Department of State Disarmament Files

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Acheson) to the Secretary of State


Recommendations With Regard to the Regulation of Armaments

I have the following recommendations with regard to this matter.

The United States should agree in principle to the setting up by the Security Council of a General Commission for the Regulation and Reduction of Armaments.
The United States should agree to the setting up by the Security Council of a Committee of the Whole, responsible for reporting back to the Security Council its recommendations regarding the composition and terms of reference of the proposed Commission. The most important consideration here is that the new Commission should not in any way infringe upon the responsibilities of the Atomic Energy Commission which has jurisdiction over atomic and other major-weapons of mass destruction.
The United States, having agreed to the first two points, should press for immediate consideration by the Security Council itself of the-Atomic Energy Commission’s Report.
There is attached a draft resolution (Tab 1–a)1 which might be used by Senator Austin as a basis for his consultations with other Members of the Security Council before the Council meets to consider this, matter next Tuesday. This draft has been cleared with him. It is my thought that it would be preferable for some other Member of the Council to introduce a resolution which would meet our points rather than for us to do this ourselves.

It should be added that the United Kingdom Government, the only [Page 381] one which has given us even lukewarm support in the Council in our efforts to avoid setting up another Commission, is now taking the position that a separate Disarmament Commission, working in parallel with the Atomic Energy Commission, should be established promptly. This position is set forth in an aide-mémoire which the British Ambassador left with me yesterday.2

  1. Not printed; it was identical with the draft resolution subsequently approved by the Secretaries of the State, War and Navy Departments, and by the President, printed as the annex to the Secretary of State’s memorandum to the Under Secretary, January 30, p. 388, with the following exception: the present draft did not contain the phrase “including the provision of effective safeguards” following: the expression “practical measures” in the first numbered paragraph.
  2. Annex 1 to Acheson’s memorandum of conversation, January 27, p. 376.