FIVE 1960 INTERVIEWS WITH DR. LINUS PAULING)
Telephone Interview (Oct. 4, 1960)
by Virginia Mill
MILL: What were your original plans for last summer, before you were summoned for your appearance before the Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee on June 21?
PAULING: This summer I was planning to spend about two months in Europe. I was going to take part in several scientific meetings. I did take part in the Tercentenary celebration of the Royal Society of London. I'm one of the Foreign Fellows. There are about 50 Foreign Members, as they're called, of the Royal Society in the whole world. I went to London after the hearing in Washington, and I attended the Tercentenary Celebration. I also attended the International Congress on Mental Deficiency in London. I am working, you know, on mental deficiency with the support of a grant from the Ford Foundation, $450,000 for five years, and I wanted to hear some of the papers and meet some of the people there.
I went to Switzerland and interviewed Ambassador Jerome Wadsworth of the United States, Ambassador Sir Michael Wright of Great Britain, Ambassador Tsarapkin(sp.?) of Russia, who were at that time the three representatives of their countries in the negotiations for a bomb test agreement. And I talked with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, too, about the role or neutral countries in the negotiations for disarmament. Just a private conference.
I had been expected to attend the International Congress of Crystallography in Cambridge, England. In fact there had been a special symposium arranged at which I was to speak and to discuss my theory of the electronic structure or metals and alloys with two other men: Professor Slater of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Professor Mott of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England. They are both physicists There were to present the physicists' theories of metals and alloys. And I was to present what might be called the chemists' theory, chemical bond theory, which I have largely developed. I had to give up that plan, because my circumstances were such that I had to be back in the United States to arrange for the pending hearing before the (Senate Internal Security) Sub-Committee, and to make the arrangements for the (law)suit that I'd instituted.
So I got one of my former students, who is now a professor at Iowa State University, to give the address at the symposium in my place; and I think that he did very well. But, of course, I was sorry to miss the other people who were there, who were sorry that I wasn't able to take part in that symposium.
I had intended to visit a number of other laboratories in Europe, especially in relation to my work on mental disease, and to take part in some other scientific meetings, but I had not made any definite arrangements. Well, I had even made some definite arrangements for speaking, but I was able to cancel them at the time of the hearing, just after the hearing, so that the only one, I think, that was widely advertised, was the Symposium on Metals and Alloys.
MILL: At that time you thought you would have to be back August 9th - did you not?
PAULING: Yes, at the time that I canceled most of my engagements I thought I would have to be back August 9th. Then, when I learned that for the convenience or my attorney, because or his health, it was because he had been ordered by his doctor to rest.
PAULING: Wirin had made plans to have a rest. His health was not in very good shape. The hearing was postponed to 15 September, but I still had to get back to help with the preparation of the court action, the court suit, so that - moreover - I had canceled these other lectures already. That is the situation.
Oh, I also gave a public address in London which had been scheduled by the British Peace Council. The International Congress on Mental Deficiency was the reason that I went to London. I had also been eager to talk with the three ambassadors in Geneva about the bomb test negotiations. And I felt that even though it caused me a little difficulty in connection with the Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee and the (inaudible) even though I was upset about this matter, and wanted to get to work on it. I felt that it was wise for me to make the one month trip - well it was three weeks.
MILL: That opens up another area of discussion. What you were able to accomplish with Mr. Wadsworth and the others (representatives to the Geneva Test Ban Conference)?
PAULING: I'm glad that he is now Ambassador to the United Nations, but 1'm sorry to see him have to leave the Geneva Conference after he had negotiated so well for over a year and a half, and had brought the negotiations almost to a successful conclusion.
MILL: Were you encouraged by your talks with them?
PAULING: Oh, I was very much encouraged by my talks with all three.
MILL: Did they seem to feel that they'd derived some help from you?
PAULING: I don't know that I can say that. I felt that they were pleased, rather than displeased, to talk with me.
MILL: Did they seek information, and get it?
PAULING: They encouraged me to go ahead with my work in influencing public opinion.
MILL: They did?
PAULING: Yes, all three of them. I don't think that this is any violation of secrecy. That was my impression, at any rate.
MILL: Is it all right for me to quote that?
PAULING: Yes, I don't think they will deny it. And I must say I was very well impressed by all three of these men. By the way, all three or them said to me that it would be possible to complete the job of formulating a bomb test agreement very quickly - in a month or two, if the national governments gave permission to the negotiators to drive ahead.
MILL: What about your research? How much are you behind because of your unexpected activities (Appearance before Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee)?
PAULING: Well, I haven't succeeded in getting much of anything done since the 22nd of June. Of course I was going to be away, but also doing some work on the mental disease field while I was in Europe; especially visiting laboratories and talking with people and some other work - catching up on things. I didn't succeed in doing that. And since getting back I haven't been able to work on my scientific work at all - practically not at all - so that I've been put quite a bit behind. I have a paper - an important paper I think, in this general field that I thought I could get done before going to Europe. After the hearing in Washington (on) the 21st, I came back home, but I wasn't able to work on that paper.
And since getting back from my European trip, in general, my work has been rather seriously interfered with. I hope that this episode will soon be over, and that I can continue to carry on my scientific work, and also to do my duty as a citizen. I don't propose to give up my activities along social and political lines, either. I work in the field of pure research, and now I am trying to understand the way in which the brain functions and what goes wrong in mental disease. My paper is a paper on the general subject of brain mechanisms.
MILL: What about Mr. Dodd's (Sen. Thomas Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee) accusation that, through your testimony you wish to become a martyr?
PAULING: Well, I hope that it will soon be over.
MILL: I consider that work such as you are doing is so important that you can't be spared for a jail term..
PAULING: The Pasadena Independent has a fine editorial today supporting me very strongly - really - although many newspapers, of course, have published editorials supporting me, I think that this is the strongest one that has appeared yet.
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