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September 1955 - Volume 2 - Number 3



The News in Review













From the Bookshelf

Suggested Reading List

International Meetings

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At rion of the General As- sembly adopted last December 10 condemned as contrary to the Korean Armistice Agreement the trial and conviction of prisoners of war illegal- ly detained after September 25, 1953, the deadline fixed by the armistice for the exchange of prisoners desiring repatriation. The resolution grew out of the revelation by the People’s Re- public of China that it had tried and imprisoned as spies fifteen Americans, thirteen of them in uniform, who were shot down over North Korea during the fighting there. Four were jet pilots, the rest members of the crew of a bomber on a United Nations Command mission

In the debate on the resolution, its supporters urged that the trial of these uniformed members of the United Na- tions Command was illegal. The reso- lution requested the Secretary-General to make continuing and unrelenting efforts to free the prisoners.

In January, Mr. Hammarskjold made a trip to Peking and discussed the matter with high officials of the People’s Republic of China. There after the Secretary-General continued to press the case for release of the fliers, and on May 24 four of them, the jet pilots People’s Republic of China said that the Chinese Supreme Court had de- cided that the airmen should be de ported immediately from that country’s territory

were released. The

At a news conference after this an nouncement, Mr. Hammarskjold said that he and his colleagues were thank ful for whatever contributions their efforts might have made to the result and added that “so long as the prob lem of the eleven fliers still detained remains shall, of course in no way relax our efforts

Mr. Hammarskjold has been asked since

unresolved we

at various conferences what progress he was making in carry-

ing out the Assembly's resolution, but


he has declined to answer on the ground that the negotiations were deli- cate and best carried out in an at- mosphere of “quiet diplomacy.”

Then, as Ambassadors of the United States and the People’s Republic of China opened discussions on August | in Geneva on certain practical matters at issue between the two governments, the People’s Republic of China an- nounced the release of the remaining eleven flier prisoners, “in accordance with Chinese legal procedures.”

Mr. Hammarskjold was officially notified of the decision in a message from the Swedish Ambassador in Peking sent at the request of Chou En-lai, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China

Commenting on the fliers’ release, President Eisenhower of the United States extended thanks to all who had contributed to “this humanitarian re sult, particularly the United Nations and its Secretary-General, who active ly sought this result on behalf of the United Nations Command in which these fliers served.”

Mr. Hammarskjold said he was “delighted” at the news and “shared the profound joy that has come to the immediate families.”

Atomic Energy Conference

ye. United Nations Conference on

the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy opened on August 8 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, under the presidency of Dr. Homi J. Bhabha of India. (See page 6)

Assembled for what Secretary-Gen eral Dag Hammarskjold called “a conference of master-builders of nu clear science and nuclear engineering

to discuss, exchange and share their knowledge with the aim of harnessing atomic energy to the pur- poses of peace and human welfare were 1,260 representatives and ad visers from seventy-two countries

Messages of greeting to the Con ference were read from the Prime

Ministers of France, India, the U.S.S.R. and the United Kingdom and from the President of the United States,

All speeches and messages under- lined the importance of the Confer- ence and the hopes it evoked for great new benefits for mankind that could come from international co- operation in developing the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

In his message, President Eisen- hower reaffirmed the pledge given in his address to the General Assembly in 1953 that the United States was determined to help find ways by which the inventiveness of man should not be dedicated to his death but con secrated to his life. Atomic science, he declared, was the newest and most promising tool for removing the dark breeding places of disorders and wars

Secretary-General Hammarskjold stressed the unique quality of the Conference and said that though it was conceived as a scientific confer ence, it would have not only scientific, but economic, social and political con sequences of deep import

“As citizens of this age, it should be our duty to take careful note of its various aspects and to derive in spiration from this event,” he said

Dr. Bhabha declared that the pur pose of the Conference was to discuss the peaceful uses of atomic energy and to exchange the scientific and technical knowledge connected with it. The importance of this exchange, he said, could hardly be overestimated, its far-reaching developments hardly foreseeable


It was probable that world reserves of coal, oil, gas and oil shale would be exhausted in less than a century in a flash of geological time——D1 Bhabha stated

