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Senator MCKELLAR. Then what you meant to say was that you thought Mr. Lilienthal had been working on it since the bomb fell on Hiroshima ?
Mr. BARUCH. That Acheson-Lilienthal report was a very remarkable report, Senator. I wish they had held it up until I was made American representative, because I would like to have toned it down a little, but I
Senator MCKELLAR. You cannot have things your own way, you know. Those things will happen.
Now, is it not a fact that you know very little about the scientific knowledge of Mr. Lilienthal?
Mr. BARUCH. That is right, sir. I know very little about that. All I know is that the bomb goes "boom" and kills millions of people. That is all I know.
Senator MCKELLAR. You are talking about atomic energy now. But I am talking about Mr. Lilienthal's knowledge of science. He is not an engineer or a scientist, is he?
Mr. BARUCH. I do not know, sir.
Senator MCKELLAR. Do you know whether he took a scientific degree in college?
Mr. BARUCH. No, sir.
Senator McKELLAR. Did you ever see a writing by Mr. Lilienthal on atomic energy until after Hiroshima ?
Mr. Baruch. I would not have had occasion to read it until he made that report, and I read it very carefully.
Senator MCKELLAR. But that was long after the discovery had been made?
Mr. BARUCH. Yes, sir.
Senator McKELLAR. Now, do you think those that discovered it, and discovered an instrument of warfare with which they could fight the whole world successfully: Do you not think they ought to have some consideration in this matter?
Mr. Baruch. What kind of consideration? I think they ought to be brought into it. If you are talking about the military, I agree with you, but unfortunately, after each war-and I am sure you will agree with me, because you and I have seen two of them we call upon the military, having choked them between times, and expect them to do the remarkable. And after they have done it, we turn away from them and go back to the civilian.
Senator MCKELLAR. We have done that before. We did it twice. We did it in 1920, and we are doing it now. But that does not make it right, even if we have the secret information.
Mr. Baruch. No, sir. The point I neglected to make, Senator, was that there has been a feeling developed—and I think unjustlytoward Groves, that had to be taken, I presume, into consideration.
I think the criticism of Groves was unjust, because he had to say "no" to keep everybody from getting it.
Senator McMahon. Except in the case of the Smyth report, where he said "yes." He was running security.
Mr. BARUCH. Yes. The pressure there must have been terrific. I do not approve of it, but we got it anyhow.
Senator MCMAHON. Mr. Baruch, I want to be fair, too, but he was working under security. This was the most precious information, as you and I know, that was in this country's possession. He authorized
the release of that report, and no matter what the pressures were, he did authorize the release of it.
Mr. BARUCH. I was given to understand, when I looked into it, that the information of the Smyth report was a correlation, a cataloging, of things which the scientists already knew. As you know, the basis of our work, the atents of some Italian--what was his name?
Senator MCMAHON. Fermi.
Mr. BARUCH. I was given to understand that we didn't have all the information and we had to gather it together. And it was the gathering together that made it possible.
I was not in favor of the release of that information, but how much would have gotten out or how much was known by scientists generally, I do not know.
The CHAIRMAN. I believe, Mr. Baruch, as I recall the record and the information we had, the release of the Smyth report was also submitted to the President and had Presidential approval on its release in addition to the release by the Manhattan District.
I have been told that, and I believe that that information was given to our committee last year. So that it was not entirely a matter of responsibility of the Manhattan district, but a group of which the President was fully cognizant set up the limits of this release. Mr. Baruch. But that does not mean it was wise to do it.
Senator MCKELLAR. If I may go on now, I want to ask you one other question. There may be some others, but this one I think will satisfy me.
Knowing that you are not a Communist, do you think we ought to select for this Commission a man who in his organization at home has had in the last 10 years somewhere between 40 and 55 Communists, and whose department has defended all Communists in his setup down at the TVA? Do you think that at this time, with the world in the shape that it is in now, with the United States having the questions confronting it that it has now, do you think it is the time to appoint those friendly to the Communistic cause?
Mr. BARUCH. But I do not know to whom you refer.
Mr. BARUCH. I would not say that he was friendly to the Communist cause, Senator, from what I have seen of him.
Senator McKELLAR. But if you knew that from 30 to 40 or 55 Communists have been employed by him?
Mr. BARUCH. And he knew it Senator MCKELLAR. And he knew it. Men who were confessed Communists, men who oined the Communist Party while working for him, and admitted that they did; would you think it would be a wise appointment at this time in our history, with the differences between us and Russia as they are--do you think it is a wise time to appoint such a man to office?
Mr. BARUCH. I would not appoint a Communist to office at any time.
Senator MCKELLAR. Shake hands. You are a great man. I have always had the greatest respect for you, and now I have more
You would not appoint a Communist at any time. That is all. The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions by the committee?
