The Baruch Plan
was a proposal by the United States
government, written largely by Bernard Baruch
but based on the Acheson-Lilienthal Report
, to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission
(UNAEC) in its first meeting in June 1946 to:
- extend between all nations the exchange of basic scientific information for peaceful ends;
- implement control of atomic energy to the extent necessary to ensure its use only for peaceful purposes;
- eliminate from national armaments atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction; and
- establish effective safeguards by way of inspection and other means to protect complying States against the hazards of violations and evasions
The US agreed to turn over all of its weapons on the condition that all other countries pledge not to produce them and agree to an adequate system of inspection. The Soviets rejected this plan on the grounds that the United Nations was dominated by the United States and its allies in Western Europe, and could therefore not be trusted to exercise authority over atomic weaponry in an evenhanded manner. They proposed that America eliminate its nuclear weapons, before considering proposals for a system of controls and inspections.
Although the Soviets showed increased interest in the cause of arms control after they became a nuclear power in 1949, and particularly after the death of Stalin in 1953, the issue of the Soviet Union submitting to international inspection was always a thorny one upon which many attempts at nuclear arms control were stalled.
When the Soviet Union refused to sign onto the Baruch Plan, the U.S. embarked on a massive nuclear weapons testing, development, and deployment program.
Bertrand Russell, in his 1961 book Has Man a Future?, described the Baruch plan as follows:
- Rumble, Greville (1985). The Politics of Nuclear Defence - A Comprehensive Introduction. 1st, Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 0-7456-0195-2.