He mentioned that atomic energy might be obtained from a fusion prox ess, as in the hydrogen bomb, as well as from a fission process. “I venture to predict that a method will be found

lor liberating fusion energy in a con- trolled manner within the next two decades he “When that happens, the energy problems of the world will have been solved forever, for fuel will be as plentiful as heavy hydrogen in the oceans


Up to the present the atomic energy industry is widely believed to be safer than other industry in a paper the International Labor Or ganization is contributing to the Con-

comparable branches of This conclusion is contained


This situation of safety “is largely due to the fact that the atomic energy is still in the experimental stage, is progressing cautiously under government auspices and is controlled by a highly specialized staff having necessary background knowledge,” the paper explains. It adds


‘In fact, while in nuclear research centres or atomic energy establish- ments the risks inherent in ionizing radiations and the indispensable pre- cautions that they call for are per- fectly well known, this is not so in the numerous industrial and other establishments that are already using radioactive substances or will be using them in the near future. It is thus on this kind of use that preventive ac- tion, and training activities, should concentrate if workers are to be adequately protected.”


The radiations covered are X-rays, gamma rays, alpha particles, beta par- ticles and neutrons

The paper deals mainly with the nature of injuries caused by ionizing radiations, standards of exposure to these radiations, uses of such radia- tions, and protection against them

General Assembly

PROPOSAL by the United States

for the “coordination of informa- tion relating to the effects of atomic radiation upon human health and safety” is on the supplementary list of items for the agenda of the tenth session of the General Assembly which convenes at Headquarters on September 20. The explanatory mem- orandum recommends that the United Nations collect and make available on an international basis information and studies of the relations of radia- tion upon human health and safety.

The Assembly will hear the report of the atomic energy conference and, in a parallel field, the report of the Disarmament Commission. The Sub- committee of the Disarmament which met in resumed its Canada,

Commission London in February-June has

meetings at Headquarters

France, the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, and the United States are members

In the economic field, a new de- velopment for discussion is the ques- tion of establishing a special United Nations Fund for Economic Develop- ment. The Economic and Social Coun- cil has recommended setting up such a fund and has drawn blueprints for its Operation

Ihe draft on human rights, in preparation since 1948, will be discussed by the Assem- bly article by article at the current session

international covenants

A major question before the session will be whether to call a conference to review the Charter. The Charter it- self provides that if a general review conference has not been held before the tenth session, the pro posal to call such a conference shall be placed on the agenda of that ses- sion. No review conference has been held. The decision to hold one may be made by a majority vote of the Members of the Assembly and by a vote of any seven members of the Security Council


As the Assembly opens, the rep- resentatives will have before them the annual report of the Secretary- General covering all phases of United Nations activities. In that report, the Secretary-General says that there seems to be a trend toward lesser tension in world affairs, and he sug- gests that if there is now to be seri- ous and sustained exploration of the possibilities for cooperation on a wider basis, the role of world organ- ization must necessarily gain a new dimension (see page 11)

Counctl Session Ends

fe Economic and Social Council completed the main part of its twentieth session on August 5 in Gen- eva. The session will be resumed for a few days during the course of the General Assembly session in the au- tumn. In its final actions, the Council adopted resolutions relating to world trade expansion, the proposed Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development, the establishment of an International Finance Corporation and other matters, including the develop- ment and coordination of the eco- nomic, human rights programs and activities of the United Nations and the specialized agencies

social and

as a whole

The session was described by Sec- retary-General Dag Hammarskjold at a news conference on August 12 as “one of the most constructive we have

ever had Mr. Hammarskjold said

that he was pleased to see that there was a wider area of agreement in the Council than there had been in a long time—perhaps ever. (An account of the Council session will appear in an early issue of the REVIEW.)

Children’s Fund

( sy the basis of pledges received *so

far the United Nations Children’s Fund anticipates that some seventy governments including seven which have not previously participated, will contribute to the Fund this year. As of July 28, fifty-one governments had given or pledged about $9,370,000 for 1955. Antigua, Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Saar and the U.S.S.R. participated for the first time

These figures are contained in a semi-annual progress report which also describes as a major development in UNICEF programming in the last six months detailed plans for a malaria eradication campaign in Mexico, The first such effort there will be followed by UNICEF-assisted Campaigns in Cent- ral America and the Caribbean, later in South America

Plans for converting malaria control programs into eradication programs are in prospect in other parts of the world. In the Eastern Mediterranean area, malaria control is already advanced. In Africa, the immediate task of UNICEF, working in cooperation with the World Health Organization, is to help governments improve techniques to the point where transmission of the disease is interrupted and eradication can be undertaken.

