« ZurückWeiter »
Mr. STRAUSS. That is right, Senator.
Senator BRICKER. Have you any interest in the industrial utilization, or have you given study to it?
Mr. STRAUSS. Since I have been a member of the Commission, I have.
Senator BRICKER. But only since then?
May I ask you, Admiral, whether or not you are fully in accord with the policy of constant and continuous liaison and mutual information between the Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and the Commission?
Mr. STRAUSS. I look forward to it. It seems to me that the success of the Commission depends upon it.
Senator BRICKER. Just one more question: You do favor, though, personally, insofar as possible, with the security of the country always in mind, the full industrial utilization of atomic energy?
Mr. Strauss. Yes; with security paramount at the present time, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. We expect to have some executive meetings on some other matters, Admiral, and it may be necessary for you to hold yourself in readiness for some further public questioning later here. We will notify you if that is the case.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you solemnly swear that the statements you make will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Mr. Pike. I do.
The CHAIRMAN. Your qualifications as submitted by the President, in connection with your appointment to the Atomic Energy Commission, are listed as follows:
QUALIFICATIONS OF SUMNER T. PIKE Born Lubec, Maine, August 30, 1891; attended high schools in Lubec, Maine; graduated from Hebron Academy, Hebron, Maine, 1909; Bowdoin College, 1913, bachelor of arts and LL. D., Bowdoin, 1941; LL. D., Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, 1945; attended Harvard School of Business Administration for several weeks, autumn, 1913.
Did clerical work for Stone & Webster, 147 Milk Street, Boston, Mass., November 1913 to April 1914.
Clerk for Savannah Electric Co., Savannah, Ga., April 1914 to February 1917. Chief clerk, Lowell Electric Light Corp., Lowell, Mass., February 1917 to May 1917.
United States Army, May 1917 to January 1919, ending as captain, Coast Artillery Corps.
Purchasing agent and assistant to manager, Eastern Texas Electric Co., Beaumont, Tex., February 1919 to November 1919.
Vice president, Service Station Equipment Co., 'Dallas, Tex. and Kansas City,
Assistant to president, G. Ansinck & Co., New York, February 1923 to November 1923, general South American import and export business.
November 1923 to February 1928, member of financial department and financial secretary, Continental Insurance Co. and affiliated companies, 80 Maiden Lane, New York, N. Y., engaged in investing funds for these companies.
February 1928 to January 1939, vice president and director, Case Pomeroy & Co., 120 Wall Street, New York, N. Y., engaged in mining exploration and investment, also oil production and exploration.
January 1939 to November 1939, retired.
November 1939 to June 1940 business adviser to Secretary of Commerce and member of Temporary National Economic Committee for Department of Com
June 1940 to April 1946 member United States Securities and Exchange Commission, member TNEC for SEC_until committee was wound up.
December 1942 to April 1946, Director of Fuel Price, Office of Price Administration.
April 1946 to November 1946, retired.
November 1946 to present, member of United States Atomic Energy Commission.
Overseer, Bowdoin College since 1938. Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Statistical Association, American Geological Society, Delta Upsilon, Phi Beta Kappa. TESTIMONY OF SUMNER T. PIKE, APPOINTEE TO UNITED STATES
ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION The CHAIRMAN. The experience and qualifications submitted by the President in connection with his appointment of you to the Atomic Energy Commission, Mr. Pike, show that you were born in Lubec, Maine, in 1891, you attended the schools there, graduated from Hebron Academy in Maine, Bowdoin College; that you have a bachelor of arts and a doctor of laws degree in Bowdoin and a doctor of laws from Bates College at Lewiston, Maine; that you attended the Harvard School of Business Administration; that you worked for Stone & Webster in past years; that you worked for the Savannah Electric Co. and the Lowell Electric Light Corp.; that you were in the Army from 1917 to 1919 as a captain in the Coast Artillery; that you worked for the Eastern Texas Electric Co. in Beaumont, Tex.; that you were vice president of the Service Station Equipment Co. at Dallas and Kansas City from 1919 to 1922; that you were assistant to the president of G. Amsinck & Co., New York, in 1923; that you were a member of the financial department and financial secretary of the Continental Insurance Co. and its affiliated companies in New York; that you were vice president and director of the Case Pomeroy Co. of New York; that you reached that enviable position where you retired in 1939.
