312 Evatt to Chifley and Makin

Cablegram [UN200] WASHINGTON, 14 June 1946, 12.11 p.m.


Following are essential parts of Baruch's opening address to be made to Atomic Energy Commission this morning.

'Terror' is not enough to inhibit the use of the Atomic Bomb. The terror created by weapons has never stopped man from employing them. For each new weapon a defence has been produced, in time.

But now we face a condition in which adequate defence does not exist.

Science, which gave us this dread power, shows that it can be made a giant help to humanity, but science does not show us how to prevent its baleful use. So we have been appointed to obviate that peril by finding a meeting of the minds and the hearts of our peoples. Only in the will of mankind lies the answer.

It is to express this will and make it effective that we have been assembled. We must provide the mechanism to assure that atomic energy is used for peaceful purposes and preclude its use in war.

To that end, we must provide immediate, swift and sure punishment of those who violate the agreements that are reached by the nations. Penalization is essential if peace is to be more than a feverish interlude between wars. And, too, the United Nations can prescribe individual responsibility and punishment on the principle applied at Nuremberge by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, France and the United States-a formula certain to benefit the world's future.

The United States proposes the creation of an international atomic development authority, to which should be entrusted all phases of the development and use of atomic energy, starting with the raw material and including (a) Managerial control or ownership of all atomic energy activities potentially dangerous to world security.

(b) Power to control, inspect, and license all other atomic activities.

(c) The duty of fostering the beneficial uses of atomic energy.

(d) Research and development responsibilities of an affirmative character intended to put the authority in the forefront of atomic knowledge and thus to enable it to comprehend, and therefore to detect, misuse of atomic energy. To be effective, the authority must itself be the world's leader in the field of atomic knowledge and development and thus supplement its legal authority with the great power inherent in possession of leadership in knowledge. I offer this as a basis for beginning our discussion.

But, I think, the peoples we serve would not believe-and without faith nothing counts-that a treaty, merely outlawing possession or use of the atomic bomb constitutes effective fulfilment of the instructions to this commission. Previous failures have been recorded in trying the method of simple renunciation, unsupported by effective guarantees of security and armament limitation. No one would have faith in that approach alone.

Now, if ever, is the time to act for the common good. Public opinion supports a world movement towards security. If I read the signs aright, the peoples want a programme not composed merely of pious thoughts but of enforceable sanctions-an international law with teeth in it.

We of this nation, desirous of helping to bring peace to the world and realising the heavy obligations upon us, arising from our possession of the means of producing the bomb and from the fact that it is part of our armament, are prepared to make our full contribution towards effective control of atomic energy.

When an adequate system for control of atomic energy, including the renunciation of the bomb as a weapon, has been agreed upon and put into effective operation and condign punishments set up for violations of the rules of control which are to be stigmatized as international crimes, we propose that:

1. Manufacture of atomic bombs shall stop.

2. Existing bombs shall be disposed of pursuant to the terms of the treaty, and 3. The authority shall be in possession of full information as to the knowhow for the production of atomic energy.

Let me repeat, so as to avoid misunderstanding:

My country is ready to make its full contribution toward the end we seek, subject of course, to our constitutional processes, and to an adequate system of control becoming fully effective, as we finally work it out.

Now as to violations:

in the agreement, penalties of as serious a nature as the nations may wish and as immediate and certain in their execution as possible, should be fixed for:

1. Illegal possession or use of an atomic bomb;

2. Illegal possession, or separation, of atomic material suitable for use in an atomic bomb;

3. Seizure of any plant or other property belonging to or licensed by the authority;

4. Wilful interference with the activities of the authority;

5. Creation or operation of dangerous projects in a manner contrary to, or in the absence of, a license granted by the international control body.

It would be a deception, to which I am unwilling to lend myself, were I not to say to you and to our peoples, that the matter of punishment lies at the very heart of our present security system.

It might as well be admitted, here and now, that the subject goes straight to the veto power contained in the Charter of the United Nations so far as it relates to the field of atomic energy. The Charter permits penalisation only by concurrence of each of the five great powers-Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, The United Kingdom, China, France and the United States.

I want to make very plain that I am concerned here with the veto power only as it affects this particular problem. There must be no veto to protect those who violate their solemn agreements not to develop or use atomic energy for destructive purposes.

As matters now stand several years may be necessary for another country to produce a bomb, de novo. However, once the basic information is generally known, and the authority has established producing plants for peaceful purposes in the several countries, an illegal seizure of such a plant might permit a malevolent nation to produce a bomb in twelve months, and if preceded by secret preparation and necessary facilities perhaps even in a much shorter time. The time required-the advance warning given of the Possible use of a bomb-can only be generally estimated but obviously will depend upon many factors, including the success with which the authority has been able to introduce elements of safety in the design of its plants and the degree to which illegal and secret preparation for the military use of atomic energy will have been eliminated. Presumably no nation would think of starting a war with only one bomb.

The process of prevention and penalization-a problem of profound statecraft-is, as I read it, implicit in the Moscow statement, signed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States and the United Kingdom a few months ago. [1]

In the elimination of war lies our solution, for only then will nations cease to compete with one another in the production and use of dread 'secret' weapons which are evaluated solely by their capacity to kill. This devilish programme takes us back not merely to the dark ages, but from cosmos to chaos. If we succeed in finding a suitable way to control atomic weapons, it is reasonable to hope that we may also preclude the use of other weapons adaptable to mass destruction.

