September 25, 1945
Chancellor Robert M. Hutchins
University of Chicago
Dear Chancellor Hutchins:
I regret that my answer to your letter of September 5 has been delayed by circumstances
arising from my absence from Pasadena, and also that I have not found it possible
to arrange to accept your invitation to attend a conference in Chicago from September
19 to September 22.
It is my conviction that the problem of the protection of humanity against the destructive
use of atomic energy is the most important problem confronting the world, and that
every responsible parson should help so far as he can in finding the solution of this
problem. I wish that I had found it possible to be present at the first Chicago
conference; I hope that, in case that the consultations are continued, you will again
extend me an invitation to take part in them.
It is my opinion that the safety of the world, its protection against the unimaginable
devastation of an atomic war, depend upon, the institution of a democratic world-wide
government - a government of the people themselves, like the government of the United
States of America. The experience of generation after generation has shown that
pacts and treaties between nations do not avert war, but lead to war. Only a democratic
union of the people provides safety and peace. The War between the States resulted
from the failure to recognize the Federal Government as a union of the people rather
than a union of the states.
I should be grateful to receive memoranda and reports about the work of the conference.
Again let me express my interest in this question, and my hope that you will keep
me in mind in connection with further consultation