The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on December 23, 1949 · Page 13
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 13

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Friday, December 23, 1949
Page 13
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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2S, 1949 Forecaster of Atomic Victory In World War II Had a Hand In Shipping Uranium to Reds By Felcr Edson N'EA Washington Correspondent WASHINGTON—<NEA>—Tlie House Un-American Activities Committee's investigation of war-time shipments of uranium to Russia wilt probably soon bring Into the open the name of Doris J] Pregcl (pronounced Prezhein. « _____ Preeel Is head of the Canadian Radium and Uranium Corporation of New York. The Committee's Chief Inwslifiator, Umk J. Riu-scll, has testified this Is the company from which the nii>-,slans were able to buy 800 pounds of uranium oxide and , V 500 pounds of uranium nitrate In R?il>r!l, 1943. The materials were *• 'shipped directly from Port Hope, Ontario. Canada, to Great Palis. Mont., and flown from there to Russia. Secretary of £'ate Dean Achcson has confirmed that shipments. were paid for by the U. S. Leml- Lease Administration, :\fter approva 1 by the Manhattan District Engineer. U. Gen. Leslie R. Groves was not aware O I this shipment or Its approval by his office until lie was informed of It by testimony from MaJ. George Racey Jordan Un- American Activities Committee. Since May, 1346. Pregel has had re|x>rted that the U.S. Immigration anrt Natural Sat ion Service wa.s considering deportation proceedings. Boris Pregel is something of a man of mystery, although his nume was mentioned in the famous Smyth report on atomic energy. Perha.]>s his most, cotoriul achievement was a prophecy, in January, 1Q41, that "Upon the outcome ot the race to unlock the energy of the much-pub- llcied U-235 (fissionable uranium) will rest victory in MIR European war, and also the future course of mankind's'social and economic development." . This was preiucd in the Miami, In the fall of 1940, Pregel tried to iJiterc,st the U.S. government In building up a stockpile of uranium and radium. He was told by the U.S. Council of National Defense that uranium was not a strategic material and there was no shortage. Nevertheless, in June, 1941, Pregel made an agreement with Columbia University that led to one of the first atomic fission experiments in the United States. Success of the Columbia experiments led Einstein, Urcy. Fermi and other scientists to urge [Resident Roosevelt to create an atomic energy project. Pregel has been given full credit for his part in this pioneer development by the Smyth Report and by Alexander Sachs, intermediary between the a'icJ the White, in his testimony before the original Congressional Atomic Energy Committee. * * • Pregel is an officer of the French BLYTHEVrLT-E (ARK.) COURIER NETO SOLVINO U-235." Ion of Engineers and Doctors of Science. The other two are former President Heib.rt Hoover— who received the award at the same ! time that Pregel was nonorcd—and ! Gen. D wight D. Eisenhower. Pix-gel j has in his files many letters from [U.S. government officials testifying | to his contributions to the American war effort for work clarified as secret. Pregel was horn at Odessa. FUis- ! sia, in 1803, of a well-to-do Jewish i family. i The Bolshevik revolution forced , the family, to flee, leaving all their i property to the CormmmisLs when ! tiic White Russian army evacuated EvenU|allJ , . Everybody apparently Ihought It i ncctecl ivitli the Belgian uranium was ;i pipe-drcnm. There was no | and radium rcfiniiK* c-rtel question of cen.sor.slnp then. This ! wiien the Nai.s invaded ihe low was before the U.S. got Into the war, i countries, Pregel made efforts to before the tirst nlorn was aplii, be- ! have Belgium's stockpile of uranium fore the Manhattan Project WHS moved to France for safe-keeping. founded to make the first bomb. 1 He went to France and became at- tached to the Ministry of Armaments. 1 In May, 1039, Pregcl came to the United States. lie was admitted on a Romanian passport and under the Romanian pas-sport and under the Romanian quota' He declared lie would take up permanent residence in this country. He returned to France twice in 1940, the last trip at the deatli of his father. While in France, a previous application for 'French citizenship was grunted and he returned to the U, S, on a French passport, with a non-quota visa. He was at first excluded by an Immigration Service board of special inquiry, but on appeal was admitted the next day. It is possible that some of the technicalities involved in these movements may he responsible lor Prog- cl's difficulties Iwlh the Immigration Service ; • • * When Pregcl first fame to tin 1 United Stales he was reported to j be worth in excess of a million dol- j ! lars. Associates say he is worth i | something less than this niiunmt 1 now. When Progcl came here there j ) wa.s only one North American pro-| | dncer of radium and uranium, the! I EUlorado Mining and Refining Co., j in the Great Dear Lake region of ' i northern Canada. He became a sales | njient for this producer and is given j credit for having broken the Urns- • i ;cl.s monopoly which had controlled j the world market up Ui this time, | Later he formed Canadian lladi- I um and Uranium Co., and became ; I its president. His brother. Alcxan- : ; dor Pregel, wa.s treasurer. Exact, op- ' j orations of this company are now i covered by atomic energy secrecy j regulations. When the Canadian government took over all radio-active mining I enterprises, (here were .several lawsuits tlic Pregcl inlere.sto. A criminal action was <li-missed by the \ governiDutu. Since Boris Prc'.;e! was I not extraditable to Canada, i i\il j action was then begun in New YoU by the Eldorado Minmg arid Re i fining Co.—now a Canadian gov- i ernment corporation—against Ca- nadiitn Radium and Uranium Co. The trial was held in camera and tlic record has been impounded Pregel has been married twice, j Hi.s wife, who died, was the i daughter of a Petrograrl lawyer. His second wife was the only daughter of W. AvxCMitieif, secretary of the Interior under the Kercnsky regime. He was, for n number of years, a clo-e friend of Henry Wallace, while Wallace wa.s vice-president and secretary of commerce. In bis 10-11 interview. Pregcl predicted, "111 a decadfi or sn may come the age of uranium ... If this develops, we can look forward to an unlimited supply of cheap power and fuel, an indefinite supply of raw materials, comfort for all with a minimum of labor—those things that .should remove the of poverty, envy and greed, make wars unthinkable and usher in a golden era for human beings." 10 years arc now almost up. If this is the marvelous age. of urin- him that Is dawning, Prepel will probably go down as one of its more fabulous characters, whatever the launlgratkm Service and the House Un-American Activities Committee do from here on out. PAGE THTKTEEN Constituent Assembly Cancels Sunday Session NEW DELHI —</)N— A Chiislirui member of the Indian constiiupnl assembly characterized ns "tin tyranny of the majority" n pruprjsn to hold (.he session on a Sunday. Mrs. Annie Mascarene of Travau- oore said Sundays were meant (or going to church. Assembly President Hajendra Prasad fixed the time of the sc^s to suit the convenience of churchgoers. GRHTINGS '- ! I ; t^cry oW Me joyj oiid p;; 01- j net oi the Yw.o/fde fee . : 1 •ou/s (h/j Chr/ifmcii. \nd may /ho New Year be >ne of abundnnl good \caMi and good fortune. t;' HEUER'S SHOE STORE ) 1^-\ '&a&crn& J // vyyieeuW^j flS 1 ^^.' • r; ' • ' " J ' •O.fc^-i»\ V'T" &/2K<>""--- "— ^fe^M^^^x^^ ')>C N> V * X * t f PAT 0'BRYAN JEWELER \ n\P X 'V^ .0 ,\\C. » r ^ N^ c^ o^ ^sQ° v-^* c,C^ 'jO '.\C _ rt **>**1^ Delta Lumber Co.

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