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I was chairman or acting chairman; I think acting chairman at that time, Senator Glass having been ill for quite some time--acting chairman of the Appropriations Committee." And he said also that he had the ranking man, if I remember about Senator Bridges correctly, on the Appropriations Committee. He said, "I have already seen the chairman and ranking men in the House, Mr. Cannon and Mr. Taber, and they have already agreed, and I want to get you Senators to agree.”. He told us that they had employed a lot of scientists who believed they could split the atom, and it would require a great deal of money to do it. And he had included me and Bridges in this matter, because we were the ranking men on either side to furnish the money.

Well, everybody hollered when he said something about splitting the atom. I remember I said to him, “Why, Mr. Secretary, do you remember from history that Alexander the Great, 2,300 years ago. had some Macedonian scientists trying to split the atom?”

He said "Yes, he did.” I said, "Do you remember that Lucretius”—a Latin poet that was the hardest man in the world for me to translate; I remember that from my college days—“do you remember that Lucretius wrote a poem about splitting the atom?"-And it was a very difficult poem to translate, too. He said "Yes" he remembered

“ that. I said, "Do you remember that scientists have been trying to split the atom all these years? My heavens, Mr. Secretary, why would you want to take that, of all times, when we are in the greatest war in all the world, to undertake to split the atom?"

He said, “Why, I think I can explain it to you.”

And I want to say that it was one of the finest arguments I ever heard, made by Secretary Stimson in that matter. He convinced White almost instantly, and then he convinced Barkley, and then he convinced Bridges, and lastly convinced me.

I said, “Mr. Secretary, just one thing before I approve what you are going to do. I want to know how much money it is going to take."

He said, "It will take 800 million the first year.'

I said, "My heavens, Mr. Secretary, how can we keep it a secret? Don't you know that some Senator will ask about it?"

He said, "Well, we have got a plan. Mr. Cannon and Mr. Taber think it can be kept a secret in the House.'

I said, “Yes, they have a way of shutting off debate. But how can we keep it secret, when every Senator has the right to ask any question he wants to ask about it?

He said, “Well, we have got that fixed too. We have got a number of ways of putting it in an appropriation bill, which we don't believe will cause any attention."

“Well,” I said, "now, I know you won't expect me to tell anyone about it, and if a Senator gets up and asks, 'what is this particular amount of money required for?'. I will have to just stop right in my tracks and have a conference with you. That is all I will have to do.

He said, “That is what you do. But I hope to heaven that nobody will ask about it. We don't think they will."

And the most remarkable thing that ever occurred in the history of the Senate occurred. I understand it was not asked about in the House. When it got over to the Senate, the several items that contained it were carried through, and not a single human Senator asked a word about it.

And they got a billion dollors instead of 800 million. The next year, they got another billion in the same way. The third year they got 600 millions in the same way. And the third year, after we had recommended the 600 million, and it had passed, a friend of mine from Tennessee was up here. And he asked me if I was going to be a candidate for election the next year.

I told him I did not know. I said I supposed I would be. He said, “Well, you won't have any trouble about being elected.” I said, “Thank you.” And that passed off. That night I must have eaten ham for dinner, because ham sort of works the wrong Fay on keeping me awake sometimes, and I got to thinking about everything in the world, lying there awake. And then I suddenly thought that the German war was over, and we had never heard from the $2,600,000,000. I said to myself, “The people in my State will be certain to remember, and there is no use to be a candidate unless something happens." And I said to myself, “I will see Secretary Stimson the first thing in the morning.” I called Secretary Stimson. He was most cordial and pleasant, and

I I told him I wanted to come up to see him. He said, "I would be

, delighted."

I said, “Mr. Secretary, I won't have to have one of those saucers that you require all the visitors to your building to wear? Those great big white placards?"

He said, “Senator, I know what I am going to do. I won't give notice to the doorman, but I will come down and be at the door and escort you upstairs to my office myself.” When I got up there, in a few moments, Secretary Stimson was there and took me up the stairway. My recollection is that he was on the second floor. He took me up. And I told him what my

He said, “Well, Senator, by the strangest coincidence, I told two gentlemen yesterday.”

I wanted to know about the bomb, and when I told him, that is what he said: "I told two gentlemen yesterday. I gave them my promise that I would hold what is being done with that bomb secret.

