Public and Political: General: Political: correspondence and papers on defence, atomic weapons and energy.

Reference code: CHUR 2/28

Part of: CHUR 2
Next record: CHUR 2/29A-B
Previous record: CHUR 2/27

Date: Nov 1945 - Apr 1954


Correspondents include: Prime Minister Clement Attlee (6); Anthony Eden [later 1st Lord Avon] on the strength of the army and RAF; [1st] Lord Cherwell [earlier F A Lindemann] (3); President Harry Truman (2); Walter Gifford, United States Ambassador to Great Britain. Also includes notes and copies of correspondence from WSC's secretaries "N S" [Jo Sturdee, later Lady Onslow], "J P" [Jane Portal, later Lady Williams of Elvel], "L M M" [Lettice Marston, later Lettice Shillingford], and "C G" [Chips Gemmell], and CSC; and from WSC to some of those mentioned above and to [Patrick] Buchan-Hepburn [later 1st Lord Hailes, Conservative Deputy Chief Whip].

Subjects covered by the file include: the Atomic Energy Bill 1946; the Soviet Union's atomic position; the opening session of the Council of Europe at Strasbourg [France], 1950; atomic research; publishing the 1943 Quebec [Canada] Agreement with regard to the atomic bomb; WSC's support for US air bases in East Anglia.

Also includes: copy of the Atomic Energy Bill; Hansards (12 May 1948 and 7 November 1945); United States Military Attache report on a press conference by Truman in October 1945; extract from House of Commons debate, 7 November 1945; unused speech notes by WSC from 1949 on the Soviet Union and the bomb; text of question by WSC for Attlee; report of the United States Joint Committee on atomic energy; drafts and copies of notes by WSC on army strength and a press statement on his position on the atomic bomb; notes by Cherwell on atomic energy; letter to the editor of the Manchester Guardian by George Ward [later 1st Lord Ward of Witley], MP for Worcester.






Other details

Access: Physical: 1 file (142 loose folios)
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Contained records

Reference Record Date
CHUR 2/28/45-51 Copy of a covering letter from WSC to Clement Attlee, Prime Minister, marked "private" sending on two enclosures and undertaking to support the government on national defence, while reserving the right to criticise the Government on defence spending, and suggesting a recall of Parliament at the end of August. 4-6 Aug 1950
CHUR 2/28/121-124 Letter from Clement Attlee, Prime Minister (10, Downing Street) to WSC marked "top secret" enclosing a note about the circumstances in which the clause in the Quebec Agreement was allowed to lapse which provided that neither the United States nor the United Kingdom would use the [atomic] bomb against third parties without the consent of the other. He explains: that the Americans were keen to get rid of the clause because Congress had not been informed about it and it went beyond the terms which the President has the power to agree; that the technical provisons about the exchange of information and raw materials remain in place; that the United Kingdom wished to be free of restrictions on the use of atomic energy for industrial purposes; the need for greater co-operation with the United States since the MacMahon [sic] Act; and that it was recognised that friendship and co-operation would be more significant than written agreements. He ends by paying tribute to WSC's efforts in securing the Quebec Agreement. Includes enclosure entitled "Top Secret: Atomic Energy: The Quebec Agreement of 1943" on the end of co-operation between the United States and the United Kingdom and Canada as a result of the McMahon Act; the "modus vivendi" and renewal of limited co-operation; the omission from the "modus vivendi" of clauses dealing with mutual consent for use of the bomb and industrial and commercial aspects; and limited exchange of technical information. Signed typescript. 2-3 Dec 1950
CHUR 2/28/126 Letter from Harry Truman [President of the United States] (The White House, Washington) to WSC explaining that he does not wish to publish the Quebec Agreement as requested by WSC because it will lead to requests for information about the current status of collaboration between the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States and that this would jeopardise the countries and NATO Allies. 24 Mar 1951
CHUR 2/28/127-128 Letter from Harry Truman [President of the United States] (The White House, Washington) to WSC in response to a personal note from WSC attached to his request to publish the Quebec Agreement. He discusses opposition in Congress to his efforts to carry out the Atlantic Treaty and asks WSC not to press him further, explaining that it will lead to unfortunate repercussions and embarassment and that it may ruin his whole defense program, "Your country's welfare and mine are at stake in that program." 16 Feb 1951
CHUR 2/28/132-134 Copy of a letter from WSC to the President of the United States [Harry Truman] asking for the publication of the 1943 Quebec Agreement, arguing that the British Parliament should have access to the facts, that consent from the British government would be needed to use the US air bases in East Anglia for the atomic bomb and this would strengthen the ties between the two countries. He ends by congratulating [Truman] on events in Korea and the Eisenhower mission. Unsigned carbon typescript. 12 Feb 1951