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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • 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.”

  • July 21, 1964

    Note, B.M. Manchanda to Disarmament Unit, 'India’s role in the United Nations'

    Disarmament Unit is requested to prepare a note in respect of “Peace Keeping operations” and “Disarmament” to be incorporated in the main brief in the United Nations

  • 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.

  • August 02, 1966

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on Chinese Nuclear Tests and their Immediate Effects on the Indian Population

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha and the Prime Minister Shrimati Indira Gandhi on the dangerous effects of the Chinese nuclear tests on the Indian population.

  • August 02, 1966

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on a Disarmament Conference for Non-Aligned Countires

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha and the Minister of External Affairs, Sardar Swaran Singh, on the scheduling and progress of an International Disarmament Conference for Non-Aligned Countries.

  • August 02, 1966

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on the Proposal to Destroy Stockpiles of Atomic Weapons and Their Delivery Systems.

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha and the Minister of External Affairs, Sardar Swaran Singh, on whether India has placed a proposal for the immediate destruction of the stockpile of atomic weapons and their delivery system at the 17 Nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva.

  • August 02, 1966

    Telegram from Joint Secretary to the Ministry for External Affairs, 'Notice from Shri Madhu Limaye, MP... regarding non-proliferation proposals'

    Review of India's position on non-proliferation treaties.

  • August 25, 1966

    Latin America: A Note for the Forthcoming Tripartite (Non-Aligned) Meeting

    This document describes the overall regional environments in Latin America after the Cuban Missile Crisis (1960s)

  • August 31, 1966

    Telegram from the Indian Embassy in Mexico City

    The Latin American Denuclearization Commission has been post-poned.

  • April 21, 1967

    Research Memorandum RSB-46 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Soviet Policy on Nonproliferation Moves in Two Directions'

    Not altogether sure whether the Soviets were really committed to the NPT, the fact that the Soviets had been discussing security assurances with the Indians was seen as evidence that Moscow was interested in having a treaty. India was one of the countries that was especially resistant to the NPT and the Soviets were only one of a number of governments, e.g. Canada, which vainly tried to persuade Indira Gandhi to sign on.

  • May 30, 1967

    Rajya Sabha Q&A on the India's Objectives Regarding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    Transcript of questions and answers between members of the Rajya Sabha and the Minister of External Affairs, Shri M. C. Chagla, on the government's goals for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.