G/PM files, lot 68 D 349, “Ivy”

Memorandum for the File, by the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy Affairs (Arneson)

  • Subject:
  • Advance Notification to the United Kingdom and Canada of United States Atomic Tests

By memorandum of October 13, 19521 I requested the views of the Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission on the question whether the United Kingdom and Canada should be given advance notification of the forthcoming Ivy series along the lines of notification previously given for earlier test series. By memorandum dated October 151 from Mr. LeBaron I was informed that the Secretary of Defense concurred in the proposed advance notification. On October 22 I met with Acting Chairman Smyth and Commissioners Murray and Glennan to discuss in detail the [Page 1037] various problems presented by the proposal. It was the consensus of the meeting, after some discussion, that I should proceed with the advance notification on the Ivy series as in the past. I pointed out that my general advance notification to the British and the Canadians would be followed at a later date by more precise notification through AFOAT channels of the exact time of the shots and of the meteorological conditions existing at the time in order to facilitate British and Canadian interception of the clouds. No objection was raised in the meeting to this follow-up procedure, it being recognized that such information was operationally necessary in carrying out technical cooperation in Area 5 under the modus vivendi.2 By memorandum dated October 23 from Mr. Hall3 I was informed that the Commission concurred in the proposal for advance notification with “the suggestion that the United Kingdom could be informed in the near future that the Ivy test is planned for the early part of November.”

Following on these concurrences I informed Mr. Eddie Tomkins, British Secretary of the CPC, and Mr. George Ignatieff, Canadian Secretary of the CPC, of the forthcoming Ivy tests along the following lines:

The forthcoming tests would be two in number.
The test series was scheduled to begin early in November. The exact time would be in large measure dependent on weather conditions which tended to be quite uncertain at this time of the year in the Eniwetok area.
The procedure followed in the past, namely notification as to exact time and attendant meteorological conditions, would be forthcoming in due course through AFOAT channels.
No inkling was given, or asked, as to the nature of either shot.

The notification as set forth above was given to the two named individuals orally on the afternoon of Friday, October 24, 1952.

  1. Not printed. (G/PM files, lot 68 D 349, “Ivy”)
  2. Not printed. (G/PM files, lot 68 D 349, “Ivy”)
  3. For text of the modus vivendi, see the minutes of the meeting of the Combined Policy Committee, Jan. 7, 1948, in Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. i, p. 679.
  4. Not found in Department of State files.