Full Citation

  • Title Office of Scientific Research and Development director Vannevar Bush updates President Franklin D. Roosevelt on progress in technical research on the effectiveness of uranium bombs
  • Imprint [United States: White House, 1942]
  • Collection U.S. Declassified Documents Online 2018
  • Pages 3
  • Language English
  • Document Type Letter
  • Source Library White House
ThO3 C-LAP STREET N acc 9t 19 e2. Bf kTTHeTPresiJentE___e____ ai1non D.- C I ~9 OFFICE FOR FMERXENCY MANACEMENVT OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 530 P STMEET NW. WASHINGTON, D. C. YA?MEVAR BUSH March 9, 1942. The President, The White House, Z 2O-YC Washington, D.C.- Dear Mr. President: On October 9, 1941, Mr. Wallace and I pre- sented to you the status of research in this coun- try and Great Britain on a possible powerful explo- sive. In accordance with your instructions, I have since expedited this work in every way possible. I now attach a brief summary report of the status of the matter. Considerations of general policy and of inter- national relations have been limited for the present to a group consisting of Mr. Wallace, Secretary Stimson, General Marshall, Dr. Conant, and myself. Mr. Wallace called a conference of this group, to which he,invited also Mr. Harold D. Smith as the mat- ter or funds was there considered. The technical aspects are in the hands of a group of notable physicists, chenists, and engineers, as noted in the report. The corresponding British organization is also indicated. The work is under way at full speed. Recent developments indicate, briefly, that the subject is more important than I believed when I last spoke to you about it. The stuff will ap- parently be more powerful than we then thought, the amount necessary appears to be less, the possibili- ties of actual production appear more certain. The way to full accomplishment is still exceedingly dif- ficult, and the time schedule on this remains un- changed. We may be engaged in a race toward reali- zation; but, if so, I have no indioation of the status of the enemy program, and have taken no defi- nite steps toward finding out. -DC ?3 qA -HPS 'ED B, i H C - kLii ;zC f? _ - -2- The subject is rapidly approaching the pilot plant stage. I believe that, by next summer, the most promising methods can be selected,. and produc- tion plants started. At that time I believe the whole matter should be turned over to the 'Nar De- partment. You returned to me the previous reports, in order that I might hold them subject to your call. I shall be glad to guard this report also if you wish. Respeotfully yours, V.Bush, Director. NAS DECUtSVIED - HS DECLASSMED THE WHITE HOUSE WASHNOTON March 11, 1942. MEMORANDUM FOR DR. VANNEVAR BUSH: I am greatly interested in your report of March ninth and I am returning it herewith for your confidential file. I think the whole thing should be Al 3x ul not only in regard to development, but also with due regard to time. This is very much of the essence. I have no objection to turn- ing over future progress to the War Depart- ment on condition that you yourself are certain that the 'ar Department has made all adequate provision for absolute secrecy. F.D.R.