The Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy ( McMahon ) to the Secretary of State

top secret

Dear Mr. Secretary: A question has been raised within the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy as to whether or not the United States has made any commitment to any other nation which might serve to delay the employment of U.S. atomic weapons after the President had decided in his own mind that he wished to use them. Specific reference was made to General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s position as Supreme Commander of NATO forces, and the possibility of his status as the agent of an international group bearing upon the immediate execution of a unilateral American decision in the atomic weapons field.

I think I already know the answers to these questions. But for the Joint Committee records, I would be grateful if you could make a statement indicating whether or not any commitment to any other nation might bring about delay in the employment of American atomic weapons beyond the point in time at which, in the absence of the commitment, the President would cause this use.

Thank you indeed for your assistance.

Sincerely yours,

Brien McMahon