Atomic Energy Files, Lot 57 D 688

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. J. Bruce Hamilton of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State (Arneson)


Subject: Control of Atomic Energy in Germany.

Participants: From AEC—Mr. John A. Hall
Mr. Lyall Johnson1
Mr. John Roberson2
Mr. Ronald Spiers
Mr. James G. Beckerley
Dr. Paul Fine3
From GER—Mr. Geoffrey Lewis4
Mr. William K. Miller
Mr. J. Hay
From U/SA—Dr. J. B. Koepfli5
From S/AE—Mr. Arneson
Mr. Chase
Mr. Hamilton

Mr. Arneson said that although the Atomic Energy Commission had some time ago been asked to give consideration from a technical point of view to the problem of future control of atomic energy activity in Germany, the Commission Staff had found difficulty in progressing with this study because of a need for general political guidance as to the degree of control generally expected to be available in Germany in the future and the methods of implementing or enforcing these controls.6 He added that a recent telegram from Germany (Frankfort No. 8728, April 28)7 raising this problem along with similar problems in other fields, gave some urgency to the matter.

Mr. Lewis reviewed briefly the general policy on Germany, pointing out that although full sovereignty at an early date might be desirable, as a practical matter, because of the Soviet Zone of occupation in Germany, something less than full sovereignty seemed the only thing possible and he added that present thinking was in terms of a series of contractual relationships with Western Germany. He said that the general procedure here was to have American authorities in Germany prepare preliminary studies on each of the major fields in which a [Page 721] contractual relationship might be worked out, and submit these papers to the Department for review.8 The Department, in consultation where appropriate with other agencies, would then attempt to work out a U.S. Government position. Generally, Mr. Lewis said such controls as seemed necessary would be available, but he added that it would be desirable to retain only those controls which were really essential.

At the moment, he said no papers covering atomic energy controls had been received, but he felt that it would be in order to ask for these at an early date. It was suggested that when these papers are received, a task group composed of representatives of the AEC, S/AE and others which may have an interest be called together to assist GER in evaluating the paper and working out a position.

Mention was made of the export problem in Germany. Dr. Fine stated that if we could effectively prevent the export of goods and information from Germany to the East, it might be possible satisfactorily to control the level of atomic energy activities by relying on the non-availability of essential equipment and materials. Mr. Lewis stated that while he was aware that the control of exports from Germany was far from perfect, he felt that it was probably on a par with other Western European countries and that the German problem in this respect was in fact a part of the Western European problem.

Specifically, in regard to Frankfort telegram No. 8728 of April 28, it was agreed that action should be transferred from S/AE to GER so that subjects in addition to atomic energy, which are included in this telegram, could be effectively explored, utilizing the resources of the Department of Defense and other appropriate Government agencies.

  1. Chief, Export Control Branch, Division of Production, United States Atomic Energy Commission.
  2. Executive Officer, Division of Research, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
  3. Technical Assistant, Division of Military Application, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
  4. Deputy Director, Bureau of German Affairs.
  5. Science Adviser, Department of State.
  6. For documentation on United States policy with respect to security controls in Germany, see vol. iii, pp. 1701 ff.
  7. Not printed.
  8. For documentation on contractual relations with Germany, see vol. iii, pp. 1446 ff.