In Behalf of Oppenheimer
(Continued from Page 7)
iiie,I substantially weis that we should
try lo absorb tl,,- fails about atomic energy eunl se-e if we could mil come up
with sunn- practical, we hoped, ami
workable ami acceptable system of control eunl protection for tin- I nited
States and for tbe world. So Dr. Oppenheimer's approach, as the rest nf us, was
fiisi ii, ascertain the facts eis a matter of
technology eunl see on. Uf course, in thai
respect he eiml lir. Thomas were really
teachers for lhe rest of us. Then as lo
policy, I can recall perhaps a few illustrative- illsleinia's.
Dr. Oppenheimer —- ami there weis
Unanimity on this but he certainly probably initiated lhe ieleei. eiml certainly
pressed it eiml elaborated il which relates tee the attiluile' of llnssia and Soviel
communism, the first idea we discussed
Was lhat of international inspection of
countries in the Inited Nations, to see
whether they were carrying mi alomie
This we rejected eiml em importanl
Part of our reasoning for rejecting il
Was that it was nut ei foolproof method.
Something more than inspection would
be necessary, thai withoul international
ownership ami control of the raw materials and the- operations in the atomic
energy field, lhe United Slates could nol
'nisi the lliissieins merely by inspection
l" comply with the requirements of this
Hie actual development of ibis idea
"mt inspection weis inadequate lo protect ourselves from the Russians or wets
;l" inadequate idea In go before the
World—lhe protection of ihe world weis
largely formulated bv lir. Oppenheimer
*ud technical associates of bis like- Dr.
oacher, who heul studied lln- physical
Problem of the else wilh whiili inspec-
'"'n could In- avoided by an operating
Organization in Kiissi;, ;is distinguished
'"'mi having a I nited Vilnius operating
""I management team running the plant,
hal periodic inspection was nol a fool-
Q. In vour view was lln- report of
ll;it panel one that weis reasonably soft.
'"' whal have you, iii respeel to lln- hope
"' cooperatii with respeel to whal
'""' could expeel from the Russians?
V We- tried to make it eis nearly fool-
Pfool a- We could. There was early ili--
'.Ussion then any proposal lhat a United
"ations operating organization should
Operate a gaseous diffusion plant within
Russia would ,,l,\ inuslv conflict uiili the
'"ssieii, vieus aboul iliv Iron Curtain
,ll"l eieee-ss of foreigners emd so on.
■ " question weis raised first In
"in,■. as to whether ii made einv sense
" "lake- a pr,,p,.-eel w hie h we' wen' pretty
pACTS FORUM NEWS, May, 1955
sure lhe Russians would reject. We eon-
eluded, and I look responsibility for this
idea initially, lhal we should presenl an
idea we could stand for. leaving the
question of whether il should be submitted lo the Russians, with a rather slnui"
likelihonel of it being rejected, lo others.
ll was our job lo develop a workable.
foolproof system. Therefore, to answer
your question aboul denominating this.
1 think we did devise whal would be
called ;i tough program. This was re-
viewed later by Mr. Baruch and his as-
soeiiites. 'I hey accepted these essentials
ami they loo were insistent on what Mr.
Baruch called a foolproof system, a
Q. And Dr. Oppenheimer vvas in accord with this tough system?
A. Yes, and contributed a great deal
Q, When eliel vein seiy you became
chairman of the AEC?
A. I ihink il was the twenty-eighth of
Q, Some lime after you became chairman was lln- question of Dr. Oppenheimer's pasl associations and bis left-wing
activities ami so on called lo your attention?
A. 'l es, it was.
Q. Will vmi tell us ihe circumstances
of lhal. please?
A. The board will recall thai ibere is
a kind of grandfather clause' in the
Atomic Energy Acl. by which those who
had been cleared under tin- Manhattan
Districl continued lo hold their clearances- I have mil looked al this provision fur sonic lime-- -bul lhe effect is to
hold their clearances until a re-examination bv the I I'd weis made', and the question is re-examined on lhe basis of new
additional information, or something lo
thai effect. So we hail a number of such
re-examinations coming lo us.
I have- located the date of March 8
as being the dale- on which I appeared—
give or take a eleiv ier so—a call from Mr.
Hoover savin;.' be was sending over by
special messenger ;m importanl file iit-
volved in ibis re-examination.
I received ibis file, ll related in Dr.
Oppenheimer. ll contained in it a greal
ele-eil of information from the Manhattan
District, ami perhaps some' subsequent
investigation. I called lln- commissioners
together on the tenth. The day of Mr.
Hoover's call appears to be Saturday. In
anv event. I called the commissioners li>-
,i Monday. Manl
you for a
letter of December 23. 1953. which suspended Dr. Oppenheimer's clearance?
A. I have.
Q. So far as vou can recall whal is
lhe relationship between the dero<ratorv
information contained in that letter and
the materia! thai was before sent to vou
hv Mr. Hoover in 1917?
Ed. Nun.: Later in [lie hairing Mr.
Lilienthal responded as follows:
<,!. Have yon read the letter from
Mr. Nichols lo Dr. Oppenheimer:
A. Yes, I have.
(.>. Do von recall in there the
statement that Dr. Oppenheimer
had contributed .$150 a month to
the Communist partv up lo about
April uf 1912?
A. Mo, I don'l recall that.
i). Well, do yon recall whether
or not von hart any such allegation
as thai before von in March of
A. Oil. no, I couldn't remember
as fine ;i point as lhal. no. I don't
point of 1917. I
A. From my careful reading of the
Commission's letter and mv best recollection of tin- material in lhal file, anil
the- charges cover substantially the same
bodv of information
Q. Except for lb,
Stuff, of course.
A. Yes. up lo the
Q. You were s~a\ iutr lhat vou found
that lite file contained derogatory information, but eliel not contain affirmative
mailer, shall we- say'/
A. It did not contain einv information
aboul those who worked wilh Dr. Oppenheimer in the Manhattan District. So we
asked Dr. Vannevar Bush, who wc knew
had been active in the pre-Manhattan
District enterprise, as well as since lhal
lime ami Dr. James Conant, both who
happened lo he in town, lo come in ami
visit us aboul this file. Thev expressed
themselves about Dr. Oppenheimer ami
his loyalty and character and assneiei
tions and particularly lhe degree to
which lie- hail contributed lo lhe mililarv
strength of the United Steitcs.
Interrogator [Mr. Silverman]: I would
like- al this poinl lo read letters from Dr.
Bush ami Dr. Conanl eiml Secretary Patterson. . . .
Tin Joint Research ami
Washington 25, I). C.
M \ti, ii 11. 1947
\In. llv\ m E. I II II 31 II VI
Chairman, \tomic Energy Commission
New \V IS 111 I'viei \ii NT 11, ii IH7I.
Washington L'.i. I). C.
I)i ah \lit. I.ii ienthal:
At our conference yesterday you askeel melee ea.lllini'llt eeilii I'll, i„- |)T. J, Keelee-rl Oppen-
heimer, eunl I am very glad tee elee s,,.
Dr. Oppenheimer is one e.f tie,- nrr-eet phyBi-
cists ,,l lliis country, or of the- world for that
matter. Prior t„ the war he wa the stall ol