From Yalta to Disarmament: Cold War Debate

By Joseph P. Morray | Go to book overview

6
The Soviet Plan
we have seen that the United States wished to talk first about the system of control over the mining of raw materials, leaving to the future the question of relinquishing the bomb. The Soviet Union approached the problem with opposite priorities. The Soviet Plan, set forth by Mr. Gromyko in the Atomic Energy Commission on June 19, 1946, proposed as the first step an international convention, modeled on earlier conventions outlawing the use of gas and bacteriological warfare, "to prohibit the production and employment of weapons based on the use of atomic energy." Signatory states would undertake to destroy their stocks of atomic weapons within three months and to pass legislation in their respective states "providing severe penalties" for violators of the convention. The principal clauses of the proposed convention were:
Article 1. The high contracting parties solemnly declare they are unanimously resolved to prohibit the production and employment of weapons based on the use of atomic energy and for this purpose assume the following obligations:
a. Not to use atomic weapons in any circumstances whatsoever;
b. to prohibit the production and storing of weapons based on the use of atomic energy;
c. to destroy, within a period of three months from the day of the entry into force of the present convention, all stocks of atomic energy weapons whether in a finished or unfinished state.
Article 2. The high contracting parties declare that any violation of Article 1 of the present convention is a most serious international crime against humanity.
Article 3. The high contracting parties shall, within a period of six months from the day of the entry into force of the present convention, pass legislation providing severe penalties for violators of the statutes of the present convention. [Italics added.]1

Thus as a first step the Soviet Union wanted all states to renounce use and possession of atomic weapons. "The conclusion of such a

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