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World Mineral Resources and Post-War Needs

    Naturevolume 149page576 (1942) | Download Citation



    IN the fourth clause of the Atlantic Charter, Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill state “that they will endeavour, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further enjoyment by all States, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are necessary for their economic prosperity”. The Division for the Social and International Relations of Science of the British Association is therefore arranging a conference on “Raw Materials and Industrial Needs: Mineral Resources and Outlook”, to be held in London at or about the end of July. As Sir Richard Gregory, president of the Association, pointed out in submitting the proposal for such a conference, the world's natural resources -both organic and inorganic-are much too large a subject to be dealt with in a single conference, but a survey of the present position of minerals of industrial importance, with suggestions for further investigations into their geographical distributions and research into the production of substitutes, will show the close contact between science and fundamental national and international problems. The Conference will indeed be similar to a joint meeting of the Sections of Geology, Geography, Physics and Chemistry at an annual assembly of the British Association, and its papers will be of the nature of contributions to a report upon the distribution, output and industrial uses of the chief mineral deposits of the world. Such energy resources as solid, liquid and gaseous fuels belong to a class of their own, and the facts relating to them have been brought before a number of World Power Conferences. Whatever is known about the nature, distribution and uses of minerals in the earth's crust has been gained by scientific inquiry, and the knowledge is international in origin and scope. By presenting the chief facts as to natural resources of minerals and their geographical control, such a conference can do much to promote recognition of the interdependence of nations and the need for collaboration between them.

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