Quebec Agreement

The Quebec Agreement was an agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States outlining the terms for the coordinated development of the science and engineering related to nuclear energy, and, specifically nuclear weapons. It was signed by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt on 19 August 1943, during World War II, at the First Quebec Conference in Quebec City, Canada.

The Quebec Agreement stipulated that the US and UK would pool their resources to develop nuclear weapons, and that neither country would use them against the other, or against other countries without mutual consent, or pass information about them to other countries. It also gave the President of the United States a veto over post-war British commercial or industrial uses of nuclear energy. The agreement merged the British Tube Alloys project with the American Manhattan Project, and created the Combined Policy Committee to control the joint project. Although Canada was not a signatory, the Agreement provided for a Canadian representative on the Combined Policy Committee in view of Canada's contribution to the effort.

British scientists performed important work as part of the British contribution to the Manhattan Project, and in July 1945 British permission required by the agreement was given for the use of nuclear weapons against Japan. The September 1944 Hyde Park Aide-Mémoire extended Anglo-American co-operation into the post-war period, but after the war ended, American enthusiasm for the alliance with Britain waned. The McMahon Act ended technical co-operation through its control of "restricted data". On 7 January 1948, the Quebec Agreement had superseded by a modus vivendi, an agreement which allowed for limited sharing of technical information between the United States, Britain and Canada.

Quebec Agreement
Articles of Agreement governing collaboration between the authorities of the U.S.A. and U.K. in the matter of Tube Alloys
The three leaders sit on chairs on a wooden deck. Their national flags fly in the background.
Signed19 August 1943
LocationQuebec City, Canada
Effective19 August 1943
Expiration7 January 1948
SignatoriesWinston Churchill (UK)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (US)


Tube Alloys

The neutron was discovered by James Chadwick at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in February 1932.[1] In April 1932, his Cavendish colleagues John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton split lithium atoms with accelerated protons.[2] Then, in December 1938, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann at Hahn's laboratory in Berlin-Dahlem bombarded uranium with slowed neutrons,[3] and discovered that barium had been produced.[4] Hahn wrote to his colleague Lise Meitner, who, with her nephew Otto Frisch, explained that the uranium nucleus had been split.[5] By analogy with the division of biological cells, they named the process "fission".[6]

British Political Personalities 1936-1945 HU59483
Sir John Anderson, the minister responsible for Tube Alloys

The discovery of fission raised the possibility that an extremely powerful atomic bomb could be created.[7] The term was already familiar to the British public through the writings of H. G. Wells, in his 1913 novel The World Set Free.[8] Sir Henry Tizard's Committee on the Scientific Survey of Air Defence was originally formed to study the needs of anti-aircraft warfare, but branched out to study air warfare generally.[9] In May 1939, a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe in September 1939, it was directed to conduct research into the feasibility of atomic bombs.[10] Tizard tasked George Paget Thomson, the professor of physics at Imperial College London, and Mark Oliphant, an Australian physicist at the University of Birmingham, with carrying out a series of experiments on uranium. By February 1940, Thomson's team had failed to create a chain reaction in natural uranium, and he had decided that it was not worth pursuing.[11]

Oliphant's team reached a strikingly different conclusion. He had delegated the task to two German refugee scientists, Rudolf Peierls and Frisch, who could not work on the university's secret projects like radar because they were enemy aliens, and therefore lacked the necessary security clearance.[12] They calculated the critical mass of a metallic sphere of pure uranium-235, and found that instead of tons, as everyone had assumed, as little as 1 to 10 kilograms (2.2 to 22.0 lb) would suffice, and would explode with the power of thousands of tons of dynamite.[13][14][15]

Oliphant took the Frisch–Peierls memorandum to Tizard. As a result, the MAUD Committee was established to investigate further. It directed an intensive research effort.[16] Four universities provided the locations where the experiments were taking place. The University of Birmingham undertook theoretical work, such as determining what size of critical mass was needed for an explosion. This group was run by Peierls, with the help of fellow German refugee scientist Klaus Fuchs. The laboratories at the University of Liverpool and the University of Oxford experimented with different types of isotope separation. Chadwick's group at Liverpool dealt with thermal diffusion, a phenomenon observed in mixtures of mobile particles where the different particle types exhibit different responses to the force of a temperature gradient. Francis Simon's group at Oxford investigated the gaseous diffusion, which works on the principle that at differing pressures uranium 235 would diffuse through a barrier faster than uranium 238. This was determined to be the most promising method. Egon Bretscher and Norman Feather's group at Cambridge investigated whether another element, now called plutonium, could be used as a fissile material. Because of the presence of a team of refugee French scientists led by Hans von Halban, Oxford also had the world's main supply of heavy water, which helped them theorise how uranium could be used for power.[17][18]

In July 1941, the MAUD Committee produced two comprehensive reports that concluded that an atomic bomb was not only technically feasible, but could be produced before the war ended, perhaps in as little as two years. The MAUD Committee unanimously recommended pursuing its development as a matter of urgency, although it recognised that the resources required might be beyond those available to Britain.[19][20] But even before its report was completed, the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, had been briefed on its findings by his scientific advisor, Frederick Lindemann, and had decided on a course of action. A new directorate known by the deliberately misleading name of Tube Alloys was created to co-ordinate this effort. Sir John Anderson, the Lord President of the Council, became the minister responsible, and Wallace Akers from Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was appointed its director.[21]

Early American efforts

The prospect of Germany developing an atomic bomb was also of great concern to scientists in the United States, particularly those who were refugees from Nazi Germany and other fascist countries. In July 1939, Leo Szilard and Albert Einstein wrote the Einstein-Szilard letter, warning the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, of the danger. In response, Roosevelt created an Advisory Committee on Uranium in October 1939, chaired by Lyman Briggs of the National Bureau of Standards. Research concentrated on slow fission for power production, but with a growing interest in isotope separation.[22] On 12 June 1940, Vannevar Bush, the president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and Harry Hopkins, a key advisor to the president, went to the president with a proposal to create a National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) to co-ordinate defence-related research.[23] The NDRC was formally created on 27 June 1940, with Bush as its chairman.[24] It absorbed the Advisory Committee on Uranium which had gone beyond its original role and was now directing research. It became the Uranium Committee of the NDRC.[23]

One of Bush's first actions as the chairman of the NDRC was to arrange a clandestine meeting with Air Commodore George Pirie, the British air attaché in Washington, and Brigadier Charles Lindemann, the British Army attaché (and Frederick Lindemann's brother), to discuss a British offer of a full exchange of technical information. Bush was strongly in favour of this proposal, and at their meeting on 8 July 1940, he offered advice on how it should be presented. It was endorsed at a Cabinet meeting on 11 July, and an official acceptance was conveyed to Lord Lothian, the British Ambassador to the United States, on 29 July.[25]

