20. Aide-Mémoire From the Department of State to the Soviet Embassy1
The Government of the United States has considered the aide-mémoire of November 29, 1954, delivered by the Soviet Government2 and wishes to state the following:
- The Government of the United States notes that the Soviet Government agrees that negotiations looking to international cooperation in the development of peaceful uses of atomic energy can be fruitful without any prior commitment by the nations concerned to renounce the use of weapons.
- The Government of the United States repeats the assurance contained in its note of November 3, 1954,3 that it is willing to discuss the “principles” which the Soviet Government, in its aide-mémoire of September 22, 1954,4 and November 29, 1954, states that it considers important in the establishment and operation of an international agency for the development of the peaceful uses of atomic energy. However, the willingness of the Government of the United States to discuss these principles should not be taken to mean that the Government of the United States in advance of such discussion has accepted these principles, as the Soviet Government apparently assumes in its statements in the sixth paragraph of its aide-mémoire of November 29, 1954. It is suggested that the receipt of the specific comments of the Soviet Government on the outline of the objectives and functions of an international agency, submitted by the Government of the United States on March 19, 1954,5 would present a good opportunity for discussion of the aforementioned “principles” as they might apply to the actual organization and work of an agency for the development of the peaceful uses of atomic energy.
- The Government of the United States believes, as it stated in its memorandum of July 9, 1954,6 that the nations most advanced in knowledge regarding the constructive uses of atomic energy have an obligation to make this knowledge available under appropriate conditions, [Page 69] for promoting the welfare of peoples generally. Accordingly, negotiations have been initiated, as the Soviet Government is aware, among the eight other nations “principally involved,” looking toward the establishment of an international atomic energy agency. Pending further concrete indications of interest on the part of the Soviet Government in participating in the work of this proposed agency, negotiations will continue among these eight nations. Drafting of an agreement to establish such an agency is now under way. A copy of such draft agreement when completed will be furnished the Soviet Government upon request.
- Encouraged by the recent affirmative vote by the Soviet Government in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution concerning the “Atoms for Peace” program,7 the Government of the United States wishes to renew President Eisenhower’s proposal of December 8, 1953, to the Soviet Government that the powers principally involved begin now and continue to make joint contributions from their stockpiles of normal uranium and fissionable materials to an international atomic energy agency. With material support for the agency by the Soviet Government, in addition to the support already announced by the Government of the United States and the Government of the United Kingdom, an international pool of fissionable material could be established in the near future which would provide a basis for encouraging the use of this material for the peaceful applications of atomic energy. In this event, the international atomic energy agency would be made responsible for the storage and protection of the contributed fissionable material and other atomic materials.
- The Government of the United States notes that the Soviet Government does not object to a joint study by experts of the two nations of the problem of guarding against possible diversion of fissionable material from power-producing atomic installations and that the Soviet Government is of the opinion that the place and time of such a conference can be set without difficulty once agreement on an agenda has been reached. Attached to this note is a proposed agenda for such a meeting of experts. If this agenda is acceptable to the Soviet [Page 70] Government, the Government of the United States would be prepared to commence discussions on these topics at any time after May 1, and would be pleased to receive a Soviet delegation in Washington, D.C.
- Source: Department of State, Atomic Energy Files: Lot 57 D 688, IAEA—Exchange of Notes. Top Secret. Drafted by Gerard Smith on April 12. Previous drafts of the aide-mémoire, including one dated March 15 which was circulated to the British and Canadian Governments for concurrence and one dated April 12 which was sent to Secretary Dulles for approval, are ibid. Merchant handed the aide-mémoire to Zarubin at 10:30 a.m., April 14. (Memorandum of conversation, April 14, 1955; ibid., Central Files, 600.0012/4–1455)↩
- For text, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, pp. 1567–1569.↩
- Ibid., pp. 1547–1549.↩
- For text, see Department of State Bulletin, October 4, 1954, pp. 486–489.↩
- For text, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, pp. 1372–1376.↩
- Ibid., pp. 1473–1477.↩
On December 4, 1954, the U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved Resolution 810 (IX) on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. Following the vote the Soviet representative in the United Nations, Arkady Aleksandrovich Sobolev, said in part:
“My delegation’s favorable vote signifies its approval of the principle of international co-operation in developing the peaceful uses of atomic energy, a principle which it has always pressed and will continue to press. It must not, however, be taken to imply approval of those provisions which would limit and hamper the development of international co-operation in this field.” Sobolev’s statement, translated from Russian, is printed in Atoms for Peace Manual, p. 333. For text of Resolution 810 (IX) and additional references, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, p. 1578.↩