Yes! Yes! another V-mail – but I really haven’t abused them. I got a late start today – meeting, conferences (I sound like you) and right after lunch I have to go down to Metz and look the set-up over there to see that all is going along well.
The Colonel and I played Bridge at the neighbor’s house last nite. I played with the Mrs. and we lost. They play a mixture of auction and contract and they keep score the old way. But the bidding is pretty much the same – and since it is, I now put in a bid for your hand, sweetheart! Think it over! Incidentally – clubs – are trefle, diamonds – cameau, hearts – couers, and spades – piques. Anyway you look at it, though – I love you dearly and want to marry you – and as far as I’m concerned – that’s 7 no trumps (sans attut), doubled, redoubled and vulnerable – and made! All for now darling – love to the folks – and
|Ralph A. Bard|
Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Feb. 1941-June 1944
Under Secretary of the Navy, June 1945-June 1945
Ralph A. Bard was a member of the Interim Committee, the small, secret government advisory group on the atomic bomb and nuclear energy. The Interim Committee's purpose wasto study and report on the whole problem of temporary war controls and later publicity, and to survey and make recommendations on the post war research, development and controls, as well as legislation necessary to effectuate them.On June 1, 1945, the Interim Committee had recommended to President Trumanthat the bomb should be used against Japan as soon as possible; that it should be used on a war plant surrounded by workers' homes; and that it be used without prior warning.But Bard continued to think about whether there was a better way to win the war against Japan. And on June 27, 1945, he wrote a memo for Secrtary of War Henry Stimson that contained the results of his thinking. For the rest of his life, Bard insisted that this approach would have been better than using atomic bombs on the people of Japan.
The following is the complete text of Bard's 6/27/45 memo. A few notes of explanation: "S-1 bomb" means atomic bomb. The "three-power conference" refers to the Potsdam Conference between the leaders of the Great Britain, Russia, and the U.S., scheduled to begin on 7/16/45. "Russia's position" refers to the likelihood of Russia soon declaring war on Japan. "Assurances... with regard to the Emperor" referred to telling Japan that they could keep their Emperor, whom they believed to be a god.
MEMORANDUM ON THE USE OF S-1 BOMB
by: Ralph A. Bard, Undersecretary of the Navy
to: Secretary of War Stimson
June 27, 1945
Ever since I have been in touch with this program I have had a feeling that before the bomb is actually used against Japan that Japan should have some preliminary warning for say two or three days in advance of use. The position of the United States as a great humanitarian nation and the fair play attitude of our people generally is responsible in the main for this feeling.
During recent weeks I have also had the feeling very definitely that the Japanese government may be searching for some opportunity which they could use as a medium of surrender. Following the three-power conference [Potsdam Conference emissaries from this country could contact representatives from Japan somewhere on the China Coast and make representations with regard to Russia's position and at the same time give them some information regarding the proposed use of atomic power, together with whatever assurances the President might care to make with regard to the Emperor of Japan and the treatment of the Japanese nation following unconditional surrender. It seems quite possible to me that this presents the opportunity which the Japanese are looking for.
I don't see that we have anything in particular to lose in following such a program. The stakes are so tremendous that it is my opinion very real consideration should be given to some plan of this kind. I do not believe under present circumstances existing that there is anyone in this country whose evaluation of the chances of the success of such a program is worth a great deal. The only way to find out is to try it out.
RALPH A. BARD
27 June 1945