4 October 1960
Professor Otto Bastiansen
Institutt for Teoretisk Kjemi
Norges Tekniske Høgskole
Now, in one week, I think that my affair with the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee
will be ended, and I shall be very glad. However, perhaps it will not end in one
As to your concern about the U.S. government, I may say that only a small part of
the government is involved in controversy with me. The policy that I support is the
policy of the Eisenhower administration, although President Eisenhower has not been
very vigorous in advancing it. Also, this policy is supported by the State Department.
It is, however, opposed by the AEC and the Department of Defense, as well as by some
powerful people outside of the government.
I judge that the great majority of members of the Senate are on my side. A number
of Senators have written to people who had approached them, saying that they would
keep an eye on the Internal Security Subcommittee, and oral statements to this effect
have also been made, but, of course, not in public, because there is a general policy
that Senators do not criticize one another.
Senator Dodd has just withdrawn somewhat from his position. Yesterday he issued a
statement announcing that the Subcommittee had not discussed citing me for contempt.
He also accused me of trying to make a martyr of myself.
A number of groups, in Los Angeles and New York, have gathered money to publish advertisements
asking public support for me. I enclose one of these advertisements, which was in
today's Los Angeles Times. Several others should be published in the next few days.
A number of the signers are distinguished people. For example, Carl Sandburg is a
great American writer.
Many newspapers have published excellent editorials. An example is the one that appeared
in today's Pasadena Independent and also the Pasadena Star-News, which I enclose.
I also enclose a newspaper account of my talk to the Caltech students.
My suit is now before the Supreme Court. However, the attorneys for the government
have advanced an interesting argument, which may be successful. They have said in
their brief to the Supreme Court that the order that the Subcommittee gave me was
to appear in Washington and to bring with me the letters of transmittal of the signed
petitions to me; but that the order did not say that I would be required to show these
letters to the Subcommittee. Accordingly, the Subcommittee has not yet ordered me
to do anything that would go against my conscience, and the Supreme Court should not
intervene at this stage.
My lawyer and I think that it is likely that the Supreme Court will decide not to
hear my case, because of this clever argument, and that then, on 11 October, the Subcommittee
will announce that it is not asking me to do anything - that it is satisfied that
I am a loyal American. But perhaps something else will happen.
I have had a fine lawyer working steadily on this case for about three months, and
I have not been able to do my scientific work. Three months ago I had nearly finished
a very interesting paper on a molecular theory of general anesthesia. I hope that
this affair will be over soon, and that I can settle down to making a few more calculations
and getting that paper published, as well as some others that I have well along toward
P.S. I am giving you some information about my career as a peace worker in another
letter, which accompanies this one.