He said, “I will tell you what I will do. I will see these two gentleThen this afternoon and let you know before 12 o'clock tomorrow." I thanked him very cordially, and felt better about it, and left. I waited in my office all the morning, did not go outside, from 9 o'clock to 5 minutes to 12. At that time, I happened to be the Presiding Officer of the Senate, and at 5 minutes to 12, I walked over to the Senate and opened the Senate. I had not heard a word.

Sixteen minutes I remember looking at the clock-17 minutes after the Senate opened, a page came and said, "There is a military gentleman in the Vice President's office who would like to see you."

And I called another Senator to the chair, and I went in to see the military man, and when I got there, I found that it was Secretary Stimson's private military adviser. I do not believe that is what they

trouble was.

called him.

Mr. STARNES. Aide? Senator McKELLAR. Aide, yes, sir. And a very fine gentleman. He said, “Senator, I owe you'an apology. Mr. Secretary Stimson was called to New York this morning on the 10 o'clock plane and left, and he left a message for you and told me to bring it up to you by 12

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o'clock.” But something was the matter with his machine, or something like that. I have forgotten what the reason was. But he had just gotten in. He was delayed a little longer than he expected, and had just gotten in. He said, “Now, the Secretary has told me to tell you one-half of the story about the atomic bomb, and that he hopes you won't ask for the other half. But if he instructed me to tell you both halves ° do ask for the other half,

." “Well," I said, "I will have to hear the one-half before I know whether I want to hear the second half."

And thereupon he said, "Senator, we had to condemn or buy or take over an area in New Mexico of about”-I think he said it was equal to about three counties, if I recollect it correctly.

"And we have had experiments out there that show this bomb is one of the most perfect discoveries ever made, and it will be of the greatest benefit."

Well," I said, "and then what?"
He said, “That is the second half of the story.”
"Well," I said, “I must insist on the second half, Colonel."

He was a colonel at that time, the general was. I said, "I must insist on the second half."

He said, "Well, I was instructed to tell you, and I will tell you."

He said, “We have at this very moment on their way to Japan three planes loaded with bombs, 1,000 miles apart.

"And the Secretary told me to inform you that the moment we heard from any one of those planes he would call you by telephone or tell

you in person what the result was." Now, I have thought about this several times, and I am not sure whether it was that afternoon, later on that afternoon, or early night, or the next day, but either one or the other, the bomb fell on Hiroshima, the whole world knew about it.

Now, I want to know this: Do you not think this, that that bomb is the greatest discovery probably that the world has ever known?

And do you not think that we ought to be the most careful people to see with whom that bomb is placed for the future; whether they are scientists or whoever has charge of it?

Mr. STARNES. Most emphatically I do.
Senator McKELLAR. That is all I thank you very much.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions on the part of the committee? Are there any questions?

The meeting will stand adjourned until tomorrow, at which time Dr. Karl Compton, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Mr. L. D. Bolt will testify. There may be a hearing tomorrow afternoon also.

(Whereupon, at 4:05 p. m., the committee recessed until 10:30 a. m., tomorrow, February 7, 1947.)

.

CONFIRMATION OF ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION AND

GENERAL MANAGER

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1947

UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON ATOMIC ENERGY,

Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10:30 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, in the Military Affairs Committee room, the Capitol, Senator Bourke B. Hickenlooper (chairman) presiding.

Present: Senators Hickenlooper (chairman), Knowland, McMahon, Johnson, and Russell.

Present also: Senators McKellar and Overton; Representatives Holifield and Price.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. The first witness is Dr. Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Compton? Dr. COMPTON. Yes; Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you solemnly swear that the statements you make will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Dr. COMPTON. I do.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you sit down, Dr. Compton?

I have a résumé of at least a part of your past associations, connections, and activities, Doctor. I think it has been taken out of Who's Who or some reputable book. We can put it in the record as a rather complete outline, at the start of your testimony, and save asking you a great deal of detailed questions to qualify you as a witness.

