Disarmament From "Positions of Strength"


Disarmament From "Positions of Strength"

THE LONG-AWAITED resignation of Harold Stassen, special assistant on disarmament to the President, is an accomplished fact. Although formally the reason is Stassen's "desire" to take part in political life and run for Governor of Pennsylvania, it is clear even to many Americans who do not fol_

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low politics closely that Dulles has in fact succeeded, though not without difficulty, in ousting a supporter of a more flexible policy.

The idea of having a special assistant to the President on problems of disarmament has never appealed to the Secretary of State. As early as 1955 he demanded that control over disarmament policy be concentrated in his hands. Throughout the three years Stassen held office the press constantly hinted that there were differences between him and Dulles. One of Stassen's associates, Mattison, admitted, that the divergencies sprang from differences in approach to disarmament. While Stassen favoured a "relaxation of tension", and a more flexible foreign policy, particularly with regard to the Soviet Union, Dulles invariably insisted on "increased pressure". Although the launching of the Soviet sputniks made the failure of the "positions of strength" policy clear, Dulles obstinately clung to the same bankrupt line. He still wants to tackle even the disarmament problem "from positions of strength".

Stassen, in his articles published in the New York Times after his resignation and in a recent statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, lifted more of the curtain which concealed his differences with Dulles. Stassen said that he favoured an early Summit meeting. He proposed that a trial two-year agreement be concluded between the Soviet Union and the United States on initial measures to limit armaments and end nuclear weapon tests. The American press pointed out that even prior to his resignation Stassen had also condemned the rejection by Dulles of Soviet proposals ...

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