Interview of Senator Hickenlooper Concerning
Accomplishments and Failures at Geneva
Senator Bourke B. Hickenlooper (Republican, Iowa), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, eee el
ranking minority member of the Joint
Committee on Atomic Energy expresses
hi- views on tin- controversial subject
while being interrogated by Jack l)«.h-
prty of the New York Daily News and
John Madigan of the Washington Bu-
re-ein e,f Vewsweek on Facts Forum's
Reporters' Roundup program.
(MADIGAN)l Senator, do you believe that the V. S.
made any mistakes at the Big Four meeting?
I think that the Big Four meeting just concluded at Geneva
was a highly successful meeting from our standpoint. To
answer positively that no mistakes were made, I think, is
impossible. I don't know of any major mistakes that are
apparent at this moment.
(MADIGAN) : Regeirding President Eisenhower's proposal for a free and open exchange of blueprints and
inspection between Russia's military strength and the
installations here in tbe U. S., do vou believe theit smb
a proposal would ever be acceptable to the American
It would be and I think it was a very dramatic demonstration of the fact to the peoples of thc world thai the I . S.
i- bent on peace and it now is up to the Russians to answer
this and see whether they really are sincere in their desire
(MADIGAN): Would such a proposal take legislation in
the Senate and the House?
1 believe it would not necessarily take legislation. There
might be a few phases of it that would require authoriza-
(MADIGAN) 1 Is is not a fact tbat many of our atomic
Iu-teilleilion- now are restricted eireas to people from
There are restricted areas to people of our nation at the
moment and that is on a basis of security. However, the
Atomic Energy Commission has broad latitude to declassify
information eiml installations and I think lhat that authority
probably would be sufficient, although I would have to cheek
it a little more closely.
(MADIGAN) 1 Oo you believe that Russia would accept
this proposal of the President's'.*
No, I don't.
(DOHF.RTY) : Well. Senator, in the event tbat Russia
did accept ibis dramatic proposal of Pre-iilent l'.i-en-
hower's, wouldn't thai mean that we would open up
every single secrel thing we have, lay it on the table
and say, "Here it is, conic take a look at it?" Hy that
same token wouldn't we then have to throw away our
entire security organization which is meant to protect
our secrets from people even in llii- country'?
No. I don't believe that tbe proposal contemplates such a
broad and minute inspection of everything we have—
(DOHERTY) : President Eisenhower used the word blueprints—
I understand, but blueprints indicate the location of our
military installations and our plants, and lhe oiler as I see
it did not go to the disclosure of every last secret development which we have, engineeringwise and from a scientific
standpoint. It offered to let the Russians make aerial photographs providing they gave us the same information regarding locations of their plants, types of plants, and the
permission for us to make simultaneous aerial photographs.
I don't believe it included all of our scientific knowledge.
We do not maintain secrecy in these plants in order to keep
lhe information away from the American people. We maintain secrecy in order to keep information away from those
nations who are opposed to us, and from our enemies who
would increase the threat of war if they learned about il.
That is the purpose of secrecy.
(DOHERTY): Well, speaking merely hypothetical!;..
Senator, if we were lo exchange this information with
Russia, isn't it possible that some nation might tiike ad-
veentage of this and knowing our weaknesses build up
and try to do something against them?
Well, I presume hypothetic-ally that might be possible, and
yet I think the benefits which would accrue to the cause of
peace and to ourselves would overshadow the dangers. I
think it is a calculated risk, one of those calculated risks it
is worthwhile to take.
(HURLEIGH) : Senator, a moment ago you suggested
that the President's agreemenl, if accepted, lo give blueprints and aerial photography rights to the Soviets
would not necessarily need legislation. Would tbat mean
that it would come under an executive agreement between the President and the bead of stale of tbe Sn\iet
Tlle authority for classification of information in the atomic
field is vested almost entirely wilh lhe Commission—the
AEC. They can classify or declassify as their judgment and
the sensitiveness of the information indicates. In connection
with our mililarv establishments, there is what llicy call
"war information" or "mililarv information" of a sensitive
nature which is generally in the province of the Secretary
of Defense or the Presidenl to hold secure or to release, and
while there may be certain things lhal are protected bv law.
and I can'l recall if there are such areas, it is my view at
this moment lhal lhe entire discretion would be loib.'cil
either in lhe President, the' Secretary of Defense or the AEC
in connection with the declassification of most of these-
(HURLEIGH): But, there would have to be an agreement, there would have to be authority, there would i
hei\e to be some sort of a signed paper—
There would have to be- ei simultaneous authorization or permission given by the Kremlin to our people al tbe same time
they were permitled lo come here and take a look and to
make aerial photographs.
(HURLEIGH) : I am only trying to establish whether or
not tbe President would be doing this in his capacity ee-
the President throiigb an executive eigreeinenl rather
them as a treaty which would have to be ratified by the
Well, you have raised a question which I just haven't looked
up in the time since il weis proposed, but it is mv view at
this moment—subject, of course-, lo change il the law is different than I think it is—it is within the power of the I'resi-
dent now to make information publicly available, or in the
Secretary of Defense' eer in the Commission it-elf.
FACTS FORUM NEWS, October, 1955