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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 02, 1960

NOTE, HOMI BHABHA TO SHRI Y. D. GUNDEVIA

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    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.
    "Note, Homi Bhabha to Shri Y. D. Gundevia," September 02, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Archives of India, Prime Minister's Office, File No. 17(1773)/76, "Biography of Homi Bhabha." Obtained by Vivek Prahladan. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165243
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Confidential

Atomic Energy Commission

The Prime Minister’s attention is invited to the attached press clipping from Nuclear Energy Engineer (Published in London) of May 1960. As long as we have no plutonium in our possession or plutonium -which is under foreign or international safeguards, people will always be likely to doubt our protestations of using nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes. It is only when we have plutonium in our possession, which is entirely within our own sole control, that we will be able to give a demonstration that we have not converted it into bombs. At the same time our having produced plutonium ourselves will have given the world a demonstration of our technical ability to produce bombs if we wished to. To my mind it is not only because of the inescapable needs of the second stage of our nuclear power programme, but also in order to establish India’s technological position and correspondingly enhance its political prestige abroad, that we should produce the required quantities of plutonium ourselves and use it thereafter entirely for peaceful purpose as, but not convert it into bombs.

Sd. H.J. Bhaba

2.9.60

Prime Minister

Forwarded to Shri C.L. Trivedi, Planning Commission.

Sd. J. Nehru

4.9 .60

PM'S Sectt. U.O.No.17(302)/60-PMS dt. 5.9.60