Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Truman


Subject: Allocation of Observers and Press Representatives for Atomic Bomb Tests.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff on advice of the Commander, Joint Task Force One, have now established specific allocation of observers and press representatives for the forthcoming atomic bomb tests. The allocations are in accordance with the general plan already presented to you, except that they accord to the Canadian Government the privilege which was proposed for Great Britain—that of sending additional observers. Although the authorization of additional observers to selected nations may and probably will cause adverse comment from foreign nations not favored, it is considered that special treatment of Great Britain and Canada is fully justified. The development of atomic power resulted from a combination of the resources and scientific skill of the United States, Great Britain and Canada, and it is only fitting and proper that our associates be given special consideration.

[Page 1218]

For your information the specific allocation of observers and press representatives is:


U.S. armed services 116
U.S. civilian scientists 30
Members of Congress 60
Foreign nations having membership on UNO Atomic Energy Commission, two per nation 22
Additional British observers 8
Additional Canadian observers 4
Total Observers 240

Press Representatives

U.S. press, radio, newsreels, lecturers, magazine writers:
On board press ship 147
On board other ships of task force 20
On shore at Kwajalein 20
Foreign press, one per nation having membership on UNO Atomic Energy Commission, plus two extra for Great Britain:
On board press ship 13
Total Press 200

The Secretaries of State, War and the Navy have approved the above.35

James F. Byrnes
  1. The following appears in handwriting on the last page of the source text: “March 14, 1946

    Approved with the proviso that an equal number of the members of Congress shall come from the Military Affairs, Naval Affairs and Appropriations Committees of each House.

    This will prevent either service from being favored.

    Harry S. Truman”

    In a circular telegram of May 4, appropriate United States representatives abroad were instructed to issue invitations for the tests; for the text of telegram, see vol. vi, p. 751.