By John Baylis
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Additional resources for Anglo-American Defence Relations 1939–1980: The Special Relationship
Britain was seen by some to be more interested in protecting British interest in the Near East and Mediterranean than in defeating Germany. 75 The result was a certain exasperation and distrust which often dogged the discussions within the Combined COS Committee. Despite the tension, however, which these differences caused, President Roosevelt's unwavering commitment to the Germany-first strategy and his willingness to overrule his own military chiefs kept the alliance together. 76 Indeed as a result of the President's support for the invasion of North Mrica a combined Anglo-American team was set up in London to plan for 'Operation TORCH' which resulted in a much greater integration of operational military planning than had hitherto been achieved.
The Hyde Park aide-memoire in particular had stated quite unequivocally that collaboration in the military and commercial fields 'should continue after the defeat of Japan unless and until terminated by joint agreement'. 6 This expectation, however, was not fulfilled. Almost immediately after the war ended the flow of information on atomic energy began to dry up and eventually in August 1946 the McMahon Act was passed in the United States which prohibited the exchange of any atomic information between the United States and any other nation.
With the AngloAmerican agreements only known to a small group in the United States 8 and a new President in office there was a general consensus that some form of international control should be sought to try to harness the terrible destructive power of atomic energy for the good of mankind as a whole. Some advocated that the secret should be shared with the Russians to win their confidence and demonstrate American good will. 9 The most widely accepted view, however, was that knowledge about the bomb should remain 'a sacred trust' of the American people only to be given up to a properly constituted International Atomic Energy Agency.
Anglo-American Defence Relations 1939–1980: The Special Relationship by John Baylis