Britain's development of her own atomic bomb is a measure that will provide security for her if the next American president proves to be unsympathetic towards British aid, said Edwin C. Kemble, professor of Physics, yesterday.
Commenting on the recent announcement that the British were preparing to test their own bomb, Kemble said that one can hardly imagine them failing to take such a step at this time, because of lack of unity among Atlantic Pact powers and United States political circles. "The bomb will ensure against both enemy aggression and any imaginable disloyalty on the part of Britain's allies," he said.
When asked if he knew whether the British project was a step in a new direction or a duplication of United States efforts, Kemble replied that this information is secret. If there is any duplication, he said, the United States is to blame, for details of American bomb work since the war have been denied the British.
Kemble agreed with Norman F. Ramsey, professor of Physics and one of the scientists on the original American bomb project, in saying that the best way for any nation to proceed on an independent basis is first to perform experiments of a fairly independent, imitative nature.
Both men were quick to praise English scientific talent. "There is no question of British ability to produce a bomb or bombs and to do so much less expensively than we did in the beginning," said Kemble. "There is also no question of the quality of British scientists," he continued. "They are among the very best."
Kemble said that the first time he had heard of the English plans was when he read about them in the paper, and then added that he did not think they were previously known in the United States except on high security levels.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill himself learned about the British research into nuclear fission for the first time only four months ago, when the Tories came back to power, although Attlee's Labor government had been working on the project for some time.