316 Bruce to Prime Minister's Department

Cablegram 138A LONDON, 12 October 1944, 12.25 p.m.


Your telegram 133 of 8th September. [1]

I fully discussed with Sir John Anderson position with regard to tube alloy [2] work in America and at Montreal. As you know, this work was originally started in England under the direction of the D.S.I.R. [3] but was transferred to America as being more suitable than these Islands for experimental work that had to be done.

Work in America was a joint Anglo-American project but has increasingly passed under American direction. The work being clone in Montreal is by a purely British team working on a different line from that being followed in America. The greatest secrecy is being observed and the Americans are particularly sticky about new workers being introduced and only specifically named individuals who have particular qualifications are being accepted.

In regard to work at Montreal no further physicists are required but the group could make use of a chemical engineer or a mechanical engineer with chemical experience and it has been tentatively suggested that Australia might be able to provide this requirement.

The upshot of my conversation with Sir John Anderson was that he is consulting with his technical advisers and will further advise me later. In our conversation Anderson emphasised that all the present work is directed towards the military aspect. Should future developments lead in the direction of industrial and economic utilisation he recognises there would have to be a reconsideration of the whole position.



1 Document 274.

2 Code name for the Anglo-American program to develop an atomic bomb.

3 Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.