JUNE 17, 1946
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Bernard M. Baruch's speech on atomic control seems to me a very moving appeal to the governments of the world to listen to the most ardent desire of the peoples of the world. There is no question in my mind that the peoples of the world everywhere want peace, and I think Mr. Baruch made it clear that, as far as he is concerned, the preservation of the peace stood above every other consideration.
It boils down to this: We have temporarily the know-how and the plants where atomic bombs can be made. Temporarily, also, man has not yet found and may never find a preventive which will neutralize the destructive power of the atomic bomb as a war weapon. Eventually, however, more and more great nations will know what we know. Mr. Baruch faces this fact and acknowledges frankly that there is only one thing to do, and that is to wipe out the use of this weapon in war.
To do this, however, we will have to give up some part of our national sovereignty, for we will have to submit to inspection and licensing by an atomic energy authority set up under the United Nations. They will be given all of our secrets. They will license the use of material for industrial and therapeutic purposes throughout the world. On the subject of atomic energy everyone of us, even the big nations, are asked to give up our veto power to insure the safety of every nation. It seems to me that, without question, we can better afford to give up this amount of national sovereignty than we can afford to live in fear of what our neighbor may be doing.
In reading the Baruch report yesterday, I felt it was a document which took into consideration primarily the feelings and hopes of the masses of the people. When one sees the victory of the old type of isolationism in a state like Nebraska, one wonders how much the people of our country really understand what has happened in the world of science in the past few years. I believe, however, that people are isolationists because they think that is the way to obtain peace; and it is only through education and the presentation of the facts that we can hope they will understand the real situation which confronts the world today. I think this report will help to clarify the thinking of the mass of people if they read it carefully, and I hope they will.
The reaction of the USSR to our recent offer of military collaboration with the Central and South American republics was a perfectly natural one, and they, in turn, will increase their efforts for the same type of collaboration wherever their interests lie. Yet increase in power is valueless if it brings war—for all that we do, all that Great Britain does, and all that the USSR does has at its roots the desire for security and peace.
I happen to believe that only the strength of the United Nations can bring us this freedom from fear. I hope all of us will see clearly enough the value of this first move to give the knowledge about this most important weapon only to a United Nations body, and to give them also the power to control for the benefit of mankind the knowledge which the scientists have given us.