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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 18. August 10, 1950

No Man's Land — Peace and the Atom

No Man's Land

Peace and the Atom


The daily press has been full of propaganda aimed at dissuading people from signing the Stockholm Appeal of the World Peace Congress for the prohibition of the atomic weapon. Latest gallant warriors to join the fighting ranks of proatomists are the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, who claim that the Appeal is a Kremlin plot, and incidentally [unclear: allege] that all international attempts to control atom-energy have been frustrated by the intransigent Russians.

As "Salient" seems to be one of the few remaining manifestations of this country's "free press" (we have had countless letters screened before publication in the great dailies), we submit the facts to you, air in the hope that they may be put before a few hundred people, and assist to counteract some popular lies.

As a matter of fact the Soviet Union, through Vyascheslav Molhotov, introduced into the U.N. General Assembly, on November 28, 1946, a resolution for a general reduction in armaments. As a rider to this resolution, was a proposal (1) to ban the use of atom bombs; (2) to destroy all stocks; (3) to appoint an international control authority to carry out regular inspections, whenever and wherever it decides; all decisions of this body to be by majority vote, and punishment of offences, like all other matters of peace and security, to be in the hands of the Security Council. The Baruch Plan of the United States, on the other hand, would have set up an authority to have ownership and control of all atomic energy projects; it was to be independent of the Security Council, and only when it was working was the United States to decide when the time had arrived to destroy their own stocks and share their research results for peaceful use.

When Lord Boyd Orr was ousted from the Presidency of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation last year after insisting that the needs of human beings take precedence over the sordid cash interests of certain Americans, he remarked (World News 4, 2: 50): "The Americans are not prepared to take part in any international organisation in which they are not in full control." That tells a story. So does the Manchester Guardian editorial of 28/9/49, which stated: "Time and again we have rejected Russian disarmament proposals without even properly discussing them."

What is needed is obviously a demand from the people of the world themselves that atom-energy be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. The Stockholm Appeal is just that. Literally, hundreds of millions all over the world are signing it. Despite the gibberings of their Graces the Archbishops, the Appeal has already been signed by at least one Anglican Bishop in the United Kingdom, several in the United States, and hundreds of clergy, Protestant, Roman and Buddhist, in all corners of the earth. Maurice Chevalier has said that all who refuse to sign it must be suicidal maniacs. But they may also be guilty men with an interest in preserving the suicidal arms race.

Our best answer is to join the rest of humanity in signing the Appeal. That way lies peace, and since peace means our lives, peace is our business.

Yours, etc.,

C. Bollinger

Neil Grange

M. N. Dewar

H. C. MacNeill.