The United States Atomic Energy Commission to the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson)
Dear Mr. Hickerson : The Commission has received your letter to Dr. Smyth of February 18, 1952, with the attached document identified as DAC D–1/1, with annexes.1
We have particularly noted Annex II, entitled Proposed Stages of Disclosure and Verification, Atomic Armaments, as developed by an informal interdepartmental working group.
There are a few observations and a few suggested changes in Annex II which we feel should be considered by the Department of [Page 873] State and the Department of Defense. We are transmitting herewith a copy of a revised Annex II containing these changes.
It is our feeling that the present Stage IV should be broken into two stages. A new Stage IV which would be limited to (a) of the present Stage IV, namely, “Details of design and operation, including past and present output of all those atomic energy establishments and installations concerned with the fabrication of atomic or radioactive weapons for fissionable or other materials.”
We would then suggest a new Stage V which would embrace the present (b) Stage IV, namely, “Location, numbers, and types of atomic and radioactive weapons on hand.”
We feel very strongly that there should be consideration given to the compelling need to achieve complete agreement on an effective plan for the international control of atomic energy prior to entering into Stages III, IV and V.
A final observation is that the accumulation of fissionable material by the Soviet Union and the United States in the past several years makes it increasingly difficult to provide assurance by purely technical methods that a country such as the Soviet Union has disclosed and reported accurately the stocks of fissionable material produced. This observation does not affect the adequacy of the present U.N. plan for the international control of atomic energy but it does suggest that complete assurance cannot be gained from purely technical methods utilized in the verification and inspection process.
The letter from Hickerson to Commissioner Henry D. Smyth is not printed. (330.13/2–1852) Draft paper DAC D–1/1 of Feb. 15, dealing with disclosure and verification, is not printed. (Disarmament files, lot 58 D 133, “DAC”) The final agreed U.S. proposal on this subject was submitted to the Disarmament Commission on Apr. 5 as “Proposals for Progressive and Continuing Disclosure and Verification of Armed Forces and Armaments,” UN doc. DC/C.2/1. For text, see Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, vol. i, pp. 346–356.
Documents bearing the indicator “DAC” were prepared by the Interagency Working Group on Preparations for the Disarmament Commission, which first met on Jan. 21, 1952, and subsequently met nine times in 1952 and 1953. Bernhard G. Bechhoefer of UNP was Chairman of the Working Group, which included representatives of State, Defense, and the Atomic Energy Commission. Documentation generated by the Working Group is in Disarmament files, lot 58 D 133, “DAC”.↩