(FIVE 1960 INTERVIEWS WITH DR. LINUS PAULING)
THE WAR AGAINST WAR - Two
by Virgina Mill & Robert Carl Cohen
Personal Attack & The Attempt To Smear
The Peace Movement
COHEN: What repercussions have there been for you as an individual since you engaged in this struggle for peace?
PAULING: Fulton Lewis, Jr. and Holmes Alexander and people of that sort, syndicated newspaper columnists, attack me and say I'm a "crypto-Communist" or a "Communist Sympathizer." They say this because I advocate making peace with Russia instead of trying to destroy Russia. The New York Times said in an article on the 22nd of June, 1960: "After his personal drive for scientists to put their signatures on test banning petitions he was awarded full membership in the Soviet Academy of Sciences."
COHEN: That statement in the New York Times makes it seem as though this was your reward for getting the scientists' signatures on the petition?
PAULING: That's right. I objected to this, and on the 23rd they published my letter saying that I was sure that Dr. Detlev Bronk, the President of The National Academy of Science in the United States, President of the Rockefeller Institute on Medical Research, and former President of John Hopkins University, who was the only other American elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences, would agree with me that we were selected because of our outstanding positions in the scientific world, and not being rewarded for some sort of service to the USSR.
This, I think, is pretty bad on the part of the New York Times.
On the other hand, the Washington Post published four editorials about me and the Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee, all supporting me. Out of l5 papers which have published editorials that I know of, only one opposes me. However, Fulton Lewis, Jr., Holmes Alexander, and many of the others who attack me are syndicated columnists whose stories go out to hundreds or thousands of papers. So that, whereas I am getting support from certain individual papers, the wire services actually are supplying great numbers of newspapers with stories derogatory to me. You know a good bit of my income is in the form of royalties from my science text books; and with all of this unfavorable publicity, it might well be that some school boards would refuse to allow their teachers to use my textbooks.
A few years ago, in the McCarthy period, my grants from the Public Health Service were suddenly canceled without any reason being given. This was probably done because the Public Health Service was afraid of McCarthy. A number of other people had their grants canceled, too. Within a week, applications were made by the people who were working with me, and the Public Health Service granted the money to the Institute in their names. It took about two years before the application that I'd submitted under my own name was approved. I can give you other examples.
I think that the subpoena which forced me to appear before Senator (Thomas) Dodd's Internal Security Sub-Committee on the 21st of June was done as a reprisal and as an effort to suppress my activity for international agreements and for peace in the world. It is closely correlated with Senator Dodd's speech in the Senate on the 12th of May, 1960.
In his speech: "The Eight Fallacies of the Nuclear Test Ban," he advocated that we turn over our nuclear bomb stockpile to our NATO allies immediately; that we immediately start bomb testing again; that we not try to make an internatIonal agreement to stop the testing of all nuclear weapons; and that we increase the military budget more and more so that we are always ahead of the Russians in the power of destruction. I'm, therefore, sure that this subpoena from Senator Dodd's Sub-Committee was an effort to suppress my activity for disarmament and a reprisal for the peace work I have already done.
MILL: Do you think that it's also an effort to make all such efforts to bring about peaceful agreements look subversive?
PAULING: Yes, that's right. One of the questions asked me was: "Will you give up the names of the people who helped you gather the signatures? And how many signatures were gathered?"
"No, I won't." I answered the question in that way.
I answered every question that they asked. They asked very few questions relating to Communism at all, and no questions relating to Communists connected with the bomb test ban movement, or my Petition to the UN. Yet the report of this Sub-Committee is going to be printed by the Government Printing Office with the heading of "Communist Infiltration and Use of Pressure Groups." To come under this heading is an injustice to me.
There are other ways, too. I was asked by Senator Cotton:
"You have said that you won't give us the names of the people who helped gather signatures. Do you know Dr. Willard Uphaus?" I said "Yes, I do." Well, that's all that he needed to say. I know that Dr. Willard Uphaus is in jail on a twelve month sentence. He's 69 years old, perhaps older than that, perhaps 79 years old. He is in jail because he refused to give an investigating committee the names of some people.
MILL: Is he a scientist?
PAULING: He's a Christian Pacifist, a graduate of Yale Divinity School and a lay preacher in the Methodist Church. He runs what he calls "The World Fellowship of Faith," a summer camp in New Hampshire.
He was asked to give the names of all the people who came to his summer camp. He refused, and was sentenced to jail for an indefinite period until he produced the names. This was unconstitutional, however, so it had to be changed to a 12 month sentence. So, you see, by being asked if I knew him, I was being threatened.
Not only that, the newspapers reported Senator Dodd indicated that if I didn't conform to the order to bring the list of names of people who returned the signatures to me, I would be cited for contempt of Congress and probably get a jail sentence.
COHEN: Do you think this is possible?
PAULING: Surely, it is possible. Dr. Willard Uphaus is in jail. There are other professors and scientists who are in jail for having used the First Amendment to the Constitution, which protects freedom of speech. If you invoke the Fifth Amendment instead, you don't get sent to jail, you just lose your job.
COHEN: In your appearance before the Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee did they ever ask you if you had been a member of the Communist Party or any other political organization?
