[vidua! in AnJk
ist. In addition
pmenl and supt
p such service
solution the stt\
ly difficult. 1
irily difficult ot
man in Mile''
>e complete ant
ion, and resp*
field. A man
s and compel*
ds and accoun
■ it is the km
ire is bound '"
is that Mitchi
Urol over all
office is under'
hority and respo
nt matters, thai
more than .«''
cord what he
what I felt were rather vague assurances
lhat everything "necessary" would be
provided. There is an awful lot of room
for disagreement about the interpretation of the two words in quotes.
As I have said, I am afraid that I
have been at fault in not better organizing our relations with Colonel liar-
man's staff. In consequence, his people
have been pestered with many conflicting requests from different individuals
of our group some of whom they did
not know. On their side I believe they
have not been entirely in the right since
so many of his people have shown a
tendency lo be taciturn and uncommuni-
II Thave ' '"''"' so that our people find it difficult
i , . jie o to learn what procedures they need to
But these minor things are all of a
kind that will work out in the next few
months as people gel acquainted. The
school matter is much more critical. It.
nill lake decisive action very soon if
a good school system is to be ready in
I hope this long tirade is of some help
to you and llial my association with the
project adds up to something more
positive than negative. With all best
wishes for a complete and timely success in the solution of the primary
'., yi problem of the project, and
J hope that I may be oj some future
help to you in it.
(Signed) Ed Condon.
I have a note here that the date
"I the letter was April 26, 1943, which
is in accordance with your recollection.
desire to offer the copy of the
m what he doe>
the matter oh
ith the local m»j
ole they have I
; gelling ihe '
lies on me for
ively a lot of
• done if not s°
irsonal dei /.</""'
to be a lack of'
fully expect '/»"'
hen Colonel H"" herewith
p residence herf^ Mr. Tavenner
■il is org
letter in evidence and ask it be marked
as "Condon Exhibit No. 1."
Mr. Walter: It is received.
(The document above referred to,
marked "Condon Exhibit No. 1," is filed
hools. Many o,
bout the schem
urs. This matte'] espionage and sabotage activities?
Condon: On the question of re
fusing appointment, I hadn't ever accepted it in a final way in the first place,
and secondly I was under no obligation
to accept it, and I was in war work at
Westinghouse and my employers were
very reluctant to have me go there at
all. and so that I just decided as between two different kinds of war work
to make the choice to work at Westing-
house on radar work.
Mr. Tavenner: But you did not make
that choice until after you had spent a
month al Los Alamos?
Dr. Condon: That is right.
Mr. Tavenner: And the major factor
in your making that decision was the
security which was required?
Dr. Condon: No; not the security
which in fact was required, but the
security which they were proposing at
that time. At the time in question it
was being discussed that everybody on
the project would be given a military
commission and everybody on the project would thus come under military
discipline and lhat everybody on the
project, including their families, who
went inside of the reservation, would
agree to stay there until sometime after
the war, like six months, and with the
lack of schools and the fact that I had
a daughter of high-school age I felt
if those were to be the rules I wouldn't
ever have a chance to see my daughter
or her mother wouldn't have a chance to
see her, and there were a variety of
things like that.
In other words, what I object to is
any oversimplified idea that I was opposed to subjecting myself to such extreme security measures when at the
same time without subjecting myself
to them I could participate in the war
effort fully as effectively as if 1 had
Mr. Tavenner: Bui ii was true, was
I want to call your
ittention to the statement in your letter:
/ do not feel qualified to question the
ATION URGENT wisdom of litis, since I um totally an-
■ wd uware of the extent oj enemy espionage
Iso an unnec* „„(/ mh „„„./,/„,.
mny features "I
I, the technical f REQUIRED SECURITY NEEDED?
■d. 7 he school '
irgent. Many ''-.. 1" other words, you were reliuliiiil 1"
lely anxious to * accept the position because you could
and how ihe sdlnot persuade yourself that the security
These people J required was needed?
Dr. Condon: I think that thai represents my position correctly.
Mr. Tavenner: You admit lack of
Knowledge of the extent of enemy
il not, thai such matter[s] as the schools,
were mailers that could be and would
be expected to be adjusted as time proceeded ?
Dr. Condon: I think this letter helped
in that process.
Mr. Tavenner: But the way the letter
expresses it—and I want you to state
where I am wrong in this—is that you
were mainly concerned about the effect
that security, that the security measures
would have on you.
FENCE LOCKED IN EVERYBODY
Dr. Condon: These particular extreme security measures that we had
under discussion, namely militarization
of the personnel, and the keeping of
everybody locked behind a wire fence
until six months after the end of the
Mr. Tavenner: Well, you emphasized
in your letter the matter of compartmentalization of the unit, and I think
that you took the position that that
policy would put Dr. Oppenheimer in
the position of trying to do an ex-
lniiiiK difficult job with three hands
tied behind his back, and that you could
met accept the view that such internal
compartmentalization of the larger project was proper, and so you took the
very definite position that you could not
accept that view, that compartmentalization was proper.
Dr. Condon : To that extreme degree;
* # * * m
Mr. Jackson: Didn't you feel that it
was necessary to compartmentalize the
various activities having to do with the
work on the atomic bomb?
Dr. Condon: Yes; these are all matters of degree. You see, what I objected
to is set forth there' in explicit detail in
the letter, and it refers to compart-
mentalization as affecting the exchange
• ¥ W
>r that weighs '
liable <'' Iavenner: Yet you were inclined
lo refuse appointment there because "I
Ihe security required. Is thai a ....... I
i- j . nut* statement?
plied to my <!'
for no "frills' ] DR-
ted for, logethet
I'ACTS FORUM NEWS, January, 1955
—Wide World Photo
Remote control panel for critical assembly machines at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. This control room is located about a quarter of a mile from the assembly laboratory.
Operations can be observed on any one of the television screens shown.