The committee has decided that it is in the interests of time saving and efficiency and continuity of this hearing if we have an executive session with Mr. Baruch right now, rather than to interrupt him for 20 minutes.
The next open hearing will be tomorrow morning, and the room will have to be announced.
Senator MCKELLAR. Mr. Chairman, I want to plead very earnestly with the committee not to have a meeting tomorrow morning. We will finish tomorrow morning the other hearings.
Can we not make it on the next day?
The CHAIRMAN. The only thing that I am interested in as chairman is to expedite the matter before us, which is an extremely public matter
. I do not like to delay it. But I have told the Senator we would try to accommodate him.
The announcement will be made as to the committee meeting. Will the room please be cleared?
(Whereupon, at 11:25 a. m., the committee went into executive session.)
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The Committee met at 2 p. m., pursuant to adjournment, in room 312, Senate Office Building, Senator Bourke B. Mickenlooper (chairman), presiding.
Present: Senators Hickenlooper (chairman), Knowland, Bricker, McMahon, Johnson. Also present: Senator McKellar; Representative Thomason. The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. The committee learned that Dr. Conant, of Harvard, was in town today and available for a statement, and because of his intimate association with this project and some of the personnel, we have invited him to make a statement. He therefore will make his statement first, if you please. Dr. Conant? Do you solemnly swear that the statements you make will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Dr. CONANT. I do.
TESTIMONY OF JAMES BRYANT CONANT, PRESIDENT, HARVARD
UNIVERSITY, CAMBRIDGE, MASS.
full name? Dr. CONANT. James Bryant Conant. The CHAIRMAN. And your official position? Dr. CONANT. President of Harvard University, resident, Cambridge, Mass.
The CHAIRMAN. I may say to you that I am interested in any statement that you might have to make with respect to Mr. Wilson, the General Manager of the Atomic Energy Commission, and perhaps some of the other members may have other questions to ask. Because of your acquaintance with him, I will value your comments on Mr.
Dr. CONANT. I am very glad to respond to your invitation to come and say a word or two this afternoon, Mr. Chairman, about Mr.
Perhaps I might first tell you how long I have known him and the basis for my judgment, as I think that is important in evaluating any man's opinion of some other person.
I first came to know Mr. Wilson in June 1940, when I started commuting, so to speak, between Cambridge and Washington, in connection with the formation of the National Defense Research Committee under Dr. Bush. I started coming down here to help Dr. Bush on the mobilization of scientific talent for the preparation for the defense of the country, and Mr. Wilson took up his duties with Dr. Bush at about that time.
A little less than a year later, February or March 1941, I was asked to go to England to establish the scientific liaison between our effort here and that of the British, and Mr. Wilson went with me on that mission.
So I came to know him quite well, of course, on that trip. On my return, in reorganization of the work here in Washington, the Office of Scientific Research and Development was created, with Dr. Bush as the Director, and I became Chairman of the National Defense Research Committee, a part of that organization, and Mr. Wilson, after handling the liaison work for a while, became, as I remember the title, assistant to Dr. Bush, his right-hand man in handling a great many very interesting, important, and difficult problems.
So I suppose I saw Mr. Wilson off and on-I was going to say every day, but nearly every day I was in Washington. I was here a great many times during the whole war period, and in that time, as you know, he was very active in helping Dr. Bush in managing this vast arrangement of contracts by which the OSRD was doing research and development, and indeed development of many weapons of war.
Now, I have the highest regard for Mr. Wilson, and I think he is an excellent choice for this position. I would like to put that on the record right at the outset.
I think in evaluating his capacities several things must be taken into account. Of course, as you know from the record—I assume you
have seen the formal record of his work—as a young man he was one of a group of two or three, as I understand it, who had the enterprise and the foresight to start a new company, get some capital, get it going; and it has been a very successful enterprise, as. I understand it, starting from scratch and having now something like a milliondollar-a-year business.
I don't say that is a very great business experience, because it is a small concern, but it to me is evidence of his practicality and his initiative and his understanding of business in the sense of knowing what it takes to make a dollar work.
So I have always thought that represented an interesting trait in the man.
But his capacity for doing the sort of job which he is picked to do as manager of the Atomic Energy Commission rests more on the work that he did with Dr. Bush.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you enlarge upon your conception of the work that the General Manager of the Atomic Energy Commission as it is set up will have to do, please? Could you give us your analysis of that?
Dr. CONANT. Yes. Of course, it is an outsider's judgment. It is for the Commission to determine, and I only know about it in a very vague way.
The CHAIRMAN. But you have been very close to this whole activity, and I think your opinion would be valuable, Doctor.