31. Letter From the Representative at the United Nations (Lodge) to the Secretary of State1

Dear Foster: At a talk last Thursday2 with the President, he pointed out—in discussing the question of appearing in San Francisco—that he did not feel he could make such an appearance without having something substantial to say. Herewith is a suggestion for a statement by him which I believe would be substantial:

“I am instructing the United States Representative to the United Nations to introduce a resolution on behalf of the United States at the next meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations in September [Page 89] to provide for a coordination of all national studies on the subject of the biological effects of atomic radiation.”3

A moving argument can be made for this based on the worldwide apprehension concerning the harmful effects of atomic radiation and the need to get at the facts right away. National studies are much more effective and much more rapid than the highly theoretical international study which has been talked of.

By way of background, let me say that the Atomic Energy Commission has been very much opposed to any kind of international activity in this connection. At a meeting last Thursday morning with Dr. Libby and Admiral FOSTER of the Atomic Energy Commission, we reached substantial agreement on a coordination of national studies, as contrasted with a study by an international body, such as the U.N. I expect we can settle this at a meeting which you and I are having with Admiral Strauss on Friday, the 20th.4 The idea is well on the way to being cleared by the affected officials in Washington.

In addition to having real appeal in itself, it has the great merit of “stealing a march” on the communists and neutralists who give every indication of intending to put in a resolution for an international study, thereby putting us in a most embarrassing position. It is important for the United States to “beat them to the punch.”

It seems to me that:

this is a fine thing in and of itself; it is a fine thing because of the communist and neutralist activity which it would forestall;

and it would be a fine thing for the President to discuss in public.

Faithfully yours,

Cabot L.
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers. Personal; Secret.
  2. May 12.
  3. Eisenhower did not mention the subject of atomic radiation in his speech at the 10th anniversary meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco on June 20. For text of his address, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1955, pp. 605–611.
  4. See infra.