The Baruch Plan
was a proposal by the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
government, written largely by Bernard Baruch
Bernard Mannes Baruch was an American financier, stock-market speculator, statesman, and political consultant. After his success in business, he devoted his time toward advising U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt on economic matters and became a philanthropist.-Early life...
but based on the Acheson–Lilienthal Report, to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission
The United Nations Atomic Energy Commission was founded on 24 January 1946 by Resolution 1 of the United Nations General Assembly "to deal with the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy."...
(UNAEC) in its first meeting in June 1946. The United States, Great Britain and Canada called for an international organization to regulate atomic energy and President Truman responded by asking Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson and David Lilienthal to draw up a plan.
Text of plan
The plan proposed to:
- extend between all nations the exchange of basic scientific information for peaceful ends;
- implement control of nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...
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. Crucially, the Baruch Plan suggested that neither of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council would be able to veto a decision to punish culprits. In presenting his plan to the United Nations Baruch stated:
The Baruch Plan was not agreed upon by the Soviet Union, and though debate on the matter continued until 1948, it was not seriously advanced later than the end of 1947. They were, at the time of the negotiations, pursuing their own atomic bomb project
The Soviet project to develop an atomic bomb , was a clandestine research and development program began during and post-World War II, in the wake of the Soviet Union's discovery of the United States' nuclear project...
, and the United States was continuing its own weapons development and production. With the failure of the plan, both nations embarked on programs of weapons development, innovation, production, and testing as part of the overall nuclear arms race
The nuclear arms race was a competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War...
of the Cold War.
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...
, in his 1961 book Has Man a Future?
, described the Baruch plan as follows: