283 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN931 NEW YORK, 7 December 1946, 12.52 a.m.


Assembly 355. DISARMAMENT.

1. In Sub-Committee 3 of Committee No. 1, discussion of United States text was continued.

2. An amended text in substitution for paragraph 2 was unanimously accepted. It now reads-'As an essential step towards the urgent objective of eliminating from National Armaments, atomic and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction and the early establishment of International Control of Atomic Energy and other modern Scientific discoveries and technological developments to ensure their use only for peaceful purposes, the General Assembly urges the expeditious fulfilment by the Atomic Energy Commission of its Terms of Reference as set forth in Section 5 of the General Assembly Resolution of 24th January 1946. In order to ensure that the general prohibition, regulation and reduction of armaments are directed towards the major weapons of modern warfare and not merely towards the minor weapons, the General Assembly commands that the Security Council expedite consideration of the reports which the Atomic Energy Commission will make to the Security Council and also that the Security Council expedite consideration of a Draft Convention or Conventions for the prohibition of Atomic weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and for the establishment of an International system of control and inspection.' 3. Molotov had made strenuous efforts to secure adoption of Soviet amendment [1] without change and in particular recommendation that the Security Council 'expedite consideration of a Draft Convention for the prohibition of Atomic weapons'. He clearly had in mind a convention of the type proposed by Gromyko to the Atomic Energy Commission. [2] However, both Shawcross and Connally were very firm and insisted that any convention must include a system of International Control and Inspection and that weapons of mass destruction other than Atomic weapons must also be covered.

Australia adopted a similar line pointing out further that it was not for the Sub-Committee to prejudge the type of control system required for Atomic energy, stressing again the problems raised by the need for development of Atomic Energy for peaceful purposes and the fact that peaceful and destructive uses are intimately related.

We regard the Soviet proposals for the establishment of a Control Commission merely to control the execution of a decision regarding the prohibition of the use of Atomic Energy for military purposes as an attempt to sidestep the development aspects of the Baruch plan, and having in mind the prospect of the substantial redrafting of the Soviet proposal which will be required, we secured the elimination from the paragraph of all reference to later portions of the resolution. We believe text as adopted satisfies major objectives in paragraph 2, of Australian Resolution first part of which is reproduced.

1 See Document 262.

2 See Volume IX, Document 318.

[AA:A1838/2, 852/10/4]