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Letter from Linus Pauling to William B. Munro. December 12, 1941.
Pauling requests that a guard be hired for the Gates and Crellin Laboratories in order
to protect research sponsored by the National Defense Research Council. He emphasizes
the necessity of continuing nighttime research and notes that, if necessary, blackout
paper will be used.
December 12, 1941
Dr. W. B. Munro
Dear Dr. Munro:
I have investigated the question of guards for Gates and Crellin Laboratories. There
are at present a half dozen reasonably important national defense jobs under way in
a half dozen different rooms of the Laboratory. Sabotage of these rooms could do
material damage amounting to $30,000 and $40,000 and would result in setting back
the defense program for three or four months, the time needed to replace the damaged
special apparatus. My colleagues and I believe that some guarding is highly desirable.
It is our opinion that it is not necessary that armed guards be put on duty permanently
outside of each room, but that it would be satisfactory for a single man to be on
duty throughout the night in the Gates and Crellin Laboratories, making a repeated
tour of inspection covering all of the rooms in which defense work is being done.
This man could also have the duty of taking care of lights during blackouts.
I wish also to express our opinion about night work in the chemical laboratories.
It is very important that it remain possible for research work to be carried on at
night in the laboratories. Some of our defense projects are on two shifts, and for
others the night is the best time for the work to be carried on. In addition a good
bit of the research done by our graduate students is carried on at night, and it would
lead to a delay in their training. At present we are planning to cover some windows
in defense research rooms with black paper. If the blackout situation becomes serious,
it may be desirable later for other rooms to be treated similarly.
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