7. Memorandum of Discussion at the 236th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, February 10, 19551
[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda item 1.]
2. Proposed Public Announcement of the Effects, Particularly Fall-Out, of Thermonuclear Explosions (NSC Action No. 1320)2
Mr. Cutler reviewed the Council action on this subject at last week’s meeting, and asked Admiral Strauss to bring the Council up to date on developments since that time.
Admiral Strauss said that after further discussions of the draft statement with the Secretary of State, certain revisions had been made. He had decided to omit the references to the genetics situation since the material on this subject in the report indicated that we knew very little about it. It had also been decided to omit a map which had been attached, on grounds that the legend on the map would be too difficult to read as normally reproduced.[Page 21]
Admiral Strauss went on to say that the present plan was that a shortened, but not otherwise greatly edited, statement would be reviewed this afternoon with the public relations people. If they approved, the President had given him permission to release the report. He would do so after the State Department had had a chance to talk with the British, although he would not delay issuing the statement in order to issue it simultaneously with the British statement on the same subject.
In conclusion, Admiral Strauss hoped that paragraph b of last week’s Council action on this subject would be reaffirmed.
Secretary Dulles commented that this shortened version of the full statement would be more reassuring in tone and would give the right slant to the fuller statement.
The National Security Council:3
Noted an oral report by the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, on the current status of plans for a shortened public announcement on the subject, pursuant to NSC Action No. 1320.4
[Here follows agenda item 3.]
4. Atomic Power Abroad (NSC 5507; NSC 5431/1; Memo for NSC from Mr. Cutler, subject: “Development of Nuclear Power”, dated December 11, 1953; Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated February 9, 1955)5[Page 22]
Mr. Cutler briefed the Council very extensively and in detail on the contents of the reference report (NSC 5507). At the conclusion of his briefing he invited Admiral Strauss to add anything he wished to say against the inclusion of paragraph 15, which called for “sponsorship by the U.S. of a power reactor experiment to be undertaken in the U.S. at an early date, jointly by scientists from the U.S. and other countries, etc.”6 Admiral Strauss said his principal reason for dissenting from this proposal was that the concourse of scientists in such an experiment would constitute a Tower of Babel. Secondly, he opposed the proposal because it would involve giving foreign scientists very advanced U.S. designs. Thirdly, he believed that building such an experimental power reactor in the United States would constitute very poor public relations. It would be much more sensible to build these reactors in areas where they could actually be used—for example, in Brazil. In sum, concluded Admiral Strauss, the proposal in paragraph 15 seemed to him premature and impractical.
Admiral Radford said that the Joint Chiefs of Staff felt the same way about paragraph 15.7 In addition, the Chiefs felt that the United States would encounter great difficulties in selecting scientists from the various foreign countries to take part in such an experiment. If we [Page 23] confine the number of countries to a small total, those not invited would take serious offense. If we invited the scientists of too many countries, the risk to our own security would be too serious. Admiral Radford went on to express the opinion that the proposal advanced in paragraph 15 would tend to retard rather than to advance the development of power reactors. He believed that there was a general feeling that we were more advanced than in fact we actually are in the field of nuclear power development. Admiral Strauss was inclined to differ with Admiral Radford, and stated that we were actually more advanced in this field than many people realized.
Secretary Wilson said that he had both a Department of Defense and a personal point of view respecting this problem. He certainly favored going ahead full steam with the development of nuclear power in the United States by using American firms. Indeed, this was going along all the time, though he wondered if we were not overextending the promotional aspects of the process. The real trouble with the proposal made in paragraph 15 was the trouble it would cause in the area of security. Accordingly, he recommended that we drop the idea of going ahead with building nuclear power plants abroad for the time being at any rate.
