pie would go and then, at the last minute, when the plane was about to leave,
we suddenly discovered that some industrial scientists, namely Condon and
Langmuir of General Electric, were going; and I then raised the question as
,., J) to whether they should go with iheir
or maybe my =» ;. . e
that . . . becausf °P'company officials.
.u ,„ ;f I I Alter discussion with Oh. 1 withdrew
I'cii there il » ' , .
r what kind ol nn) objection to Dr. Langmuir going.
... I did not withdraw the objection to
'#' ' \ I Condon going. I had the fullest support
„ I from the corporations concerned. Con-
rman y jdon's passport was withdrawn, and he
ir?rever°yn resP"11"'1'" a terrific battle to go. That battle
urity? Did you'jjwas so unrealistic and so completely
n security in "lacking in appreciation of what was the
'best interest of the U.S. that you
3l in giving ariyjcouldn't help but feel that either he was
ting up. He se|Slleh an utter fool that he could not be
imos—at least jtrusted or else that he put his own per-
re man respon-Jsonal desires above... the welfare of
ided to break » the country and therefore he was in
i. He was the effect disloyal, even if it was not a case
responsible '°jof deliberately going out to aid the
xisted. There Wenemy.
my way; but th*, Q. One other question about Dr. Con-
nee thai existed'don. When he left Los Alamos and
tr l,n .'assumed this other relationship at Ber-
ollicers wll" kelcy, did he have anv responsibility for
lministrativc 0r personnel at either place?
to enable the s" A. He didn't leave directly for Berke-
ience—Condon jley. He was relieved from the project
ill eel thai up- 'and went back to the Westinghouse Co.
rr when he «""'' was 'aU'r that he was picked up to go
In't do what 1 *to Berkeley because we wanted to take
rk 1 nii"ht add'f man that would not hurt the project
lat the work he'"1 any way. As to his responsibilities
celcv was se!nle'', or personnel at Los Alamos, that was
a of his capabil''?ne of his big responsibilities, to assist
rst-rate physicist''" recruiting personnel. The idea was
■If ,. , n0t I'hat Dr. Condon, in my concept—and I
h ■ of the ' Ve ^r' ^PPenheimer carried out
<r''l lS1 We tho'Vat roncePt completely insofar as he
'" i° "n IS it m1'''1 tnal il was possible to carry it out,
' t 'allow this Sb(>cause we both found out pretty soon
j a (;that Condon was not competent—Oppen-
Jheimer was to think the scientific prob-
"yiSjlems and to establish the schedule of
and technical work. Condon
^j|was to run everything connected with
procurement of personnel, the oper-
"" were, I";1''1""'scientific
ing about it.
ing on lhat ""(the
mors. By doin8^lion of ^ onne, ^ relatio„s
' lha »'«■ "' 'it.with the military, and all lhat. The mili-
should neglect ^ty ^ ^ ^ ^ houspk ; s> ,
at Berkeley on i^ Condon fai|e(, in tha( 0ppenheimer
raveling ha"- ajstarted to move into the personnel thing.
' l"l V K -'°UrSe' 0l'Penheimer still had at the
"oil b('K'nning to get the senior personnel,
""'. l,i ''"'Wing up and getting all the ar-
■e going to I itt» rangoments was supposed to be Con-
lily convenieiic vdon's responsibility
Pittsburgh beca" Q. When he left,'he had no responsibil-
to Berkeley o^y?
n of course U"
in our op
That is right . . . both Dr. Oppen-
10 Aeimer and myself . . . had the utmost
mil exp"f|^aste ,or °r. Condon. There was the
w.|lfiJuliiiost cooperation in getting this thing
(on a plane where you might say we had
knowing about Tf-Corictc-n on the record in a way that
"'I ""' allout fence ,TTl ti '° hJaVe " d'SC\°*i
•ts told me th»l " e,—that "e had not done a good job
c eh?*"'' there,
ations. So we o>,
JFACTS FORUM NEWS, January, 1955
Q. My next question involves a considerable change of pace, General.
A. That is all right, sir.
Q. Do you think that the Russian
effort to develop this kind of weapon
has in any way, as you look back on
history, been accelerated by any information they may have gotten one way or
another from our own people?