Among the wealth of information that the Tizard Mission, a scientific mission sent to the United States to promote the exchange of military science and technology, brought to America were details about the MAUD Committee's deliberations and activities. Some information from the MAUD Committee had already been conveyed to the United States by Ralph H. Fowler, the British scientific attaché to Canada. Cockcroft, a member of the Tizard Mission, brought more. Cockcroft and Fowler met with the Uranium Committee,[19] but the information flow was largely one-way.[26] Cockcroft reported that the American atomic bomb project lagged behind the British, and was not proceeding as fast.[27][19] Work conducted in America included research by Szilard and Enrico Fermi at Columbia University into the possibility of a controlled nuclear chain reaction;[28] preliminary investigations into isotope separation using centrifugation, gaseousness diffusion and thermal diffusion processes;[29] and efforts to produce plutonium in the cyclotron at the Radiation Laboratory at the University of California.[30]

Kenneth Bainbridge from Harvard University attended a MAUD Committee meeting on 9 April 1941, and was surprised to discover that the British were convinced that an atomic bomb was technically feasible.[31][32] The Uranium Committee met at Harvard on 5 May, and Bainbridge presented his report. Bush engaged a group headed by Arthur Compton, a Nobel laureate in physics and chairman of the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago, to investigate further. Compton's report, issued on 17 May 1941, did not address the design or manufacture of a bomb in detail.[33] Instead it endorsed a post-war project concentrating on atomic energy for power production.[34] On 28 June 1941, Roosevelt created the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), with Bush as its director, personally responsible to the president. The new organisation subsumed the NDRC, now chaired by James B. Conant,[24] the President of Harvard University.[35] The Uranium Committee became the Uranium Section of the OSRD, but was soon renamed the S-1 Section for security reasons.[36][37]

Britain was at war, but the US was not. Oliphant flew to the United States in late August 1941, ostensibly to discuss the radar programme, but actually to find out why the United States was ignoring the MAUD Committee's findings.[38] He discovered to his dismay that the reports and other documents sent directly to Briggs had not been shared with all members of the committee; Briggs had locked them in a safe. Oliphant then met with William D. Coolidge, who was acting in Compton's place while the latter was in South America;[39] Samuel K. Allison, a colleague of Compton's at the University of Chicago; Ernest O. Lawrence, the director of the Radiation Laboratory; Fermi and Conant to explain the urgency. In these meetings he spoke of an atomic bomb with forcefulness and certainty.[40] Allison recalled that when Oliphant met with the S-1 Section, he "came to a meeting, and said 'bomb' in no uncertain terms. He told us we must concentrate every effort on the bomb and said we had no right to work on power plants or anything but the bomb. The bomb would cost $25 million, he said, and Britain did not have the money or the manpower, so it was up to us."[41]

Bush and Conant received the final MAUD Report from Thomson on 3 October 1941.[38] With this in hand, Bush met with Roosevelt and Vice-President Henry A. Wallace at the White House on 9 October 1941, and obtained a commitment to an expanded and expedited American atomic bomb project.[42] Two days later, Roosevelt sent a letter to Churchill in which he proposed that they exchange views "in order that any extended efforts may be coordinated or even jointly conducted."[43]


Roosevelt regarded this offer of a joint project as sufficiently important to have the letter personally delivered by Frederick L. Hovde, the head of the NDRC mission in London,[44] but Churchill did not respond until December. He assured Roosevelt of his willingness to collaborate, and informed him that Hovde had discussed the matter with Sir John Anderson and Lord Cherwell, as Frederick Lindemann was now known. The MAUD Committee had considered the issue of collaboration with the United States, and had concluded that while pilot isotope separation plants could be established in the United Kingdom, full-scale production facilities would have to be built in the United States. The British expressed concerns about the security of the American project. Ironically, it was the British project that had already been penetrated by atomic spies.[45] John Cairncross had given the Soviet Union a copy of the MAUD Committee report.[46] Although not conveyed to the Americans, the British had other concerns about what might happen after the war if the Americans embraced isolationism, as had occurred after the First World War, and Britain had to fight the Soviet Union alone.[47] The opportunity for a joint project was therefore missed. British and American exchange of information continued but their programmes remained separate.[48]

Radar and Electronic Warfare 1939-1945 H10786
Lord Cherwell (foreground, in bowler hat) was scientific advisor to Winston Churchill (centre)

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 led to the United States' entry into the war.[49] Funding now became available in amounts undreamt of the year before.[50] OSRD contracts were due to expire at the end of June 1942, and there was intense wartime competition for raw materials. It was agreed that in 1942–1943, the United States Army would fund $53 million of an $85 million programme. On 18 June 1942, Colonel James C. Marshall was ordered to organise the Army component.[51][52] He established his headquarters on the 18th floor of 270 Broadway in New York City, with the innocuous name of the Manhattan Engineer District, following the usual practice of naming engineer districts after the city in which its headquarters was located. The project soon adopted the name "Manhattan" as well.[52] By September 1942, Bush and Conant felt that the time had come for the Army to take over, something already approved by the president on 17 June 1942, and Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves, Jr. became the director of the Manhattan Project on 23 September 1942.[53] Groves attempted to tighten security through a policy of strict compartmentalisation similar to the one that the British had imposed on radar.[54]

The American effort soon overtook the British. British scientists who visited the United States in 1942 were astounded at the progress and momentum the Manhattan Project had assumed.[55] On 30 July 1942, Anderson advised Churchill that: "We must face the fact that ... [our] pioneering work ... is a dwindling asset and that, unless we capitalise it quickly, we shall be outstripped. We now have a real contribution to make to a 'merger'. Soon we shall have little or none".[56] But Bush and Conant had already decided that British help was no longer needed.[57] In October 1942, they convinced Roosevelt that the United States should independently develop the atomic bomb, despite the agreement of unrestricted scientific interchange between the US and Britain.[58]

The positions of the two countries were the reverse of what they had been in 1941.[56] American officials were concerned that Akers and other people from ICI involved in the Tube Alloys project were trying to exploit American nuclear scientific knowledge to create a profitable post-war industry.[59] The Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, felt that since the United States was doing "ninety percent of the work" on the bomb, it would be "better for us to go along for the present without sharing anything more than we could help".[60] In December 1942, Roosevelt agreed to restricting the flow of information to what Britain could use during the war, even if doing so impeded the American project.[60] The Americans stopped sharing any information on heavy water production, the method of electromagnetic separation, the physical or chemical properties of plutonium, the details of atomic bomb design, or the facts about fast neutron reactions. This adversely impacted the work of the Montreal Laboratory, the joint British and Canadian project that was investigating nuclear reactor design. In retaliation, the British stopped sending scientists to America, slowing the pace of work there, which had relied on British scientists. The Americans then ceased all information sharing.[57]

The Tube Alloys Directorate considered whether Britain could produce a bomb without American help. A gaseous diffusion plant to produce 1 kg of weapons-grade uranium per day was estimated to cost up to £3 million in research and development, and anything up to £50 million to build in wartime Britain. A nuclear reactor to produce 1 kg of plutonium per day would have to be built in Canada. It would take up to five years to build and cost £5 million. The project would also require facilities for producing the required heavy water for the reactor costing between £5 million and £10 million, and for producing uranium metal, which would cost another £1.5 million. The project would need overwhelming priority, as it was estimated to require 20,000 workers, many of them highly skilled, 500,000 tons of steel, and 500,000 kW of electricity. Disruption to other wartime projects would be inevitable, and it was unlikely to be ready in time to affect the outcome of the war in Europe. The unanimous response was that before embarking on this, another effort should be made to obtain American co-operation.[61]

