Department of State Atomic Energy Files

Statement by President Truman at a Meeting at Blair House, Washington, July 14, 1949, 8:15 p. m.1

top secret

Gentlemen: I am talking with you tonight on one of the most serious subjects with which this nation has to deal. As you know we have made every effort to obtain international control of atomic energy. We have failed to get that control—due to the stubborness and inferiority [sic] contrariness of the Soviets. I am of the opinion we’ll never obtain international control. Since we can’t obtain international control we must be strongest in atomic weapons.

During the war we were in partnership with Great Britain and Canada. By our united effort we produced our first bombs; produced them faster than we otherwise would have been able to do. Out of that [Page 482]wartime partnership cooperation has continued in certain measures between the three of us. Common efforts to secure raw materials and to exchange information were included in that cooperation. Present arrangements expire December 31 this year. We must make new arrangements with Britain and Canada after that for the best interests of our common defense.

This is a complicated and technical problem. We’ve spent a lot of time and study trying to find the best solution. I have gone into it and am fully advised on the thinking developed. I am in agreement with the solution which will presently be presented to you.

I think you gentlemen will agree with us. At least I hope you will.

It is a problem we must work out together. We must examine the problem calmly and wisely. This discussion must be kept within this group strictly. That is absolutely necessary. The Sec. of State will now take up the discussion.

  1. The source text consists of a draft on White House stationery in the President’s handwriting.