Policy Planning Staff Files1

The President to the Secretary of State

top secret

My Dear Mr. Secretary: After consideration of the report by the Special Committee of the National Security Council consisting of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, designated to advise me on the problem of the development of a thermonuclear weapon,2 I hereby direct the [Page 142] Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense to undertake a reexamination of our objectives in peace and war and of the effect of these objectives on our strategic plans, in the light of the probable fission bomb capability and possible thermonuclear bomb capability of the Soviet Union.

I have also decided to indicate publicly the intention of this Government to continue work to determine the feasibility of a thermonuclear weapon,3 and I hereby direct that no further official information be made public on it without my approval.

I am sending an identical letter to the Secretary of Defense, and a copy of both letters to the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission for the information of the Commission.

Sincerely yours,

Harry Truman
  1. Lot 64D563, files of the Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State 1947–1953.
  2. For the report, January 31, and other documentation on the question of developing the hydrogen bomb, see pp. 493 ff.
  3. For text of the President’s announcement, January 31, see footnote 1, p. 513.