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REVIEW: The Forgotten Treaties: A practical plan for world disarmament

Laura Benson (reviewer) — May 1984

Allan McKnight, with an introduction by Keith Suter. 1983, published by the Law Council of Australia. 136 pages.

What the world needs now is a practical plan for disarmament. Right? However, it is unrealistic to assume that this can be brought about simply. Many feel that this situation is just too complex to deal with through discussion and treaty. Indeed, since 1962, disarmament has taken a back seat to arms control with its ensuing doomsday life script for civilisation.

With creative insight, lawyer Allan McKnight drafted an inspired 102 article disarmament treaty in 1978. This resurrection of a stillborn hope for world survival, the almost-forgotten 1962 McCloy-Zorin Treaty, was virtually ignored. In fact, isn’t it only logical to use as as a starting point the last joint American-Soviet statement of agreed principles?

McKnight has produced a very comprehensive draft treaty. It would certainly provide an excellent starting point for dialogue between the two superthugs who in the past few years seem to be hell-bent on dragging the rest of us along in their not-so-novel game of nuclear one-upmanship.

A factual history of the world’s long struggle for disarmament during this century and an updated commentary on the articles of the treaty is provided by Dr. Keith Suter, Federal President of the United Nations Association of Australia. This contribution lends clarity and readability. In fact, one might venture the contents are interpreted for the legally-impaired.