Memorandum by William Sanders to the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson)1
- Status Report on Disarmament
A. The Pre-Seventh GA Period
- If and when the paper on numerical limitation of armed forces [RAC (NS) D–4]2 is submitted in the Disarmament Commission, we will have reached our immediate objective of demonstrating US initiative in seeking agreement on disarmament. Our proposals will represent the “balanced” approach required by the situation confronting us in the Commission. This will mean, I hope, that the tactical [Page 939] situation will no longer force us to make substantive proposals before we have thought through the entire problem.
- Our activities between June 1, the date of the Commission’s first report, and the opening of the Seventh Session of the General Assembly will probably be confined to a holding operation. We should persuade the members of the Disarmament Commission to concentrate discussion on the proposals already submitted, plus the informal suggestion raised by various members, rather than on introducing any comprehensive proposals. However, we may submit a comparatively noncontroversial paper, such as the one on control organs. We should also not rule out entirely the possibility of an additional proposal in the reduction field—the NSRB may come up with a useful idea.
- We have considered whether the June report should contain a summary of the proposals and discussions or simply a brief recital of the organization of the Commission, the meetings held, and the text of the substantive proposals in the form of annexes. We have elected the latter alternative as the most suitable for this first step and, in fact, as the only one that would at this stage be supported by our principal friends. The Secretariat has already prepared a draft report along this line and the Commission meets tomorrow to consider the draft.
- It is as yet too early to decide what our approach should be to disarmament at the Seventh GA but my present thinking is that the item should not be spot-lighted, unless there is no escaping this because of Soviet propaganda. Although it will by that time be evident that there is an impasse in the Commission I think it will be to our advantage to demonstrate that we want to keep the door open for further discussions in the Commission after the Assembly.
B. The Comprehensive Plan
Following approval of the June report the Disarmament Staff will, in addition to necessary backstopping of the discussions in the Commission, concentrate on developing a comprehensive disarmament plan. The main segments of this program are set out in the attached Annex.
C. The Propaganda Program
Because of pressure of other affairs and the lack of personnel in the P Area, we have not succeeded in our efforts to have a full-time Officer assigned to disarmament work. I recently had conversations on this matter with Mr. Howland Sargeant3 and he has informed me that he is working out some arrangement to take care of our needs. This is, of course, an extremely important aspect of our program [Page 940] and I am concerned that we have accomplished so little in firming up a positive and imaginative approach to the problem.
- Sanders was Special Assistant and Planning Adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs. The memorandum was drafted by Howard Meyers of UNP.↩
- RAC (NS) D–4, Apr. 30, is not printed. (Disarmament files, lot 58 D 133, “RAC (NS) Documents”) Brackets in the source text.↩
- Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.↩
- DAC D–6, “General Views of the US Concerning Determination of Over-All Limits and Restrictions on All Armed Forces and Armaments, Including Atomic Weapons”, Apr. 14, 1952, is not printed. (Disarmament files, lot 58 D 133, “DAC”)↩