49 Cablegram from Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Canberra, 4 June 1960

1463. Secret Priority

Nuclear Test Talks—Problem of Communist China

We discussed with Baker1 (Disarmament Affairs) on 3rd June the problem of Communist China and a nuclear test agreement. We asked whether it was realistic to contemplate the early conclusion of a Nuclear Test Treaty (assuming the Russians were still genuinely willing to seek such a treaty) in view of Communist China's ability to frustrate any treaty unless her price (presumably involving recognition at the very least)2 were met.

  1. Baker said he saw the matter as falling into two stages, the conclusion of a treaty among the United States, United Kingdom and USSR and the continuation of such a treaty. The first step was for the three principal parties to sign a treaty and begin to implement it by the establishment of control posts and other inspection measures in their own territory. This would get the treaty under way. The second stage would be the adherence of other countries and the progressive implementation in their territories of the necessary control inspection measures. These two stages were of course closely related; if, in the second stage, a country such as Communist China refused to co-operate, the treaty would cease to be binding on the three principal parties. Baker said this would be clearly spelled out in the 'phasing' article of the treaty, which laid down the schedule for the installation of control measures.

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A1838, 919/3 part 4]