By March 1943 Bush and Conant had decided that British help would benefit some areas of the Manhattan Project. In particular, it could benefit enough from assistance from Chadwick and one or two other British scientists to warrant the risk of revealing weapon design secrets.[62] Bush, Conant and Groves wanted Chadwick and Peierls to discuss bomb design with Robert Oppenheimer, and the construction company Kellogg wanted British comments on the design of the gaseous diffusion plant it was building.[63]


Churchill took up the matter with Roosevelt when they met at the Washington Conference on 25 May 1943.[64] A meeting was arranged that afternoon between Cherwell and Bush in Hopkins's office in the White House, with Hopkins looking on. Both stated their respective positions, and Cherwell explained that Britain's post-war interest was in nuclear weapons, and not commercial opportunities.[65] Hopkins reported back to Roosevelt,[64] and Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that information interchange should be reviewed, and that the atomic bomb project should be a joint one.[66] Hopkins sent Churchill a telegram confirming this on 17 June,[64] but American policy did not change, largely because Roosevelt did not inform Bush when they next met on 24 June.[65][67] When Churchill pressed for action in a telegram on 9 July, Hopkins counselled Roosevelt that "you made a firm commitment to Churchill in regard to this when he was here and there is nothing to do but go through with it."[68]

L to R, Field Marshall Sir Harold Alexander, Supreme Commander MTO, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, and Field... - NARA - 198813
Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson (centre) with Field Marshals Sir Harold Alexander (left) and Sir Henry Maitland Wilson (right)

Bush was in London on 15 July 1943 to attend a meeting of the British War Cabinet's Anti-U-Boat Committee. Sir Stafford Cripps took him to see Churchill who told Bush that the President had given him his word of honour on full co-operation, and that he was incensed at obstruction by American bureaucrats. Bush suggested that he take up the matter with Stimson, who was also in London. Churchill did so on 17 July, and Stimson promised to submit the matter to Roosevelt.[69] On 20 July, Roosevelt wrote to Bush with instructions to "renew, in an inclusive manner, the full exchange with the British Government regarding Tube Alloys",[68] but since Bush was in London, he did not see this letter for another ten days.[70] Stimson, Bush and Stimson's special assistant, Harvey Bundy, met Churchill, Cherwell and Anderson at 10 Downing Street in London on 22 July. None of them was aware that Roosevelt had already made his decision.[69]

Stimson had just finished a series of arguments with the British about the need for an invasion of France. He was reluctant to appear to disagree with them about everything,[69] and, unlike Bush, sensitive to insinuations that Britain was being unfairly treated.[71] He spoke in conciliatory terms about the need for good post-war relations between the two countries. For his part, Churchill disavowed interest in the commercial applications of nuclear technology.[69] The reason for British concern about the post-war co-operation, they explained, was not commercial concerns, but so that Britain would have nuclear weapons after the war. Bush then proposed a five-point plan, which Stimson promised to put before the president for approval.[72]

Anderson drafted an agreement for full interchange, which Churchill re-worded "in more majestic language".[73] Anderson feared that Groves might tell Stimson and Bush that "like all Americans who come to our misty island, they have been taken in by our hypocritical cunning and carried away by our brilliant Prime Minister".[65] When Conant found out about the agreement, he expressed the opinion that he would feel more at home on the staff of the Chicago Tribune,[74][75] a newspaper renowned for its anti-British views.[76] Anderson arrived in Washington with the draft on 5 August,[77] and went over it with Conant and Bush. From the American point of view, nothing made it into the final draft that contradicted the existing policy on interchange of information. Anderson extracted one important concession: the creation of the Combined Policy Committee to oversee the joint project with representation from the United States, Britain and Canada.[78] Conant's objections to Anderson's proposed arrangements for information interchange were met by assigning the task to the Combined Policy Committee.[79] Stimson, General George Marshall and Rear Admiral William R. Purnell reviewed the document and made minor changes, and it was then sent to the British Embassy for approval.[74]


American and Allied leaders at international conferences - NARA - 292626
Press Conference at the Citadelle of Quebec during the Quadrant Conference. Left to right: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Seated on the wall behind them are Anthony Eden, Brendan Bracken and Harry Hopkins.

A speedy drafting process was required because Roosevelt, Churchill and their political and military advisors converged for the Quadrant Conference at the Citadelle of Quebec on 17 August, hosted by the Prime Minister of Canada, Mackenzie King. Most of the discussions were about the invasion of France.[80] Although the Quebec Agreement was a bilateral one to which Canada was not a signatory, the British felt that Canada's contribution to Tube Alloys was significant enough that high-level representation was appropriate. King was therefore asked to nominate a Canadian member of the Combined Policy Committee, and he selected C. D. Howe, the Canadian Minister of Munitions and Supply. Stimson, Bush and Conant would be the American members, while Field Marshal Sir John Dill and Colonel J. J. Llewellin would be the British members.[79]

On 19 August Roosevelt and Churchill signed the Quebec Agreement, which was typed on four pages of Citadelle notepaper,[80] and formally titled "Articles of Agreement governing collaboration between the authorities of the USA and UK in the matter of Tube Alloys".[81] The United Kingdom and the United States agreed that "it is vital to our common safety in the present War to bring the Tube Alloys project to fruition at the earliest moment",[81] and that this was best accomplished by pooling their resources.[81] The Quebec Agreement stipulated that:

  1. The US and UK would pool their resources to develop nuclear weapons with a free exchange of information;
  2. Neither country would use them against the other;
  3. Neither country would use them against other countries without consent;
  4. Neither country would pass information about them to other countries without consent;
  5. That "in view of the heavy burden of production falling, upon the United States", the President might limit post-war British commercial or industrial uses of atomic energy.[81]

The only part of the Quebec Agreement that troubled Stimson was the requirement for mutual consent before atomic bombs could be used.[82] Had Congress known about it, they would never have supported it. The American veto over post-war British commercial and industrial uses made it clear that Britain was the junior partner in the Grand Alliance. Churchill in particular considered the Quebec Agreement to be the best deal he could have struck under the circumstances, and the restrictions were the price he had to pay to obtain the technical information needed for a successful post-war nuclear weapons project.[83] Margaret Gowing noted that the "idea of the independent deterrent was already well entrenched."[73]

The Quebec Agreement was a secret agreement. Its terms were known to but a few insiders, and its very existence was not revealed to the United States Congress.[84] The Joint Committee on Atomic Energy was given an oral summary on 12 May 1947.[85] On 12 February 1951, Churchill wrote to President Harry S. Truman for permission to publish it, but Truman declined. Churchill therefore omitted it from his memoir, Closing the Ring (1951).[86] It remained a secret until Churchill read it out in the House of Commons on 5 April 1954.[87][88] However, on 4 September 1943 the Soviet atomic spy Ursula Kuczynski ("Sonia") reported details of the agreement to the GRU in Moscow, which she had probably obtained from Fuchs.[89]