Of three ppt plants which UNICEF is helping to equip in Asia as part of mass anti-malaria campaigns, one in India has begun production and one in Ceylon is under construction.

Ihe report also describes significant progress in the development of protein rich, indigenous foods to meet the nu- tritional requirements of infants and pre-school children

Much already has been accomplished in developing the best mixture of the new high-protein foods to supplement staple local foods as well as methods of large-scale production and chemical testing of the new products for their biological value, absence of toxic prop- erties and acceptability

There is considerable ground for optimism on the prospects of making a significant impact on the long-range problems of protein malnutrition in children in underdeveloped countries, the report says, adding, however, that the achievement of the goal will re-

quire expanded effort and cooperation among UNICEF and the specialized agencies. UNiceF is now discussing this question with wHo and the Food and Agriculture Organization

Referring specifically to UNICEF's role in widespread nutrition programs in the Americas, the report comments that these programs not only have resulted in discernible benefits of improved health in children but a growing recognition on the part of governments and the public generally of the importance of improved nutri- tion. Governments have been willing to spend increasing amounts of their own money to assure permanent con- tribution of the programs

On another aspect of child nutrition, six additional UNiIcEF-assisted milk conservation plants have begun opera- tions in the last six months or will be operating by September. Three are in Israel, two in Italy and one in Costa Rica. They UNICEF equipped plants in operation

increase the number of

to 126, out of the 172 plants for which UNICEF aid has been voted by the Executive Board Reorganization of the Philippine government's rural health service is mentioned as an important develop ment in UNICEF assisted programs in Asia over the last six months. Some 800 previously existing health clinics are being transformed into 1,300 rural health units, each staffed with a doc UNICEF is

tor, nurse and midwite

providing equipment and supplies Refugees to Sweden

Swedish Govern-

| AL arrangements have been com

pleted with the ment for the admission to Sweden of 200 refugee families and sixty tuber cular refugees, with their dependents Selection will be made immediately from people in Austrian camps.

The agreement is in direct response to the appeal by Dr. G. J. van Heuven Goedhart, the United Nations High Commissioner, for ‘prompt action in closing the camps and comes within the framework of the United Nations Refugee Fund Solutions Program

The High commends the Swedish Government's initiative as a model scheme. The 200 able-bodied refugees with their fami-


Commissioner warmly

lies will be found work in Sweden and assistance will also he given to them The tubercu- losis cases will be placed in sanatoria will be found employment in the imme diate vicinity

in finding accomodation and their dependents

In every case it is intended that the

refugees will remain permanently in Sweden and they will automatically enjoy the wage-levels, social security and unemployment benefits open to all Swedes. They will be encouraged to acquire Swedish citizenship.

The selection scheme has been worked out by the Swedish Govern- ment and the High Commissioner's Office in full consultation with the Inter-Governmental Committee for European Migration and Voluntary Agencies. The Mission has been given full powers of selection and, with procedural delay cut to the minimum, it is hoped that the arrive in Sweden before the onset of

refugees will

winter so that their settling in may take place under the most favorable conditions. The refugees are likely to find employment in the metal, food products, textiles and clothing, glass and porcelain, and timber industries

United Nations Associations

ry ‘He tenth Plenary Assembly of the

World Federation of United Na tions Associations will meet at Bang kok, Thailand, during the second week in September. WFUNA, estab- lished in Luxembourg in 1946, is the only international non-governmental organization which devotes the whole of its activities to making known the aims and activities of the United Na- tions and the specialized agencies and to gaining popular support for the United Nations. Thirty-two national United Nations Associations are regu- lar members of WFUNA, and sixteen are associate members. The majority of them will send delegates to Bang kok. Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pan dit, of India, a former President of the General

Assembly, is President

of WFUNA. Madame Pandit succeeded Nasrollah Entezam, of Iran, also a former Assembly President

