were to.- be no production of
nuclear fuels for any purpose, it mightwell be questioned whether all
remaining atomic -activities could not, under relatively moderate safe-
guards, be left in national hands, and whether an international operat-
ing and managing authority-"could not therefore be dispensed with
altogether -at this stage,-thus removing one of the main bones of con-
tention in the present plan.
  This is, of course, the essential feature on which: most of the more
recent serious suggestions for departure from our present position
  *This discussion of "peaCeful uses" is meant to apply only to
such lpeaceful
uses as would require large reactors, producing dangerous amounts of nuclear
fuel. It is not meant to-apply to reactors, like the Oak Ridge pile iu our
producing isotopes for use in! research and in medicine. [Footnote in the:
text. ]

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