Even before the Quebec Agreement was signed, Akers had already cabled London with instructions that Chadwick, Peierls, Oliphant and Simon should leave immediately for North America. They arrived on 19 August, the day it was signed, expecting to be able to talk to American scientists, but were unable to do so. Two weeks passed before American officials learned of the contents of the Quebec Agreement.[90] Bush told Akers that his action was premature, and that the Combined Policy Committee would first have to agree on the rules governing the employment of British scientists. With nothing to do, the scientists returned to the UK.[91] Groves briefed the OSRD S-1 Executive Committee, which had replaced the S-1 Committee on 19 June 1942,[92] at a special meeting on 10 September 1943.[93] The text of the Quebec Agreement was vague in places, with loopholes that Groves could exploit to enforce compartmentalisation.[94] Negotiations on the terms of technical interchange dragged on until December 1943. The new procedures went into effect on 14 December with the approval of the Military Policy Committee (which governed the Manhattan Project) and the Combined Policy Committee. By this time British scientists had already commenced working in the United States.[95][96]

Over the next two years, the Combined Policy Committee met only eight times.[97] The first occasion was on the afternoon of 8 September 1943; Stimson discovered that he was the chairman only that morning. This first meeting established a Technical Subcommittee chaired by American Major General Wilhelm D. Styer.[90] The Americans did not want Akers on the Technical Subcommittee due to his ICI background, so Llewellin nominated Chadwick, whom he also wanted to be Head of the British Mission to the Manhattan Project.[98] The other members of the Technical Committee were Richard C. Tolman, who was Groves's scientific advisor, and C. J. Mackenzie, the president of the Canadian National Research Council.[90] It was agreed that the Technical Committee could act without consulting the Combined Policy Committee whenever its decision was unanimous. It held its first meeting at The Pentagon on 10 September 1943.[99]

There remained the issue of co-operation between the Manhattan Project's Metallurgical Laboratory in Chicago and the Montreal Laboratory. At the Combined Policy Committee meeting on 17 February 1944, Chadwick pressed for resources to build a nuclear reactor at what is now known as the Chalk River Laboratories. Britain and Canada agreed to pay the cost of this project, but the United States had to supply the heavy water. Because it was unlikely to have any impact on the war, Conant in particular was cool about the proposal, but heavy water reactors were still of great interest.[100] Groves was willing to support the effort and supply the heavy water required, but with certain restrictions. The Montreal Laboratory would have access to data from the Metallurgical Laboratory's research reactors at Argonne and the X-10 Graphite Reactor at Oak Ridge, but not from the production reactors at the Hanford Site; nor would they be given any information about the chemistry of plutonium, or of methods for separating it from other elements. This arrangement was formally approved by the Combined Policy Committee meeting on 19 September 1944.[101][102]

Chadwick supported the British contribution to the Manhattan Project to the fullest extent, abandoning any hopes of a British project during the war.[103] With Churchill's backing, he attempted to ensure that every request from Groves for assistance was honoured. While the pace of research eased as the war entered its final phase, scientists were still in great demand, and it fell to Anderson, Cherwell and Sir Edward Appleton, the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which was responsible for Tube Alloys, to prise them away from the wartime projects in which they were invariably engaged.[104] A British Mission led by Akers assisted in the development of gaseous diffusion technology in New York.[105] Another, led by Oliphant, who acted as deputy director at the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, assisted with the electromagnetic separation process.[106] As head of the British Mission to the Los Alamos Laboratory, Chadwick, and later Peierls, led a multinational team of distinguished scientists that included Sir Geoffrey Taylor, James Tuck, Niels Bohr, William Penney, Frisch, and Fuchs. Four members of the British Mission became group leaders at Los Alamos. Penney observed the bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945 and participated in the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests in 1946.[107]

A major strain on the Agreement came up in 1944, when it was revealed to the United States that the United Kingdom had made a secret agreement with Hans von Halban to share nuclear information with France after the war in exchange for free use of patents related to nuclear reactors filed by French physicist Frédéric Joliot-Curie and his Collège de France team. Upon this revelation, the United States and Canada objected, stating that the Halban agreement violated the terms of the Quebec Agreement, namely the section about third-party information-sharing without prior mutual consent.[108] The United Kingdom broke its obligations to France in order to satisfy the United States. Anderson was extremely concerned about alienating the French, and he and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Anthony Eden, suggested that the French be offered an undertaking that France would subsequently be included in the Manhattan Project, but Churchill did not agree, and remained adamantly opposed to any disclosures to France or the Soviet Union.[109] After the war, the French government repudiated the Halban agreement.[110]

The issue of patent rights was a complex one, and attempts to negotiate deals between Britain and the United States in 1942, and between Britain and Canada in 1943, had failed. After the Quebec Agreement was signed, British and American experts sat down together again and hammered out an agreement, which was endorsed by the Combined Policy Committee in September 1944. This agreement, which also covered Canada, was retrospective to the signing of the Quebec Agreement in August 1943, but owing to necessary secrecy, was not finalised until 1956, and covered all patents held in November 1955. Each of the three countries agreed to transfer to the others any rights it held in the others' countries, and waive any claims for compensation against them.[111]

Llewellin returned to the United Kingdom at the end of 1943 and was replaced on the committee by Sir Ronald Ian Campbell, the deputy head of the British Mission to the United States, who in turn was replaced by the British Ambassador to the United States, Lord Halifax, in early 1945. Dill died in Washington on 4 November 1944, and was replaced both as Chief of the British Joint Staff Mission and as a member of the Combined Policy Committee by Field Marshal Sir Henry Maitland Wilson.[97] It was therefore Wilson who, on 4 July 1945, under the clause of the Quebec Agreement that specified that nuclear weapons would not be used against another country without mutual consent, agreed that the use of nuclear weapons against Japan would be recorded as a decision of the Combined Policy Committee.[112][113][114]

Hyde Park Aide-Mémoire

Hyde Park Aide-Mémoire
The Hyde Park Aide-Mémoire. This copy is in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.[a]

In September 1944, a second wartime conference was held in Quebec known as the Octagon Conference. In the wake of a string of Allied victories, thoughts turned to post-war planning.[116] Afterwards, Roosevelt and Churchill spent some time together at Roosevelt's Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York. They discussed post-war collaboration on nuclear weapons, and on 19 September signed the Hyde Park Aide-Mémoire, detailing the agreement resulting from what they discussed. Most of this dealt with Bohr's thoughts on international control,[117] but it also provided that "[f]ull collaboration between the United States and the British Government in developing Tube Alloys for military and commercial purposes should continue after the defeat of Japan unless and until terminated by joint agreement."[118]

Of Roosevelt's advisors, only Hopkins and Admiral William D. Leahy knew of this secret wartime agreement, and Leahy, possibly because he never believed that the atomic bomb would work, and was therefore perhaps not paying much attention, had only a muddled recollection of what had been said.[119][120] When Wilson raised the Hyde Park Aide-Mémoire in a Combined Policy Committee meeting in June 1945, the American copy could not be found.[121] The British sent Stimson a photocopy on 18 July.[122] Even then, Groves questioned the document's authenticity until the American copy was located many years later in the papers of Vice Admiral Wilson Brown, Jr., Roosevelt's naval aide, apparently misfiled in Roosevelt's Hyde Park papers by someone unaware of what Tube Alloys was, and who thought it had something to do with naval guns or boiler tubes.[121][123][124]

