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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • May 21, 1947

    Letter from Homi Bhabha to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar

    A letter from Dr. Bhabha to Dr. Bhatnager arguing for the establishment and a small experimental pile of fissile material and its benefits, including operational and training experience

  • May 28, 1948

    Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar to Bhabha

    A letter from S.S. Bhatnagar to Dr. Bhabha informing him of the creation of a Ministry of Scientific Research.

  • September 22, 1954

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on the Disarmament of Conventional or Atomic Weapons

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha and the Deputy Minister for External Affairs, Shri ANil K. Chanda, on whether or not India will present before the United Nations Disarmament Commission.

  • May 16, 1956

    Bhabha and Jawaharlal Nehru Correspondence on Indian Nuclear History

    A series of letters between Dr. Bhabha and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru covering a wide range of subjects, including the appropriate venues to voice opinions, the status of the Colaba site, meeting with the Pakistan Association for the Advancement of Science, and issues with coordination between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Education on scientific research and education. Also includes a copy of a letter from The Tokyo Shimbun requesting Dr. Bhabha’s presence at a forum discussing the justifiability of American hydrogen bomb tests in the Pacific.

  • May 31, 1957

    Department of State Office of Intelligence Research, 'OIR Contribution to NIE 100-6-57: Nuclear Weapons Production by Fourth Countries – Likelihood and Consequences'

    This lengthy report was State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research's contribution to the first National Intelligence Estimate on the nuclear proliferation, NIE 100-6-57. Written at a time when the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom were the only nuclear weapons states, the “Fourth Country” problem referred to the probability that some unspecified country, whether France or China, was likely to be the next nuclear weapons state. Enclosed with letter from Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Division of Research for USSR and Western Europe, to Roger Mateson, 4 June 1957, Secret

  • September 02, 1960

    Note, Homi Bhabha to Shri Y. D. Gundevia

    Homi Bhabha writes to Prime Minister Nehru about India's international status as a country possessing a plutonium plant but not a nuclear weapons program.

  • April 25, 1962

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on the Export of Nuclear Weapons and Proliferation

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha and the Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs, Shrimati Lakshmi Menon, on the Indian government's opposition to United States export of nuclear weapons.

  • May 11, 1962

    Lakshmi Menon's Statement Before Rajya Sabha on the Swedish Resolution on Non-Dissemination of Nuclear Weapons

    Transcription of Lakshmi Menon's statement on the Swedish Resolution on Non-Dissemination of Nuclear Weapons and India's position on the resolution.

  • August 02, 1963

    Letter, Homi Bhabhi to Jawaharlal Nehru

    Homi Bhabha writes to Prime Minister Nehru to convey that the Chinese nuclear test will be of no military significance and Chinese possession of a few bombs will not make any difference to the military situation. In order to counter the Chinese bomb’s psychological-political impact, Dr. Bhabha argues that India needs to be in a position to produce the bomb within few months.

  • April 13, 1964

    Note, Homi Bhabha to Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri

    In a note to Shri Lal Shastri, Homi Bhaba attached the Sunday Telegraph article, which claims that India could make an atomic bomb if she wanted to. Since there are no evidences of Indian manufacturing of atomic weapons, Dr. Bhaba wanted to know if the country should contradict the article or simple remain quiet.

  • April 23, 1964

    Letter from Thomas Hughes, Director, Office of Intelligence and Research, Department of State, to Director of Central Intelligence John McCone

    Noting new intelligence information on the Indian and Israeli nuclear programs, as well as the possibility of developments concerning Sweden, Hughes requested McCone to initiate a new estimate of nuclear proliferation trends, which would eventually become part of a October 1964 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Hughes enclosed draft “terms of reference,” that included questions about the possibility of “clandestine” weapons programs and new technological developments that could make weapons development “easier” (perhaps a reference to gas centrifuge technology that the 1964 NIE would discuss).

  • May 05, 1964

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on the US Rejection of India Support to the Recent Soviet Proposal to the Disarmament Committee

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha and the Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs, Lakshmi Menon, on the American rejection of Indian support to the Soviet Union for their proposal for a nuclear umbrella.

  • May 14, 1964

    Research Memorandum INR-16 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Indian Nuclear Weapons Development'

    An intelligence report that the fuel core of the Canadian-Indian Reactor (CIR) at Trombay was being changed every six months raised questions about India’s nuclear objectives: a six-month period was quite short for “normal research reactor operations,” but it was the optimum time for using the CIR’s spent fuel for producing weapons grade plutonium. According to INR, India had taken the “first deliberate decision in the series leading to a nuclear weapon,” which was to have “available, on demand, unsafeguarded weapons-grade plutonium or, at the least, the capacity to produce it.”

  • October 21, 1964

    National Intelligence Estimate NIE 4-2-64, 'Prospects for a Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Over the Next Decade'

    This US analysis of the likelihood of nuclear proliferation during the next decade was finished only days after the first Chinese nuclear test on 16 October. The report analyses the implications of this test, as well as programs in India, Israel, Sweden, West Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, and others. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) argued that India was the only new state likely to develop nuclear weapons, concluding that “there will not be a widespread proliferation …over the next decade.”

  • October 24, 1964

    Bhabha Speech on Nuclear Disarmament United Nation's Day

    A speech delivered by Dr. Bhabha for United Nation’s Day on the subject of nuclear disarmament and general disarmament.

  • October 31, 1964

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in India, 'India's Reactions to China's Nuclear Test'

    The Chinese Embassy in India reviews various responses to China's nuclear test among Indian leaders.

  • November 24, 1964

    Rajya Sabha Debate on Nuclear Prohibition

    Debate among members of the Rajya Sabha on attendance to a Chinese hosted Summit Conference on Nuclear Weapons.

  • December 24, 1964

    K.R. Narayanan, 'India and the Chinese Bomb'

    K.R. Narayanan, Director of China Division at Ministry of External Affairs, writes that the explosion of the first nuclear bomb by China will alter the political balance of Asia and the world and development of nuclear weapons by India can be justified and beneficial for the country and the international system as well.

  • December 08, 1964

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on a Proposal for a Nuclear Shield for Non-Nuclear Powers

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha on a potential "nuclear shield" or ballistic missile defense program for non-aligned powers.

  • January 20, 1966

    National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 4-66, 'The Likelihood of Further Nuclear Proliferation'

    This estimate updated an estimate (NIE-4-2-64) published in 1964 of the nuclear proliferation problem. That estimate, like this one, overestimated the likelihood of an Indian bomb, while somewhat underestimating Israel’s program. This assessment followed the same pattern—predicting India would produce a weapon within a “few years” and also putting Israel in the “might” category, although treating it as a “serious contender” nonetheless. Also following a short discussion of the “snowball effect” (later known as “proliferation cascades” or “chains”) suggesting that the United Arab Republic (Egypt-Syria) and Pakistan were likely to take the nuclear option should India or Israel go nuclear.