329 Evatt to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 848 WASHINGTON, 25 June 1946, 3.37 p.m.


I propose this afternoon to make a statement to the Atomic Energy Commission outlining Australia's views. After pointing out the urgency of the problem, the diverse interests which must be taken into consideration, and the need for a just and equitable time- table for the exchange of information and the imposition of controls and sanctions, I propose to summarise the Australian position as follows:

'The Australian Government advises a general international convention which will (a) Vest in an international authority, control over all rights and raw materials, processes, plants and the productions of plants for the exploitation of all forms of Atomic energy, leaving, however, as much freedom as possible to nations and provide for research and other activity where this is not dangerous to international security.

(b) Establish a system of effective control and inspection along the lines indicated by Mr. Baruch. [1]

(c) Provide that, when the controls and safeguards have been effectively organised, the manufacture of Atomic weapons and the stock pile of material for military purposes cease and that existing stocks of bombs be dismantled.

(d) Provide that all information of importance for the peaceful use of Atomic energy shall be made available to all nations through exchange of personnel and through free and open publication, notwithstanding that some such information may be of some slight military significance.

(e) Accelerate development of converting Atomic energy to peaceful purposes.

(f) Provide that there shall be a just and equitable sequence for the implementation of all the provisions of the convention, including the provisions set out in (a) and (b) above, and acceptance by each of the parties to the convention of all of its obligations and sanctions.'

I then propose to suggest that the problem should be treated as a whole and that a working committee should be established to draw up a first draft of an international instrument defining the obligations to be undertaken and constituting the proposed international authority.

I have endeavoured to follow closely the proposals as set out in UN. No. 17[1] and Atomic No. 6 [2], subject to the modifications suggested in your telegram A.35 of 11th June. [3] I feel that I should also make a statement regarding the application of the veto power to this question. I propose to say that

'Nothing has been disclosed regarding the nature of Atomic energy or of the possible functions of the proposed international authority to indicate why any particular nation or nations should be accorded the right of veto over the decisions of the agreed majority of the authority.'

1 See Document 312.

2 Document 284.

3 Document 301.

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