End of the Quebec Agreement

Truman, who had succeeded Roosevelt on the latter's death on 12 April 1945, Clement Attlee, who had replaced Churchill as prime minister in July 1945, Anderson and United States Secretary of State James F. Byrnes conferred while on a boat cruise on the Potomac River, and agreed to revise the Quebec Agreement,[125] with a view to replacing it with a looser form of co-operation on nuclear matters between the three governments.[126] Groves, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson and Patterson's advisor George L. Harrison met with a British delegation consisting of Anderson, Wilson, Malcolm MacDonald, the High Commissioner to Canada, Roger Makins from the British Embassy in Washington, and Denis Rickett, Anderson's assistant, on 15 November 1945 to draw up a communiqué. They agreed to retain the Combined Policy Committee. The Quebec Agreement's requirement for "mutual consent" before using nuclear weapons was replaced with one for "prior consultation", and there was to be "full and effective cooperation in the field of atomic energy", but in the longer Memorandum of Intention, signed by Groves and Anderson, this was only "in the field of basic scientific research". Patterson took the communiqué to the White House, where Truman and Attlee signed it on 16 November 1945.[125] A draft agreement was approved by the Combined Policy Committee on 4 December 1945 as the basis for the revocation of the Quebec Agreement.[127]

President Harry Truman and prime ministers Clement Attlee and Mackenzie King board the USS Sequoia for discussions about nuclear weapons, November 1945

The next meeting of the Combined Policy Committee on 15 April 1946 produced no accord on collaboration, and resulted in an exchange of cables between Truman and Attlee. Truman cabled on 20 April that he did not see the communiqué he had signed as obligating the United States to assist Britain in designing, constructing and operating an atomic energy plant.[128] Attlee's response on 6 June 1946[129] "did not mince words nor conceal his displeasure behind the nuances of diplomatic language."[128] At issue was not just technical co-operation, which was fast disappearing, but the allocation of uranium ore. During the war this was of little concern, as Britain had not needed any ore, so all the production of the Congo mines and all the ore seized by the Alsos Mission had gone to the United States, but now it was also required by the British atomic project. Chadwick and Groves reached an agreement by which ore would be shared equally.[130]

The defection of Igor Gouzenko and the resulting espionage conviction of Alan Nunn May, a British physicist who had worked at the Montreal Laboratory, made it politically impossible for US officials to exchange information with the UK.[131] The McMahon Act, which was signed by Truman on 1 August 1946, and went into effect at midnight on 1 January 1947,[132] ended technical co-operation. Its control of "restricted data" prevented the United States' allies from receiving any information.[133] The remaining scientists were denied access to papers that they had written just days before.[134] The McMahon Act fuelled resentment from British scientists and officials alike, and led directly to the British decision in January 1947 to develop its own nuclear weapons.[135] In the United States, there was a furore over the British veto over the use of nuclear weapons when the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy was informed of the Quebec Agreement (but not the November 1945 agreement) on 12 May 1947,[85] resulting in intense pressure on Truman to drop the provision.[136] On 7 January 1948, Bush, James Fisk, Cockcroft and Mackenzie concluded an agreement known as the modus vivendi, that allowed for limited sharing of technical information between the United States, Britain and Canada, which officially repealed the Quebec Agreement.[137][138] Like the Quebec Agreement it replaced, the modus vivendi was classified "Top Secret".[139]

As the Cold War set in, enthusiasm in the United States for an alliance with Britain cooled as well. A September 1949 poll found that 72 per cent of Americans agreed that the United States should not "share our atomic energy secrets with England".[140] The reputation of the British was further tarnished by the 1950 revelation that Fuchs was a Soviet atomic spy.[140] British wartime participation in the Manhattan Project provided a substantial body of expertise that was crucial to the success of High Explosive Research, the United Kingdom's post-war nuclear weapons programme,[141] although it was not without important gaps, such as in the field of plutonium metallurgy.[142] The development of the independent British nuclear deterrent led to the McMahon Act being amended in 1958, and to a resumption of the nuclear Special Relationship between America and Britain under the 1958 US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement.[143][144]


  1. ^ The aide-mémoire was initialled in duplicate. On the copy kept by the British Government there is a marginal notation by Churchill's Principal Private Secretary: "actually 19th J[ohn] M[iller] M[artin]."[115]


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  114. ^ "Minutes of a Meeting of the Combined Policy Committee, Washington, July 4, 1945". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
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  140. ^ a b Young, Ken. "Trust and Suspicion in Anglo-American Security Relations: the Curious Case of John Strachey". History Working Papers Project. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
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  143. ^ Gott 1963, pp. 245–247.
  144. ^ "Public Law 85-479" (PDF). US Government Printing Office. 2 July 1958. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2013.


External links

1958 US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement

The 1958 US–UK Mutual Defense Agreement, or UK–US Mutual Defence Agreement, is a bilateral treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom on nuclear weapons cooperation. The treaty's full name is Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for Cooperation on the uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes. It allows the United States and the UK to exchange nuclear materials, technology and information. While the US has nuclear cooperation agreements with other countries, including France and some NATO countries, this agreement is by far the most comprehensive. Because of the agreement's strategic value to Britain, Harold Macmillan (the Prime Minister who presided over the United Kingdom's entry into the agreement) called it "the Great Prize".The treaty was signed on 3 July 1958, after the Soviet Union shocked the American public with the Sputnik crisis on 4 October 1957, and the British hydrogen bomb programme successfully tested a hydrogen bomb in the Operation Grapple test on 8 November 1957. The Anglo-American Special Relationship proved mutually beneficial, although it was never one of equals; the United States was far larger than Britain both militarily and economically. Britain soon became dependent on the United States for its nuclear weapons, as it lacked the resources to produce a range of designs. The treaty allowed American nuclear weapons to be supplied to Britain through Project E, for the use by the Royal Air Force and British Army of the Rhine.

The treaty provided for the sale to the UK of one complete nuclear submarine propulsion plant, plus ten years' supply of enriched uranium to fuel it. Other nuclear material was also acquired from the United States under the treaty. Some 5.4 tonnes of UK produced plutonium was sent to the US in return for 6.7 kilograms (15 lb) of tritium and 7.5 tonnes of highly enriched uranium between 1960 and 1979, although much of the highly enriched uranium was used not for weapons, but as fuel for the growing fleet of UK nuclear submarines. The treaty paved the way for the Polaris Sales Agreement, and the Royal Navy ultimately acquired entire weapons systems, with the UK Polaris programme and Trident nuclear programme using American missiles with British nuclear warheads.

The treaty has been amended and renewed nine times. The most recent renewal extended it to 31 December 2024.

