501.BC Armaments/3–349

Position Paper Prepared by the Executive Committee on Regulation of Armaments1


RAC D–34e

Implementation of General Assembly Resolution of November 19, 1948, Relating to the Future Work of the Commission for Conventional Armaments

1. The Problem

To determine the position of the United States with respect to the future work of the Commission for Conventional Armaments in light of the General Assembly Resolution of November 19, 1948 (Appendix A).2

2. Facts Bearing on the Problem

Appendix B.3

3. Discussion

Appendix C.3

[Page 34]

4. Conclusions

The United States is politically committed to participation in the work of the Commission for Conventional Armaments (CCA) in carrying out the recommendations of the General Assembly Resolution of November 19, 1948 (Appendix A). The United States should continue to adhere to its position that the CCA should proceed with its Plan of Work taking into account that first priority shall be given to the development of proposals for census and verification.
In developing such proposals the United States objective should be to gain acceptance of a plan for “receipt, checking and publication” which, consistent with the purposes of the resolution, would involve, among other things, a relaxation of the Soviet restrictions on the free movement of persons and information with its resultant effect on Soviet foreign and domestic policies. A concurrent objective should be to avoid acceptance of any plan lacking adequate provision for verification of information regarding conventional armaments and effectives.
Should the Soviet acceptance of such a plan not be obtained, the record of the CCA should show clearly that it is Soviet unwillingness to cooperate to the extent required which makes it impossible at the present time to take even this preliminary step toward establishing a system for the regulation and reduction of conventional armaments and armed forces.
The United States should prepare, as soon as possible, detailed proposals for the receipt, checking and publication by an international organ of control within the framework of the Security Council of full information to be supplied by member states with regard to their effectives and conventional armaments. These proposals should cover the following matters:
The nature and extent of the information on conventional armaments and armed forces required and the methods of reporting.
The methods of checking and verification to be employed to ensure that the information reported is accurate and complete.
The organization, administration, financing, staffing, and the like, of the international organ of control.
The rights and duties of the control organ.
The relation of the control organ to other organs of the UN.
The rights and obligations of UN Member States.
The rights and obligations of other states.
The scope of disclosure of information on armaments and armed forces should not exceed that necessary to give a reasonable degree of assurance as to the existing levels of armaments and armed forces and should be limited as necessary to avoid unduly jeopardizing the security of individual states.
The categories of personnel which should be required in the report are regular armed forces of the military services; military and paramilitary forces subject to national control, such as border guards, internal security forces, militia, and gendarmerie; and reserve components of these forces in organized groups, or undergoing periodic training, refresher, or schooling duties. These categories and the information to be reported are tabulated in Annex I.4
The categories of materiel, in service and in reserve, subject to reporting should be limited generally to those armaments information on which would provide adequate knowledge of the existing levels of conventional armaments. Specifically exempted should be materiel in the research or development stage. Items of armaments subject to reporting are tabulated in Annex II.4
The system of verification is critical to the attainment of the United States objectives. The system should include the verification by audit of records pertaining to the items to be reported and should provide for a maximum of unrestricted movement for the inspectorate to permit auditing of the records and spot checks of organizations and installations. The scope of the verification phase, and activities to which access should be granted, are tabulated in Annex III.4
The system should be supervised by a control agency deriving its powers from the instrument establishing it. National representation should be the same as that of the Security Council, and the control agency should be responsible to that body. Within the scope of its defined authority, the control agency should be empowered to make decisions, recommendations, and reports with no requirement of unanimity.
As a pre-requisite to implementation, the proposals should be accepted by all states possessing substantial military resources and embodied in a suitable international agreement or agreements.

5. Views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

The comments of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are attached as Appendix D.7 The changes in conclusions suggested in these comments (paragraphs a, c, and d on pages 2 and 3 of Appendix D) have been incorporated in the conclusions of this paper. This paper is identical with the paper (RAC D–3d)4 forwarded to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for comment except for: (1) the changes noted above in the conclusions; (2) the addition of Appendix D; and (3) the insertion of this statement concerning the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

6. Recommendations

That the Secretaries of State and Defense approve the conclusions of this paper.
That after such approval the paper be forwarded to the United States Representative at the Seat of the United Nations for his guidance.

  1. In telegram 155, March 11, the Department of State authorized Ambassador Austin to proceed in accordance with this paper, in view of the fact that it had been approved by the Secretaries of State and Defense (501.BC Armaments/3–1149).
  2. Not reproduced; see footnote 8, p. 8.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.
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  7. Not printed.
  8. Not printed.