Secretary Dulles said that of course it was hard for a layman to combat the technical arguments against the practicality of going ahead with a program for nuclear power abroad. On the other hand, it would be altogether disastrous from the point of view of foreign policy if we should at this point give up the “atoms for peace” program. Secretary Dulles then quoted portions of the President’s December 8, 1953, speech, as well as excerpts from his statements made when the construction of the nuclear power plant at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, was commenced.8 The statements made in these two speeches had in each case been made with the full knowledge and approval of the technical people. The United States has thus held out this very great boon to humanity as something it was about to give to the world. If, having assumed this posture for over a year now, our proposal turns out to be a dud and a bluff, the United States would be in a very serious position. If in point of fact our speeches had got ahead of our performance, this might be a useful spur for the United States to keep its development of nuclear power abreast of its words on the subject. He dreaded to think of the results if the Soviets should get ahead of us in this area.[Page 24]
Admiral Strauss sought to explain the things that were being done already with respect to this program, citing research reactors, possible power reactors in countries such as Belgium which were technologically capable of building them, U.S. training schools, libraries, and U.S. negotiation with many other countries interested in the general field of power reactor developments. Admiral Strauss was sure that these foreigners would get more out of the programs he had mentioned than they possibly could by attendance at a power reactor experiment here in the United States.
Secretary Dulles inquired of Admiral Strauss whether he was to deduce from all this that the United States was actually going to build power reactors in technologically advanced countries such as Belgium, Britain, and Canada. Admiral Strauss replied that these countries were going to build their reactors with their own money, but with U.S. advice and technical assistance.
Turning to paragraph 10 of NSC 5507, Secretary Dulles inquired why, if Admiral Strauss was correct, paragraph 10 spoke of the possibilities of constructing large-output power reactors abroad as merely a matter which should receive continuing study.9 This seemed to imply that we were not going to build any power reactors abroad.
Mr. Cutler explained once again that although technologically advanced countries would receive U.S. assistance in the task of building power reactors, the costs would be borne by the countries themselves rather than by the United States. There had been some question in the Planning Board as to whether this was a wise proposal in every instance.
Secretary Humphrey, however, expressed agreement with Secretary Dulles that as now written paragraph 10 was misleading as to U.S. intentions regarding the construction of power reactors abroad, and should therefore be deleted.
Mr. Cutler then called on Ambassador Lodge for any comments he would care to make.[Page 25]
Ambassador Lodge said that when the President had made his famous atoms for peace speech, the entire atmosphere and attitude toward the United States in the UN had been transformed. Moreover, when Mr. Streibert’s current exhibit on atomic energy had been shown to the UN, it had had much the same electrifying effect. This was the sort of thing which the United States should do in order to attract young leaders from all over the world to its camp, as opposed to the Soviet practice of attracting young men to Russia with the objective of making them into conspirators and revolutionaries. It would be a terrible mistake if the United States were ever to permit the Soviet Union to gain the lead over it or, indeed, to permit the Soviets to get even with us in the field of the peaceful uses of atomic energy.
The President then spoke for a few minutes of his December 8, 1953, speech and of the several hopeful developments which had occurred in the wake of it. He added that he thought that the proposal for the power reactor experiment set forth in paragraph 15 was really just one additional “gimmick” in this list of developments, and one with which he said he was not very favorably impressed.
Secretary Humphrey again adverted to the real meaning of paragraph 10, and inquired whether this in fact did not prevent the United States from going ahead with the plans for the power reactor in Belgium or in other technologically advanced foreign countries.
The President called attention to paragraph 14,10 after which Mr. Cutler once again explained the views of the Planning Board as to the meaning and intent of paragraph 10. He also called attention to the courses of action in paragraphs 19, 22 and 26,11 as evidence of the [Page 26] intention of the United States to go forward with a program for the ultimate development of nuclear power abroad. Secretary Dulles, however, replied that to him paragraph 26, which Mr. Cutler had cited, pointed to the conclusion that we would not build power reactors abroad since it called once again only for study of the desirability of the U.S. constructing such reactors abroad.
Mr. Cutler said that in those countries which were sufficiently advanced to make use of power reactors, the United States would go ahead to assist in building them. On the other hand, it was “a cruel deception” to hold out the promise of cheap power through atomic energy to countries which were insufficiently advanced in their technologies to make use of such plants.
The President said that he was not much impressed with Mr. Cutler’s argument, since there would be a sufficient length of time during which the power reactor would be built to train personnel in the foreign country in question to run the plant after its completion.
