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SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION BILL, 1952
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri, Chairman JOHN H, KERR, North Carolina
JOHN TABER, New York GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas
RICHARD B. WIGGLESWORTH, Massachusetts HARRY R. SHEPPARD, California
KARL STEFAN, Nebraska ALBERT THOMAS, Texas
BEN F. JENSEN, Iowa MICHAEL J. KIRWAN, Ohio
H. CARL ANDERSEN, Minnesota W. F. NORRELL, Arkansas
WALT HORAN, Washington ALBERT GORE, Tennessee
GORDON CANFIELD, New Jersey JAMIE L. WHITTEN, Mississippi
IVOR D. FENTON, Pennsylvania GEORGE W. ANDREWS, Alabama
LOWELL STOCKMAN, Oregon JOHN J. ROONEY, New York
JOHN PHILLIPS, California J. VAUGHAN GARY, Virginia
ERRETT P. SCRIVNER, Kansas JOE B. BATES, Kentucky
FREDERIC R. COUDERT, JR., New York JOHN E. FOGARTY, Rhode Island
CLIFF CLEVENGER, Ohio HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington
EARL WILSON, Indiana ROBERT L. F. SIKES, Florida
NORRIS COTTON, New Hampshire ANTONIO M. FERNANDEZ, New Mexico GLENN R. DAVIS, Wisconsin WILLIAM G. STIGLER, Oklahoma
BENJAMIN F. JAMES, Pennsylvania E. H. HEDRICK, West Virginia
GERALD R. FORD, JR., Michigan PRINCE H. PRESTON, JR., Georgia
FRED E. BUSBEY, Illinois
GEORGE B. SCHWABE, Oklahoma
GEORGE Y. HARVEY, Clerk
ALBERT THOMAS, Texas, Chairman
JOHN PHILLIPS, California
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1951..
ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION
Mr. GORE. The committee will come to order.
The committee is pleased to have before it Mr. Gordon Dean,
Lindsley H. Noble, Controller; and F. J. McCarthy, Jr., Deputy Director for Budgets. You are appearing in connection with a supplemental estimate for $484,240,000, which is contained in House Document No. 238. Mr. Dean, did you arrive this morning by way of atomic air force, or submarine? Mr. DEAN. We did not come up in any fantastic new weapon of the future.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN ATOMIC ENERGY
Mr. GoRE. Well, this committee is charged with the very menial task, unglamorous task, of deciding how many of the taxpayers’ dollars shall be spent upon this program. We have been reading a very great deal of information recently which is not quite com— mensurate with the information which this committee has heretofore received. Would you like to put the committee in focus on such related and unrelated matters?
Mr. DFAN. So many things have appeared in the papers in the course of the last 2 or 3 weeks that I think we would have to take them piece by piece.
Mr. GoRE. We will be glad to have that.
Mr. DEAN. A good many of these stories you have read—for example, the fact that the Army has a guided missile of great interest to them, and pictures of that appeared in the paper—that is an Army release, of course—and the Air Force have a similar one which came out about 2 days later, and about 3 days later, I think it was, the Navy release came along which said they had one in the making or on the drawing board which was better than both the Army and Air Force missiles—of course, none of those stories came out of our Commission. They have had to do with the development of guided missiles and rockets by the three services. Mr. GoRE. It would indicate that, instead of unification, we still have a lot of interservice competition for publicity as well as appropriation of funds. I do not expect you to comment on that.
Mr. DEAN. I will say for the guided missile program, that it has had considerable coordination during the course of the last year under the guidance of K. T. Keller, who was brought in by the Secretary of Defense to assign priorities to the various rockets that are on the drawing boards, of which there are many, and guided missiles. I think that is in better shape than it was, certainly, a year ago. In other words, certain of them look promising, and they are concentrating on those. Others have been wiped out. So I think they have made some real progress in that field.
HYDRO GEN BOMB DEVELOPMENT
Mr. GoRE. How near are you to making a hydrogen bomb? Dr. DEAN. I guess this had better be off the record. Mr. GoRE. It is quite all right for it to be off the record, but all of this mystic gazing into the crystal ball leaves the public under an erroneous impression. Mr. DEAN. It certainly does. And we are not comfortable about that, either. One of the difficulties is that every time you correct what seems to be an erroneous impression the public has, in order to do it adequately and put the thing in balance, you give away very sensitive information. This is the difficulty that faces us all the time.
I would be happy to tell you, but I think this really should be off the record.
Mr. GoRE. Go off the record.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. GoRE. It is not correct, then, nor has it ever been correct to describe the Savannah plant, for which you seek supplemental appropriations here, as a hydrogen bomb plant?
Mr. DEAN. That is not a correct name for the Savannah River plant. It should be called a reactor facility, which can produce materials for either fission weapons or fusion weapons.
(Discussion off the record.)
TACTICAL USE OF ATOMIC WEAPONS
Mr. ANDREws. Can an A-bomb be used as a tactical weapon at the battlefront for the purpose of doing damage to our enemies without doing damage to our troops? Mr. DEAN. Yes, definitely. It would depend, of course, on the deployment of our own troops in relation to those of the enemy. But given the right situation, and a target of opportunity, we could use an atomic bomb today in a tactical way against enemy troops in the field, military concentrations near combat areas and other vital military targets without risk to our own troops. And, as time passes, we are steadily increasing—through our technological and production progress—the number of situations in which atomic weapons can be effectively—and to our own troops, safely—employed in battle areas. The main difficulty with the revolution that is now taking place in our atomic weapons program is that most of us have not yet had a similar revolution in our thinking about atomic weapons. We still think of them in terms of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We think of the great mushroom-shaped clouds and the devastation that lay below them. We think of them as weapons to be used against cities or large areas, and we don't think of them for use in a battle zone against troops. But all this is changing. The specter of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should not hang over the tactical use of atomic weapons in the field. What we are working toward here is a situation where we will have atomic weapons in almost as complete a variety as we do conventional ones, and a situation where we can use them in the same way. This would include artillery, shells, guided missiles, torpedoes, rockets, and bombs for ground-support aircraft among others, and it would include big ones for big situations and little ones— and this is important—for little situations. This is the area we are moving into, and, as we move into it, we are naturally also moving into a period in which atomic weapons are ecoming vastly more interesting to the Army, Navy, and tactical Air Force units than they have been previously, while the interest of the strategic air units is remaining at its past level. Today, the armed services are faced as never before with the problem of integrating atomic weapons into all military combat operations. The time, in my judgment, is already here when the effect of these new weapons on military planning is of the utmost importance and this is influencing