Billy Diamond

Billy Diamond (May 19, 1949 – September 30, 2010) was the chief of the Waskaganish, Quebec Cree in 1970, the grand chief of the Grand Council of the Crees from 1974 to 1984, and a successful businessman who founded Air Creebec.He was born on May 17, 1949 in a tent near Rupert House, Quebec, on the shore of James Bay. In 1970 he became chief of the Waskaganish, Quebec Cree. On November 11, 1975, he signed The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement with the Canadian government. With money from the settlement he created Air Creebec, Cree Construction Company Limited, and Cree Yamaha Motors.On March 19, 1990, Diamond was a guest on 100 Huntley Street.

British contribution to the Manhattan Project

Britain contributed to the Manhattan Project by helping initiate the effort to build the first atomic bombs in the United States during World War II, and helped carry it through to completion in August 1945 by supplying crucial expertise. Following the discovery of nuclear fission in uranium, scientists Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch at the University of Birmingham calculated, in March 1940, that the critical mass of a metallic sphere of pure uranium-235 was as little as 1 to 10 kilograms (2.2 to 22.0 lb), and would explode with the power of thousands of tons of dynamite. The Frisch–Peierls memorandum prompted Britain to create an atomic bomb project, known as Tube Alloys. Mark Oliphant, an Australian physicist working in Britain, was instrumental in making the results of the British MAUD Report known in the United States in 1941 by a visit in person. Initially the British project was larger and more advanced, but after the United States entered the war, the American project soon outstripped and dwarfed its British counterpart. The British government then decided to shelve its own nuclear ambitions, and participate in the American project.

In August 1943, the prime minister, Winston Churchill, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Quebec Agreement, which provided for cooperation between the two countries. The Quebec Agreement established the Combined Policy Committee and the Combined Development Trust to coordinate the efforts of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The subsequent Hyde Park Agreement in September 1944 extended this cooperation to the postwar period. A British Mission led by Wallace Akers assisted in the development of gaseous diffusion technology in New York. Britain also produced the powdered nickel required by the gaseous diffusion process. Another mission, led by Oliphant who acted as deputy director at the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, assisted with the electromagnetic separation process. As head of the British Mission to the Los Alamos Laboratory, James Chadwick led a multinational team of distinguished scientists that included Sir Geoffrey Taylor, James Tuck, Niels Bohr, Peierls, Frisch, and Klaus Fuchs, who was later revealed to be a Soviet atomic spy. Four members of the British Mission became group leaders at Los Alamos. William Penney observed the bombing of Nagasaki and participated in the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests in 1946.

Cooperation ended with the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, known as the McMahon Act, and Ernest Titterton, the last British government employee, left Los Alamos on 12 April 1947. Britain then proceeded with High Explosive Research, its own nuclear weapons programme, and became the third country to test an independently developed nuclear weapon in October 1952.

Charlie Watt

Charlie Watt (born June 29, 1944) is a former Canadian Senator.

A hunter and businessman by profession, Watt is an Inuk and served as Northern officer with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs from 1969 to 1979. He was an early leader in the Indigenous rights movement in Canada, and represented the Quebec Inuit in the negotiations leading to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

In 1984 he was appointed to serve in the Senate of Canada, and he was the second Inuk to achieve this post.

In 2018, he resigned from the Senate of Canada following 34 years of representing the Inuit in the Upper Chamber. He did so following his election to President of Makivik Corporation. This was his third election to the position, and he achieved it with 54% of the vote.

He resigned from the Senate, effective March 16, 2018 in order to focus on his duties with Makivik.

Eastmain River

The Eastmain River is a river in west central Quebec which rises in central Quebec and flows 800 km west to drain into James Bay. 'East Main' is an old name for the east side of James Bay, related to the name of an early Hudson Bay Company trading post. This river drains an area of 46,400 square kilometres (17,900 sq mi). The First Nations Cree village of Eastmain is located at the mouth of the river on the bay.

Since the late 1980s, most of the waters of the Eastmain River have been diverted and flow northwards through the Opinaca Reservoir, with a surface area of about 950 km², and into the Robert-Bourassa Reservoir of Hydro-Québec's La Grande Complex. The remainder of the Eastmain River contains only about 10% of the volume of its former flow, and is now subject to freeze-up in winter (see photo). These changes have affected the Inuit peoples who live along the Eastmain River.

A further hydroelectric project on the upper Eastmain River was under construction in 2005. The project was part of the original hydroelectric project provided for by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975. The Eastmain Reservoir will eventually have a surface area of about 600 km² and the Eastmain-1 power plant will generate a maximum of 900 MW.

The Eastmain river was named after the Hudson's Bay Company's East Main District, which was located east and south of Hudson Bay. The mouth of the Eastmain was a center of the Hudson Bay Company fur trade. Charles Bayly reached it from Rupert House in the 1670s. After Rupert House was destroyed in 1686, the area was visited by a ship from York Factory. In 1723-24 Joseph Myatt of the Hudson's Bay Company built a post.

Index of World War II articles (Q)

Q. Byrum Hurst

QF 12 pounder 12 cwt naval gun

QF 2 pounder naval gun

QF 3 inch 20 cwt

QF 3.7 inch AA gun

QF 4.5 inch Howitzer

QF 4.5 inch naval gun

Quai André-Citroën

Quai d'Orsay

Quai de la Gare (Paris Métro)

Quai de la Rapée (Paris Métro)

Quai du Louvre

Quarantine Speech

Quartier Pigalle

Quatre-Septembre (Paris Métro)

Quebec Agreement

Quebec Conference, 1943

Queen Elizabeth-class battleship

Quentin C. Aanenson

Quentin George Murray Smythe

Quinn Martin

Quint (Jaws character)

Quintin Brand

Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone

Quisling regime

Quonset hut


Inuktitut (; Inuktitut: [inuktiˈtut], syllabics ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ; from inuk, "person" + -titut, "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages of Canada. It is spoken in all areas north of the tree line, including parts of the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, to some extent in northeastern Manitoba as well as the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. It is one of the aboriginal languages written with Canadian Aboriginal syllabics.It is recognised as an official language in Nunavut alongside Inuinnaqtun, and both languages are known collectively as Inuktut. Further, it is recognized as one of eight official native tongues in the Northwest Territories. It also has legal recognition in Nunavik—a part of Quebec—thanks in part to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, and is recognised in the Charter of the French Language as the official language of instruction for Inuit school districts there. It also has some recognition in Nunatsiavut—the Inuit area in Labrador—following the ratification of its agreement with the government of Canada and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian census reports that there are roughly 35,000 Inuktitut speakers in Canada, including roughly 200 who live regularly outside traditionally Inuit lands.The term Inuktitut is often used more broadly to include Inuvialuktun and thus nearly all the Inuit dialects of Canada.

James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement

The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (French: Convention de la Baie James et du Nord Québécois) is an Aboriginal land claim settlement, approved in 1975 by the Cree and Inuit of northern Quebec, and later slightly modified in 1978 by the Northeastern Quebec Agreement (French: Accord Nord-est Québécois), through which Quebec's Naskapi First Nation joined the treaty. The agreement covers economic development and property issues in northern Quebec, as well as establishing a number of cultural, social and governmental institutions for Indigenous people who are members of the communities involved in the treaties.

