dinsdag 16 september 2014

Henry Stimson -- 17 september 1945

Henry Stimson (1887-1950) was een Amerikaanse politicus en minister van Oorlog in 1911-1913 en in 1940-1945. In de tijd dat iedereen enkel oog had voor de oorlogsdoeleinden van atoomenergie, voorzag hij dat deze een grote invloed op de wereld zou krijgen. Fragmenten uit zijn dagboeken over de jaren 1944 en 1945 staan hier online.

Sept. 17, 1945
"...this morning I called in [Under Sec. of War] Bob Patterson [who replaced Stimson as Sec. of War when Stimson retired on Sept. 21] who has recently been reported to me as being rather against the position that I have taken in regard to the solving of the problem with Russia over the atomic bomb and which I had been talking with the President about, and I had a long talk with him. I told him how my view had been gradually formed; how in the beginning I was inclined to think that we ought to hang onto the bomb as long as possible and its secrets; but that gradually I had found that I was wrong and that that would be by far the more dangerous course than to make an effort with Russia particularly to get on terms with us of confidence in which we would eliminate the manufacture of such bombs for war purposes - eliminate the development of the atomic energy of the explosive kind, and confine ourselves to its use and the development of its more controllable smaller powers for commerce. He listened to me and thanked me and asked a few questions and then in his simple, straightforward way he said 'Well, you have convinced me. I find I was wrong and I think you are right. The safest way is not to try to keep the secret. It evidently cannot be kept. I did not realize that beforehand and that being so it is better to recognize it promptly and try to get on terms of confidence with the Russians'."

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