Editorial Note

On January 11, 1952, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 502 (VI): “Regulations, Limitation, and Balanced Reduction of All Armed Forces and All Armaments; International Control of Atomic Energy”. The resolution, originally sponsored by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, was approved by a vote of 42–5–7, with the Soviet Union in opposition. According to the provisions of the resolution, a Disarmament Commission was established under the Security Council with the same membership as the Atomic Energy Commission and the Commission for Conventional Armaments. The resolution dissolved the Atomic Energy Commission and recommended to the Security Council that it dissolve the Commission on Conventional Armaments (accomplished by the Council on January 30, 1952). Under Resolution 502 (VI), the Disarmament Commission was directed to prepare proposals for the regulation of armaments and the international control of atomic energy, and to submit a first report by June 1, 1952. For the text of Resolution 502 (VI), see Foreign Relations, 1951, volume i, page 613; or Department of State, Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, 2 volumes (Government Printing Office, 1960), volume I, pages 337–339.

Regarding events leading to the adoption of Resolution 502 (VI), see National Security Council Progress Report, January 29, 1952, page 859. For detailed documentation on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1951, volume I, pages 443 ff.

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For information on the operations of the Disarmament Commission, see Bernhard C. Bechhoefer,Postwar Negotiations on Arms Control (Washington, The Brookings Institution, 1961). Bechhoefer was Officer in Charge of International Security Affairs, Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs, Department of State, during 1952–1954. See also Department of State, Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, volume I; Department of State, United States Efforts Toward Disarmament: Report to the President by the Deputy U.S. Representative on the United Nations Disarmament Commission, Publication 4902 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1953); and The Yearbook of the United Nations, 1952, 1953, and 1954 (New York, United Nations Publications, 1953–1955). Unpublished materials, including records of the Commission, are in Department of State Lot files 58 D 133 (Disarmament files) and 60 D 463 (IO files).