II. In our opinion, further negotiation could bring about full agreement.
The fifth example: Both plans contain proposals designed to prohibit the wider spread of nuclear weapons. A resolution submitted by Ireland, calling for international agreement in this field, was endorsed by all the members of the United Nations at the sixteenth session of the general assembly, just a few months ago. What is required now is early action to bring this recommendation into force.
The sixth example: The United States program and the Soviet draft treaty both call for reductions of conventional arms in the first stage. The Soviet plan provides for reductions proportionate to manpower cuts. At our second meeting, the representative of the United States put forward new proposals calling for a reduction by 30 per cent. My delegation believes that this development brings the views of the two major military powers closer together. Detailed negotiations should begin at once to remove remaining differences.
My seventh example is as follows: In the crucial field of nuclear disarmament the positions of the two sides have likewise been brought substantially closer by the significant new United States proposals for a 30 per cent reduction of nuclear weapons delivery vehicles in the first stage. The Soviet draft treaty calls for the complete elimination of all such vehicles in the opening stage. Nevertheless, having in mind the magnitude of the initial cuts proposed by the United States, as well as the agreed principle of balance, my delegation believes that detailed negotiation should bring the two major military powers to agreement on phased reductions in this field.
In these seven areas, and there are probably others, we believe that an appreciable measure of common ground already exists. There is a second category of problems in which there remain more pronounced and generally well known differences between the two sides. I shall not dwell on them today, with the exception of the vital issue of stopping nuclear weapons tests, which requires special mention.
Canada deeply regretted that the Soviet union last August broke a three year moratorium on testing, for we are opposed to all nuclear weapon tests. In this we share the view of most other countries. Indeed, the major nuclear powers themselves have stated at this very conference that they would like to see all tests stopped. However, they now find themselves unable to reach final accord owing to disagreement on inspection. Is there no alternative to another series of tests with all the harmful consequences that such action
could bring? Is it not possible, within the framework of this committee, to make the further effort which is required to break the deadlock? In my opinion, such an effort must be made, for otherwise the prospects of this conference itself could be seriously threatened. We already see, in dispatch after dispatch, stories that this disarmament conference is doomed to failure. These stories are based on the talks on nuclear weapon tests which have taken place between the nuclear powers and in which the other representatives at this conference have not been involved at all. In the minds of the public the impression has been created, because of the disagreement in these nuclear test talks, that this conference is going to be a failure. This, I submit, is a very bad situation, and one which I hope will be clarified by the correspondents of all our countries. As a start, it would be most helpful to receive a report on these informal talks which have been taking place on this subject from the three participants. Countries which do not possess nuclear weapons cannot put a stop to these tests; however, we can and do appeal to the nuclear states to do everything in their power to see that a solution is not further delayed.
There is a third category of problems in which the extent and the nature of the disagreement between the two sides are far from clear. As representatives will have noticed, I referred earlier to cases where there is disagreement but where that disagreement is clear cut and everyone understands what it is. What is required to resolve this third category of differences is, in the first instance, an intensive discussion which will demonstrate precisely what the positions of the two sides are. We must find out exactly the position taken by the two sides. To avoid continued misunderstanding, the respective interests of the two sides should be brought into the light of day and the possibility of an accommodation of views examined in good faith.
One of the most fundamental problems requiring this kind of examination is the question of verification. Canada's willingness to contribute to a verified system of disarmament has been demonstrated by the offer which my government has made, and which still stands, to throw open its northern areas for inspection in exchange for comparable rights in corresponding areas of Soviet territory.
In the opinion of my delegation, the best way to achieve a realistic solution of the problem of verification is to avoid any further discussion in the abstract. We should avoid abstract debates on the word "verification". Instead, there should be careful examination of each measure of disarmament together with the specific verification procedures to
ensure that all states carry out that particular disarmament measure. In other words, let us take a measure of disarmament and with it study the verification needed for that measure, rather than studying verification in general.
Let us take an example from the Soviet draft treaty to illustrate my point. Article 5 provides for the elimination of certain means of delivering nuclear weapons and for the cessation of the production. Paragraph 3 of this article provides that the implementation of these measures should be verified by inspectors of the international disarmament organization. The language of the Soviet draft treaty suggests that substantial inspection would be allowed over this measure of disarmament. What we need to clarify is how much the inspectors are to be allowed to see, and the conditions under which they would carry out this work. Having done that, the committee would then be able to judge how adequate the inspection arrangements would be for verifying the execution of this particular measure.
In pursuing an examination of the problem of inspection, particularly in the area of disarmament which I have just mentioned, the application of sampling techniques as suggested by the United States representative should facilitate agreement. This approach ought to go a long way toward removing fears that inspection will be out of balance with disarmament or be used for any illegitimate purpose. We sincerely believe there is great hope of reaching an agreement on the question of verification through some type of sampling procedure.
The same method of careful, painstaking examination, rather than abstract debate, should be applied in other areas where important but ill defined differences appear to exist between the two sides.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I should like to make some proposals concerning procedure. Ever since the breakdown of the ten nation committee nearly two years ago, Canada has been convinced that rapid progress in disarmament negotiations would require a more efficient procedure than has been adopted in the past. In particular, we believe that agreement on effective procedural arrangements is a matter of the first importance if a committee of this size, with 17 or 18 nations participating, is to operate effectively.
The immediate question is how to proceed from the present exchange of general views on disarmament to a detailed examination of the specific problems. In the opinion of my delegation, an effective working procedure would be as follows. First, an informal committee of the whole conference should be
established on a continuing basis, with the number attending from each delegation being more limited than at plenary meetings. Second, the co-chairmen should be given the responsibility for presiding over this committee on alternate days. They should maintain close consultation with one another on the order of business. I think the plan we are following in plenary meetings of having rotating chairmen is very good,-although I know from personal experience that it is more or less an honorary position and puts one in the category of being king for a day. But we believe that for the informal committee it would be much wiser to have the co-chairmen in the chair on alternate days. Third, the emphasis in the committee should be on an informal and private method of work. There need be no list of speakers and no verbatim records should be kept. A summary record could be provided for the information of delegations.
The main purpose of this informal working committee would be threefold: first, to follow up as a matter of priority the common elements in the two plans, such as the seven points which I mentioned earlier; second, to try to achieve reasonable compromises in remaining areas where clear differences between the two sides persist; and third, to make more precise the points under dispute in areas where differences between the two sides are yet ill defined.
In suggesting this procedure, my delegation has had in mind the experience of the conference here in Geneva on the future of Laos. Although there are continuing difficulties in the field in the unhappy country, the work of the conference here in Geneva has been successful. This has been due in large measure to the fact that an effective procedure was adopted, a procedure similar to the one I am now suggesting for the disarmament conference. At our meeting on Friday, the representative of India, Mr. Krishna Menon, also referred to the experience of the Laos conference-of course, India, like Canada, is participating in that conference-and he asked in this context that the committee meet informally so that the representatives of the United States and the Soviet union might provide clarification of respective ideas. We support this idea and agree with this proposal, but what we have in mind in addition is to use the proposed informal committee not only for the purpose of seeking information, but more importantly as a continuing forum for negotiation. By inviting the guidance of the co-chairmen we recognize that the United States and the Soviet union have by far the greatest responsibility in the field of disarmament. I do not suppose that either one of these