283. Memorandum of a Conference, White House, Washington, August 9, 19571

Morning Conference on August 9, 1957.


  • The President, John Eisenhower, J.F. Dulles, Gerard Smith, and Robert Cutler

1. The proposal of the AEC for (Hardtack)2 the 1958 test series in the Pacific extending over four months embracing 25–26 shots and requesting authority to use an additional amount of fissionable material over that originally indicated was discussed.

These points were made:

Why was it necessary to have so many shots? Could the series not be limited to not over twelve or so?
The danger is that these tests will continue for a longer and longer period of time and use more and more fissionable material.
The difficulty in appearing honest before the world while carrying on such long drawn-out tests.
The President indicated strongly that he would like to curtail the length of the testing period and the number of test shots, and directed that Admiral Strauss, Mr. Smith, and I come back at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon for a discussion of this matter.

Afternoon Conference on August 9, 1957.


  • The President, John Eisenhower, J.F. Dulles, Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, Gerard Smith and Robert Cutler
The President approved the proposal for the test program Hardtack in 1958 with 25 test shots and a four-month test period, but urged Admiral Strauss to try to fire the test shots in a shorter period.
The President directed that the news about the approval of Hardtack and the inclusion therein of the large clean bomb test be not made public until the form of announcement was agreed on among State, Defense and AEC.
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Sp. Asst. for Nat. Sec. Affairs Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Cutler. Copies were given to James Lay, Major Eisenhower, and Gerard Smith.
  2. The name eventually given to the nuclear test series at the Bikini and Enewetok Atolls, April 28–August 18, 1958, was Operation Hardtack I.