63 Cablegram from McCarthy1 to Bunting2

New York, 4 June 1965

UN 792. Confidential Priority

Disarmament Commission

Reference Canberra's telegram 15363 to you.

Following is account of the present state of developments and our assessment of the current situation in the Disarmament Commission.

  1. After seven weeks of meetings, the session is slowly approaching a climax.

[matter omitted]

  1. A number of interesting trends emerged in protracted general debate—
    1. A number of countries took the position that the signature of a non-proliferation agreement, under which non-nuclear powers would commit themselves not to acquire nuclear weapons, was of itself not an adequate solution to the problem of the hostile further spread of nuclear weapons.

      India took a particularly forthright stand (which we supported) that only agreement on a very comprehensive package of integrated measures (e.g. an undertaking to safeguard the security of non-nuclear powers, a comprehensive test ban, a 'freeze' on production of nuclear delivery vehicles) could provide the assurance that would induce her to sign such an agreement.

      Some other non-nuclear powers, including, significantly, a number with a potential nuclear capability (e.g. Sweden, Japan, and U.A.R.) also supported the 'integrated package' approach.

      Although the major western nuclear powers attempted to stop this trend, there was fairly widespread recognition that a non-dissemination agreement could not be isolated from progress on other measures.

    2. As anticipated there was widespread support from non-aligned countries for a world disarmament conference.

      Although Western, and some non-aligned countries, attempted to modify this pressure by references to the need for careful preparation and the value of small technical discussions rather than large political debate, the trend in favour of a world conference is unlikely to be checked.

    3. Although many countries expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction at the lack of progress in the E.N.D.C.,4 there has been no move to supplant it as a negotiation forum on disarmament.

      The Soviet Union while criticising the lack of progress in the E.N.D.C. has so far carefully refrained from committing itself on its future.

    4. Although there was widespread support for the Test Ban Treaty and a number of references to the fact that atmospheric tests had been carried out since the signature of the Test Ban Treaty, there was reluctance, in particular among African countries, to take any firm stand on this question.

      [matter omitted]

    5. Although there was support from many non-aligned countries for the necessity for including Peking in disarmament discussions, and in a world disarmament conference, there was no move to have Peking seated in the Commission, nor any attempt to have her included in the E.N.D.C.
  2. The Australian statement delivered on 20th May5 incorporated a number of principal elements—
    1. Defence of United States and our own policies on Vietnam.
    2. Extensive criticism of Chinese nuclear policies and tests, as well as a reiteration of our position on the proposed French tests.
    3. Support for the general Western approach to disarmament and for the work and continuing role of the E.N.D.C.
    4. Support for India on an 'integrated' approach to non-dissemination and on the need to provide assurances to non-nuclear powers which may be threatened by the nuclear proliferation which is already taking place.

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A1209, 1965/6117]