Mr. Cutler asked the President if he were aware that in most cases where the United States built power reactors abroad it would require a U.S. subsidy to build them. The President likewise took issue on this point with Mr. Cutler, indicating that while nuclear power reactors might be uneconomic in the United States for some time, such reactors might prove quite economic in producing power for the countries of the Andes. In any event, the President insisted with great emphasis on his desire that the positive side of this program be stressed, and not the negative. In short, we should push ahead vigorously with the program for developing atomic power abroad for peaceful uses.
The President then indicated that he felt that the Council had had a sufficient discussion of the subject, and asked Admiral Strauss to make a report in lay language and with charts which would show what the United States had been doing in the over-all field of nuclear power, including costs of construction and prices relative to conventional power production costs.
Secretary Wilson thought that the President’s suggestion was very desirable, but he wished to add some data provided by engineers and contractors which would indicate the probable costs of developing nuclear power programs, about which he expressed considerable anxiety. To Secretary Wilson the President replied by pointing out that while atomic submarines were anything but economical in their operating costs, they were of vast importance to the United States for a variety of reasons.[Page 27]
Admiral Strauss said that he would be glad to comply with the President’s request for a presentation on this program. But meanwhile he did wish to point out that a great many things had already been done to carry out the objectives of the President’s atoms for peace speech. For example, there had been the sale to India of heavy water. We are also providing interested foreign countries with 200 linear feet of books containing declassified information on the subject of nuclear power. We were bringing some 300 foreign students to the United States to study this subject in courses which were opening in March.12 The President expressed satisfaction, and asked that he be given a progress report on these matters which could be released to the public.
Secretary Humphrey expressed the opinion that most people don’t have any true idea of the length of time it takes to reach an objective like this when you are in fact blazing new trails. The pace is often very slow, and the United States must certainly watch its step. The President replied that before he had made any of his speeches on atoms for peace, he had insisted on the most painstaking check by the technicians on every line he had written, precisely to avoid any suggestion of false optimism. Moreover, when you stop to consider the gravity of the present world situation, you would have to conclude that it was worth sticking out your neck a bit if we can achieve our great objectives as set forth in the nuclear power program.
Secretary Wilson said that while this was undoubtedly true, he was still greatly worried about the cost elements in atomic power. The President answered, with impatience, by pointing out that he had reports that people in Paris were paying $62 a ton for coal at the present time. This seemed to him to indicate clearly that there are places in the world where atomic power might function economically even now. In any case, said the President, let us not give up our great lead in the vital area of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
Mr. Cutler then suggested that, in the light of the discussion, the Council might decide to suspend consideration of NSC 5507 until such time as Admiral Strauss had made the report which the President had requested. The President said, however, that he wished to go ahead as fast as he could in our negotiations with the Turks, who were strong allies and in great need of additional power resources.13 Mr. Rockefeller added that he saw no need to postpone action on NSC 5507 until [Page 28] after Admiral Strauss had presented his report. Any modifications in the light of that report could be made subsequently. Mr. Cutler, however, said that he would very much prefer to go ahead and have the Planning Board begin its review of NSC 5507 before the Council agreed to permit implementation of any of the courses of action now set forth in the paper.
The President closed the discussion with a warm tribute to the kind of scientific and technical cooperation which the British had offered the United States in the whole long period since the beginning of World War II. Our own attitude in response to the British had been foolish and stupid, and we had lost a great deal in all these fields as a result of our “terrible attitude”.
The National Security Council:14
- Discussed the reference report on the subject (NSC 5507)prepared by the NSC Planning Board including the participation of the AEC Observer and with the assistance of a Special Subcommittee, in the light of the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff transmitted by the reference memorandum of February 9, 1955.
- Requested the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, to make a report at the Council meeting scheduled for March 17, 1955,15 on the status of all elements of the nuclear power program (including research and power reactors, training and educational programs, international conferences and negotiations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, etc.), with examples of the costs of constructing and operating research and power reactors in relation to the costs of producing power in selected foreign countries by conventional means.
