Department of State Atomic Energy Files

The Executive Director of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy (Borden) to Mr. R. Gordon Arneson, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State (Webb)

Dear Gordon: As per our telephone conversation of today, I am writing at the request of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy—to [Page 572] ask that you remind the Secretary of State of the agreement existing between the Executive Branch and the Joint Committee in regard to atomic energy relations with Britain and Canada.

I believe we all understand that agreement to have been defined in a press release issued by Senator McMahon on July 27, 1949.1 I attach a copy of the release and incorporate it in this letter by reference. Unless you advise me to the contrary in the near future, I will assume that you have had opportunity to remind the Secretary of the agreement in question—even though, as you indicated over the telephone, he has been and is very much aware of it.

Many thanks for helping me carry out this specific request by the Joint Committee.

Sincerely yours,

  1. On July 27, 1949, Secretary Acheson, Secretary of Defense Johnson, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Lilienthal and other representatives of the Executive Branch met with the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy to discuss projected exploratory conversations with Britain and Canada with respect to expanded tripartite cooperation in atomic energy. For the record of that meeting, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. i, p. 503. Later on July 27, Brien McMahon of Connecticut, Chairman of the Joint Committee, issued a brief press release which concluded as follows: “As had been explained to the Committee previously, no agreement would be concluded and no change whatsoever in existing arrangements would be made until the results of the talks had been made known to and discussed with the Joint Committee. At that time it could be determined what Congressional action is needed.” (Department of State Atomic Energy Files)