During the nine years of its exis tence, the Federation has organized an nual seminars on the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Economic Com mission for Europe and also a yearly summer school dealing with some aspect of the work of the United Na- tions. Other seminars have discussed

human rights, the United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the International Labor Organization, the General Assembly and the International Court of Justice. Seminars for teachers on teaching about the United Nations have been held in La Habana (1950), Monrovia (1953), Mogadiscio (1953) and Manila (1954)

Study of these seminars is one of

thirty-six items on the agenda of the

Assembly at Bangkok which relates to the program and administration of the Federation, the cooperation of the Federation and its member associa- tions with the United Nations and specialized agencies and the contribu- tion which the Federation might make to the solution of problems concern- ing peace and international organiza tion.

The tenth Assembly will be fol lowed by a@ WFUNA/UNESCO seminar on adult education in Asia, with par- ticular reference to the work of the specialized agencies This seminar, also to be held in Bangkok during the third and fourth weeks of September, will be opened by Mrs. Franklin D Roosevelt

General Burns

perre GENERAL Dag b marskjold has

Ham extended for a further term of one year the appoint ment of Major General E. L. M Burns, of Canada, as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce


Supervision Organization in Pal- estine

Burns was initially ap-


pointed to this post on August /1, 1954. He is currently chairman in the talks between repre sentatives of Egypt and Israel in connection with the situation along the

acting as

armistice demarcation line in the

vicinity of Gaza


ffs International Labor Organiza tion has registered declarations by France and Belgium concerning the application of ILO conventions in non metropolitan territories. Belgium has undertaken to apply, without modifi cation, the 1928 Convention on Mini mum Wage-fixing Machinery in the Belgian Congo and the Trust tory of Ruanda-Urundi applying, also without the 1952 Convention on Holidays with Pay (Agriculture) in Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guinea and Re

Terri France is modification,


The ito has announced the assign ment of experts to three different mis Frieda Miller, a

Wisconsin, and

sions in Asia. Mrs native of La Crosse former director of the Women's Bu reau of the United States Department of Labor, will visit Burma, Ceylon, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand to survey the

conditions of work for women. Cor- nelis H Amsterdam, former second engineer on a Dutch freighter who worked his way up to

Nieuwhart, of

become technician in charge of sales, instruction, supervision of diesel in stallation and trials for Lindeteves N.V., has been sent to Burma to show crews how to handle new diesel in stallations on Burmese vessels. James McFayden, who was director of the Wholesale Society in

England, has been sent to Burma to


advise the Burmese wholesale cooper ative. He is a native of Loch Lo mondside, Scotland

Tent Factory

A MODERN tent factory at Ghor Nimrin, on the outskirts of Jer icho, is producing tents for use in refugee

camps and giving employ

ment. As the only tent factory im the Middle East, Ghor Nimrin is also well placed to develop a market for its Arab

where the main raw materials required

goods throughout the states

for tent manufacture are near at


An expert from a leading firm of British tent and sail makers was ap pointed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to get the factory started and train refugee machinists and finishers. He found many refugee craftsmen who had served with the British maker finishers and needed little help

Army in Palestine as sail in going back to their own trade or in adapting themselves to the fac tory'’s new machines and modern methods of production

Immediately on opening, the fac tory reached a production of more than 1,000 tents monthly. It is esti mated that some 450 refugees will come off rations as a result of the im

mediate employment possibilities

Training Centre

A FPOUR-WEEK technical meeting and training centre on farm mechani- zation and workshop problems organ- ized by the Food and Agriculture Organization in collaboration with the Government of Ceylon for the benefit of Asian and Far Eastern countries will be held in Amparai, Ceylon, be- ginning September 19

Since the war, the countries of Asia and the Far East have invested on a considerable scale in a variety of heavy earth-moving tractors and ma- chinery for use in land development and reclamation projects and also in new equipment and implements for use in agriculture. These items have

often been introduced without due regard for their suitability or the eco- nomic level of the cultivator who must make them pay. They have also been brought in before adequate train- ing and maintenance facilities were available

Ceylon has been chosen as the site of the centre because of the wide range of agricultural conditions and the variety of all types of equipment in use in government-sponsored recla mation and mechanization schemes