- Deferred action on NSC 5507 pending a revision in the light of the views expressed at the meeting.
Note: The action in b above subsequently transmitted to the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission.
[Here follows agenda item 5.]
6. U.S. Policy on Control of Armaments (NSC 112; NSC Actions Nos. 899, 1106, 1162, 1256; Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated December 10, 1954)16[Page 29]
Mr. Cutler briefed the Council extensively on the reference problem, while Mr. Lay handed out to the members of the Council a series of five questions relating to disarmament (copy filed in the minutes of the meeting).17 Mr. Cutler went on to explain the major differences in approach by the Departments of State and Defense, illustrating these differences by reading the conclusions from the position papers by each of the two departments for use at yesterday’s meeting of the Special Committee for the Review of NSC 112 (Secretaries of State and Defense and Chairman, AEC).18 At the end of his statement, Mr. Cutler read the set of questions which Mr. Lay had distributed, and explained that the Secretary of State had felt that these were questions which the Council might usefully discuss. He then asked Secretary Dulles to open the discussion.
The President intervened to say that the question which most interested him was the first question, which read:
“Should further review of U.S. disarmament policies be conducted under the direction of a person of outstanding qualifications, free to concentrate on disarmament and to devote a substantial part of his time to these matters for at least a year? In carrying out such review, each concerned agency (State, Defense, AEC) would furnish an adviser to such individual and stand ready to undertake whatever technical or other studies may be determined to be necessary.” The President went on to say that we greatly needed such a man as was [Page 30] suggested by this question. The Council had not discussed the problem of disarmament for some weeks or months now, and the President did not think it would be easy for the Council members to get their minds conditioned to the subject again unless they had the expert guidance of such an individual as was proposed in this question. Certainly disarmament was a subject with which some one exceptional brain ought to occupy itself exclusively. This was one of the most important fields in the entire Government.
Mr. Cutler again asked Secretary Dulles to comment, this time directing him to the first question. Secretary Dulles replied that it was a good rule of law that when the judge is persuaded to your side of the argument to keep still (laughter). Secretary Dulles then spoke of the meeting of the Special Committee to Review NSC 112, which had been held in his office the previous day, and pointed out that the suggestion for a single individual to devote himself to the disarmament problem had been made at that meeting by Admiral Strauss and had been seconded by Anderson and thoroughly approved by himself.19 The problem of disarmament and arms control, continued Secretary Dulles, was as urgent and as difficult as any problem which society faced today. Judging from past experience, one would be tempted to say that it was an insoluble problem, and Secretary Dulles cited instances of historical failure which could so easily lead one to believe that arms limitation would come about more readily in a climate of mutual trust among nations rather than as the producer of mutual trust.
While, said Secretary Dulles, this was the historical situation, there were now a number of new factors. The so-called unconventional weapons were of transcendent importance among these factors. In view of the enormous ingenuity which had ultimately produced these new weapons, one was entitled to hope that there was sufficient human ingenuity to devise a solution to the problem they posed for the world. Secondly, the risks of not doing something in this field of disarmament were far greater than they had ever been before in history. This in itself added to our incentives to achieve a solution. In any event, we must accept the working hypothesis that a solution to this terrible problem can be found.
Secretary Dulles then expressed complete agreement with the President’s judgment as to the importance of the first in the list of five questions on disarmament. Indeed, he said, this had been the unanimous view at yesterday’s meeting. The problem was to find the man to head up the study of the disarmament problem.[Page 31]
The President then inquired if the forthcoming UN disarmament talks in London started on time, when would the conference convene? Secretary Dulles replied that the talks were scheduled to commence in London on February 25. The President said that he would prefer to postpone the disarmament meeting until such time as we could find the man to head up this new study and review of the disarmament problem. Secretary Dulles said that it would be a mistake for the United States to take the initiative in trying to postpone the London meeting. He thought perhaps the Russians themselves might exercise this initiative. The President said that he had meant to suggest only postponing further discussion of the disarmament problem in the National Security Council. Secretary Dulles expressed agreement with the President that it would not be profitable to discuss the remaining four questions which Mr. Cutler had suggested, since the members of the Council had had insufficient time to study these questions.