A. Oh, yes. There is no question. If
I can go into that a little bit, first they
got information as to our interest essentially through espionage at Berkeley.
These are all conclusions. You can't
prove them, of course.
Q. I understand.
A. They got the thought that we
were interested there. They certainly
had gotten before he ever came to the
country — they must have gotten information from Fuchs that Britain was
interested in this affair and that we
were, too. because up until the time I
came into control, there was a complete
interchange of scientific information between Britain and America on this. If
the British didn't know everything we
were doing, it is because they were stupid, and they were not on the job. I
don't think they did, but they knew
most of it.
The next disclosure outside of that
particular thing is that whatever Fuchs
passed during the war, and I don't
think he passed too much until near the
end, they undoubtedly knew certain
things—they had good espionage—and
they knew a lot of things that were going on.
There was a great deal of loose talk
... by scientific people, as I say, breaking down my compartmentalization
Of course, I always knew that if you
have this many people on a project, that
somebody is going to be faithless and
somebody is going to betray you, and
that is why we had compartmentalization.
Then after the war when the May
case broke in Canada, that of course was
pure luck, what May had done. Apparently May gave to the Russians a sample of U-233 and a sample of something
else. I think it was plutonium. I don't
recall now. But the U-233 was all-important because that indicated to the
Russians that we were interested in
thorium, which could only be produced
lhat way. The result of that was most
Then the next thing that happened
was—I didn't know this until later
apparently there was a diary kept up
there with certain names in it. I have
never been able to get the trulb of lhat.
because people who were involved have
clammed up. They were not people who
were friendly to me in the main, anyway. They were not people who would
disclose matters to me. But I believe
there was a diary. I believe Fuchs' name
was in that diary, a list of acquaintances or addresses, that was in the
hands of somebody in that Canadian
ring. I have always thought it was
Fuchs. It has been told it was somebody
else. Fuchs' name was in that. That list
was supposedly disclosed to people in
the I nited States, not in the project,
but outside of the project, and the list
was never shown to me, the one man
who should have had it shown to him
by all means.
There were attempts on the part of
our government to keep me from knowing about this Canadian affair.
As I say, it was repeated and they
knew what the story was. and yet they
brought Fuchs over. Unfortunately
Fuchs was in the delegation of British
who came and discussed with us the
gaseous diffusion process which was the
one process we had that we really took
our hair down and told them all about
because the feeling was thai they had
initiated that process and they could be
There was also a very strong element,
I would say 98 to 99 per cent of the
scientific personnel on tin- project, who
considered the gas diffusion process a
mistake, including the people who were
actually responsible for the development. Dr. Urey, who was the head, violently opposed it. He said il couldn't
possibly work. So it was not unreasonable to let the British look al it.
Of course, as you know and is well
known, I was not responsible for our
close cooperation with the British. 1
did everything to hold back on it. I
would say perfectly frankly I did the
things that I have sort of maybe by
implication blamed on my scientists for
doing. I did not carry out the wishes of
our governmcnl with respect to cooperation with the British because I was
leaning over backwards.
That information that Fuchs gave
was all important. The mistake that was
made at Los Alamos in breaking down
compartmentalization was vital to Fuchs,
because Fuchs later went to Los Alamos, it was vital to Fuchs, and the information he passed to the Russians.
But in doing that. I think it is important to realize this with respect to
Fuchs. If we had limited it to a small
group, say just the top people, Fuchs
might still have been in that group.
Fuchs would also have worked on the
hydrogen bomb as one of the subordinates, and would have passed that
With the British not being completely
under my control, I think it would have
been passed on by the British group to
Fuchs. whether we had the compartmentalization strictly observed there or
not. But irrespective of that, I feel that
was one of the disadvantages of the
breakdown of compartmentalization.