The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on September 19, 1951 · Page 6
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 6

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 19, 1951
Page 6
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PAGE SIX (ARK.) COURIER Can US. Make Many Atom Bombs for $240,000 Apiece? WEDNESDAY, SSPTEMBER 19, 1981 WASHINGTON, Sept. 19. (iP)— C:m the U. S. make atomic bombs in abundance and for only $240.000 ajielce Instead of the present multimillion dollar cost? Senator Brlen McMahon (D- Conn), top m?n In Congress on atomic affairs, says yes. Atomic bottlenecks in materials, production, equipment and design have been Broken anrt the nation ran noa turn the weapons out in nia?s production at a cost less than that for a tank, says the senator. (The current price take on a medium tani- Is $240,017.) In ft Senate speech yesterday, McMahon said he wanted to report that: "There is virtually no limit and no limiting factor upon the number of A.-bomb.', which the United States can manufacture, given time nnd a derision to proceed all-out." The time he [nit at three years. Fewer Soldiers Needed? If, saitl McMahon, the U. S. will provide this ample arsrnal of atomic arms, there will be fewer foot soldiers needed; fewer old style artillery pieces and more guided missiles with atomic warheads; fewer flame-throwers and more radiological warfare; planes and submarines and aircraft carriers given unlimited range by atomic engines; ships firing [tuiiled missiles with atomic explosives and torpedoes v/hich uncannily hunt dO'A'n enemy ships. What all this amounted to was u proposal that (he American military break with tradition, relegate present weapons to secondary rok-s and rely on the new atomic fury for waging war. Penlagon Shov-s Interest The Pentagon displayed Instant interest. \ViUiin an hour aitc-r Mc- Mnhnn spoke, the pc-nt;i'-:on had topics of the text nndei- elose scrutiny. Did it mean the Army or the Navy or the Air Force or all of them would be smaller? (MrMahon put strong emphasis on cutting national defense cost.) How much revamping of tactics and strategy would be required for a military organization using atomic weapons as primary armament,? The Air Force now has bomber units trained and equipped for using atomic bombs. The Army is putting a combat unit Into actual atomic explosion tests in Nevada. The Navy lias carrier and air crews trained lor atomic bomb use. Eiut all of this, except perhaps in the case of the Air Force, has been directed toward use of ntomle weapons as a specialized work, not as the standard major armament. * devolution Proposed What McMahon proposes Is a "revolution In military firepower." But no one expects, nor does McMahon, that the transition will be abrupt or that all present wrapon;: will disappear from American armament. Tile last great revolution In firepower was the invention of giin- puwdr.'r. But hundreds ol years later the spear, made obsolete by the bullet, still exists In the form of the bayonet. McMahon estimates it will take three years to gel into mass production of atomic bombs. It will take at least that long or much longer to produce some of the other weapons he mentions. What about making atomic bombs i limitless quantity? Perhaps one vitally important material will be the thorium mentioned by Rep. Durham ID-NO, vice chairman ol the Senate-House Atomic Committee. Thorium in itself Isn't fissionable and won't provide chain reaction, but It can be worked with uranium 235 to produce U-233, an ingredient for bombs. Thorium Comes from Simrts Some thorium comes from sands in a few American states. Brazil has some. India has substantial resources. A new machine—called n breeder reactor—Is designed to make it possible to convert Thorium and u-238 into fissionable materials at an efficient rate. U-238 makes tip more than 99 per cent of [he world's uranium, but it is not fissionable in its natural state. McMahon, who pitched his speech to the Idea that such atomic might In the hands of the U. 3. would deter Ru;sia from launching war. said: "I am horrified at the final implications of tlie atomic arms race. I shudder to think of the little packages ol pent-up disaster that we call atomic bombs being multiplied and mass-produced on a Is your fife fust one big ___,. Why suffer pain of rheumatism, sciatica, lumbapo? Wonderful C-2223 contains famous, beneficial herb "Black Snake-Root", and it's Iodized to activate Salfcylate action for belter, more effective pain relief. Saftefnclion. or first bottle price returned. Get C-2223. His itatement ws» kindred to • question which has been troubling military men since the strategic bombings of World War II: Is it better to destroy, to obliterate an enemy nation or to defeat the armed forces ol the enemy and occupy the country? If .the U. S. forges the massive atomic instrument by McMahon, it probably will b« In position to do either. 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