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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 21, 1949

SECRET LETTER FROM SHANTI SWARUP BHATNAGAR TO FRéDéRIC JOLIOT-CURIE

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation, Carnegie Corporation

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    Indian scientist S.S. Bhatnagar informs Joliot-Curie, the French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy, about plans for the training of Indian chemists in France in preparation for development of a plant in India for processing monazite salts.
    "Secret Letter from Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar to Frédéric Joliot-Curie," June 21, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), Institut Curie Archives, Paris, Carton F-86, CEA: Relations avec l’Inde (1948-50), Papers of Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Obtained for NPIHP by Jayita Sarkar. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117727
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DEPARTMENT OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION

[By Airmail]
[Secret]

21st June, 1949

My dear Professor Joliot Curie,

As you are aware the Government of India have entered into an agreement with the two French firms, “The Banque Marocaine de Credit and Societe de Produits Chimiques des Terres Rares” to set up a plant in India for the processing of monazite sands. Under the terms of the agreement the two French firms have to train our Chemists in factories in France and we are therefore arranging to send them 100 tons of monazite in two lots to be used by our Chemists while they are under training in the laboratories and factories of the two French firms in France.

Under the agreement with the firms the thorium and uranium extracted from the monazite sands will remain the property of the Government of India and will have to be returned to the Government of India by the French firms.  I am writing this to you so that your Atomic Energy Commission may have full information regarding the purpose for which the monazite sand is being sent to the two French firms in France and that they are allowed to send thorium and uranium recovered from our sands to India. As a friendly gesture, as you have been extraordinarily kind to the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, the Commission may recommend to the Government of India that a certain percentage of this material may be retained by you for experimental purposes with a view to developing further co-operative scientific work in the field of atomic energy. Dr. H.J. Bhabha, who is the Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission will write to you on the subject. I had a telephonic talk with him last night.

I am expecting to be in France from the 2nd to 12th August 1949. I enclose a copy of my tour programme. I look forward with eagerness to the pleasure of meeting you both.

With best regards to both of you,

I am,

Yours sincerely,

S.S. Bhatnagar