PAULING: No, they didn't. In fact, they asked very little about Communism.
Senator Dodd started out by saying: "The particular objective of the session today is to learn what we can from this witness respecting Communist activity in connection with protests against nuclear testing." I was asked no questions on this matter at all, except that I was shown a letter dated 1951 which had typewritten on it my name and the names of five other people. It didn't relate to the bomb test ban at all because in 1951 nobody had proposed a bomb test ban so far as I know. This was a letter with the letterhead of the "Hollywood Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions."
I was asked about these five men; if I knew them and whether or not they were Communists. It was not indicated that these five people were related to my Petition in any way. I was also asked if I knew Frederick Joliot-Curie. I think he probably was a French Communist. He was a Nobel Prize Winner, and is dead now. I said that I had known him.
There were some questions about Russians which I answered. There was very little questioning about what was supposed to be the purpose of the investigation, but there was a great deal of effort which I would class as skullduggery.
COHEN: Have any of the other outstanding U.S. scientists who have engaged in the peace struggle suffered repercussions?
PAULING: Who are the other outstanding U.S. scientists who have engaged in this struggle? I know a great number of people, including my colleagues here at Cal Tech, who were active in the fight against atomic weapons and for international peace and understanding before the McCarthy period. They don't say a word now. Then there were ten or eleven scientists of Cal Tech, some Republicans and some Democrats, who in 1956 wrote a letter to (US Democratic Party presidential candidate Adlai) Stevenson supporting his advocacy of a bomb test ban. They were called on the carpet by one of the trustees of this Institute, John McCone, now head of the A.E.C. He reprimanded these colleagues of mine for writing the letter to Stevenson.
COHEN: Were any of them dismissed, or did they retract their letter?
PAULING: No, they didn't retract their letter, and they weren't dismissed, just scolded for having done this. A statement was issued by the Institute (Cal Tech) that this didn't represent official policy. When I wrote the "Appeal by American Scientists," however, only one or those ten or eleven men signed it. Now, each of these men had signed something essentially similar in their letter to Stevenson but, less than a year later, only one at them was willing to sign the "Appeal by American Scientists". The tactics of suppression had been effective.
COHEN: Don't you think that the members of the Investigating Sub-Committee believe that the Communists, while calling for peace, really want the destruction of Western Society - that whoever says they want peace really is a Communist who wants war?
PAULING: Perhaps this is the argument that they give for making the connection. The real reason for making the connection is that if you want to suppress any movement or any organization in the U.S.A. you accuse them of being "pro-Communist" or "infiltrated" with Communism. Senator Dodd, and whoever is behind him, want to suppress the peace movement in the United States in order to continue the Cold War. I think they do it because they benefit from it.
Prof. Hans Bethe of Cornell University, who is the leading Physics Advisor to the President, in his article in the Atlantic Monthly magazine for August (1960), says he is convinced that the Russians mean what they say because they can benefit greatly by having peace. I believe it, too.
MILL: Well, even the Army Information Digest last June said that the Russians don't want war except on the "economic front."
PAULING: The armaments burden is a greater burden for the Russians than it is for us because their national budget is not nearly so great as ours. They would benefit more by disarmament than we would.
COHEN: What would you say is the comparative burden upon the Soviet economy of their armaments budget, compared to the burden on our economy of our armaments budget?
PAULING: Their total national budget is only about half of the United States' budget, but their armaments budget is about 3/4 of the United States' budget. Their armaments burden is, therefore, really 50 percent greater than ours.
COHEN: If there's no war, will the USSR surpass the United States and push us out of world leadership through production of consumer goods and through other economic means?
PAULING: We are far better off to have economic trouble because of competition with Russia, and to have the American people surviving in good health and living a good life, than we would be if we were all dead. I would welcome economic competition, scientific competition, and competition in all fields of activity, such as in the Olympic Games. I think there's a lot to be said for a little competition.
If you have a school system where students are brought up with the idea that the thing to do is just barely get by, then I think the nation suffers. Since we have regulatory agencies for many aspects of business, "free enterprise" has to be put into quotation marks. But I don't believe in a completely planned system. I think we need to have some sort of "free" economic competition between the different nations in the world as well.
COHEN: Would you make a concluding statement regarding the movement against peace?
PAULING: The governments of the United States, Great Britain, and the USSR are making great efforts to achieve the first international agreement that will lead to the end of the Cold War - the bomb test agreement. At the present time, however, there is a vigorous fight to change our government's peace policy being made by Senator Dodd, Dr. Teller, and a lot of other people in private industry, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Defense Department. I think this is largely on an economic basis. These people don't really want to have a great war fought in the world, but they would like to see the Cold War, and their profits, continue.
I believe that we can achieve the transition from the Cold War to a peacetime economy without any great economic upheaval. I'm sure that there could be plenty of jobs in public works, roads, hospitals, and private housing for those who are now working in arms factories. The scientists and technologists who are working on missiles should be carrying on medical research in the great medical research institutes instead.
The effort to prevent these international agreements from being made is an effort that increases the danger of a world catastrophe and prevents the United States from continuing to be a great nation in the world.