The President then commented that before the invention of the new weapons, the United States used to have such a vastly superior industrial base for war that it could be reasonably sure that no enemy could succeed in destroying the United States through recourse to war. With the new weapons this was no longer the case. While, continued the President, the Council would recall his view, expressed on past occasions, that if he could be shown a really foolproof system which would ensure the effective abolition of atomic and nuclear weapons, he would be perfectly willing to agree to their abolition, even though there were no simultaneous reduction or abolition of conventional weapons. Indeed, said the President, he would buy such a solution right this minute, except that he had now become convinced that it was not possible to devise a foolproof system to abolish nuclear weapons and to see that they remained abolished. Accordingly, he had now come to change his view and to revert to support of the position which the United States had taken in the UN, linking conventional and atomic weapons in any plan for the control or abolition of armaments.
Secretary Dulles launched into a discussion of the position taken by many people, that until you can get an absolutely foolproof system of disarmament you should not seriously take any steps in the direction of disarmament. While this point might be valid, Secretary Dulles pointed out that if no steps at all were taken and we continued in our present situation, we also ran very grave risks.
The President observed that every time recently that the subject of disarmament had come up in a conversation, he was reminded of the fate of Carthage. The Roman invaders had by false promises induced the citizens of Carthage to surrender their arms. The moment these arms were surrendered, the Roman legions attacked the city. Even in its comparatively defenseless state, however, Carthage had resisted the invaders for the period of an entire year.[Page 32]
Secretary Wilson said he agreed with Secretary Dulles’ analysis, and pointed out that something must be worked out to try to solve the problem of disarmament, and that we could never afford to give up the effort.
Ambassador Lodge informed the Council that the British had told him that they were going to call their disarmament meeting on schedule in London for February 25, whether the Soviets attended the meeting or not. He predicted that little would be accomplished by the meeting except by way of propaganda-making. He added that the Soviet disarmament proposal of last October20 would be high on the agenda of the London meeting.
Mr. Cutler then read from a section of the State Department position paper of the previous day, recommending what the United States position on disarmament at this meeting should consist of.
Secretary Dulles, referring to the Soviet proposal of October 1954, pointed out that this pronouncement was hailed in many quarters as marking a significant Soviet concession to international control and inspection of armaments. Ambassador Lodge commented that the chief usefulness of the London meeting would be to probe this very point. He added that he believed the Russians would feel obliged to come to London because they would look so bad if they stayed away from the meeting.
Admiral Radford pointed out the relevancy of our experiences over a year and a half with inspections in North Korea, as to Soviet intentions.
Mr. Cutler then turned the Council’s attention to the first question on his list, and asked if there were any further discussion of the matter, suggesting that the members of the Council offer any suggestions they could think of for the individual in question, so that these suggestions might be given to the President next week. The President said that he wished to get started finding the right man at once. It might even be possible to find such a man in time to send him to London as an observer at the meeting on February 25. The President added that in his view the kind of man we needed was one who combined both an executive and a judicial temperament.
Secretary Humphrey observed that the problem of disarmament was decidedly a long-term proposition. At the end, we must not only arrive at the right conclusions respecting our own position on the problem, but we must also be prepared to sell such a position to the public. For this reason he recommended that the single individual selected to review the U.S. position might well be assisted by a committee [Page 33] of perhaps three civilians from outside the Government who would join in the report on this problem to the National Security Council.
The President said that if he did appoint such a man, that man ought not only to have free access to all departmental thinking on the subject of disarmament, but also access to all the views held by responsible people outside the Government. Secretary Dulles, while agreeing with the President’s point, warned that it was essential that such an individual keep closely in touch with the views of the responsible Government agencies. He cited Mr. Grenville Clark’s21 solution of the disarmament problem—namely, world government—as an example of the danger of thinking on this problem in an ivory tower remote from the views of the departments and agencies of the Government who were most closely involved.
