re-examine ihis question, to have another look al our international negotiation position as we had exposed il in the
I nited Nations... whether there was
anything more lhal we could now propose which mighl have a chance ol
pulling an end to the atomic weapons
race in-te-eiel of facing us with the necessity of going ahead with this. . . .
Q. I lake it that . . . vou heard Dr.
Oppenheimer express his views?
A. I recall going lo Princeton in the
fedl of 1949 on one occasion. I had
several things lo do there. I called on
Dr. Oppenheimer eit the Institute, if mv
memory is correct, and we discussed il
then. I was also once' eit sometime in
thai period I don'l know exactly when
asked to appear before the General
Advisory Committee ..I the Atomic
Energ) Commission, simpl) eis ei consultant. They wanted to hear mv views.
Thev asked me questions. The questions
related primaril) to the presenl stale ol
'nn relations with the Soviet 1 nion, the
stale of whal we called "the oelel wen."
1 replied eis frankly as 1 could to them.
Q. What impression did von get, it
vou remember it. of Dr. Oppenheimer's
A. I would not be- able to quote his
view- in nicmorv or in einv detail or in
any greal accuracy. I can onlv say thai
the general impression I carried wilh
"ie was lhe impression of a mail who
(veis grcallv troubled hv what he- fell lo
l»e ihe extremely solemn implications ol
Q. That is lhe pending decision?
A. The pending decision. W ho realized thai il was one the implications of
Wiich mighl carry very far that il was
ilmosl impossible to predicl where we
mighl end up if ihis sort of a race «ith
"eapons of mass destruction were lo go
'ui indefinitely ami. therefore, weis
-really troubled ami concerned lo arrive
;lt the most enlightened and sound decision theit could i.c made.
[Here Mr. Kennan explained lhal. in
'Us recollection. Oppenheimer did nol
'rV to se-ll him on einv view. Ke-nnein said
'"' reported to tin- Secretar) of Stale in
January, 1950, regarding his analysis of
""■ 111,,,ml. problem. |
\. ...The gisl of mv own views was
""nplv this: I fell lhal ihis governmenl
l';|s jn no wen in g I posiiieui in make
'"iv greal eloeisinns wilh regard to eithet
'" international control of atomic en*
'''3\ or actually with regard to its own
^''api.n- program before it gained
-n-eilcr clarity in ils own mind ee- te, the
Purposes for which il was holding whal
"', - ciimcs called lhe A. II. C weap-
'"'- in general. Hv thai I eun thinking
'*' tin- weapons of mass destruction tin'
'""iiiii'. chemical, emd so forth. It
~''-in,'il in me- lhat there was unclarity
"' the councils of our -juvernmenl et- te
the reasons why we were cultivating and
holding these weapons, lhe unclarity
revolved around this question. Were we
holding them onlv as a means of deterring oilier people from using them
againsl us eunl retaliating against anv
such use of these weapons againsl us?
Or were we building them into our
mililarv establishment in such a wen
that we would indicate that wc we-re- going In be dependent upon them in anv
fulure war anil would have lo use them,
i ,";n elle'ss of whether they were used
againsl ns first?
Q. Have wc not taken the position
that we would onlv use them for purposes of retaliation?
A. ll is nol mv impression lhal we'
have, and it weis nol mv impression at
lhat lime lhal there was any such determination in the' councils of the l nited
On lhe oilier hand, if I remember
correctly, I vvas able to cite statements
thai held been made hv some of our high
mililarv leaders I think both in the
councils of this government and in the
NATO councils of Europe which indicated vi'iv slronglv lhal we we're getting
ourselves into a position where we- would
have lo use these weapons as forward
mililarv weapons, regardless of whether
thev were used againsl us. ... I feiviircil
lhe holding of these weapons only for
purposes of retaliation and a- ei deterrent.... If volt were eiskcd. "Should
we or should wc nol proceed lo the
developmenl of a whole new range ol
mine powerful alomie weapons?"
(which was involved in lhe hydrogen
bomb decision i. vou had to ask yourself
"How much do we- need the weapons eel
mass destruction in general?" Thai is
lhe first question lhat had to be faced
because if vou already had enough,
perhaps vou didn't need the hydrogen
bomb eil eill. ... I bad nol al that time
seen lhe evidence lhal what we already
held in the old eunl regular atomic bomb
, . . was nol enough to make il ;i fruitless
undertaking from the standpoint of
Soviel poliev lo launch ei weir on us with
In other words, I considered the burden of proof lo re-l on that point. Il
seemed to me vou won 1,1 have- lei prove
thai we could nol do the job with the
weapons we already had ami. to mv
knowledge, thai was never demonstrated
I,, me eel the lime. Perhaps lhe answer
might have been one thing or Ihe other,
luil I bail never seen lhe proof.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ROGER ROBB,
COUNSEL FOR THE BOARD
O. Have ve,u held much experience.
Mr. Kennan, with Communists: ... Are
vou familiar with Communist dogma or
A. I Ihink I am. sir. I have had aboul
twenty years of reading the Soviel press
s FORUM NEWS, June, m:,:>
and sometimes other press organs wilh
lhe view lo determining whether they
reflected thai type of dogma or not. I
feel I heive ei certain familiarity with it.
O. Would you place much weight in
a statemenl of a Communisl lhal he just
left the- partv or heul disassociated himself w ith it before coming on sonic secrel
work for the government ?
A. 1 would certainly regard il as a
factor very seriously relevant lo fitness
for office, bul one lo be examined individually, 'ion askcel a moment ago
eil,oul ihe case of our Embassy mil there.
Mr. Bullitt, for whom I had the greatest
respeel and aboul whose security I never
had the faintest doubt, had been married
lo the widow of John Reed, who was tin-
first prominent Anicrieein Communisl.
I suppose, in this country. We didn't
find lhat et source' of worry with regard
lei Mr. Bullitt.
Q. No, I am talking, rather than men
rimonial association, more active association wilh ihe Communist party. Would
vmi tend I" view wilh considerable skepticism a statement of ei man who admitted thai he had been an en live- member of the Communisl party or had been
active in Communisl affairs ... thai he
heul jusl left the- Communisl pari) or left
the Communisl affairs on the- eve of
coming to work in the Embassy?...
v. I ihink we would have regarded
it as a factor which meant that there
weis a certain burden of proof to demonstrate lhal the man's value lo us was
vcrv greal ami theit llii- could he satisfactorily explained awav. anel we had
something lhal we could depend on in
judging lhal he wets now a person whose
loveillv we didn't need lo worry about.
Supposing the Russians heul elev cleipe'il
the hydrogen bomb anil had gol il. ami
we didn't have it: whal would then be
our position vis-a-vis the Russians in
... I have always held doubts ... as lo
whether lhe feet that perhaps one party
had weapons of this soil a little more
destructive or greeillv nion' destructive
than lhe olhcr would nevertheless
change this situation so vitally. We did.
after all. have' the ohl type of bomb. Wr
had some means of delivery. I ihink the
world would have gone along prett)
much the senile. . . .
I,). Von don't feel, then, lhal we-
would have been al any disadvantage
as ageiinsl lhe Russians if thev had the
hydrogen bomb and wc had not?
...I Ihink lhal. our position wilh regard to them has depended much less on
the mathematical equation of who has
Ihis anil who ha- lhat in lhe wav eil
weapons "I mass destruction than we
ihink il has. . . .
(Continued mt Page I '■ >