External Policy: The Commonwealth and Europe

  • Margaret Gowing


To Britain, atomic relations with the United States seemed far more important than relations with any other country and indeed governed them. For one clause of the Quebec Agreement of 1943 had said that the signatories would not communicate any atomic information to third parties except by mutual consent. The agreement was obsolete, having referred to the war, but it had never been abrogated and the British still regarded themselves as bound by this particular dause. The Prime Minister himself specifically endorsed this view. Only one country, Canada, was exempt from these restrictions for she was a third, if subsidiary, party in Anglo-American atomic affairs. This special triangular relationship was not confined to atomic energy, for Canada played a more important role than any of the other British Dominions* in the Marshall Plan and the subsequent organisation for implementing it and also in NATO; her status as a power in the atomic world no doubt influenced her role in these other spheres. Meanwhile, quite apart from the atomic triangle, Britain and Canada also had their own very strong bilateral links.


Atomic Energy High Commissioner Fissile Material External Policy Commonwealth Country 
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  1. 1.
    Britain and Atomic Energy, 1939–1945, chaps. 5, 6 and 10, and p. 171.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., p. 300.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., chaps. 6 and 10.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., P. 289.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., p. 288.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Britain and Atomic Energy, 1939–1945, PP. 298, 307–11.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ibid., pp. 49–52, 289.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ibid., pp. 209–13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Gowing

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