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Senator MILLIKIN. Has it not coincided with the extension of TVA activities?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Yes; TVA activities have helped in the further activation of private activities.
Senator Millikin. Then what you are saying is that in extending TVA activities, you have also extended the activities of private enterprise?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Yes; I think Government generally has done that. Senator MilliKIN. Would that be your philosophy in this subject?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. The analogy isn't that close It is a different situation. But I think if the philosophy is that the purpose shall be, as soon as a field of activities is no longer dangerous in terms of the common defense and security, or health hazard, let us say, or some other thing we cannot foresee, just that quickly the Congress ought to provide that those shall become an appropriate field for private undertaking.
Now, that is, as you know, very tricky at the moment Because, let us say in the project a very fine pump has been developed, a very extraordinary pump, that may have been developed in the course of this undertaking. It has, let us assume, very great uses in private industry. There ought to be new private businesses proceeding on that.
Yet we know, with the state of affairs as they are, that if information about that pump becomes disseminated too widely, we may find that other nations will develop that pump.
Senator Millikin. I am not minimizing the difficulties; not at all. I am trying to satisfy myself as to whether you are temperamentally fitted to carry out the intent of Congress in a difficult field.
Mr. LILIENTHAL. I can only say that I think I am.
Senator Millikin. I would like to ask you one direct question. Are we in agreement that it is the intent of Congress that these monopolistic features shall be returned to private enterprise as rapidly as is consistent with the public welfare and with safety?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. I understand that to be the law.
Senator Johnson. I wanted to ask you, Mr. Lilienthal, if you are in full, complete, and 100 percent agreement with the Baruch-Austin policy on the handling of atomic energy internationally.
Mr. LILIENTHAL. I am in full, complete, and 100-percent agreement with the American proposal now known as the Baruch-Austin proposal.
Senator Johnson. That is the point that the barber in Lake County, Colo., wants to know about.
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Well, you can say to him that 100 percent is the minimum.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Lilienthal, following up the line of questioning of Senator Millikin: As I recall it, the TVA was“sold" to the Congress and to the country on the basis of its aid to private industry; for instance, on the yardstick theory of establishing rates that were equitable for private industry.
Then it has been reported that you have stated, within some recent time, since your activity in TVA, that the yardstick theory was out, and that it was no longer being used as an aid to private industry as a
means of fixing equitable and fair rates; indicating, at least prima facie, that you had at least to that extent abandoned the idea of aid to private industry and had concentrated more on the Government monopolistic theory. Do you have any statement to make on that?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Yes. Let me comment on the statement about the yardstick theory. This theory was not embodied in the law, but became part of the background, and as I understood it, it was sometimes said that the TVA rates should be such that they would furnish a check on the reasonableness of rates elsewhere.
I said a number of times that as that yardstick theory was sometimes stated it was an oversimplification; you could not take the rates that exist in any particular region and, without any qualification whatever, put them like a cooky-cutter down on any other part of the country, where quite different conditions might exist.
And while there are some friends of TVA who might not agree with that, I think that is demonstrably true. If that is a qualification of the original yardstick theory, then I will just have to stand on it. I don't think it can be true in that oversimplified form.
But as to the second point, about the encouragement of private industry, I think it may well be quite relevant to inquire in respect to what has happened in Tennessee Valley in terms of private industry and what the businessmen of the Tennessee Valley think about the question, “Has private industry been encouraged, or has it been regimented?"
I make the suggestion, and I hope it is followed, because I think it is relevant and, furthermore, I know what the answer will be.
The CHAIRMAN. That is always comforting:
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Because I know what the figures are. I know what the businessmen say. I think it would be interesting to ask, say, the bankers of the first and second largest bank in, say, the 15 largest communities of the Tennessee Valley, and the pastors of the churches, and other leaders, what has happened in respect to private activity and increased freedom of enterprise in the Tennessee Valley. I think it is not so much what one says as an abstraction, but what has actually happened.
And I think you will find that with an extraordinary unanimity the answer is that private enterprise has been encouraged in that region.
The CHAIRMAN. I think if there is desire to explore that further, we can do that later. I think it is actually nearly 12 o'clock. That clock is a little slow.
Senator McKELLAR. May I ask the witness one question? Because he may have to look it up.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, Senator McKellar.
Senator McKELLAR. When did you first learn that the United States Government was making an investigation concerning atomic energy? What was the date of it?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. I am afraid I will have to have the question restated. What investigation?
Senator McKELLAR. I will be delighted to restate it. I am sorry I cannot make myself understood.
When did you first learn from anyone that the United States Government was undertaking to discover the use of splitting the atom, so to speak? When was it? Give us the date.
Mr. LILIENTHAL. The first time I was sure was on the 6th of August 1945.
Senator MCKELLAR. Who told you?
Senator McKELLAR. You read it in the paper. Well, did the Secretary of War, Mr. Stimson, or Mr. Patterson tell you that this Government was embarked on an experiment on the atomic bomb?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. No.
