Clement Attlee British Prime Minister
It is for the people of the world, through their representatives, to make their choice between life and death. On June 19, 1946, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee appeared before the United Nations General Assembly to urge support for the Baruch Plan, which would place atomic energy under international control. The U.N. had first met on January 10 of that year, and its first resolution, adopted on January 24, called for the peaceful use of atomic energy and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. The U.N. Atomic Energy Commission was established, and Bernard M. Baruch, the American representative to the commission, proposed a plan. Under the terms of his proposal, the United States-the sole nation in possession of atomic weaponry-would destroy its store of atomic bombs on the condition that the U.N. imposed controls on atomic development, prohibiting anything but the peaceful use of atomic energy. The plan passed the commission but was vetoed by the Soviet Union in the U.N.'s Security Council. As the Cold War progressed, the Atomic Energy Commission steadily lost influence, and on August 29, 1949, the U.S.S.R. successfully detonated an atomic warhead, setting off the nuclear arms race.