In indonesian elementary schools, science lessons are being taught with laboratory equipment assembled from odds and ends at an average cost of 100 rupiahs (about $10) per school Arab children in Hashemite Jordan are beginning to conduct experiments in science with homemade apparatus built at a cost of 4 dinars (about $11) The man largely responsible for intro- ducing this apparatus, whose parts are as varied as burned-out light bulbs, ink bottles, rubber tubing and bits Herbert H tham, 49, of Vancouver

In 1953, Dr a two-year mission in Indonesia for the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization

of string, is Dr Gran

Grantham completed Educational,

and in September 1954 took an as

signment to develop science teaching

in Jordan After two years of

Bandung, and a third year at Jerusa

working at

lem and Amman in Jordan, Dr. Gran tham said he remained convinced that introducing

the basic problem of

problem-solving methods in science

teaching is the same unywhere—some places just have more to work with than others

Low-cost, locally-made equipment

for science laboratories has also been

introduced by UNESCO technical assis- tance missions in Thailand, Peru and the Philippines

Group Training

About twenty-five members of co- operatives from African countries and attending a group training course in economic coopera- tion at Elsinore, Denmark, from August 22 to October 1, under the joint auspices of the Danish Govern- ment and the International Labor Or- ganization. Participants from Ethiopia, Liberia, Libya and the Su- dan. Officials from territories under the responsibility of Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and the United King- dom have also been invited to attend

ferritories are


The Food and Agriculture Oreaniza- tion and the United Nations are also participating in the course which is the third of its type to be organized by the Lo and the Danish Govern- ment, the first to be attended by par-

ticipants from Africa

Study Tour

Op August 2, a group of thirteen experts in mining engineering and

from Afghanistan, Burma,

India, Indonesia and

geology Hong Kong, Japan left New Delhi on the first stage of a thirteen-week study tour, organ- ized jointly by the Technical Assis- tance Administration and the Eco- nomic Commission for Asia and the Far East

The tour will take them through parts of the U.S.S.R., the United King- dom, France, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Demo- cratic Republic. Participants will ob-


serve the latest developments in the

helds of mining engineering and geology

On leaving New Delhi, the group will fly to Kabul, in Afghanistan, and Tashkent, the first of twelve places to be visited in the U.S.S.R. Their tour will end on No- vember 4 in the German Democratic Republic. Participants will prepare

their final report in Geneva

then on to

Guatemalan Loan

fe International Bank for Recon struction and Development has made a loan of $18.2 million to Guate mala to assist in financing completion Atlantic and Pacific high-

ways and in the execution of a pro-

of the new

gram to improve and maintain exist ing roads. The projects should reduce transport costs, facilitate internal and trade and

external stimulate agri

cultural production

The new Atlantic highway will pro- vide an alternative route to the single- track railroad which is now the only connection between central Guatemala and the Caribbean. It will be a paved, all-weather road, 190 miles long, run- ning between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios on the Caribbean, with a short branch to the new port of Santo Tomas near Puerto Barrios Puerto Barrios, Guatemala’s chief port, handles two-thirds of the ex- port-import trade. The present capac- ity of the railroad which served it is nearing saturation, and rail service is Often interrupted by landslides.

Work on the highway was begun in 1951; by the end of March 1955 about half the grading and some of the bridges and culverts had been finished. Construction is expected to be completed in 1958.

The new Pacific highway will be the backbone of the road system in the Pacific coastal plain and the piedmont of western Guatemala. It will run midway between the Pacific Coast and the Inter-American Highway and will be 217 miles long. In the north; it will extend to the Mexican border, in the south, to El Salvador and will join the new Litoral highway being constructed in El Salvador with the help of a Bank loan of $11.1 million made in October 1954.


After a year of making dollar or

hwan loans to small industries partly

destroyed by war or operating inef- fectively because of lack of capital to repair or improve their plants, the United Nations Korean Reconstruc- tion Agency has added another $600,- 000 to the fund

Korean businessmen, UNKRA has de- cided, are good risks. During the year of operation 310 businessmen have been assisted from the dollar fund of $1.5 million, and 397 businesses have received loans from the hwan fund of 331,390,000 hwan varying lengths of time, averaging about eight months. To date, 239 bor- have loans in full, and 302 have fully re-

The loans are for

rowers already repaid dollar paid hwan loans.

