June 10, 2021

June 15, 1946


Seventy-five years ago, on June 15, 1946, the United States presented the Baruch Plan to the United Nations with the aim of international control of atomic weapons. The plan did not gain acceptance by the U.N., which resulted in the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

On June 29, 1946, The Ukrainian Weekly ran comments by Bernard M. Baruch, a U.S. member of the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission, for whom the Baruch Plan was named. He served as a trusted advisor to U.S. presidents since the early 20th century, and feared an atomic weapon in the hands of the Soviets. Other comments were provided by Sen. Tom Connally (D-Texas), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Harold E. Stassen, former governor of Minnesota.

Mr. Baruch, at the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission’s first meeting at Hunter College in New York, stated: “Behind the black portent of the new atomic age lies a hope which, seized upon with faith, can work our salvation. If we fail, then we have damned every man to be the slave of fear. Let us not deceive ourselves. We must elect world peace or world destruction. Science has torn from nature a secret so vast in its potentialities that our minds cower from the terror it creates. Yet terror is not enough to inhibit the use of the atomic bomb. The terror created by the weapons has never stopped man from employing them. For each new weapon, a defense has been produced in time. But now we face a condition in which adequate defense does not exist. Science, which gave us this dread power, shows that it can be made a giant help to humanity, but science does not show us how to prevent its baleful use. So we have been appointed to obviate that peril by finding a meeting of the hearts and minds of our peoples. Only in the will of mankind lies the answer. It is to express this will and make it effective that we have been assembled.”

Sen. Connally, at a meeting of foreign affairs ministers in Paris, stated: “Our interests lie in the general subject of peace and in the hope that we can preserve peace in Europe and prevent involvement in war or having the people of Europe involved. We oppose leaving quarrels over territory and other matters like festering sores to be irritated until they become causes of war. We do not want another Danzig, or a Polish Corridor in the Mediterranean or elsewhere. The United States is unselfishly exerting itself to compose the differences among the nations involved.”

Mr. Stassen, in an address to the graduating class at Wellesley College, stated: “The overshadowing problem of our times is the development among nations of the art of living together. This will not be solved easily. The clash of ideologies in the months since the war has demonstrated just how difficult it will be. … There will be those cynics and scoffers who will say that peace is impossible, that the interests of the nations are too diverse; there will be those who declare that reports such as the Baruch report (on atomic energy), coming to grips with the implication of the social and political advances of our times, violate the concept of absolute sovereignty of nations. Nationalistic sovereignty no longer serves the welfare of the peoples of the world. It arose at the same time as the concept of the divine right of kings and is just as outmoded. The time has come for us to do some fresh thinking on how the liberties of the people and their advanced standard of living can be maintained by developing government to serve on a new and higher level.”

Source: “What they say,” The Ukrainian Weekly, June 29, 1946