Nuclear Test Ban

May 13, 1959

Report Outline
Nuclear Test Ban and Arms Limitation
Progress of Geneva Parley on Testing
Ban on Tests and Ban on Weapons Use

Nuclear Test Ban and Arms Limitation

Possible Summit Discussion of Nuclear Testing

One Question which may be taken up at a summit conference this summer—a question perhaps more likely than other agenda items to be put on the way to settlement by the heads of government—is conclusion of a treaty to ban testing of nuclear weapons. Representatives of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union have been trying to hammer out such an accord at Geneva since the end of last October and have made limited progress on a treaty draft. Although key issues remain in dispute, the feeling persists that this is one area in which a little high-level discussion now may clear the way to a resolution of East-West differences.

U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold on April 2 foresaw the possibility that the heads of government might take a hand in efforts to bring the protracted negotiations on nuclear testing to a successful conclusion. Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev had said the day before that the U.S.S.R. would “continue to strive for an agreement on the discontinuance of atomic and hydrogen weapon tests,” and he had added that the present year might “mark the departure from the road of the arms race.” Many observers think the Russians earnestly desire some relief from the burden of armaments and would welcome a nuclear test ban as a first step toward breaking the long deadlock on comprehensive measures of arms limitation.

Thirteen years have passed since Bernard M. Baruch, speaking for the United States, told his fellow delegates at the opening meeting of the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission on June 14, 1946, that “We are here to make a choice between the quick and the dead.” The attempt then initiated to subject atomic energy to the control of a special international authority ran into insurmountable difficulties and was finally abandoned. Further effort to achieve control of nuclear weapons was merged in 1952 with the endeavor to work out a general disarmament agreement. A year ago the subject of nuclear energy control—or rather the single phase of a test ban—was sing-led out again for separate negotiation. Meanwhile, since 1946, the atom bomb has been joined by the vastly more destructive hydrogen bomb and the threat of damaging or deadly radiation has risen over the world.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jul. 29, 2016  Modernizing the Nuclear Arsenal
Mar. 08, 2002  Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jan. 31, 1997  Chemical and Biological Weapons
Jun. 24, 1994  Nuclear Arms Cleanup
Jun. 05, 1992  Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 29, 1990  Obstacles to Bio-Chemical Disarmament
Apr. 22, 1988  The Military Build-Down in the 1990s
May 24, 1987  Euromissile Negotiations
Jul. 11, 1986  Chemical Weapons
Apr. 27, 1984  Reagan's Defense Buildup
Jun. 04, 1982  Civil Defense
Jul. 17, 1981  Controlling Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 05, 1981  MX Missile Decision
Aug. 15, 1980  The Neutron Bomb and European Defense
Sep. 07, 1979  Atomic Secrecy
Mar. 17, 1978  Nuclear Proliferation
May 27, 1977  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1977  Politics of Strategic Arms Negotiations
Nov. 15, 1974  Nuclear Safeguards
Jul. 01, 1970  Nuclear Balance of Terror: 25 Years After Alamogordo
Jun. 18, 1969  Chemical–Biological Weaponry
Jun. 30, 1965  Atomic Proliferation
Mar. 21, 1962  Nuclear Testing Dilemmas
Aug. 16, 1961  Shelters and Survival
Oct. 12, 1959  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1959  Nuclear Test Ban
Dec. 04, 1957  Scientific Cooperation and Atlantic Security
May 15, 1957  Changing Defense Concepts
Jul. 03, 1956  Civil Defense, 1956
Nov. 16, 1955  International Arms Deals
Oct. 04, 1954  Industrial Defense
Apr. 15, 1954  National Defense Strategy
Feb. 10, 1954  New Aproaches to Atomic Control
Oct. 10, 1953  Atomic Information
Apr. 11, 1952  Biological Warfare
Oct. 03, 1951  World Arms Race
Feb. 04, 1948  International Control of Atomic Energy
Dec. 06, 1946  International Inspection
Aug. 27, 1943  Gas Warfare
Jul. 24, 1937  The New Race in Armaments
May 05, 1932  Abolition of Aggressive Weapons
Arms Control and Disarmament