The American Road to World Peace

By Alfred Zimmern | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 61: The Issue Behind the Baruch Report

BEFORE we leave this subject, let us look at it briefly from a different angle, from the angle from which Stalin and his confederates were bound to regard it.

For them acceptance of the Baruch Report would have meant making a breach in the hitherto impenetrable wall of Soviet sovereignty-a breach, moreover, which could not be concealed from their own people, for it would have entailed the granting of permission to officials of the United Nations to travel throughout the length and breadth of the Soviet Union and to examine, without previous notice, any mine, factory, or other installation which they chose to visit.

During the period between 1945 and 1948, when the control of atomic energy was under active discussion, public attention was so much occupied with the debate between the Soviet Union and the Powers which accepted the Baruch Report that perhaps insufficient attention was paid to the full implications of the latter. These were seen very clearly then by some political scientists and it is necessary to go into them briefly here; for, as was pointed out at that time, the Baruch Report, through the new organization which it would necessarily bring into being, may well "yield the clue for solving the most intractable of all problems, the creation of some form of what, for want of a better name we call a World State."

These last words are taken from an essay contributed by three distinguished British political thinkers to a volume entitled "Atomic Energy; its International Implications" published in London in 1947. The essay in question only covers ten pages, but its pregnant paragraphs go to the heart of the matter. When political agreement has been reached "on the basic principle of control," they write, "it will be necessary to set up a directing, policy-making body to act in the name of the United Nations." This body,

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