Mr. Cutler then re-read the recommendation made by the State Department as to the interim position the United States should take in the forthcoming UN meeting on disarmament, contrasting this position with that suggested by the Department of Defense. There ensued a discussion which resulted in changes in the State Department position designed to accommodate that position to the views of the Department of Defense. The final revision was found generally acceptable by the members of the Council.
Ambassador Lodge stated that as a practical matter, the United States delegation to the London meeting would not have to show its hand with respect to a firm U.S. position. Secretary Humphrey said he was glad to hear this, because it was obviously going to be impossible to get full agreement on a firm U.S. position prior to February 25. Ambassador Lodge commented that the London meeting would consist largely of a cold war exercise. To this, Secretary Humphrey replied that all the United States could really do at this time was to avoid freezing its position. Secretary Wilson agreed with Secretary Humphrey.
Mr. Cutler then inquired of Secretary Dulles whether he wished to discuss the second, third and fourth questions on the list. Secretary Humphrey said that he thought such a procedure would involve the Council’s getting ahead of itself. What was the point of appointing a single individual to study these matters for the Council, and then going on to try to decide them itself? Secretary Dulles indicated that he was not inclined at this time to discuss the remaining questions on Mr. Cutler’s list.[Page 34]
At the end of the meeting, the President once again summarized the position he had taken earlier respecting the relationship between disarmament in the area of conventional versus nuclear weapons, and reiterated that he now found himself back in firm support of the position on this subject which the United States had consistently taken in the UN.
The National Security Council:22
- Noted and discussed the subject in the light of a summary of the positions of the Departments of State and Defense as read at the meeting by Mr. Cutler.
- Recommended that the President designate an individual of
outstanding qualifications, as his Special Representative to
conduct on a full-time basis a further review of U.S. policy on
control of armaments, reporting his findings and recommendations
to the National Security Council; such Special Representative to
- Full access to all pertinent information and views within the various executive departments and agencies.
- One qualified adviser each from the Departments of State and Defense, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Central Intelligence Agency, to assist the Special Representative and make available whatever information or studies may be required from those respective departments and agencies.
- A panel of three or more qualified consultants from outside of Government, to advise the Special Representative.
- Agreed that, pending the results of the review referred to in
b above, the U.S. public position in the United Nations on the
subject should be:
- To continue support of the current U.S. positions, including the UN plan with adjustments in emphasis to take account of presently-accumulated stockpiles and the existence of sufficient nuclear material for foreseeable peaceful uses.
- To avoid taking a position which would materially prejudice the possible introduction of later proposals.
Note: The action in b above subsequently transmitted to the President for consideration. The action in c above, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Secretary of State.
[Here follows agenda item 7.]
- Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Gleason on February 11.↩
- Regarding NSC Action No. 1320, see footnote 6, Document 5.↩
- The following paragraph constitutes NSC Action No. 1324, February 10. (Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, NSC Actions)↩
AEC report, entitled
“The Effects of High-Yield Nuclear Weapons”, is not printed,
but was published in full in The New York
Times, February 16, 1955, p. 18. A copy is in
Department of State, Atomic Energy Files: Lot 57 D 688,
Fallout. The report was pouched to all U.S. diplomatic posts
on February 11 (ibid., Central Files,
711.5611/ 2–1155) and was followed by Usito circular 269, signed by
USIA Director Streibert on February 14,
to 31 U.S. diplomatic missions giving background information
and indicating purposes of the statement. (Ibid., Atomic Energy Files: Lot 57 D 688, Fallout:
Reactions and Statements, 1955)
The AEC report summarized major characteristics of nuclear detonations, fallout radiation from in-the-air and surface detonations, the fallout pattern of the March 1, 1954, Bikini Pacific thermonuclear test, and the Nevada tests, radiostrontium and radioiodine fallout, and the genetic effects of radiation.
