July 18, 1945
Dr. John R. Burchard
OSRD Committee on Publications
1530 P Street NW
Washington, D. C.
Dear Dr. Burchard:
This letter is in answer to your letter to me of July 9, 1945, which relates to the questions raised in my letter of June 8 to Dr. Stewart.
In my letter of June 8 I requested permission for Mr. David Shoemaker to discuss the oxygen meter at a seminar at the Department of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology on July 11, 1945. Permission to do this was refused. Your letter of July 9 suggests that a written manuscript would need to be submitted.
I am not sure that my letter made clear the fact that we were planning to present in the seminar at the California Institute of Technology exactly the material which Dr. Beckman presented in an open meeting of the California Section of the American Chemical Society at Berkeley on June 11, 1945, with the permission of the OSRD. I was not present at this meeting, but I had discussed with Dr. Beckman the question of the topics he had presented there, and had verified that our proposed seminar and Dr. Beckman's lecture at Berkeley cover the same ground. It is very difficult for me to understand why Dr. Beckman should have been given permission to make this open presentation of the subject and we should be refused permission to do the same thing. I wish to point out that it is my opinion that a serous injustice is done to the California Institute of Technology by the OSRD in granting permission to Dr. Beckman to discuss the oxygen meter and refusing permission to us. It was at the California Institute of Technology that the oxygen meter was invented, developed, and for a time manufactured. Only after two years was the manufacturing job turned over to Dr. Beckman.
I shall feel still more strongly about the matter if the OSRD behaves similarly in granting permission for publication of information.
Let me summarize the situation. Dr. Beckman, with the permission of the OSRD, presented a discussion of the oxygen meter at an open meeting of the California Section of the American Chemical Society in Berkeley on June 11. We, who invented and developed the instrument, were refused permission to present the same discussion scheduled for July 11. If you can offer an explanation, I would be glad to know what it is.
Very truly yours,
cc: Dr. H. N. Chadwell
Dr. Irvin Stewart
Dr. S. S. Prentiss
Dr. Durand Churchill, Jr.
P.S. We shall proceed with the preparation of manuscripts for publication, and shall submit them for approval, in accordance with the arrangements of the Publications Company.