A Decade of American Foreign Policy 1941-1949
United States Position on Regulation of Conventional Armaments

Address by Secretary Marshall, September 17, 1947 (Excerpt) (1)

The United States also recognizes the importance of regulating conventional armaments. We regret that much more progress has not been made in this field. From this rostrum it is very easy to pay lip service to the sincere aspirations of all peoples for the limitation and reduction of armed forces. This is a serious matter which should not be the subject of demagogic appeals and irresponsible propaganda. I say frankly to the General Assembly that it is the conviction of my Government that a workable system for the regulation of armaments cannot be put into operation until conditions of international confidence prevail. We have consistently and repeatedly made it clear that the regulation of armaments presupposes enough international understanding to make possible the settlement of peace terms with Germany and Japan, the implementation of agreements putting military forces and facilities at the disposal of the Security Council, and an international arrangement for the control of atomic energy.

Nevertheless, we believe it is important not to delay the formulation of a system of arms regulation for implementation when conditions permit. The Security Council has accepted a logical plan of work for the Commission for Conventional Armaments. We believe that the Commission should proceed vigorously to develop a system for the regulation of armaments in the business-like manner outlined in its plan of work.

(1) The United States and the United Nations: Report by the President to the Congress for the Year 1947, Department of State publication 3024, International Organization and Conference Series 111, 1. p. 265. Back

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