G/PM files, lot 68 D 349
The Chairman of the Science
Advisory Committee (Buckley) to the President
My Dear Mr. President: On the occasion of a recent visit to this country, Sir Henry Tizard, Chairman of the Defense Research Policy Committee of the United Kingdom, informed me of representations to be made by Mr. Churchill on his forthcoming visit, which I feel should be brought to your attention.
There is an existing agreement with Great Britain and Canada providing for the full exchange of technical information in matters of defense research and development, with the exception of atomic energy and a few other special subjects. The British have been critical of the effectiveness of the present implementation of this [Page 707] agreement at the operating level, and Mr. Churchill is expected to urge a modification of current practices in the exchange of technical information.
Sir Henry Tizard also informed me that Mr. Churchill will ask for a closer relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom and Canada in the field of atomic energy.
Mr. Churchill’s advisers may be expected to have well defined proposals. You may wish to take steps to define the U.S. position in these matters in anticipation of his arrival.
In transmitting this information to you, I take the opportunity of expressing the views of the Science Advisory Committee on the exchange of technical information with our allies which are amplified in the attached memorandum. The Committee feels that there is a great reservoir of technical resources, not only in Great Britain and Canada, but also in the NATO nations, which is not, but ought to be, fully utilized and is urgently needed for our own national security and for the defense of Europe. In any joint undertaking such as NATO, common effort and the cooperation of all groups is an essential to success, but basic to cooperation is free interchange of information. This is especially true in scientific research and development. Our allies need our help, but equally we need theirs.
The Committee believes that steps should be taken to explore the practical limitations that now are being applied to exchange of technical information with Great Britain and Canada and to seek means for better implementation of existing policies. We feel, however, that before concluding any definite changes in the arrangements with the United Kingdom and Canada there is need at least to consider the nature of possible arrangements with the other NATO countries.
In view of the short time which may elapse before these questions come up, my suggestion is that an ad hoc committee, consisting of a representative from the Department of Defense, a representative from the Atomic Energy Commission, a representative from the Department of State, and possibly also someone from outside these departments who has experience in these matters, be appointed to carry on discussions with Mr. Churchill’s representatives and to formulate appropriate recommendations for your consideration. Members of the Science Advisory Committee could be of considerable help to such a committee.