The United States Representative at the United Nations (Lodge) to the Secretary of State


Dear Foster: Before going off to Africa with the United Nations Visiting Mission, Mason Sears brought to my attention the vita Importance [Page 1524] which he attaches to the United States’ carrying out promises made, in both public and private, to the Marshall Islanders in connection with our atomic experiments. Attached is a letter from him on this matter, expressing views with which I heartly concur.1

It seems to me that we cannot hope to carry out an effective program in the United Nations, and especially in the Assembly this coming Fall, if the United States is so vulnerable to charges not just from the Soviets and their crew, but from the Indians and similar neutralists, that our promises to compensate the Marshallese and to arrange to protect them from future dangers springing from atomic experiments are so much sound and fury signifying nothing.

Attacks of the kind the Soviets and Indians will make must be met head-on, and with as convincing a record as is possible. Now that so much time has elapsed since our promises were made, restoring the record to a balance favorable to us will not be easy. However I am convinced that an active program by the State Department pursued with the other agencies of the Government could give the tangible results needed to honor our commitments.

Faithfully yours,

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
  1. Not attached to source text; refers apparently to the Sears letter of July 23, 1954, p. 1513.