FIVE 1960 INTERVIEWS WITH DR. LINUS PAULING
WAR AGAINST WAR - Two
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?
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
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
Academy of Sciences, would agree with me that we were selected because
of our outstanding positions in the scientific world, and not being
for some sort of service to the USSR.
MILL: Do you think that it's also an effort to make all such efforts to bring about peaceful agreements look subversive?
Yes, that's right. One of the questions asked me was: "Will you
up the names of the people who helped you gather the signatures?
And how many signatures were gathered?"
MILL: Is he a scientist?
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
Fellowship of Faith," a summer camp in New Hampshire.
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?
No, they didn't. In fact, they asked very little about Communism.
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?
Perhaps this is the argument that they give for making the
The real reason for making the connection is that if you want to
any movement or any organization in the U.S.A. you accuse them of being
"pro-Communist" or "infiltrated" with Communism. Senator Dodd,
whoever is behind him, want to suppress the peace movement in the
States in order to continue the Cold War. I think they do it
they benefit from it.
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?
We are far better off to have economic trouble because of competition
Russia, and to have the American people surviving in good health and
a good life, than we would be if we were all dead. I would
economic competition, scientific competition, and competition in all
of activity, such as in the Olympic Games. I think there's a lot
to be said for a little competition.
COHEN: Would you make a concluding statement regarding the movement against peace?
The governments of the United States, Great Britain, and the USSR are
great efforts to achieve the first international agreement that will
to the end of the Cold War - the bomb test agreement. At the
time, however, there is a vigorous fight to change our government's
policy being made by Senator Dodd, Dr. Teller, and a lot of other
in private industry, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Defense
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
to see the Cold War, and their profits, continue.