Atomic Energy Files, Lot 57 D 688

The United States Atomic Energy Commission to the Secretary of State


Dear Mr. Acheson: We have noted the current discussions which may result in the United States providing the Government of India with a substantial quantity of wheat.1 We also recognize the humanitarian objectives of the proposed transaction.

The Commission is engaged in an expanded program which will draw drastically on our existing supply of raw materials. India has two raw materials of vital interest to the Commission, namely, monazite and beryl, which have been under embargo since 1947. Recently, arrangements have been made to secure small quantities of beryl, but monazite, which contains thorium, is still under embargo.

We feel that you should be aware of our concern over the inability of the United States to procure these two important raw materials and also that both beryl and thorium are required for the expanded program of the Atomic Energy Commission.

The Commission has noted also that the Government of India recently announced the discovery of uranium. We have asked your staff to ascertain the facts on this announcement through the American Embassy at New Dellhi in order that we might evaluate the significance of this report.

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We write this letter in order that you will have before you the Commission’s interest in beryl and thorium, as well as our continuing interest in uranium, when you engage in discussions with the Government of India. It is our hope that equitable arrangements could be arrived at now or in the near future which would secure monazite and larger quantities of beryl for the United States, and uranium if it becomes available, and in doing so, assist in providing the Commission with those crucial raw materials necessary for its program.

Sincerely yours,

United States Atomic Energy Commission
Gordon Dean
, Chairman
  1. For documentation on this subject, see vol. vi, Part 2, pp. 2085 ff.