Volume #15 - 478.|
COMITÉ POLITIQUE INTERALLIÉ ET COOPÉRATION TRIPARTITE
L'ambassadeur aux États-Unis|
au secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
TELEGRAM WA-470 |
le 23 février 1949|
Following for Heeney from Wrong, Begins: Reference your EX-4271-atomic energy.
We had a talk with Gordon Munro this afternoon in the course of which he gave us the following account of recent developments. Munro returned from England about ten days ago where he attended a meeting of the Chiefs of Staff and one or more meetings of the Committee on atomic energy over which Makins now presides. Before he left for London Munro had had a purely private talk with Carroll Wilson, who had expressed as his personal opinion the view that it would be desirable, and he thought feasible, to have a general review of collaboration between the three countries in the near future.
While he was in London Munro was authorized to tell Carroll Wilson informally that the United Kingdom Government would be prepared to accept an invitation to discuss collaboration, assuming:
(a) That the C.P.C. would be the forum,
(b) That the talks would be on a wide field, and
(c) That they would be held without prejudice to United Kingdom domestic problems and without prejudice to the existing modus vivendi.
Munro has suggested further to Carroll Wilson that when the project has proceeded further
(1) The Secretary of State take up the matter of an invitation informally with the United Kingdom Ambassador so as to get it on the highest official level,
(2) There should be preliminary talks to discuss agenda and procedure for which Makins and Cockcroft would come from London, and
(3) The talks should take place fairly soon. To this Wilson agreed and said that it might be possible to arrange them within the next ten days.
With reference to (3) above, Munro learned today from Arneson that because of the large amount of preliminary work which must be done here it now looks as if the week of March 14th would be the earliest possible date for the preliminary talks. (Incidentally, this is the reason for the postponement of the sub-group meeting in which [W.B.] Lewis was to represent Canada. Dean [C.I.] Mackenzie I believe knows of this postponement.)
In the course of his conversation with Carroll Wilson, Munro was given the following account of recent developments within the United States.
About six weeks ago a self-appointed (with the informal blessing of their Chiefs) working group met in Princeton. The group consisted of Carroll Wilson, George Kennan, George Butler, Gordon Arneson (These three of the State Department) Oppenheimer, Conant, General Nicholls (Director of Military Application of Atomic Energy), and Webster (Chairman of the Military Liaison Committee).
In so far as the international field is concerned this Committee came to the conclusions:
(1) That it was useless to hope that anything would be accomplished in the United Nations in the matter of international control,
(2) That it was essential in view of recent developments that atomic energy policy in the United States should be brought into line with general United States foreign policy.
(1) That machinery must be organized by means of which clearer directives for various Departments as to the future of atomic energy could be formulated,
(2) That the military, the scientists and the directors of foreign policy must be brought closer together,
(3) That to achieve objective (1) and (2) a Committee of three, Acheson, Forrestal, and Lilienthal, should be set up of which the Secretary of State should be the Chairman, in order to control over-all atomic energy policy, and
(4) That the ultimate and final authority should be the National Security Council.
This self-appointed working group also came to the conclusion that the time had come for the whole question of United States, United Kingdom and Canadian cooperation in the atomic energy field to be re-examined in the light of the above findings and in the light of events and developments since the present modus vivendi was agreed to. They decided that the C.P.C. would be the best forum for this re-examination. From their point of view it would have the advantage that the United States members of the C.P.C. are the members of the proposed top level Committee.
This working group informed the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defence, and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of what they had done "out of school" and the three Chiefs informally agreed with their findings. The Secretary of State reported these findings to the President who in turn gave them his informal blessing. The working group (less Oppenheimer and Conant) has therefore been instructed to proceed with its task and to draw up plans which will include plans for a re-examination of tripartite cooperation. The fact that at the same time this group will be drawing up plans for a general reorganization of atomic energy policy control domestically explains the delay in holding preliminary tripartite meetings to prepare the way for a full-dress C.P.C. meeting.
Munro and I agreed this afternoon that it would probably be better if I were to make no approach at the present time to the Americans. All of his conversations have been private and most informal and no papers on the matter have been exchanged between him and Carroll Wilson. I think, therefore, that we should keep in the background for the present time and Munro has undertaken to keep me informed of anything that develops. I shall undoubtedly have an opportunity of discussing these questions myself when plans for the preliminary meeting become firmer. Ends.