Shall we keep it….? Shall we reveal it? Now that we, the U.S., Great Britain and Canada, have the secret of the Atomic Bomb, know of its great destructive power, know too that within a few years other countries will discover the formula, and having in mind the objective to keep the Atomic Bomb from being used in sudden destruction – what is best now to keep or to reveal the secret?
Our President favors secrecy. A leading atomic research scientist answered “I’m afraid so” to the question of the possibility of having one atomic raid wipe out 40 million of the U. S. population. Probably a good reason, therefore, to keep it a secret and also to keep ahead or maintain real leadership in the development and production of the product, and at the same time prepare for proper methods of defense against the bomb; then in this position the U. S. will have the leadership that will cause a nation to think twice before using it. Furthermore, this is surely not the time to reveal such a secret. It goes without saying that there is suspicion, strife, and bitterness among the nations today. To release atomic information would put us in danger at once. We at least should wait for a more propitious time, or wait for a so-called cooling off period.
President Truman advocates the policy of U. S. leadership. Evidently he figures there is safety thru strength and the manifestation thereof, for an all powerful U. S. would check an aggressor. In keeping with this policy the President has recently asked for compulsory military training for all youth which means there will be a display of militaristic strength and other preparedness including scientific leadership in modern warfare. This seems to be his formula to keep the world at peace. The old saying of might makes right is switched to might will stop the fight. Hence, the longer we keep the bomb secret, the better informing the power we want to display and the more time we will have to prepare a counter defense for the weapon. Power and more power is our answer to peace.
The question of giving the information to the United Nations, the “league of nations” formulated by the Frisco conference, and to let them control the use of the Bomb is brought up time and again. Would it be wise to give the control to the Big Five where one vote will check the rule of the majority? Would it be wise to give to an imperfect organization the power over life and death? Can we take the risk to rely on this imperfect and as yet untried organization? The answer of course is negative.
On the other hand, the revelation of the bomb would give the U.S. an international stamp. We entered this war not for territory or gain but to rid the world of tyrants; let us now manifest that we really are peace-loving, and the best way is to reveal the secret formula. That would create the proper good will among nations. If we kept it, other nations will gather or come to a conclusion that we use it for our own purpose. This would create fear. Then too, it is true that nations will get the formula sooner or later, if they haven’t it already. It has been said that it is only the manufacturing difficulty that remains in the production of the bombs. Thus, American leadership is only temporary. Hence, reveal it.
President Truman recently informed an inquirer that a race is already on in the development and production of the bomb. The revelation of the secret now would put an end to that race which everyone knows will bring disaster in the end. And remember, in this race it is not an all out industrial cooperation that is necessary, but rather it means a science room and a few scientists. Secret competition between nations is dangerous.
Leadership of the U.S. in the development and counter defense of the Atomic Bomb, the suspicion and rivalry among the nations today, a lack of a strong organization to control the power cooperatively, and the basic reason that there is safety in the manifestation of strength are the leading arguments for keeping the secret: a display of international good will and cooperation, the fact that our secrecy will only be temporary, plus the truth that it would prevent a secret competitive race in the development and production of the Bomb are the arguments raised for revealing the secret.