Mr. PIKE. That is what I thought.
The CHAIRMAN. That you went into the office of the Secretary of Commerce as a business adviser in 1939 and 1940; you were then a member of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission; and that you were from 1942 to 1946 Director of Fuel Price in the Office of Price Administration; that you again attempted to retire in 1946, but were appointed to the Atomic Energy Commission.
Mr. Pike. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. You are an overseer of Bowdoin College, I believe, and you have held other similar situations.
Have you at any time in the past, prior to your appointment on the Commission, Mr. Pike, been actively associated with the development or the perfection of atomic energy or its applications?
Mr. Pike. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you had in the past any technical training along engineering or higher scientific lines?
Mr. Pike. Well, it would not be very technical, Senator. I had the usual stuff they taught us in college chemistry and physics 35 years ago, which is not very applicable to today's affairs.
I had, during my period with Case Pomeroy, to direct a good deal of mineral exploration and some engineering work, and had to sort of soak in some-I suppose you would call it second-hand knowledge of oil and mining work, to the point where I could understand what other people were talking about, but certainly not to the point where I could do it myself.
The CHAIRMAN. Can you give us any reason why you were selected on this Commission, as a man without previous association with it? I assure you I do not mean that as a hostile question.
Mr. Pike. I assure you it is a very proper question. It has bothered me a good deal. As an actual fact, until I was inside the President's office, and he put the exact question to me, I had not even got to the point-I had wondered why he had asked me to come down, but that thing had never occurred to me.
In other words, I had not even got the idea up so far as to dismiss it.
The CHAIRMAN. Since you have been appointed on the Commission, have you formed a substantial or basic conclusion as to the general field or activity of this Commission, the responsibilities at present, and any general philosophy of conduct for the future?
Mr. PIKE. With this proviso: I want to say that usually, Mr. Chairman, in taking hold of the job, after 2 or 3 months, you begin to get some feel of it, some feel of the size of it, and what you may be able to do with it. This is the only one I ever tackled which seemed further out of reach now than it did the day I looked at it.
The CHAIRMAN. It is a pretty good sized job?
Mr. Pike. It appears that way. And the thing that forces that view with me is that in the first 2 or 3 weeks we were on the Commission we took a trip around the country, with the idea of getting some idea of the outside magnitude of this animal, realizing that we could not learn very much about it.
And during that period we were exposed to short, well-organized talks-you might almost call them selling talks-by 35 or 40 enthusiastic scientific specialists engaged in different ramifications of this job. If there is one thing that was left with me afterward it was that each one of them seemed to feel more possibilities, probabilities, and almost certainties, that required investigation, required looking into; so many that all they needed was more men, more money, and more time.
So it raised this whole series of question marks, promising things that ought to be looked at. It left it so complicated that I honestly came back with the feeling that if we could transmit to the Congress the great, apparently well-based enthusiasm, in enough detail, and carry the spirit far enough so that the Congress would appropriate the money that these people needed, we would more than half fill the job. Now, we have got a weapon here; there is no question about that. We can probably get more and better weapons. That is the biggest thing we have got today.
But I suspect in the long run it might be something like, well, let's say, molecular energy in the form of heat. Probably the first discovery came from a forest fire, from lightning. And I am inclined to suspect that the first use of it was when some fellow on bad terms with his neighbor probably picked up a torch and found it was a very useful thing in persuading that neighbor to get out of there.
I can imagine him going over the hill faster and faster with the other man coming behind. In other words, the first use of molecular energy was probably as a weapon.
Now, it still, up to this time, with the exception of hand weapons, like spears, and so forth, has been the basis of all our weapons since gunpowder.
Yet, that same force has given us the steam engine, electricity, almost every single thing on which we base our present civilization, mechanically.
Now, we are just about at the stage when this fellow comes back after succeeding in running his enemy over the hill, and the other people in the tribe say, "Now, this is a pretty good thing. We had better keep it secret." “Maybe, though, it is good for something else. Let's see if we can't
. find out what else this thing is good for."
