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On 15 March 1950, the World Peace Council approved the Stockholm Appeal, calling for an absolute ban on nuclear weapons. The appeal was initiated by the French physicist, communist and 1935 Nobel laureate in ChemistryFrédéric Joliot-Curie. About two weeks after the start of the Korean War, the initiative's first publication called Peacegram claimed that the appeal has already earned 1.5 million signatories. The total gathered petitions were allegedly signed by 273,470,566 persons (including the entire adult population of the Soviet Union). The appeal was also signed by many prominent public figures, artists, and intellectuals. The text of the appeal read:
We demand the outlawing of atomic weapons as instruments of intimidation and mass murder of peoples. We demand strict international control to enforce this measure.
We believe that any government which first uses atomic weapons against any other country whatsoever will be committing a crime against humanity and should be dealt with as a war criminal.
We call on all men and women of good will throughout the world to sign this appeal.
The United States dismissed the Stockholm Appeal, with the U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson branding it as "a propaganda trick in the spurious 'peace offensive' of the Soviet Union."