Skip to content

Results:

1 - 10 of 85

Documents

April 1, 1949

Letter, Jawaharlal Nehru to All Provincial Premiers

Nehru briefs the Provincial Premiers about internal and external developments. Nehru highlights the situation in China and states that the communists could soon take power in the whole of China. He speculates how this will affect other regions.

October 17, 1958

Press Release containing a Speech by Minister of External Affairs Frank Aiken and Draft Resolutions on Nuclear Disarmament

Aiken’s first step was a modest paragraph calling for the formation of a UN commission to recommend measures to the next session. However, global attentions were focused on nuclear tests and their health effects, so Aiken linked his initiative with the American-led seventeen-power resolution requesting all states to suspend testing voluntarily. Aiken proposed an amendment to that motion that included the notion of brokering an understanding between nuclear weapons powers and non-nuclear powers.  He submitted that the former voluntarily desist from supplying nuclear weapons to other countries, while non-nuclear powers reciprocated and volunteered not to develop such weapons during a test suspension. This proposed quid pro quo became a staple in the Irish resolutions subsequently and eventually be inscribed into the NPT.

Aiken’s speech invoked recognizable tropes such as a ‘geometric’ increase in nuclear powers, creating an urgent need to halt the spread. His speech was seminal in identifying themes he and international opinion would rehearse in future years. He conjured up fears about small states and revolutionary groups with a bomb acting as ‘the detonator for world-wide thermonuclear war’. Aiken was perceptive – he expected criticisms about institutionalized equality between states (nuclear “haves” and “have nots”), harms to alliances, the sufficiency of test bans, and the absence of monitoring. He sought to disprove the validity of such critiques, and these issues were worked through gradually, eventually leading to the finalization of the NPT ten years later.  

September 19, 1958

Address by Mr. Frank Aiken to the United Nations General Assembly Official, 23th Session, 751st Plenary Meeting

Aiken’s landmark address to the plenary of the UN General Assembly on 19 September 1958 launched his non-proliferation campaign. It is the first time he publicly identified stopping the spread of nuclear weapons as a concrete step in the collective interest to unblock the disarmament impasse, preventing as runaway arms race among the powers of the Earth. It was clearly framed as part of his wider campaign for global governance based on the rule of law rather than the threat of force. For Aiken, the challenge was stabilizing the arms race and generating trust to construct a world order based on justice and law – “to preserve a Pax Atomica while we build a Pax Mundi.” This speech was a critical departure. The widespread positive reception encouraged Aiken, persuading him to draft a formal resolution.

October 2, 1957

Memorandum by Frank Aiken [on an Interview with Scott McCleod and the Taoiseach]

Aiken made an immediate impression on his arrival in the Twelfth Session of the UN General Assembly in September 1957. He adopted an impartial posture of assessing each issue on its merits and campaigning to remodel international politics around self-determination, humanitarianism, and peace. His exhortation was that only the UN had the moral authority and political legitimacy to put forward global solutions. While he did not propose nuclear disarmament measures specifically, his intent was signaled by his recommendation for a mutual drawback of foreign forces (including their nuclear weapons) in central Europe and his endorsement of a proposal to discuss the representation of China in the United Nations. The Eisenhower administration was hostile to Aiken’s course as outlined in the U.S. ambassador’s audience with Taoiseach Eamon de Valera and Aiken in Dublin on 2 October. The record underlines the Irish concerns about accidental nuclear war due to the proximity of opposing U.S. and Soviet forces in central Europe.  

December 1989

MN [Moscow News] Interview: SEMIPALATINSK-NEVADA as Vewed by a People’s Deputy of the USSR

An interview between Moscow News journalist Yuri Dmitriyev and the founder of the Nevada-Semipalatinsk movement Olzhas Suleimenov. Suleimenov explains the origins and aims of the Nevada-Semipalatinsk movement. He also discusses how official authorities relate to the movement.

March 2, 1960

Maurice Couve de Murville, 'Reflections on France’s isolated pursuit of the constitution of an autonomous “deterrent”'

This Foreign Ministry analysis was written for French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville. It spells out the obstacles facing an independent deterrent two weeks after France’s first nuclear test on February 13, 1960. The author cautions that a “minor deterrent” of a few dozen 100-kilton atom bombs loaded on vulnerable, short-range Mirage IV A fighter-bombers would cost hundreds of billions of francs. Intermediate-range ballistic missiles with which to threaten Moscow would require an additional 8-10 years and a further cost of 500 billion francs (around $100 billion in 1960). In order to match the superpowers’ thermonuclear level, that figure could rise as a high as “several trillion” over more than a decade, during which time the United States and the Soviet Union might well leapfrog the French force de dissuasion.

November 27, 2020

Interview with Yezid Sayigh

Yezid Sayigh is a former Palestinian diplomat. He served as an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to ACRS. 

May 22, 1979

Letter from R.J. Alston (Joint Nuclear Unit) to P.H. Moberly (Private Secretary), 'Pakistan's Nuclear Programme'

Alston proposes a response to the Israeli Prime Minister's letter on Pakistan's nuclear activity.

June 1958

[Mao Zedong's] Directive Regarding the Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

Mao calls for China to develop nuclear weapons within ten years.

January 9, 1965

[Mao Zedong's] Conversation with American Journalist [Edgar] Snow

This is a Chinese translation of an article that Edgar Snow wrote after he met with Mao for four hours. Topics that they touched on included: anti-imperialism around the world, the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam, the possibility of normalizing Sino-US relations, the atomic bomb, and Khrushchev.

Pagination