24. Editorial Note

At the May 10 meeting of the Subcommittee of the United Nations Disarmament Commission, the Soviet Union introduced comprehensive proposals on the reduction of armaments and the prohibition of atomic weapons. Briefly, these proposals amounted to the negotiation of a treaty for approval by the United Nations Security Council. This treaty would provide for:

“(a) the complete prohibition of the use and production both of nuclear and of all other weapons of mass destruction, and the conversion of existing stocks of nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes;

“(b) a major reduction in all armed forces and all conventional armaments;

“(c) the establishment of a control organ with rights and powers and functions adequate to guarantee in the case of all States alike the effective observance of the agreed prohibitions and reductions.”

The Soviet proposals elaborated at length on several measures involving budgets, force levels, conventional arms, prohibitions on production and use of weapons of mass destruction, procedures for dismantling of foreign bases, disclosure, inspection and control, and enforcement, all of which were to be implemented in two stages, the first in 1956 and the second in 1957.

The Soviet proposals are printed in Department of State Bulletin, May 30, pages 900–905; and Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, volume I, pages 456–467.