"May I say that the only part of your speech of 6 June to which I might offer objection
is your selection of the letter x, rather than some other symbol, to refer to me.
In algebra, as you remember, x is used to refer to an unknown quantity - usually the
letters a and ba are used to refer to known quantities. I am not, however, an unknown
quantity. I have not tried to keep anything hidden in any way. I have been willing
to answer any questions that the Secretary of State might care to ask me -- in fact,
I have emphasized my willingness in my letters to him, which he has not answered.
I wish accordingly that you had used one of the letters in the first part of the alphabet
in referring to me. Let me say, however, that I have not objection to your referring
to me by that name. My character has already been damaged (I would not say assassinated,
because I hope that there is some chance of its being restored to full vigor); and
now any statement that you make about me, referring to me by name, will be helpful
Linus Pauling. Linus Pauling to Sen. Wayne Morse. June 20, 1952.
Back to Quotes Index.