Kativik Regional Government

The Kativik Regional Government (French: Administration régionale Kativik) encompasses most of the Nunavik region of Quebec. Nunavik is the northern half of the Nord-du-Québec administrative region and includes all the territory north of the 55th parallel. The administrative capital is Kuujjuaq, on the Koksoak River, about 50 kilometres inland from the southern end of the Ungava Bay.

Created in 1978 in accordance with the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, the Kativik Regional Government is elected by all the inhabitants of the Nunavik region, both Inuit and non-Inuit. The Regional Government is financed by the Government of Quebec (50%) and the Government of Canada (25%).

The Cree village Whapmagoostui, near the northern village of Kuujjuarapik, on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay, is an enclave in the Nunavik region and its inhabitants do not participate in the Kativik Regional Government. Whapmagoostui (village and reserved lands: 316 km2, 122 sq mi) is part of the Cree Regional Authority and the Grand Council of the Cree (Eeyou Istchee).

The Kativik Regional Government includes 14 northern villages, 14 Inuit reserved lands and one Naskapi village municipality. Each Inuit reserved land is near a northern village; the Naskapi village municipality of Kawawachikamach (north of the 55th parallel) is near the Naskapi reserved land that is also called Kawawachikamach, south of the 55th parallel in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec. The Kativik Regional Government covers a territory of about 500,000 km2 (190,000 sq mi) and includes a population of just over 10,000 persons, of which about 90% are Inuit.

The Inuit of Nunavik are also represented by the Makivik Corporation in their relations with the governments of Quebec and Canada on issues specifically pertaining to their indigenous rights (hunting and land use). The Makivik corporation favours greater autonomy for the Nunavik region and is headquartered in Kuujjuaq.

The police service is provided by the Kativik Regional Police Force, which also has its headquarters in Kuujjuaq.

List of weapons of mass destruction treaties

A variety of treaties and agreements have been enacted to regulate the use, development and possession of various types of weapons of mass destruction. Treaties may regulate weapons use under the customs of war (Hague Conventions, Geneva Protocol), ban specific types of weapons (Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological Weapons Convention), limit weapons research (Partial Test Ban Treaty, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty), limit allowable weapons stockpiles and delivery systems (START I, SORT) or regulate civilian use of weapon precursors (Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological Weapons Convention). The history of weapons control has also included treaties to limit effective defense against weapons of mass destruction in order to preserve the deterrent doctrine of mutual assured destruction (Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty) as well as treaties to limit the spread of nuclear technologies geographically (African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).

Mistissini, Quebec

Mistissini (Cree: ᒥᔅᑎᓯᓃ/Mistisinî meaning Big Rock) is a Cree town located in the south-east corner of the largest natural lake in Quebec, Lake Mistassini (120 km long by 30 km wide). The town is inside the boundaries of the Baie-James Municipality and is the second largest Cree community with a population of 3,427 people in 2011. The surface area of the town is 1380 km² (Category I land, as defined in the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement).

Mistissini is part of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Regional Authority. The Cree School Board and the Cree Construction Company have their head offices here.

The town is about 90 km north-east from the town of Chibougamau, connected by a paved road. Mistissini has a fishing lodge with 20 rooms and a restaurant.

Montreal Laboratory

The Montreal Laboratory in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was established by the National Research Council of Canada during World War II to undertake nuclear research in collaboration with the United Kingdom, and to absorb some of the scientists and work of the Tube Alloys nuclear project in Britain. It became part of the Manhattan Project, and designed and built some of the world's first nuclear reactors.

After the Fall of France, some French scientists escaped to Britain with their stock of heavy water. They were temporarily installed in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, where they worked on reactor design. The MAUD Committee was uncertain whether this was relevant to the main task of Tube Alloys, that of building an atomic bomb, although there remained a possibility that a reactor could be used to breed plutonium, which might be used in one. It therefore recommended that they be relocated to the United States, and co-located with the Manhattan Project's reactor effort. Due to American concerns about security (many of the scientists were foreign nationals) and patent claims by the French scientists and Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), it was decided to relocate them to Canada instead.

The Canadian government agreed to the proposal, and the Montreal Laboratory was established in a house belonging to McGill University; it moved to permanent accommodation at the Université de Montréal in March 1943. The first eight laboratory staff arrived in Montreal at the end of 1942. These were Bertrand Goldschmidt and Pierre Auger from France, George Placzek from Czechoslovakia, S. G. Bauer from Switzerland, Friedrich Paneth and Hans von Halban from Austria, and R. E. Newell and F. R. Jackson from Britain. The Canadian contingent included George Volkoff, Bernice Weldon Sargent and George Laurence, and promising young Canadian scientists such as J. Carson Mark, Phil Wallace and Leo Yaffe.

Although Canada was a major source of uranium ore and heavy water, these were controlled by the Americans. Anglo-American cooperation broke down, denying the Montreal Laboratory scientists access to the materials they needed to build a reactor. In 1943, the Quebec Agreement merged Tube Alloys with the American Manhattan Project. The Americans agreed to help build the reactor. Scientists who were not British subjects left, and John Cockcroft became the new director of the Montreal Laboratory in May 1944. The Chalk River Laboratories opened in 1944, and the Montreal Laboratory was closed in July 1946. Two reactors were built at Chalk River. The small ZEEP went critical on 5 September 1945, and the larger NRX on 21 July 1947. NRX was for a time the most powerful research reactor in the world.


The Naskapi (Nascapi, Naskapee, Nascapee) or Naskapi Innu are the Innu First Nation inhabitants of an area referred to by many Innu to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of eastern Quebec and Labrador, Canada. The Naskapi themselves use a different word in their language to refer to this land, st'aschinuw, ᒋᑦ ᐊᔅᒋᓄᐤ (chit-aschinuw) which is the second person plural inclusive possessive form of the noun ᐊᔅᒋᔾ (aschiy) 'land' or 'earth'.

Innu people are frequently divided into two groups, the Neenoilno (called Montagnais by French people) who live along the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, in Quebec, and the less numerous Naskapi who live farther north. The Innu themselves recognize several distinctions (e.g. Mushuau Innuat, Maskuanu Innut, Uashau Innuat) based on different regional affiliations and various dialects of the Innu language.

The word "Naskapi" (meaning "people beyond the horizon") first made an appearance in the 17th century and was subsequently applied to Innu groups beyond the reach of missionary influence, most notably those living in the lands which bordered Ungava Bay and the northern Labrador coast, near the Inuit communities of northern Quebec and northern Labrador. The Naskapi are traditionally nomadic peoples, in contrast with the territorial Montagnais. Mushuau Innuat (plural), while related to the Naskapi, split off from the tribe in the 20th century and were subject to a government relocation program at Davis Inlet. The Naskapi language and culture is quite different from the Montagnais, in which the dialect changes from y to n as in "Iiyuu" versus "Innu"[1]. Some of the families of the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach have close relatives in the Cree village of Whapmagoostui, on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay.


