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Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University of Wellington. Vol. 24, No. 5. 1961

The Dilemma

The Dilemma

The ghastly possibilities of "all-out" nuclear war, which a nation would contemplate only if its vital interests were at stake, would be avoided if all nations were to disarm completely. But as long as "International tension" exists, cheating is likely. International tension is the cause, and not the effect, of armaments. Britain and America could wipe each other out, and there is no "tension." Between 1945 and 1950 America Disarmed, and International Tension Increased. Tension is Inevitable when One Social System Vows to Destroy Another, and when Men Who Seek Political Power Believe with Mao Tsetung that "Political Power Grows out of the Barrel of a Gun" and Consider that War Between the Capitalist and Socialist Camps is Inevitable.

Nor would it be difficult to cheat. A 20-kiloton fission weapon occupies a space of two cubic feet, and as long as there are airliners the means of delivery will not be lacking. Well-founded trust between nations is an essential precondition of nuclear disarmament, lest the family of nations find itself completely at the mercy of its most ruthless member.

But Omnilateral Nuclear Disarmament is not what the Movement Seeks: it Wants us to Call on Britain Alone to Renounce Nuclear Weapons Unconditionally. Unless Britain then shelters under the American "nuclear umbrella" she lays herself open to domination by Powers who covet her industrial resources and strategic position, and which could be expected to show as little compunction in dealing with resistance, whether active or passive, as was shown in Hungary in 1956 or in the Ukraine 20 years before.