-Wide World Photo
Moscow construction workers
Where Is the Soviet Sandia?
(>. The Muscovites have, of course,
resolved to try to el" something eil»nii
their own mess. In August 1952 the)
promulgated Plan V, Focusing on goals
set for 1955. Vccording to the editors
uf Fortune. ". . . weaknesses notwithstanding, Plan V makes the Soviel I n-
ion a growing military menace to the
West."12 This sounds a bil anticlimactic
to ears accustomed to the imagined
thunder of Soviel atomic tests three
years before Plan V was announced.
Let us nol minimize, however, the Soviet
potential. Lei us miller minimize it nor
maximize it. Let's try to make some
reasoned assumptions aboul it.
The // orld llmanac for 1953 makes
the following summary statemenl eilmul
"The plein. aiming eil increased output
in nearly every field, sel a 10 to 12 per
cent yearly increase in average production to attain ei general rise of aboul
70 per cent in 1955 over 1951). Fulfillment of tlie 1955 goals would make the
Soviel Union about one-half as productive as the U.S. weis in 1951."" But this
means tlieit total industry in the Soviel
1 nion in 1919. when we firsl heard e.l
ein atomic explosion there, must have
been equivalent to something between
a fourth and ei third of U.S. industry of
lln' same <f;it,-.
In view of ihe historic vicissitudes we
have just briefly run over, there seems
little reason to argue for a higher <sii-
male* of Soviel capacity lliem this call
il 'eil per cent of I .S. capacity. This al
the time- when the) allegedl) made an
So far. then, this:
(Continued from Page 38)
\ broad-scale measuremenl of Rus-
ian industry againsl "Vmerican does
not, of course, reveal whether the Soviets are or are nol capable of manufacturing em atomic bomb; bul il does
reveal, decidedly, a situation where various conjectures are legitimate, where
only a crackpot ran be sure either way,
and where onlv an ax-grinder will pretend to be sure either way. I nless, "I
course, he has positive intelligence not
available to the public. We cannot argue
againsl the [-know-things-I-am-not-at-
Bul ihi— is where we came in on the
llein\ Truman story. He knew things he
was nut at liberty to reveal. Down to
Januan 20. 1953, he was supposed lee
know more than anyone else, ll seems
improbable thai by January 27 he had
Forgotten everything, or thai Presidenl
Eisenhower (tied up al leasl pari of
the time by the inaugural ceremonies
einel festivities) had learned everything.
No, the argument from authority is
a dead duck. We will reason as lie-si we
ran concerning probabilities.
THE LIVE ISSUE
Now. let's focus a leii more sharply
on the essential problem. The question
lhat counts is not, literally, Do the lln-
sians have em V-bomb? but, Do the
Russians have em atomic energy projeel
eel significant scope and efficiency?
Pul otherwise, we will not agitate ourselves as I" whether the I nited States
has ;i pure monopoly, hut will inquire as
lee whether the United States has in facl
atomic superiority. Or again, heis the
polic) of Security by Vchievemenl been
Actually, there is little doubl that,
within its terms of reference I i.e., as fur
us it goes), il has been a success. Nor
is there likely to be much controversy
aboul that, miles- Moscow wants I"
The American atomic energy projeel
heis immense superiority over any conceivable atomic energy project within
the boundaries of the So\ iet I nion. This
I (lei lee'licU'.
To maintain such superiority was the
policy of the Truman Administration,
and has continued to be the policy of
the Eisenhower Adminstration. Both
Administrations have received co-operation, al emv rate since' I'll1), from every
segment "I Vmerican society. The scientists eunl the military have reduced pub-
lie bickering almosl in the vanishing
point, and the plain citizens have never
wavered in their support of more A-
bombs, H-bombs, fissionable material
lhal is win we are building Savannah
River and Portsmouth. Thai is why we
are searing the senilis of Nevada, and
readying the runways eil Groton for the
\itiitiliis. Theii i~ why we appropriated
m one year double the amount invested
in the whole Manhattan Project during
World War 11."
The extent eif ihis superiority, obviously, cannol be measured with pre-
i ision. Nor does il need to be, for if i'
wen- close il would not effectively exist.
li is neei close, li cannot be.
In order to see how il cannol I"-. »r
must examine more closely the startling
disparity between .American and Rus*
sian industrial capacity. The facl is thai
the most striking differences between
Vmerican and Soviel accomplishment
appear in certain industries which seeff
he be especially reliable indicators of the
technological verve and persistence requisite In a vieihlc atomic energy pre
These industries include the electron*
ie- and electric appliance group, •'"
telephone industry, the automobile '"'
dustry, the chemical industries, including petroleum, and the metallurgical an**
metal industries, especially nonferrous-
ll is nol eil all unreasonable to assum1'
a significant positive correlation '"'
Iwi'iii ei nation's atomic potential ;"■
its actual performance in the telephon"
Den iel E. Lilienthal has explained '"
some detail how the 1 S. Atomic Km'1'
"\ Commission, even though il had i"'
heriled the projeel which heul made I'1'
953, p. 119, Copr. by Tin"5
'-' Fortune, Feb.
' 1953 World ilmanac, p. ..
11 Appropriations for eih.mi.- energy, from j'1'.
beginning of the project through NoveniW
1952, are re. apitulated in The Atomic >'■"'
erg) let nl 1946, Joint Committee <g
Vtomic Mn. i35v 'Government I*
fiic. 1952), pp. 50-72.
FACTS FOUUM NEWS, June. U