report would merely record the progress made in the commission to the end of the year without affecting the discussions in the commission."
At a further plenary session of the commission on December 5 the United States delegate introduced proposals for the inclusion of certain items in the findings and recommendations of the commission's report to the security council. These proposals cover some of the main elements of the United States plan as submitted on June 14.
During this time the general assembly of the united nations meeting in New York was debating the subject of disarmament, not only in relation to armed forces and their armament generally, but also specifically to the major weapons adaptable to mass destruction, including atomic weapons.
At a meeting of the commission on December 20. the Canadian delegation put forward a resolution which reads as follows:
Resolved that the commission approves and accepts the principles on which the findings and recommendations proposed by the representatives of the United States of America are based and instructs the working committee to include these findings and recommendations in the draft of the commission's report to be delivered to the security council by the 31st December, 1946, having conformed the wording of such portions of these findings and recommendations as deal with the same subject matter to the wording of the relevant parts of the text of general assembly resolution of December 14, 1946, on the "Principles Governing the General Regulation and Reduction of Armaments."
The Canadian resolution was adopted by the commission by a vote of 10 to 0 and accordingly the proposals as contained in the findings and recommendations of the first report of the atomic energy commission to the security council were amended. The first report of the atomic energy commission was subsequently approved and adopted for transmission to the security council on December 31 by a vote of 10 to 0. with the Soviet and Polish representatives abstaining. That is the report I have tabled today.
In January and February the security council discussed the commission's report at a number of meetings in which the Canadian representative. General McNaughton, participated under the provisions of article 31 of the charter of the united nations. Important statements of the positions of the Soviet and United States governments were made by their representatives on the security council. It became clear that, while all the members of the council were agreed on certain of the proposals, there was disagreement on a number of other proposals. including those on international inspec-
tion and on sanctions. It was clearly impossible to attempt to reconcile these differences in the security council and the council, therefore, decided to refer the matter back to the atomic energy commission. The atomic energy commission has been instructed by the council to prepare and submit to the council a draft treaty or treaties, or convention or conventions incorporating its ultimate proposals. In addition, the security council has requested the commission to submit a second report to the security council before the next session of the general assembly-that which will take place in September, 1947.
Because the discussion has been in general terms, there has been a good deal of misunderstanding about the position, for example, of the United States government on the question of sanctions against violators of an international treaty on the control of atomic energy. The latest statement of the United States representative on this subject has done much to clear up these obscurities. In an address on March 4 before the Overseas Press Club in New York, Mr. Austin, the United States representative on the security council and on the atomic energy commission, had this to say about the vexed question of the veto:
Nothing could be more dangerous than to act upon the assumption that a treaty or a voting system would operate automatically.
Let me illustrate the point by a brief reference to the veto. The veto power in the security council is widely thought of as a protection to an aggressor nation. Actually the veto would be no protection at all to an aggressor if the other nations should act together in accordance with the purposes and principles of the charter.
If any great nation possessing the veto power should ever embark on a course of aggression in violation of the charter, it would be committing an act of nullification, an act of rebellion against the united nations. It would forfeit its position under the charter.
No veto could protect such a nation from the consequences of its crime. Only the failure of the other nations to act together against it could spare the aggressor from lawful punishment. The heart of the problem of building collective security is the strength and the will of the member nations to carry out their obligations, individually and collectively.
Veto or no veto, the strength of the great nations in relation to one another is such that no one of them can safely go to war in violation of the charter if it is certain that the others would act together in the defence of the charter.
If the United States demonstrates convincingly that all its great material and moral power would be used in support of collective security under the united nations, that fact would have far-reaching influence upon the will and capacity of other member nations to act together to maintain peace. On the other hand, if we should falter, if we should dissipate our strength, if we should act in blind or shortsighted selfishness, we would inevitably undermine the whole cause.
Atomic Energy Commission
On March 10, Mr. Austin, speaking as the United States representative on the security council, in answering the Soviet representative's criticism of the United States government's position, said what the United States and the majority of the members of the commission were seeking was-and these are his words-"effective international control by a genuinely international cooperative development of atomic energy to which all nations would contribute their skills and their knowledge without secrecy, and in which all nations would share the benefits on an equitable basis. Our purpose is to assure that each nation can safely realize these tremendous benefits for itself without danger to its national security or the security of its own economic and social system." Mr. Austin went on to say: "The United States does not desire to impose its will, in questions of atomic energy, on other countries. The report itself proves the opposite. Ten countries united therein to forestall an atomic weapons race. The prohibition of atomic weapons in advance of a system of effective enforceable safeguards would not fulfil the mandate of the general assembly adopted unanimously, or prevent an atomic weapons race. My government has made it clear that we welcome all constructive suggestions which might advance the solution of our common problem and fulfil the mandate of the general assembly resolution."
It is to be expected that the studies in the atomic energy commission during the next four or five months will indicate precisely the safeguards which wall be required to protect complying states against the hazards of violations and evasions of the ultimate international agreement on the control of atomic energy. As is stated in the introductory paragraph to section C of the report which I am tabling today, the commission hitherto has limited its examination of the problems of safeguards and measures of control "to the more technical aspects of the control of atomic energy".
It is the hope of the Canadian government that further examination by the atomic energy commission of the problems placed before it by the general assembly of the united nations may lead to a realization on the part of all governments represented on the commission of the manifest advantages to be reaped under a system of effective control of atomic energy. The establishment of such a system would not only make a great contribution to the peace of the world, but would also make it possible for the peoples of the whole world to share in the benefits to be derived from the peaceful application of atomic energy. Canada, as a
member of the commission, will continue to do its utmost to resolve the difficulties which still confront the commission.
1 shall keep the house informed, as occasion offers, of the developments in the work of the atomic energy commission, bearing in mind that the results of the work of this commission, when available in the form of a draft treaty or convention, will naturally be submitted to this house for its approval and for the usual procedures of ratification. The present report is an interim report only and the security council in dealing with it recognizes specifically that "final acceptance of any part of the report by any nation is conditioned upon its acceptance of all parts of the control plan in its final form."
There is no commitment until commitment to the treaty in its final form, and that can be made only by bringing the treaty to the houses of parliament for the usual processes of ratification. The ultimate treaty or convention should be one which governments of democratic states can readily commend to their parliaments and peoples for acceptance. It is hoped therefore that the treaty or convention will be accompanied by a full report from the atomic energy commission setting out in detail the arguments and considerations in support of the provisions contained in the treaty or convention. It is also hoped that in the work of the commission a due perspective is maintained, so that the system of international control which is submitted to the nations for approval, goes as far as it is necessary in the matter of controls to provide international security and the benefits to be derived from the peaceful applications of atomic energy, but goes no farther.