Most of the loans in foreign cur- rency have been made for the purchase of machinery or raw materials un- procurable in Korea. Forty per cent of these have been made to Korea's vital textile industry, and the pur- chases range from looms and automatic sock-making machines to



A wide variety of other industries has also benefited, including the opti-

cal industry, soap making, paper, paint, industrial chemicals, printing, automobile repair and handicrafts. New looms that will enable the Korean textile industry to reach, prob- ably surpass, the prewar weaving capacity are being furnished to mills with adequate space. At present, the spinning mills are operating at only forty-five per cent of their weaving capacity because of the lack of looms.

Technical Assistance

D* Ary Et Gritty, a former Min- ister of Finance in Egypt, is serv- ing as an economic adviser to Jordan on such matters as capital formation, foreign investment in Jordan, produc- tivity, employment and unemploy- ment, taxation and tariffs. He is also expected to be asked to advise on Jordan’s capacity to absorb an in- creased population and on the special- ized training of Jordanian citizens Two engineers sent to India by UNESCO have joined the faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology. They are Dr Sean T. Mackey, an Irish civil engi- neer and previously a lecturer at the University of Leeds, and Dr. V. M Narbutt, a British electrical engineer who has been a senior lecturer in electrical engineering at Battersea Poly- technic in London.

Graham Crabtree, a Canadian film maker, is working with Indonesian authorities in establishing a unit to produce audio-visual aids to educa- tion at a teacher training centre in Bandung.

Three educators have joined the faculty of the University of Liberia to teach mathematics, chemistry and Erling Rossing, in mathematics;

physics. They are Denmark, lecturer Juntaro Kawai, Japan, professor of chemistry; and J. Aharoni, United Kingdom, lecturer in physics

A. G. Dickson, a British educator who has spent the last seven years in West Africa, is heading a UNESCO mission in fundamental education in Iraq. The mission follows three years of work by Iraqi educators and a UNESCO team in the Dujailah region, where landless farmers have been settled on newly-irrigated land re- claimed from the desert. On the basis of the Dujailah experiment it is planned to establish centres through- out Iraq to train fundamental educa- tion leaders

A British librarian and documenta- tion specialist is on a year’s mission to Turkey helping set up a scientific documentation service. This is the second mission to Turkey for Mrs. Lucia Moholy who spent six months

at Ankara in 1953 aiding in estab lishing a National Bibliographical Centre

Kaare Hansen, head of the Norwe gian Employers’ Association's produc tivity department, has completed his one-year assignment as chief of an ILO productivity team in Egypt.

Mr. Hansen said that “management awareness” had been stimulated through the mission. Much had been accomplished, he said, in pilot proj ects set up in three Egyptian indus tries: a metal trades plant, making metal kitchen and office furniture; a cotton spinning establishment; a silk spinning and weaving plant

A specialist in railway signalling, W. H. R. Webb, is in Iran for six months making a survey of the signal- ling systems on the Iranian railways with a view to improving the safety and efficiency of operations

Postal Administration

A PANEL of six artists from as many countries has ben set up by the United Nations Postal Administration to ensure a wide range of creative talent from which to draw for designs of United Nations postage stamps to be released in 1956

The artists are Mrs. Dahl Collings, Australia; Leon Helguera, Mexico; Jean Picart le Doux, France; David Stone Martin, United States; Willi Wolf Wind, Israel; and Hubert Woyty- Wimmer, United Kingdom

All designs for stamps to be issued in 1956 will be chosen from the work of members of this group, New mem- bers will be appointed, representing different Member states of the United Nations, in 1957.



The stamp to be issued on United Nations Day, October 24, in honor of the tenth anniversary, was designed hy Claude Bottiau, of France, a mem- her of the international Secretariat of the United Nations who is employed in the Presentation Section. Mr. Bot- tiau was awarded an honorable men- tion for one of his designs submitted to the United Nations Postal Admin- istration's International Postage Stamp Design Competition held in 1982. This, however, is the first of his de- signs to be accepted for use on a United Nations postage stamp


