Third countries

The Atomic Energy Authority in Great Britain briefed its directors in 1955, just before the grand International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva, on its “collaboration” with “third countries” (you can see that UK saw itself as number two globally, a conceit that in that period was probably justified). At the end, we find this summary of discussions with America’s top nuclear official, Strauss, suggesting “consultation” instead of the customary dog-eat-dog competition. This tension between competition and consultation would be a feature of the U.S.A.-U.K. relationship well into the 1960s.

Equally it has become apparent during recent conversations with Admiral Strauss, Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, that third countries will tend to play off the U.S.A. against the U.K. unless we and the U.S.A. consult together in regard to our relations with third countries in the field of atomic energy. Consultation is advantageous to the U.K. moreover because, in the alternative of competition for the allegiance of third countries, the U.S.A. could crowd us out of virtually every market by reason of her superior resources. Admiral Strauss was receptive to the idea of consultation, and will discuss it further with his people when he returns to Washington.

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. 1955. Collaboration with countries other than U.S.A. AB 41/465. National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.
UKAEA memorandum 1955