« PreviousContinue »
JOINT COMMITTEE ON ATOMIC ENERGY
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
IN EXECUTIVE SESSION
APRIL 18, 1950
Printed for the use of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy
RICHARD B. RUSSELL, Georgia CHET HOLIFIELD, California
The joint committee met, pursuant to call, at 11:30 a.m., in room
ford, where our construction work is now going on; the other one, the
H-bomb program, which is a more recent one.
and approximately the same recommendation for the transportation system at Oak Ridge. Also the committee is aware that these towns were set up as auxiliaries to the laboratories and production facilities, and they are still obviously auxiliary plant facilities in the sense that if the plants or laboratories were not there, the towns would not exist. Almost as obviously, if the towns were bad towns, it would be another deterrent to the quality of the people we need to come to live in them. We feeel that to live with either the recommendation of the House Appropriations Committee or the recommendation which I understand is being considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee, would throw these community affairs into such a state of confusion at just the wrong moment that it might very well be the greatest deterrent to getting on with the H-bomb program that we have to contend with. - We realize that we have been open to criticism, we have criticized ourselves, your committee has criticized us, both appropriations committees have criticized us for somewhat different things, and there is not much use of our going over back history. The fact is that, looking ahead, if we are forced into a major changeover in community operations in the next several months, looking, I am afraid, almost surely to direct Government operation, with its attendant waste, and I think almost obvious waste of Government money, we are going to be in real trouble. We take this very seriously. We have been attempting for a long while to work toward better communities, both from the point of view of economy and from the point of view of communities that make sense, as closely as possible to normal American communities. We have not gone along fast enough to suit you. We have a lot of outside help and advice. But we are inclined to think now that we ought not to have this thing shoved at us at this time. We are not doing this to ask for just time alone. We do think that very possibly if we can have an objective, disinterested survey made by a panel or group of people who would be above any suspicion of having interests in the situation, a group that would be satisfactory to you, do a job of coming up with a report we could all take seriously and study, it might give us an indicated course of action and that it would probably be very helpful. We have thought about this for some time. We had thought at . first perhaps that it might be the sort of thing that the committee should do to avoid its being accused of self-interest or self-service. It looks as though perhaps that would not be too practical. You. would know more about that than we would. Our recommendation is now, one, that this committee, through its membership, really try to convey to the Appropriations Committee the seriousness of this situation in its effect on the two really closeto-the-impossible jobs we are trying to do. Mr. DURHAM. Did you do that at the time you were having the hearing on the House side? Mr. PIKE. Yes, sir. We did not put up this particular problem. This occurred to us later. In the Senate we thought we had explained very clearly the close relationship of these communities to the actual management of these two very large jobs, but apparently we failed again. I do not think it was for want of trying.