I already obtall
rity to protect
cell that had »
am afraid I j
estion in my '
aven't agreed t
ou might not «l
s of thai testhl
; what is the 1
I didn't ask )<*
by < leneral Groves' security officers, and
that was enough for me.
Mr. Tavenner: In other words, you
relied upon your own views as to personal integrity of the individual and you
thought lhat that was superior to the
duty of inquiry before taking action?
Dr. Condon: I relied on my own
views based on personal acquaintance,
and the fact of his clearance for secret
work by those who were in responsible
charge of the matter of making clearance investigations.
Vs far as I know, Dr. Peters' clearance status wasn't terminated until the
end of the project. For all I know he
may still have such clearance status.
Mr. Tavenner: In other words, if a
tig you if yo" person had been cleared, you would not
ere just school^ listerl ,,, an) evidence which would re-
I wasn't argtfh''" to the man's loyalty?
iolboys. I said"1 'hi. Condon: I might listen lo il lull
el I gave the n* ' miSht not believe it.
lice a hypotW Mr. Tavenner: Well, you wouldn't
stance in whio even lisle,, to it?
inst a man if he "it. CONDON: I think that I have
and hoped th*1 ''stencil to everything I have heard on
,y just saying * thi* subiect'
Mr. Iavenner: Were you under the
. J apprehension at the time that J. Robert
I don I '»'enJ Oppenheimer had or might give this
iferences IrornJeommittee information relating to any
en you talk i scientists other than Dr. Bernard Peters?
unheal. 11 IS S I)R Condon. N0] t ,!„„.,. reca,|
ere that the pr^ whether I was. He, of course, knows,
rid have no be ,]ik(> mvs(,|r_ manV] muny seicnlisls and
'"■ mighl have been called upon.
sn lake Dr. Opf Mr. Tavenner: Did you express to
task by telling 'any person the possibility that he might
ty to write at J involve other people?
f the Iniversitf, Dr. Condon: I may have, and if so in
vise him that lhat letter; I am not sure; it is a pos-
it mav have bee« Mlt' '''"inner: \„,l it is a matter
r 1 don't rciiiel*! .' >'"" had very definitely in mind;
Dr. Condon: What is that?
Mr. Tavenner: It is a matter which
Did you also do
ist his position <J you |,.1() very ,|,,filli|l.ly m""mmd?
tee, it was his I
lie. I'.lcrs a po!
H- Institute f"r
icsler as a resv-1 |)u <;,,M„,N. \h ,i; rfic ulty is .._.. .
, alleged t.;-"^ have forgotlen whal ihe "it" refers to.
What is the matter that I bad in mind?
Mr. Tavenner: The possibility that
Mr. J. Robert Oppenheimer might involve oihei scientists beside Dr. Bern-
Dr. Condon: Oh, yes; if he had giver
Mr. Tavenner: Just because you
have personal confidence in his integrity?
Dr. Condon: I didn't say he suffered
unfairly; I said I don't think people
should be made to suffer unfairly.
Mr. Tavenner: Well, I asked you if
Dr. Peters suffered unfairly.
Dr. Condon: I don't know; it is my
Mr. Tavenner: You don't know?
Dr. Condon: Yes, I would say he
Mr. Tavenner: Why, what do you
lease lhat on? You made no investigations.
Dr. Condon: It is my opinion.
OCCUPY A POSITION OF TRUST?
Mr. Tavenner: Do you think he
should be permitted to continue to occupy a position of trust in the education
of children if he were an avowed Communist?
Dr. Condon: He was not an avowed
Mr. Tavenner: I am asking you that
question. He didn't admit it, it is true.
Dr. Condon: I don't think anybody
accused him of it.
Mr. Vei.de: Did you consult wilh Dr.
Bernard Peters before you wrote the
Dr. Condon: Yes; he is a very close
friend of mine. Those circumstances,
Idaho Springs is a very small town,
there is a convention of one hundred
people and we all saw each other, and
we had lunch together, and we went for
walks when the meetings weren't going
on, and this particular unfortunate incident that had happened to Dr. Peters
which mighl have cost him a position,
bill didn't, because of the fairness of
the University of Rochester faculty, and
the administration, was a matter of deep
concern to him and to myself as a person who had had a friendly feeling
toward him. It was discussed at considerable length.
,- said *
w/i. ' il.it >' '"' OI testimony that he is alleged
"' nave given in the Rochester papers
, about Bernard Pelers, why I suppose
Princeton. iN-J^bo might do the same thing about other
onal letter be'! people.
e still friends. Mr. Tavenner: Did that have a pan
Did you make in your taking Dr. Oppenheimer to task
carding Dr. Vc\ . London: I expect so, yes; I don t
'„'.. l)rr ()iuienhei nk llu" people should be made to
■gtd testimony H6U«" "n^'y- „ . ,
'In. Iavenner: How do you know he
R SECRET VVOR" Dr. Condon: Dr. Peters?
, n P' ^'R- Tavenner: Yes.
o as I say. Dr. . Dr Condon. j don>t know ;t.
that was clears",
ghoul the entit" FACTg FQRUM NEVfS> ]anxlary< 19s5
—Wide World Photo
Nathan G. Silvermaster as he look oath
as witness before House Un-American Activities Committee in 1948.
Mr. Velde: Did he help you write
Dr. Condon: Nobody helps me write
letters. I write them myself.
Mr. Velde: How did you happen to
write that one?
Dr. Condon: Just I felt strongly on
the issues. Oppenheimer is a friend of
mine, and I wrote it.
Mr. Velde: Did you dictate it?
Dr. Condon: No; I think if I am not
mistaken I had my portable typewriter
with me and I wrote it myself or maybe
I used a typewriter and typed it myself.
Mr. Velde: Was anyone present at
tin- time you wrote the letter?
Dr. Condon: It is hard to say, I really
don't remember. It easily could have
been Peters or his brother, Frank, but
I don't know that they were there. I
am quite sure that aside from whether
they were present when I wrote it, I am
quite sure that I showed it to Peters
before I mailed it, and so in effect it is
the same sort of thing.
Mr. Velde: Did you retain the copies
of the letter that you wrote?
Dr. Condon: I don't think so, I might
have: I am not sure.
Mr. Velde: Do you still have the
Dr. Condon : Yes, it is not an Underwood; it is a Corona.
Mr. Velde: You do not know
whether you made any copy of the
Dr. Condon: Not from memory. I
may have it at home in my files, but I
just don't know.
Mr. Velde: Can you remember any
words or phrases lhat you used in the1
Dr. Condon: No.
Mr. Velde: With reference to Dr.
WRITTEN WHILE ANGRY
Dr. Condon: No; the little phrases
that have been read here sound plaus-
ilde. but I can't remember them; il
was written in a mood of considerable
irrilation and anger, and I think
probably it was a little stronger than I
would write it if I had it to do over
again, but as I say, Oppenheimer and
I were old friends and we are still
friends and he lakes that sort of ihin"
* * • * »
Mr. Tavenner: Are you acquainted
with a person by the name of Nathan
Dr. Condon: I haven't seen him in
many years; I did know him.
Mr. Tavenner: Will you describe to
the committee the manner in which you
Dr. Condon : Well, I think I met him
at a social party, a dinner party, in, and
very soon after coming to Washington.
let us say November or December of
1945, and he was at that time an employee of the War Assets Administra-