Scientific Cooperation and Atlantic Security

December 4, 1957

Report Outline
Calls for Free World Scientific Alliance
War and Postwar Scientific Collaboration
Scientific Cooperation and Security

Calls for Free World Scientific Alliance

Atlantic Council Meeting and Soviet Challenge

Proposals to join the countries of the Atlantic community, and possibly the whole free world, in a grand alliance to advance scientific research and development are assured of close consideration at the North Atlantic Council sessions opening in Paris on Dec. 16. Launching of the Soviet sputniks awakened this nation and its allies to the perilous risks of allowing the Communists to outdistance the West in the vital fields of rocketry and missile development. When President Eisenhower, or Vice President Nixon in his place, meets with the heads of government of the 14 other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, one of the main purposes will be to find means of effectively pooling scientific brains and physical resources to safeguard the free world against threats raised by Russian technological progress.

A clue that closer scientific ties among Nato nations would be sought at the Paris meeting was given by the President at a White House dinner, Oct. 17, for Queen Elizabeth of England. In his toast to the Queen the President said: “Our scientists must work together. Nato should not be thought of merely as a military alliance. Nato is a way of grouping ability—of our manhood, of our resources, of our industries and our factories.”

Conversations between Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan at Washington in late October brought reiteration of this theme with added emphasis. The White House conference resulted in formation of two Anglo-American study groups to make recommendations for pooling and joint utilization of resources—one group in “the field of nuclear relationship and cooperation” and one in “the field of military defense, particularly those problems dealing with missiles and rocketry.” Eisenhower and Macmillan also issued a joint “declaration of interdependence” which advocated “an enlarged Atlantic effort in scientific research and development.” At the same time, the President promised to ask Congress to amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 “to permit of close and fruitful collaboration of scientists and engineers of Great Britain, the United States, and other friendly countries.”

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U.S. at War: Cold War