Senator MCKELLAR. Did you not tell General Groves many times, but expecially just prior to the use of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima, that you would like very much to know what they were manufacturing at Oak Ridge; and did not General Groves refuse to tell you?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Senator, I never saw General Groves, to my knowledge, until after Hiroshima.
Senator MCKELLAR. Well, since we have brought up General Groves, let me ask you another question: Did it not seem to you to be remarkable that in connection with experiments that have been carried on since the days of Alexander the Great, when he had his Macedonian scientists trying to split the atom, the President of the United States would discharge General Groves, the discoverer of the greatest secret that the world has ever known, the greatest discovery, scientific discovery, that has ever been made, to turn the whole matter over to you, who never really knew, except from what you saw in the newspapers, that the Government was even thinking about atomic energy?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Was I surprised?
Senator McKELLAR. Will you not reply to that question? Were you not surprised?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. The difficulty in answering the question, Senator, is that General Groves had indicated, to the best of my knowledge, that he had decided to withdraw from the project after it had been turned over to the Commission; that he had completed his mission. I would like to remind you that it was the Secretary of War who urged that a civilian commission be appointed to succeed General Groves. I do not think that constitutes a reflection in the slightest on General Groves. He was a military officer who did a magnificent job in his position. So that I cannot say that I am surprised.
Senator MCKELLAR. You are willing to admit, are you, that this secret, or the first history of it, dated from the time when Alexander the Great had his Macedonian scientists trying to make this discovery, and then Lucretius wrote a poem about it, about 2,000 years ago?
And everybody has been trying to discover it, or most scientists have been trying to discover it, ever since. And do you not really think that General Groves, for having discovered it, is entitled to some little credit for it? Is that your position?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. I have stated in writing and elsewhere what I think about how much credit General Groves should receive. And it is very great indeed.
Senator McKELLAR. Did it not seem remarkable to you, who have never even been an engineer, who knew nothing in the world about the splitting of the atom or about atomic energy and its discovery, that the President should not reappoint General Groves, who was
an engineer, and who had made this greatest discovery of all time? That he should turn to you, now, one who is not an engineer, knowing nothing in the world about it, and appoint you the head of this Commission? Was that not a little striking to you? It was to me. I will say that.
Mr. LILIENTHAL. I did my damnedest to keep out of it, but I failed. I am sorry.
The CHAIRMAN. May I say that under the new rules, we are prohibited from meeting when the Senate is in session, and it is undoubtedly in session at this minute. - We are trying to have the next hearing tomorrow afternoon. We have been unable, as yet, to confirm a room. We are trying to confirm a room, and either the announcement will be made this afternoon or there will be an announcement here tomorrow morning, but we will try to have the meeting tomorrow at 2 o'clock.
One other thing: Would you submit for the record, in connection with your testimony here, so that it can be put in this afternoon, a list of the technical advisers, the military liaison committee, your personnel manager, and the other appointees up to date in any key positions with the Commission?
Also, there will be inserted in the record, just prior to your testimony, the qualifications as submitted by the President for your appointment as well as the qualifications of others as they testify.
(Whereupon, at 12:05 p. m. the committee adjourned, subject to the call of the chairman.)
(The following information concerning Commission personnel was supplied in response to the committee chairman's request made at the close of the hearings of January 27:)
ADVISERS AND KEY PERSONNEL OF ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION General Advisory Committee
On December 12, 1946, the President appointed the following individuals to be members of the General Advisory Committee on scientific and technical matters provided for by section 2 (b) of the Atomic Energy Act:
Dr. James B. Conant, president of Harvard University.
Mr. Hood Worthington, chief chemist of E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Military Liaison Committee
The members of the Military Liaison Committee provided for by section 2 (c) of the act, as designated by the Secretaries of War and Navy, are as follows:
Lt. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton.
Rear Adm. William S. Parsons.
Following are the names of key personnel appointed by the Commission to date:
Prof. James B. Fisk, Director of the Division of Research (professor of
applied physics, Harvard University). Walter J. Williams, manager of field operations (will later be appointed
Director of the Division of Production). Herbert S. Marks, general counsel (special assistant to Under Secretary of
State Dean Acheson). G. Lyle Belsley, Director of Organization and Personnel (Assistant Adminis
trator, National Housing Agency, and former executive secretary, War
Production Board). Technical advisers
Following are the names of part-time consultants whom the Commission has designated to advise:
Un security: Frank J. Wilson (former Chief of Secret Service).
Casper Ooms (Commissioner of Patents).
John Diener (patent attorney, Chicago).
Edward B. Wilcox (partner, Edward Gore & Co., Chicago).
ment, Bureau of the Budget).
School of Business Administration).
David Morse (assistant to the Secretary of Labor).
Ralph Seward (labor consultant, Detroit).
Herbert Emerich (head of Public Administration Clearing House).
Board). On recommendation of the Director of the Division of Engineering the following chemical engineers: