Editorial Note

On February 17 President Eisenhower submitted a “Special Message to the Congress Recommending Amendments to the Atomic Energy Act” of 1946. During the course of his message, which covered both the foreign and domestic aspects of atomic energy, the President urged “that authority be provided to exchange with nations participating in defensive arrangements with the United States such tactical information as is essential to the development of defense plans and to the training of personnel for atomic warfare. Amendments to the definition of ‘restricted data’ recommended [Page 1361] later in this message will also contribute to needed administrative flexibility in the exchange of information with such nations concerning the use of atomic weapons.” The President added that “In the development of peaceful uses for atomic energy, additional amendments are required for effective United States cooperation with friendly nations. Such cooperation requires the exchange of certain ‘restricted data’ on the industrial applications of atomic energy and also the release of fissionable materials in amounts adequate for industrial and research use. I therefore recommend that the Atomic Energy Act be amended to authorize such cooperation.” In closing that section of his message dealing with international cooperation, the President stressed that “These recommendations are apart from my proposal to seek a new basis for international cooperation in the field of atomic energy as outlined in my address before the General Assembly of the United Nations last December.” (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954, pages 260–269)

Documentation on the background of the President’s message is in the Eisenhower Library, White House Central files, Confidential file, “Atomic Energy”. Of particular interest is a letter from Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, to President Eisenhower, November 18, 1953, transmitting a statement on proposed changes in the Atomic Energy Act.