(The résumé referred to is as follows:)

KARL TAYLOR COMPTON Physicist; b. Wooster, O., Sept. 14, 1887; s. Elias and Otelia (Augspurger) C.; Ph. B., Coll. of Wooster, 1908, M. S., 1909; Ph. D., Princeton U., 1912; D. Sc., Coll. of Wooster, 1923, Lehigh U., 1927, Princeton U., 1930, Stevens Inst. Tech., 1931, Clarkson Coll., 1932, Boston U., 1932; Columbia, 1940; LL. D., Harvard V., 1930; U. of Wis., 1934; Middlebury Coll., 1936; Williams College, 1936; Johns Hopkins U., 1937; Franklin & Marshall Coll., 1937; Northeastern U. 1938; St. Lawrence U., 1939; U. of Calif., 1941; Northwestern U., 1942; Tufts Coll., 1943; Norwich U., 1944; D. English, Brooklyn Poly. Inst., 1930; Case Sch. of Applied Sci., 1931; Rutgers U., 1941; Dr. Applied Sci., Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal, Can., 1944; m. Margaret Hutchinson; children-Mary Evelyn, Jean Corrin, Charles Arthur. Instr. in chem., College of Wooster, 1909-10; instr. physics, Reed Coll., Portland, Oreg., 1913–15; asst. prof. physics, 1915-19, prof., 1919–30, chmn, dept. physics, 1929–30, Princeton Univ; pres. Mass. Inst. Tech. since 1930. Aeronautical engr. for Signal Corps, U. S. Army, 1917; asso. scientific attache, Am. Embassy, Paris, 1918. Consulting physicist for Dept. of Agr. and Gen. Electric Co., 1924-30. Mem. Mass. Commn. on Stabilization of Employment, 1931-33; chmn. instns div. Boston Community Fund, 1939; chmn, new products com. of New Eng. Council, 1939–41; trustee N. E. Indsl. Research

I was chairman or acting chairman; I think acting chairman at that time, Senator Glass having been ill for quite some time---acting chairman of the Appropriations Committee." And he said also that he had the ranking man, if I remember about Senator Bridges correctly, on the Appropriations Committee. He said, “I have already seen the chairman and ranking men in the House, Mr. Cannon and Mr. Taber, and they have already agreed, and I want to get you Senators to agree.'

He told us that they had employed a lot of scientists who believed they could split the atom, and it would require a great deal of money to do it. And he had included me and Bridges in this matter, because we were the ranking men on either side to furnish the money.

Well, everybody hollered when he said something about splitting the atom. I remember I said to him, “Why, Mr. Secretary, do you remember from history that Alexander the Great, 2,300 years ago, had some Macedonian scientists trying to split the atom?"

He said “Yes, he did." I said, "Do you remember that Lucretius”-a Latin poet that was the hardest man in the world for me to translate; I remember that from my college days-"do you remember that Lucretius wrote a poem about splitting the atom?? —And it was a very difficult poem to translate, too. He said “Yes” he remembered that. I said, “Do you remember that scientists have been trying to split the atom all these years? My heavens, Mr. Secretary, why would you want to take that, of all times, when we are in the greatest war in all the world, to undertake to split the atom?"

He said, “Why, I think I can explain it to you."

And I want to say that it was one of the finest arguments I ever heard, made by Secretary Stimson in that matter. He convinced White almost instantly, and then he convinced Barkley, and then he convinced Bridges, and lastly convinced me.

I said, “Mr. Secretary, just one thing before I approve what you are going to do. I want to know how much money it is going to

He said, "It will take 800 million the first year."

I said, "My heavens, Mr. Secretary, how can we keep it a secret? Don't you know that some Senator will ask about it?"

He said, "Well, we have got a plan. Mr. Cannon and Mr. Taber think it can be kept a secret in the House."

I said, “Yes, they have a way of shutting off debate. But how can we keep it secret, when every Senator has the right to ask any question he wants to ask about it?''

He said, “Well, we have got that fixed too. We have got a number of ways of putting it in an appropriation bill, which we don't believe will cause any attention."

"Well," I said, "now, I know you won't expect me to tell anyone about it, and if á Senator gets up and asks, 'what is this particular amount of money required for?'. I will have to just stop right in my tracks and have a conference with you. That is all I will have to do.

He said, “That is what you do. But I hope to heaven that nobody will ask about it. We don't think they will.”

And the most remarkable thing that ever occurred in the history of the Senate occurred. I understand it was not asked about in the House. When it got over to the Senate, the several items that contained it were carried through, and not a single human Senator asked a word about it.

take."

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