hemmed about by certain provisions
which we thought would secure lhe interests nf the United States, as besl we
could consistent with the over-all philos-
ophy of having an international control
in effect. I generally eun of the impression lhat Dr. Oppenheimer at that lime
was as sensitive as I should say anyone
weis in regard to the security interests
e.f the I nited States.
• • •
. . . He was alert lo the necessity of
protecting, insofar as it was possible to
protect the interests of the United Slates.
as I say. consistent with the concept of
international control. . . .
1 At tlii- peeint in tbe- testimony McCloy
described activities iei the' Soviet study
group, of which he weis the presiding officer, and of which Dr. Oppenheimer was
a member. He went on tei tell how Oppen-
lie'ime'r went on a lecture tour abroad and
pave the stei.lv group "a picture of where
lie thoughl we stood generally in relation
to tbe Seee iel in respect to atomic llevcl-
A. The impression that I gathered
from him was one of real concern that
although we bad ei quantitative superiority, that lhat didn't mean a great
ileal. . . .
We were coming to the point where
vve mighl be. he used lhe graphic ex-
pression "like two scorpions in a bottle,"
that each could destroy the other, even
though one mav have been somewhat
larger than the other, and he was very
much concerned about tbe security position of llie United Slales.
He pressed vigorously for lhe con-
tinued activity in ihi- field and not
letting down our guard, so to speak.
Taking advantage nf any opportunity
thai really presented itself ibat looked
as if it weis substantial, but if there was
lo be any negotiation, la- certain that
wc were armed and well prepared before
we went tn such a conference. Indeed. T
have' the impression lhat he, with one or
I wn others, wa- somewhat more, shall
I sav. militant than some of the other
members of the group. ...
In the course of this. I think I should
say thai he was questioned by lhe mem-
leers eif lhe group from lime to time. In
a number uf cases, In- refused to reply,
saying thai hr could nul reply because
in doing so thai would involve some
security information. His talk was generally in generalities, tu some extent following the line thai he took in an article
which I saw later nn. published in
Foreign A/fairs. . . .
Q. Based nn your acquaintance with
Dr. Oppenheimer, and your experiences
with him. would you give the board
your opinion as in his loyalty and as to
his security risk nr want of risk'.'
\. In the first place, ju-t In gel it nut
of the way, Id me seiv lhal then' i-
nothing lhat occurred during the entire
period uf my contact with Dr. Oppenheimer which gave me any reason to
feel that he was in any sense disloyal
to the United States. But I would want
to put it more positively than that and
also add tbat throughout my contacts
with him, 1 got the impression, as one
who has had a good bit of contact and
experience with defense matters, that be
was very sensitive to all aspects uf tbe
security of the United States.
I gathered the impression that he was
deeply concerned about the consequences of this awful force tbat we bad
released, anxious to do what be could
toward seeing that it was not used or
did not become a destroyer of civilization. He was somewhat puzzled as to
what form lhat would take and still he
consistent with the interests of the
United Stales. . . .
I can't be too emphatic as to my impression of Dr. Oppenheimer in this regard. I have lhe impression of bis being
a loyal, patriotic citizen, aware of his
responsibilities, and thai I want to accent.
As lo his security risk—to use the
current phrase—I again can slate that
negatively certainly. I know of nothing
myself which would make me feel lhal
he weis a security risk. 1 don'l know
just exactly what you mean by ;i security risk. I know lhat I am a security
risk, and I think every individual is a
security risk. You can always talk in
your sleep, i mi i em always drop a
paper lhat you should not drop, or you
can speak to your wife about something,
and lo that extent no human being is
an absolutely secure person. I don'l suppose we eire talking about tbat.
I never heard of any of Dr. Oppenheimer's early background until verv
recently, and so thai has never been an
element in my thinking. I have only
thought of him as being a figure whom
I feel I know, and I feel I eun simievvhat
knowledgeable in this field, and one I
feel I know is as much responsible as
anybody else, if perhaps not more than
einvl.eaelv else in this particular field
of the weapon, for our pre-eminence in
• • •
As I Irv lo look back to that period.
I think vve would have taken pretty
much anybody who had certainly lhe
combination of those qualities—thc the-
e.ieiieal ability, plus lhe practical sense.
In advance our defense position in that
field. In those days we were on guard
eiiieeinsl the Nazis and the Germans. I
think we would have grabbed one of
them, if we thought he had that quality.
eiml surrounded him with as much security precautions as we could. Indeed,
I think we would heive probably taken a
convicted murderer il he heul thai capacity. There again is ibis question nl
the relative character uf security, ll depends somewhal on the day and nve
thai you are in.
I wani in emphasize particularly ibis
affirmative side of it. The names we
bandied about at lhal lime included a
number of refugees and a number nf
people that came from Europe. I have
the impression I mav be wrong about
it—but I have the impression thai a
very large element of ibis theoretical
thinking did emanate frnm lhe minds of
those who immigrated to ibis country,
and had nol been generated here as
far as it had been in Europe. There
were names like Fermi and Wigner and
Teller. Rabi, another queer name. Szi-
lard, or something like lhat—but I have
lhe impression they came over here, and
probably emhued wilh a certain anti-
Nazi fervor which tended lo stimulate
thinking, and il is lhal type of mind thai
we certainly needed then.
We could find, so to speak, practical
atomic physicists, emd today there an'
great quantities nf them being trained,
and whether we are gelling this finch
balanced imagination which can stretch
beyond ihe practicalities uf ibis thing
is to my mind lhe importanl aspect of
this problem. The ail is still in its infancy, and we slill are in need of great
imagination in ibis field.
In a very real sense, therefore, I Ibink
there is a security risk in reverse. If
anything is done which would in any
way repress nr dampen lhal fervor, lhal
verve, thai enthusiasm, or lhe Feeling
generally thai the place where vou can
get tbe greatest opportunity fnr the expansion of your mind and your experiments in ibis field is thr United Slate-.
to that extent the security of lhe United
States is impaired.
In other words, you can'l be too conventional aboul il or vou run into "
security problem the other way. Wc are
only secure if we have the besl brains
and the besl reach of mind in this field.
If the impression is prevalent lhal
scientists as a whole have Iii work under
such greal rest rid inns and perhaps great
suspicion in the United States, we mav
lose the nexl step in ihis field, which I
ibink would be very dangerous feu us.
• • •
A. ... I have been eiskeel this recently
in New York frequently: Do you think
lhat Dr. Oppenheimer is a security risk,
and how would I answer that? . . . What
do you mean by security? Positive?
Negative? There is a security risk both
ways in this thing. It is the affirmative
security thai I believe we musl protect
here. I would seiv thai even if Dr. Of
penheimer bad some connections tha'
were siimi'whal suspicious or make' i""'
fairly uneasy, you have to balance h'"
affirmative aspeel againsl thai befol*
vou can Finally conclude in your "W
mind thai he is a reasonable securit)
risk because there is a balance of he
leresi there. . . .
• • •
V ... I will say thai as tar as I have
had anv acquaintance with Dr. Oppei''
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FACTS FORUM NEWS, August. 19S*