We are about in the same position, I suppose, as to saying what the ultimate end of this source of energy may be, as those people were in trying to imagine the steam locomotive right after the first flame had been used as a weapon. That is probably not a very good way to put it, but I cannot help feel that any of us who sit down here and try to limit the uses that may develop out of this unknown thing are just going to put ourselves on the wrong side of the page of prophecy.
The CHAIRMAN. How do you feel about the matter of secrecy in connection with atomic energy, as to the information which is in the hands of the Commission, so far as it is reconciled between the weapon aspect and the freedom of science; that is, what general lines of demarcation could you draw there, in general?
Mr. Pike. In the first place, let us say that security, as far as anybody is able to keep it, is perhaps the most important duty, and is something we have got to preserve. And I do not deny to you that I think it is an unpleasant duty.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you not go so far as to say it is a paramount duty?
Mr. Pike. Yes, and I will also go so far as to say I do not like the general idea. I do not think most American people do. And I think Mr. Lilienthal has been trying to impress the fact that to do duty that is against the grain is, of course, always more difficult than to do a duty that is a pleasant duty.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you find yourself inclined to yield, in the face of that peacetime pressure? To relax the safeguards against essential security?
Mr. Pike. No, sir. I am afraid that my New England background would probably lead me to lean over backward in the other direction more than I should.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean as to security?
Mr. Pike. Yes, sir. Of course, here is this terrible thing about security, about a subject that is comparatively unknown. It is a one-way street. You open the box and let it out,
and then you find 6 or 8 months later you should not have done it. But closing the box does not put it back in. That is really the toughest feature about the whole thing, as I see it.
The CHAIRMAN. And do you approve of the general statement and philosophy that Mr. Lilienthal has expressed here, about liaison between the necessary Security Committees, such as the Military Liaison Committee and the Military Applications Director, and
Mr. PIKE. Oh, yes, Mr. Chairman. As a matter of fact, I am glad that little misunderstanding developed yesterday, because I think it helped everybody to put his mind to it and clear it up in a way that seemed to me eminently satisfactory.
I doubt if any of us could have got as good a statement of the problems as has been received today, unless we had really had what amounted to a little—well, call it a "clash.”
The CHAIRMAN. And you are in accord, I take it, then, with the stated present policy of the Commission to create itself into an over-all policy-making and not attempt to compartmentalize the field of atomic energy by assigning certain fields to certain Commissioners? Mr. Pike. "Oh, yes, Mír. Chairman. There I did have some experi
I sat on the Securities and Exchange Commission longer than anyone else ever did except Judge Healy, who died last fall.
And when I went on that Commission they were just recovering from a well-meant but very unwise compartmentalized system of sponsorships. It was very clear, seeing the results, what would happen in any area where you tried it and kept at it too hard. The various things that came up from divisions went to one Commissioner and then were brought to the Commission as a whole with his recommendation. IIe knew much more about it than they did. And very frequently you had good decisions recommended. But they soon got to be that one Commissioner's decisions. And then on the off-chance, when they disagreed with him, his vanity was hurt, and there was lack of harmony on the Commission. And I might say, too, that there was an obvious lack of equality among the five assignments, and there was so much jockeying as to who would get this one or the other that, oh, a good proportion, I would say, of the time was taken up by what should not happen on the Commission-internal politics.
That, we have not a sign of here, and I do not expect we will ever have it as far as this Commission in concerned. And it is hard for everybody to be equally acquainted with everything that is going on, but I think you get better results.
I am fully in accord with that.
Senator VANDENBERG. You said you were afraid you might even lean over backward in behalf of security.
Mr. Pike. Yes, sir.
Senator VANDENBERG. Do you think we could have a little too much security, maybe?
Mr. PIKE. Well, Senator, there is this point: That, let us say some work has been done on the biological and purely scientific phases here, where the natural desires of the institutions to have their ideas put to work in various places is easy to understand, and it is pretty hard to link some of that work up with weaponeering or with war in any form.
I am saying that I am afraid I might be a little too conservative in letting that out, and might have to face some of the criticism that comes up very quickly.
Because after all, people in scientific work, particularly in university work, really make their standing in their profession by their publications, by the work they are known to have done, work that other people can verify and use as a basis and carry on from there.
And you are affecting the life of a great many fine people when you withhold things, and you ought not to do it without good reason.