Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson) to the Secretary of State

  • Subject:
  • Disarmament: Memorandum of April 15, 1952 from Mr. Cohen1

I have the following comments on the five points mentioned in the attached memorandum from Mr. Cohen to you:

  • Point 1. I agree with Mr. Cohen that it would be helpful if the President should indicate to the Secretary of Defense and probably also to General Bradley his continued interest in the development of a constructive and comprehensive program of disarmament. I believe that such an indication would be more effective if it were on an informal and confidential basis. For example, it might be desirable for the President to bring the matter up informally at a meeting of the National Security Council. It should be stressed that operating relationships between the Department of State and the Department of Defense on this subject are on a cordial and cooperative basis. We need to ensure that the officers of the Department of Defense adopt a more positive attitude despite the fact that they are participating in an activity which, in general, is unpopular in Defense.
  • Points 2, 3 and 4. Mr. Cohen has been informed of the steps that have been taken and that we plan to take on these matters, and which generally parallel his recommendations.
  • Point 5. We have explored these ideas both in the Department and with other Agencies but nothing has yet materialized.

[Page 895]


Memorandum by the Deputy United States Representative on the United Nations Disarmament Commission (Cohen) to the Secretary of State

  • Subject:
  • Disarmament.

As a reminder I list the points we discussed together today.

President to urge Defense Secretaries and Joint Chiefs of Staff to see that Pentagon takes an active part and interest in developing a constructive and comprehensive program of disarmament.
Prompt setting to work of Panel of Experts2 with competent and resourceful executive secretary to develop constructive programs—with research assistance from Ford Foundation as well as the Government (Pentagon and State).
Preparation of an AchesonLilienthal Report on armaments other than atomic. (Perhaps under Panel’s auspices with Pentagon’s aid).
A comprehensive review of the UN (Baruch) Plan3 to determine whether any changes appropriate in view of developments since its adoption. (Perhaps under Panel’s auspices with Pentagon’s aid.)
Immediate need for finding quickly a few definite proposals for limiting or prohibiting particular types of armaments or appropriations pending the working out of a more comprehensive plan.
  1. See the annex below.
  2. See the minutes of the meeting between the Secretary of State and the Panel of Consultants on disarmament, Apr. 28, p. 896.
  3. Reference is to the proposals advanced by Bernard M. Baruch, the U.S. representative, at the first meeting of the UN Atomic Energy Commission, June 14, 1946, as subsequently adopted by the UN General Assembly. For documentation on U.S. proposals during 1946 regarding the international control of atomic energy, see Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. i, pp. 712 ff.