The Secretary of Defense (Lovett) to the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson)


Dear Mr. Hickerson: The Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the draft paper entitled “Proposals for Progressive and Continuing Disclosure and Verification of Armed Forces and Armaments,” as submitted to the Department of Defense by your letter to Mr. Nash of 18 February 1952.1 It is their belief that the draft paper is, with the one exception noted in the following paragraph, consistent with the spirit and intent of NSC 112.2 Subject to the modification set forth in the succeeding paragraph, the draft paper is considered a suitable basis for the submission by the United States Representative of proposals on this subject to the United Nations Disarmament Commission.

In order that the security interests of the United States may properly be protected, NSC 112 stresses throughout that a program for the regulation, limitation, and balanced reduction of armed forces and armaments must provide for the administration of adequate safeguards by a competent international authority with appropriate status, rights and powers. It is felt that the United States’ proposals on disclosure and verification, which is the first step in carrying out the program envisaged in NSC 112, should not fail to reflect this. Accordingly, it is recommended that the paragraph under “U.S. Proposals” in the draft paper be amended by [Page 878] adding a sentence which reads: “The permanent machinery to be established must provide adequate safeguards under a competent international authority having appropriate status, rights and powers.”

With reference to paragraph 5 of the draft paper and in light of current circumstances in which it appears that good faith must be proven in its entirety, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are unwilling initially to table the complete body of disclosures included within the first stage at the very outset of the program of disclosures. The Joint Chiefs of Staff therefore would recommend stipulating that initially the disclosures and verifications within the first stage, at least, must proceed step by step within that stage, progressing from the less sensitive to the more sensitive information.

Annex II to the draft paper does not stipulate that aerial survey is intended to be an adjunct to the verification scheme. Inasmuch as aerial survey is inherently a part of the United Nations plan for the international control of atomic energy and is also provided for in each stage of the verification scheme for armed forces and non-atomic armaments, the Joint Chiefs of Staff believe aerial survey should likewise be stipulated as a part of the verification procedure under atomic armaments in order that the United States’ proposals may not have to be subject to interpretation in this regard.

Subparagraph (b) of Stage II, Annex III, concerned with disclosure and verification of atomic armaments, refers to reactors operating at a level of 1 MN or more. The term “1 MN” apparently means 1 megawatt and should appear in the papers as “1 MW.”

Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of Defense:
Marshall S. Carter

Brigadier General, USA
Director, Executive Ofc
  1. The letter from Hickerson to Nash is not printed. (330.13/2–1852) The draft paper, DAC D–1/1, Feb. 15, is also not printed, but see footnote 1, p. 872.
  2. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. i, p. 477.