Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council ( Lay )
The attached questions and answers relating to the President’s announcement of January 31, regarding work on the so-called hydrogen bomb, have been prepared by the Department of State with the assistance of the Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission.
This material is not intended for publication or attribution. It is intended solely for the background and guidance of principal Departmental officers and of our Missions abroad. The answers set the limit within which comment may be made in response to questions. The officers concerned would be instructed that no further comment is to be made without specific authorization of the President. The [Page 525] Department believes that this background information is necessary in order to establish the limits of comment and to channel otherwise uncontrolled public discussion at home and abroad along lines most favorable to the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives.
The Atomic Energy Commission has concurred informally in the questions and answers, and in the view that they should be made available as described above.
The Department of Defense considers that any further information beyond that contained in the President’s announcement of January 31 would serve no useful purpose at this time. It agrees, however, that if a decision is made that it is necessary to provide background information, these questions and answers are satisfactory.
This material is submitted for the President’s approval in accordance with the third paragraph of his decision of January 31 regarding work on the hydrogen bomb.2
- Lot 64D563, files of the Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State, 1947–1953.↩
- During a conversation with Secretary Acheson on February 16, President Truman indicated that he did not wish the questions and answers to circulate (memorandum of conversation by Acheson, February 16, 1950, Policy Planning Staff Files).↩