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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 7. June 25, 1951

Shadow of Hiroshima

Shadow of Hiroshima

Mr. Ferguson carefully outlined the history of UN discussions on atomic energy. He stated that many Americans (including Einstein) preferred the Gromyko Plan to the Baruch Plan. In Chapter XI of his book "The Military and Political Consequences of Atomic Energy." Prof. Blackett characterised this latter plan as "an astute diplomatic move ... a specious plan." He declared that in it the US was expressing a desire not to outlaw atomic energy for war purposes, but for ownership by an international trust (American controlled like other UN agencies, and in this instance badly "capitalist" to boot of all atomic plants.

Blackett commented (P. 135) on one section of the plan:

"Its explicit meaning seems clearly that the US did not contemplate relinquishing its atomic bombs, until a firm guarantee was obtained against all weapons of mass destruction. Thus even if the USSR accepted the full American plan for control of atomic bombs, Mr. Baruch's statement implies that America would be justified in refusing to dispose of her bombs till a satisfactory system of Control say of biological warfare had also been accepted."

In other words it was only to be a "maybe" control for America, but unconditional for everyone else.

The Russian plan, on the other hand, was clear and straightforward—Malik (8.2.49) said in the Security Council that it aimed at "conventions on the prohibition of the atomic weapon and atomic energy control, to go into effect simultaneously"; and Vyshinsky declared (23.11.49):

"We wish to make it clear that periodic inspection means whenever the International Control Commission deems it necessary. It is obvious that there would be no veto."

Mr. Ferguson quoted another interesting statement of the same gentleman, from the Evening Post, 30.10.50:

"If you accept the principle of one-third arms redaction, I promise you solemnly you will get authenticated information on the Soviet armed forces and every possibility to verify this."

"If that is bluff, why doesn't somebody call it?" asked Mr. Ferguson. He suggested that the present policy of the US was not concerned with peace or arms production, but with imposing its will on other nations.