I now submit the following measures as representing the fundamental features of a plan which would give effect to certain of the conclusions which I have epitomised.

1 . General-the authority should set up a thorough plan for control of the field of atomic energy, through various forms of ownership, dominion, licenses, operation, inspection, research and management by competent personnel. After this is provided for, there should be as little interference as may be with the economic plans and the present private, corporate and state relationships in the several countries involved.

2. Raw materials-the authority should have as one of its earliest purposes to obtain and maintain complete and accurate information on world supplies of uranium and thorium and to bring them under its dominion. The precise pattern of control for various types of deposits of such materials will have to depend upon the geological, mining, refining, and economic facts involved in different situations.

The authority should conduct continuous surveys so that it will have the most complete knowledge of the world geology of uranium and thorium. Only after all current information on world sources of uranium and thorium. is known to us can all equitable plans be made for their production, refining and distribution.

3. Primary production plants-The authority should exercise complete managerial control of the production of fissionable materials. This means that it should control and operate all plants producing fissionable materials in dangerous quantities and must own and control the product of these plants.

4. Atomic explosives-The authority should be given sole and exclusive right to conduct research in the field of atomic explosives.

Research activities in the field of atomic explosives are essential in order that the authority may keep in the forefront of knowledge in the field of atomic energy and fulfil the objective of preventing illicit manufacture of bombs. Only by maintaining its position as the best informed agency will the authority be able to determine the line between intrinsically dangerous and nondangerous activities.

5. Strategic distribution of activities and materials-The activities entrusted exclusively to the authority because they are intrinsically dangerous to security should be distributed throughout the world. Similarly, stockpiles of raw materials and fissionable materials should not be centralized.

6. Nondangerous activities-A function of the authority should be promotion of the peacetime benefits of atomic energy.

Atomic research (except in explosives), the use of research reactors, the production of radioactive tracers by means of nondangerous reactors, the use of such tracers, and to some extent the production of power should be open to nations and their citizens under reasonable licensing arrangements from the authority.

Denatured materials, whose use we know also requires suitable safeguards, should be furnished for such purposes by the authority under lease or other arrangements. Denaturing seems to have been overestimated by the public as a safety measure.

7. Definition of dangerous and nondangerous activities-Although a reasonable dividing line can be drawn between dangerous and nondangerous activities, it is not hard and fast. Provision should, therefore, be made to assure constant re-examination of the questions, and to permit revision of the dividing line as changing conditions and new discoveries may require.

8. Operations of dangerous activities-Any plant dealing with uranium or thorium after it once reaches the potential of dangerous use must be not only subject to the most rigorous and competent inspection by the authority, but its actual operation shall be under the management, supervision and control of the authority.

9. Inspection-By assigning intrinsically dangerous activities exclusively to the authority, the difficulties of inspection are reduced. If the authority is the only agency which may lawfully conduct dangerous activities, then visible operation by others than the authority will constitute an unambiguous danger signal.

Inspection will also occur in connection with the licensing functions of the authority.

10. Freedom of access-Adequate ingress and egress for all qualified representatives of the authority must be assured. Many of the inspection activities of the authority should grow out of, and be incidental to, its other functions, important measures of inspection will be associated with the tight control of raw materials, for this is a keystone of the plan. The continuing activities of prospecting, survey and research in relation to raw materials will be designed not only to serve the affirmative development functions of the authority, but also to assure that no surreptitious operations are conducted in the raw materials field by nations or their citizens.

11. Personnel-The personnel of the authority should be recruited on a basis of proven competence but also so far as possible on an international basis.

12. Progress by stages-A primary step in the creation of the system of control is the setting forth, in comprehensive terms of the functions, responsibilities, powers and limitations of the authority. Once a Charter for the authority has been adopted, the authority and the system of control of which it will be responsible will require time to become fully organized and effective. The plan of control will, therefore, have to come into effect in successive stages. These should be specifically fixed in the Charter or means should be otherwise set forth in the Charter for transitions from one stage to another, as contemplated in the resolution of the United Nations Assembly which created this commission.

13. Disclosures-In the deliberations of the United Nations Commission on atomic energy, the United States is prepared to make available the information essential to a reasonable understanding of the proposals which it advocates. Further disclosures must be dependent, in the interest of all, upon the effective ratification of the treaty. When the authority is actually created, the United States will join the other nations in making available the further information essential to that organisation for the performance of its functions. As the successive stages of international control are reached, the United States will be prepared to yield, to the extent required by each stage, national control of activities in this field to the authority.

14. International control-There will be questions about the extent of control to be allowed to national bodies, when the authority is established. Purely national authorities for control and development of atomic energy should to the extent necessary for the effective operation of the authority be subordinate to it.

This is neither an endorsement nor a disapproval of the creation of national authorities. The commission should evolve a clear demarcation of the scope of duties and responsibilities of such national authorities.

And now I end. I have submitted an outline for present discussion.

Our consideration will be broadened by the criticism of the United States proposals and by the plans of the other nations, which, it is to be hoped, will be submitted at their early convenience.

1 See Document 14.

[AA:A1838 T184, 720/1, i]