Atoms For Peace And Welfare

A! rex months of intensive planning and preparation

what future generations may regard as the most important scientific conference in history opened in Geneva on August 8. It was the United Nations Con

ference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, at

tended by 1,260 representatives and advisers and 800 observers from seventy-two nations and seven United Nations specialized agencies, with some 500 correspon dents and cameramen from almost every country giving the proceedings immediate and worldwide coverage

Never before had scientists gathered under such an impressive array of newsreel and television cameras or had their every word interpreted at once into three other languages and recorded on tape

Scholars who for years had been working quietly behind walls of secrecy, not even allowed in many cases to discuss their work with their families, in recent months had looked forward to exchanging their thoughts and their knowledge and their experiences with scien tists from other lands, as permitted by their govern ments, Suddenly they found themselves the centre of worldwide attention and hopes, speaking to hundreds in the great hall of the Palais des Nations at the Euro pean Headquarters of the United Nations and to mil lions by radio

Not that everything they said had previously been secret—only a small part really, though an important part but the atmosphere of free discussion was new and the keen interest of the entire world had given the whole setting an air of excitement which they had

never known before

[he conference, commented Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, would demonstrate “that intellectual co- operation amongst scientists, which was such a feature of our civilization until the last great war and which has since been interrupted by the darker forces of history, is once more recognized as a moral responsi- bility which we cannot escape if we are to continue to promote and not to hinder the process of our common civilization.”

And Dr. Homi J

conference, declared

Bhabha, of India, President of the

“Those who have the good for- tune to participate in this conference are privileged to be in the vanguard of the march of history I hope this conference will play its part in helping the progress of mankind toward the ever-widening dawn of the atomic age with the promise of a life fuller and happier than anything we can visualize today.”

Eleven Hundred Papers

More than eleven hundred papers had been sub- Ham- of “master-builders of nuclear

mitted for the conference-—a gathering, as Mr marskjold described it, science and nuclear engineering” assembled under the auspices of the United Nations “to discuss, exchange and share their knowledge with the aim of harnessing atomic energy to the purposes of peace and human


The documentation consisted of 1,129 abstracts and 1,071 papers submitted by thirty-nine countries, four specialized agencies and the United Nations itself

Dr. Homi Bhabha, President of the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, explains a “swimming pool” reactor to associates at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay,

which he directs

Professor Walter G. Whitman, Secretary-General

of the International Conference on the

Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, is on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The papers covered every aspect of the atom’s power to open up new horizons, but because the conference was to continue for only two weeks—until August 20 only about 460 papers could be presented orally. All were to be available for examination by the partici- pants, however, and subsequently they will be published, along with a verbatim record, in English, French, Rus- sian and Spanish, the four languages of the conference

Among the more exciting events of the early days of the conference was a suggestion in the opening statement by Dr. Bhabha that atomic energy perhaps could be obtained from a fusion process, as in the

hydrogen bomb, as well as from the fission process

“I venture to predict,” he said, “that a method will be found for liberating fusion energy in a controlled manner within the next two decades. When that hap- pens, the energy problems of the world will have been solved forever, for fuel will be as plentiful as heavy hydrogen in the oceans.”

Later in the week, Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, chair man of the United States delegation to the conference, disclosed that the United States had been working for a considerable time to harness the tremendous power of the hydrogen bomb for peaceful purposes. He added, however, that there had been nothing in the nature of a breakthrough and that the problem was unprece- dented in difficulty. This announcement followed the disclosure by Sir John Cockcroft that the United King dom was working on the same problem.

Another important announcement made by Sir John was that the United Kingdom had developed an experi- mental nuclear reactor which produces twice as much atomic fuel as it consumes. This would mean, it was

Deputy Conference Secretary-General Viktor §, Vavilov is on the staff of the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R.

said, that all the fuel needed for many hundreds of years would be available and that it would be cheaper fuel In previous experimental breeder reactors, the rate of increase had been about ten per cent or lower. It was emphasized, however, that the new atomic power plant was still in the early experimental stage, and that such a two-for-one return might not necessarily be realized in a large-scale commercial reactor

After the opening plenary meeting, the conference followed a set timetable with more or less regularity. Three separate meetings were held simultaneously each morning, and three more each afternoon. Each was usually opened with a five-minute talk by the Chairman. Then at each session papers were read by three scien tists, each of twenty to thirty minutes in length, inter- preted simultaneously into the other three languages