The AEC had previously released some information on occasion on the effects of nuclear testing. See, for example, extracts of the prepared statement on the subject by Strauss at a March 31, 1954, White House news conference in Department of State Bulletin, April 12, 1954, pp. 548–549, and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 1954, pp. 163–165. The AEC February 15 report did not provide much new information, but it gave statistics on fallout effects based on the March 1 Bikini test and was the first systematic presentation of nuclear weapons effects since the publication of the handbook, The Effects of Atomic Weapons: Prepared for and in Cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950).↩
- NSC 5507, January 28, is a draft statement of policy on “Atomic Power Abroad” prepared by the NSC Planning Board. (Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5507 Series: Atomic Power Abroad) For NSC 5431/1, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, p. 1488. For the memorandum of December 11, 1953, see ibid., p. 1296. The February 9 memorandum enclosed the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on NSC 5507, which had been sent to the Secretary of Defense on February 4. (Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5507 Series: Atomic Power Abroad)↩
This paragraph went on to read:
“Initially the foreign participants might come from nations who have negotiated “Agreements for Cooperation’ with the U.S. Subsequently, as it might become possible to declassify the type of reactor chosen, scientists and engineers from all countries taking part in the International Atomic Energy Agency or the preliminary negotiations might take part. By building an experimental size reactor, the cost would be held down and the experimental nature of nuclear power at this stage of development would be made clear. Even an experimental reactor would be attractive, and would give invaluable first-hand engineering acquaintance with the practical problems of reactor design and construction. The technical and the security and legal problems of such a venture require further exploration, along with questions of location, timing, financing, and utilizing a power reactor experiment already contemplated.”
“Agreements for Cooperation” in the above quotation refer to agreements between the United States and friendly governments in the field of the civil uses of atomic energy. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, which permitted these agreements under specified conditions, is printed in Atoms for Peace Manual, pp. 209–251. The International Atomic Energy Agency in the quoted passage refers to President Eisenhower’s proposal in his “Atoms for Peace” speech to the United Nations on December 8, 1953. For early U.S. promotion of this agency, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, p. 1293.↩
- In the memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, February 4 (see footnote 5, above), Radford had written that paragraphs 15 and 20, concerning the undertaking of a power reactor experiment in the United States (with participation by eligible foreign engineers and scientists) had “military significance and the Joint Chiefs of Staff concur in the view of the AEC representative that they be deleted.”↩
- President Eisenhower’s address on the occasion of the ground-breaking ceremony for the Shippingport atomic power plant, September 6, 1954, was broadcast over radio and television from Denver, Colorado. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954, pp. 840–841)↩
Paragraph 10 of NSC 5507 reads:
“The pressurized water reactor (PWR) (of 50,000–100,000 KW power output) is being built in the U.S. for experimental purposes rather than specifically to produce economic atomic power. Consideration has been given to the desirability of initiating now construction of a reactor of comparable size in some foreign power-short area. Such an action might have great psychological advantages. However, such a reactor built under publicity might operate irregularly or with lower performance and higher cost than predicted. It might even be a failure. Selecting a single location for a reactor without causing resentment among disappointed claimants would be difficult. Finally, there would be the problem of financing without U.S. subsidy. Nevertheless, the possibilities of constructing large-output* power reactors abroad ought to receive continuing study.
*“Like the shipping port [i.e. Shippingport, Pa.] PWR (50,000–100,000 KW).”↩
Paragraph 14 reads:
“U.S. production capacities and efficiency in producing U-235 and, less importantly, in producing heavy water and processing spent fuel elements, gives the U.S. a commanding international position in the nuclear power field. While programs devised under NSC 5431/1 for research reactors and training will help less advanced countries to prepare for the advent of nuclear power, there are a few technically advanced nations which need U.S. assistance in expediting their own programs for power reactors. The programs of training and assistance which the U.S. has announced, together with this further cooperation with advanced nations, will be of great importance to foreign nations.”↩
Paragraph 19 reads:
“Make an early announcement of U.S. readiness to enter into discussion as to technological assistance to other countries in their power reactor planning and programs.”
Paragraph 22 reads:
“Enter into discussions with nations in a position to undertake programs of developing nuclear power, looking toward “Agreements for Cooperation’ under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 which will cover exchange of power reactor information, and the sale, lease, or other transfer (whichever is in the best over-all interests of the U.S.) of nuclear materials or equipment.” A footnote to this paragraph added: “The Planning Board recommends that if this paragraph is approved, paragraph 11 of NSC 5431/1 should be amended to conform.”
