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Letter from Linus Pauling to Robert M. Hutchins. September 25, 1945.
Pauling writes to express his views on the peril of atomic weapons and nuclear warfare.


September 25, 1945

Chancellor Robert M. Hutchins

University of Chicago

Chicago 37


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

Sincerely yours.

Linus Pauling

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