Nord-du-Québec (French pronunciation: ​[nɔʁ dy kebɛk]; English: Northern Quebec) is the largest, but the least populous, of the seventeen administrative regions of Quebec, Canada. With nearly 750,000 square kilometres (290,000 sq mi) of land area, and very extensive lakes and rivers, it covers much of the Labrador Peninsula and about 55% of the total land surface area of Quebec, while containing a little more than 0.5% of the population.

Before 1912, the northernmost part of this region was known as the Ungava District of the Northwest Territories, and until 1987 it was referred to as Nouveau-Québec, or New Quebec. It is bordered by Hudson Bay and James Bay in the west, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay in the north, Labrador in the northeast, and the administrative regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mauricie, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, and Côte-Nord in the south and southeast.

The Nord-du-Québec region is part of the territory covered by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975; other regions covered (in part) by this Agreement include Côte-Nord, Mauricie and Abitibi-Témiscamingue administrative regions.

Operation Hurricane

Operation Hurricane was the test of the first UK atomic device, on 3 October 1952. A plutonium implosion device was detonated in the lagoon in the Monte Bello Islands in Western Australia. With the success of Operation Hurricane, Britain became the third nuclear power after the United States and the Soviet Union.

During the Second World War, Britain commenced a nuclear weapons project, known as Tube Alloys, but the 1943 Quebec Agreement merged it with the American Manhattan Project. Several key British scientists worked as part of the British contribution to the Manhattan Project, but after the war the Americans ended cooperation on nuclear weapons. In January 1947, a cabinet sub-committee decided, in response to an apprehension of American isolationism and fears of Britain losing its great power status, to resume British efforts to build nuclear weapons. The project was called High Explosive Research, and was directed by Charles Portal, 1st Viscount Portal of Hungerford, with William Penney in charge of bomb design.

Implicit in the decision to develop atomic bombs was the need to test them. The preferred site was the Pacific Proving Grounds in the US-controlled Marshall Islands. As a fallback, sites in Canada and Australia were considered. The Admiralty suggested that the Monte Bello Islands might be suitable, so the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Clement Attlee, sent a request to the Prime Minister of Australia, Robert Menzies. The Australian government formally agreed to the islands being used as a nuclear test site in May 1951. In February 1952, Attlee's successor, Winston Churchill, announced in the House of Commons that the first British atomic bomb test would occur in Australia before the end of the year.

A small fleet was assembled for Operation Hurricane under the command of Rear Admiral A. D. Torlesse; it included the escort carrier HMS Campania, which served as the flagship, and the LSTs Narvik, Zeebrugge and Tracker. Leonard Tyte from Aldermaston was appointed the technical director. The bomb for Operation Hurricane was assembled (without its radioactive components) at Foulness, and taken to the frigate HMS Plym for transport to Australia. On reaching the Monte Bello Islands, the five Royal Navy ships were joined by eleven Royal Australian Navy ships, including the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney. To test the effects of a ship-smuggled atomic bomb on a port (a threat of great concern to the British at the time), the bomb was exploded inside the hull of Plym, anchored 350 metres (1,150 ft) off Trimouille Island. The explosion occurred 2.7 metres (8 ft 10 in) below the water line, and left a saucer-shaped crater on the seabed 6 metres (20 ft) deep and 300 metres (980 ft) across.

Tube Alloys

Tube Alloys was a code name of the research and development programme authorised by the United Kingdom, with participation from Canada to develop nuclear weapons during the Second World War. Starting before the Manhattan Project in the United States, the British efforts were kept classified and as such had to be referred to by code even within the highest circles of government.

The possibility of nuclear weapons was acknowledged early in the war. At the University of Birmingham, Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch co-wrote a memorandum explaining that a small mass of pure uranium-235 could be used to produce a chain reaction in a bomb with the power of thousands of tons of TNT. This led to the formation of the MAUD Committee, which called for an all-out effort to develop nuclear weapons. Wallace Akers, who oversaw the project, chose the deliberately misleading name "Tube Alloys". His Tube Alloys Directorate was part of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

The Tube Alloys programme in Britain and Canada was the first nuclear weapons project. Due to the high costs, and the fact that Britain was fighting a war within bombing range of its enemies, Tube Alloys was ultimately subsumed into the Manhattan Project by the Quebec Agreement with the United States, under which the two nations agreed to share nuclear weapons technology, and to refrain from using it against each other, or against other countries without mutual consent; but the United States did not provide complete details of the results of the Manhattan Project to the United Kingdom. The Soviet Union gained valuable information through its atomic spies, who had infiltrated both the British and American projects.

The United States terminated co-operation after the war ended with the Atomic Energy Act of 1946. This prompted the United Kingdom to relaunch its own project, High Explosive Research. Production facilities were established and British scientists continued their work under the auspices of an independent British programme. Finally in 1952, Britain performed a nuclear test under codename "Operation Hurricane". In 1958, in the wake of the Sputnik crisis and the British demonstration of a two-stage thermonuclear bomb, the United Kingdom and the United States signed US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement, which resulted in a resumption of Britain's nuclear Special Relationship with the United States.


Waskaganish (Cree: ᐙᔅᑳᐦᐄᑲᓂᔥ/Wâskâhîkaniš, Little House) is a Cree community of over 2,200 people at the mouth of the Rupert River on the south-east shore of James Bay in Northern Quebec, Canada. Waskaganish is part of the territory referred to as "Eeyou Istchee" ("The Land of the People" in Cree) encompassing the traditional territories of Cree people in the James Bay regions of what is now Northern Quebec and Ontario.

The community of Waskaganish celebrated its 350 year anniversary in 2018. The village is located at the site of the former Fort Rupert, the first Hudson's Bay Company trading post on Hudson Bay.

Wemindji, Quebec

Wemindji (Cree: ᐐᒥᓂᒌ/Wîminicî) is a small Cree community on the east coast of James Bay at the mouth of the Maquatua River in Quebec, Canada. Its legal name is the Cree Nation of Wemindji. Wemindji is apart of the Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou district which is presented by NDP [Romeo Saganash] .The community has a population of approximately 1400 people. 1600 are affiliated to the Cree Nation of Wemindji, around 200 do not reside on the territory of Wemindji.

The Chief and Council is consistent of a Chief, Deputy Chief and 5 councillors. The chief and council are all elected by the beneficiaries of the Cree Nation of Wemindji. The current chief is Christina Gilpin, alongside Arden Visitor as Deputy Chief. The current councillors are Elmer Georgekish, Bradley A.J Georgekish, Paul John Murdoch, Stanley Shashweskum, Ernest Tomatuk. The Chief & Council get elected every four years, the current Chief & Council was elected in September 2017.

Wemindji is accessible by air (Wemindji Airport) and, since 1995, by car over a gravel road linking it to the James Bay Road. The nearest largest city is Montreal which is about 1,400 kilometres south of Wemindji.

Although Wemindji is a fairly small community about 3,266 hectares, it has variety of services a schools (an elementary and high school), clinic, wellness department, motels, bed and breakfast, mini mall (shopping centre), police station, two daycares, after school program (C.O.O.L.), tradition centres, sports facilities, fire station and more.

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