The United States and the Soviet Union were among 20 countries setting out their views on disarmament at a three-day conference of the Socialist International in Helsinki.
The United States and the Soviet Union were among 20 countries setting out their views on disarmament at a three-day conference of the Socialist International in Helsinki. The meeting opened on Monday (24 April).
SYNOPSIS: The conference did not aim to produce a consensus on the thorny question of disarmament, but gave delegates a chance to express their views. It was attended by the British Foreign Secretary, Dr. David Owen, and the former West German chancellor, Herr Willi Brandt. The agenda was drawn up with next month's United Nations General Assembly disarmament debate specifically in mind. The conference began with addresses by the Soviet delegate, Mr. Boris Ponomarev, and the United States deputy ambassador to the U.N., Mr. James Leonard. Mr. Ponomarev, the head of the International Department of the Communist Party secretariat, stressed the importance of co-operation between Communists and Social Democrats in the effort to reduce armaments. He indicated differences on the subject between the United States and the Soviet Union, but said good-will could overcome these.
Mr. James Leonard, the United States delegate, said the chances of a new Strategic Arms Limitation agreement were good, but Americans tended to be suspicious of Soviet motives. Mr. Leonard added that the United States senate would need a great deal of persuasion to ratify a new SALT treaty.