Paragraph 26 reads:
“Continue to study the desirability of the U.S. constructing large-output and small-output power reactors abroad.”↩
- The sale of heavy water to India by the AEC was announced on February 12. The AEC also gave the Japanese Government a library on atomic energy on November 12, 1954. The courses for foreign students at the new School of Nuclear Science and Engineering, located at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, opened on March 13. There were 31 foreign students. These matters are described, respectively, in Atoms for Peace Manual, pp. 303, 342, and 351–358.↩
- On May 3, the President approved a proposed agreement for cooperation with Turkey, and authorization for the agreement was completed the following month. For background and text of the agreement, see ibid., pp. 428–437.↩
- Paragraphs a-c and the Note that follow constitute NSC Action No. 1326, approved by the President on February 10. (Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, NSC Actions)↩
- The NSC memorandum of discussion summarizing Strauss’ report, which was postponed until the March 24 meeting, is not printed. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records) Parts of this meeting are summarized in footnotes 2 and 4, Document 19.↩
- For text of NSC 112, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. I, p. 477. For NSC Actions Nos. 899, 1106, and 1162, see ibid., 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, footnote 3, p. 1210; footnote 5, p. 1428; and footnote 6, p. 1472, respectively. The portions of NSC Action No. 1106 relating to the Geneva Conference and Indochina are printed ibid., vol. XIII, p. 1491. NSC Action No. 1256, October 28, 1954, on “U.S. Position With Respect to Arms Reduction”, is not printed. (Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, NSC Actions) The memorandum of December 10, 1954, was drafted by Gleason; the enclosed memorandum by Cutler of the same date is printed in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, p. 1580.↩
- Not found in the Eisenhower Library or Department of State files. The questions were apparently developed by Cutler, who had said “he would try to draft a statement of the issues arising out of this review of NSC 112 (basic disarmament policy), for NSC consideration at the February 10 meeting.” See the memorandum of conversation, supra.↩
- The Department of State position paper, February 7,
concluded that the “basic principles for U.S. disarmament policy set
forth in NSC 112 now require
modification”. A policy review should seek to evaluate alternative
approaches to disarmament such as: negotiating and carrying out a
“limited first step toward disarmament, such as cessation of
production of nuclear fuels, with adequate inspection; agreement to
reduce nuclear weapons independent of agreement on conventional
arms; general agreement on a detailed and comprehensive disarmament
plan before putting part of the plan into effect; and the possible
provision for cessation of nuclear fuel production accompanied by
adequate standards. (Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous)
Files: Lot 66 D 95, NSC 112)
The Department of Defense position paper, January 25, advocated “the regulation of all armaments and armed forces under an adequately safeguarded and comprehensive plan”, and proposed as a first task the attainment of agreement among concerned major nations on such a disarmament plan. Such an agreement would provide for an international control organ within the United Nations with powers to implement and enforce the plan, to maintain ownership and control over all atomic energy material and facilities, and to prohibit effectively armaments and armed forces not permitted under the plan. The agreement would also provide for progressive disclosure and verification of information regarding armed forces and armaments, allow for suspension of the agreement in case of detected violations, and specify punitive measures to be taken in case of violations. (Ibid., Disarmament Files: Lot 58 D 133, Chronological File—Disarmament—General)↩
- According to Meyers’ memorandum, supra, it was Bowie who made the suggestion. He had earlier made the same suggestion in a meeting of the Special Committee reviewing U.S. policy on armaments; see Document 1.↩
- Actually, the Soviet disarmament proposal was introduced in the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 30, 1954. For text, see Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, vol. I, pp. 431–433.↩
- Grenville Clark, prominent lawyer, was coauthor with Louis B. Sohn of Peace Through Disarmament and Charter Revision: Detailed Proposals for Revision of the United Nations Charter (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Law School, 1953).↩
- Paragraphs a–c and the Note that follow constitute NSC Action No. 1328, approved by the President on February 10. (Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, NSC Actions)↩