Tuesday, January 09, 2007

DISARMAMENT

part 16 of the pamphlet, "OUR FOREIGN POLICY 1952":


DISARMAMENT


IN November 1951, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom presented tot he General Assembly a disarmament plan covering all armed forces and all armaments, including atomic weapons. This plan offers the world a program that would promote peace, would lift the burden of armaments, and would liberate new energies and resources for greatly enlarged programs of reconstruction and development.

First, it proposes a continuing inventory of all armed forces and armaments in every country having substan-tial military power. The inventory would be checked and verified by nationals of other countries working as inspectors under the United Nations. The inspectors would be given authority to find out the real facts and to keep a constant eye on what each country is doing

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in the way of armaments. In other words, all nations would be required to lay their cards on the table, face up, and to keep them there.

Second, the plan proposes that a specific program be worked out for the reduction of armed strength. The entire disarmament program might be developed be-fore any part is put into effect, or we could start with the continuing inventory and inspection system. The plan is flexible in this respect, in order to give every opportunity for agreement.

The program would move forward step by step. Each step, when completed, would build confidence for the next. If at any time there were a breach of trust or an act of bad faith, all participating nations would have immediate notice and could act in time to protect themselves.

As the President has said, this proposal has been made because it is the right thing to do. "We are not," he declared, "making it in any sudden spirit of optimism. We are not making it as a last gesture of despair. We are making it because we share, with all the members of the United Nations, the responsibility of trying to bring about conditions which will assure international peace and security. The people of the world want peace. To work in every possible way for peace is a duty which we owe not only to ourselves, but to the whole human race."

This latest proposal is a logical extension of our con-tinual efforts since 1946 to establish a system of control under the United Nations that would make it possible

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to abolish atomic weapons and to reduce all other forms of armaments and all armed forces without endangering world security.

The Soviet delegate, Mr. Vyshinsky, said that the pro-posal made him laugh. He soon discovered this was a silly thing to say. He quickly changed his scornful at-titude and hastened to make proposals of his own. He demanded that the General Assembly begin by declar-ing an unconditional ban on atomic weapons – even before there was any way to enforce the ban. He went on to demand that the five principal Powers cut their armed forces and nonatomic arms by an arbitrary one-third. This would leave the U.S.S.R. and its satellites with at least as great a superiority in tanks, planes, and troops as they now have.

Mr. Vyshinsky was merely continuing the efforts of the Soviet Union since 1946 to confuse the issue by call-ing for an exchange of promises without safeguards. If the democratic coun-tries could be led into a promise to abolish atomic weapons, they would be bound to honor their word. Meanwhile the So-viets, sheltered in secrecy behind the

"OUR FOREIGN POLICY 1952"Illustration Page 67
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Iron Curtain, could continue to keep the rest of the world from knowing what they are doing. In secrecy they could go on building up their own stock of atomic weapons.

We cannot, of course, agree to a plan that would bring about such a threat to the free world. That is why we are obliged to insist on the U.N. plan for the control of atomic energy, or some other plan that would be at least as effective in preventing all use of atomic power for warlike purposes.

But Soviet propagandists seek to divert the world's attention from the huge Russian armies. They try to make people believe that atomic weapons, in which the free world has superiority, are solely weapons of aggres-sion, while their own armies are only for defense.

The fact is that the aggression in Korea was carried out entirely by land armies with ordinary tanks and guns. The danger of aggression in Europe and other places rests in the Soviet concentration of such power. On the other hand, the overwhelming superiority of atomic weapons among the nations of the free world has been, ever since 1945, the most potent of all deter-rents to war. Undoubtedly, this has been one of the principal reasons why the Soviet leaders have not or-dered the Red Army to march. We shoud not forget that the atomic bomb can be a defensive weapon and a rifle can be a weapon of aggression.

Of course, our disarmament proposals have a very close relationship to other events which go on in the world. We have made it quite clear that it does not

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make any sense to reduce armaments when we are combatting aggression in Korea. Moreover, there is a close relationship between the problems of disarmament and other major issues between the Soviets and the free world. So we have said that there must also be a settlement of the main political issues which have divided the world at the same time that we start re-ducing armaments.

The very working out of the disarmament system, particularly the development of the continuing inven-tory and inspection system, will in itself help to reduce the political tensions and help us to find solutions for problems which now seem difficult to everyone. It was in this spirit that France, the United Kingdom, and the United States submitted their disarmament proposal.
"OUR FOREIGN POLICY 1952"Illustration Page 69

While the attitude taken by Mr. Vyshinsky toward this proposal makes it clear that it will be hard to achieve success in disarmament in the immediate future, prog-

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ress has been made on this important problem. On January 11, 1952, the General Assembly adopted the proposal of the three Powers with only slight changes. The Soviet Union has agreed to take part in the work of the new Disarmament Commission set up by the General Assembly resolution.

In this Disarmament Commission, the United States will continue to press for an honest and practical agree-ment and will make specific proposals to the Commis-sion, wth the hope that other governments will do likewise. We hope that in the Commission's delibera-tions all states will come to recognize that a compre-hensive program of disarmament will safeguard the security of every state and will contribute to the peace the world wants.

Free men do not trifle with peace. They will fight if attacked. They will build their defenses when they feel that their existence is threatened. But they will always seek a world in which recourse to arms will be neither likely nor necessary. This is what we of the free world are doing today – building our strength be-cause we must, planning for a disarmament because we desire a world free from the danger of war.

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