INT: Excellent. ... I remember when I came to speak to you a few months ago... you told me that there was a problem initially with the Russians speaking, because they had KGB people with them who wanted to speak on their behalf. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

JR: I said before that in Pugwash people are invited individually; they come there not as representatives, not even of a scientific organisation, but just as individuals. And very often people will tell me, "But this is not possible for the Soviet Union. Of course, in America people can act independently; in Britain as well, but in the Soviet Union these independent scientists will never be allowed to come out." But this is not true. From the beginning, we find that there is a certain class of people who are really... they cannot suppress them; even the Soviet Government could not suppress them. And when we felt these are the sort of people who we would like to come to our meetings, they will come. But of course, at the same time, the Soviet Government tried to utilise this, and first of all they will send somebody who was from the KGB, and they will try perhaps to influence their own colleagues not to be too open perhaps. We could see this straight away. I mean, sometimes it was in a very silly way they did it, because some of these Russians didn't understand English; therefore they had to have translators, and the translator often would be the person who was actually put in from the KGB to keep an eye on them, and therefore he will translate what was said and then add something of his own, you know, to give the slant, the Party slant. But among us were people who spoke fluently in Russian, and they would immediately say, "This is not what he said," and if we could stop them straight away. And gradually they gave up this game. Nevertheless, of course the Soviet Government tried to... they realised the importance of this channel and tried to utilise it for their purpose. Therefore, from time to time they will ask us whether we will join in certain, say, movements towards world peace, for example. They've organised some conferences with some really communist front organisations, and they used to come and tell us, "Look, we are all working for the same objectives. Why don't you come and join us at this?" I was always against it, because I realised that once we began to do this, then our whole credibility in the West would have gone. Even so, we were suspect, because at one time anybody who was willing to talk to the Soviets about peace, was immediately branded as a fellow traveller. Therefore we had to be very careful about this. And was the Secretary General of Pugwash at the time; therefore much depended on me about the way that things will go, and I've always felt very strongly we must keep our independent path. And it worked out, because a few years later the governments in the West, they also realised the importance of Pugwash as a channel of communication; so at that time they tried to make use of us and tell us... they came to tell me who should be invited and what we should talk [about]. Again I had to take the same role and say, "No, thank you very much, but we can manage on our own." Therefore, over the years we managed to establish ourselves as a truly, as a genuine independent body; and I feel by now people begin to realise and begin to respect us for this.

INT: Excellent. Can we talk just a little bit about your reaction to the start of the Aldermaston marches and the start of the Direct Action Committee, CND, etc? What did you feel about that at the time?

JR: Well by nearly the end of the Fifties, the nuclear tests on both sides were becoming more and more violent - and they're still going on, atmospheric tests - and therefore the public became very much worried about this. And this was the time when the CND started, say in Britain, and other organisations in other countries, as a reaction to the arms race which become all the time more and more violent. And therefore it was felt that one needed to do something to get the public to put on pressure on the governments, and this is where the CND... But then the CND decided to be entirely unilateral disarmament, rather than multilateral, which is different from Pugwash, because Pugwash, by its very nature as an international body, we always went on to work on the multilateral. And Bertrand Russell, who was sort of first chairman of the Pugwash Committee - he told me... at the time we talked about this, and he said that we have to divide our roles, he said he will continue with pressing on Britain, the unilateral disarmament, and in fact he formed the Committee of a Hundred, which went even further than CND. And he told me that I would concentrate, on Pugwash, on the multilateral. And this is how we thought. Unlike CND, Pugwash was never a mass movement; we are a very, very small group, and from the beginning we felt that we have to tackle the problem by agreement between all the nuclear powers, to stop the arms race and get rid of nuclear weapons.

INT: Were you heartened, though, by the sight of the first Aldermaston marches, when suddenly... it seemed to me that that was the period where the groundswell of public opinion really started. Do you feel the same way, that that was the moment where the governments started to realise that there was a public perception that this was wrong?

JR: I believe that in such a difficult problem, such a complex problem, like we're discussing now, the danger of a nuclear war, one needs not one approach but a multi-approach from every sort of corner, and I feel everyone should add something and help something, and should therefore support it. And I believe that the Aldermaston marches were a very important part of the whole programme in trying to avert the great danger. And this was really one of the first expressions in Britain the CND, but also, of course, there were in other countries as well. And looking back at it, I think it was really in a way an exhilarating moment. In this darkness in which we were involved, with the Cold War period, here are a lot of people - young people, as well as older ones - all going together with this idea in mind.

INT: But in spite of all this public opinion was being formulated... the tests continued, and in 1961 the Soviets detonated a bomb that was estimated to be around 58 megatons; it was the largest bomb ever to go off on the face of the planet. Wasn't that a terrible setback to you at Pugwash?

JR: Initially there was a moratorium in '58 on the testing, and to a certain extent (we were just at?) the beginning of Pugwash when we pointed out the dangers of the atmospheric tests. By that time, even the Macmillan Government, for example, in Britain, also came around to the idea that this is dangerous, to carry on with the tests, and we began to talk about it. But then a number of other steps in the arms race took place, and the Soviet Union felt again endangered. And of course, they had pressure from their military scientists. And then they decided... by that time they managed to develop even bigger bombs, and they thought a very large bomb would frighten us perhaps, and they decided to detonate the 58- or nearly 60-megaton bomb. And certainly it was a great disappointment to us when they broke the moratorium. It was a very difficult moment for us when it actually happened... the news came when we were at a meeting in the United States, a Pugwash conference in Vermont, and it was a very black moment for us. But we didn't give up; we decided we have to renew our pressure. And we started again, and this led to the agreement in 1963 to the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which was at least... it didn't solve the whole problem, but at least it removed the health hazard from people: there were no more tests in the open.

INT: We spoke outside about when you feel the Cold War began. Could you tell me what you think was the real start of the Cold War?

JR: My own view is pabased on my personal experience, that the Cold War really began even before the Hiroshima bomb. Although the scientists who began the work on the atom bomb, the idea was to prevent its use, but some military people saw it in an entirely different light. Some of the American military people, and also some of the statesmen, the politicians, saw the acquisition by the United States of the bomb as a means to keep the Russians down. Although this happened at the time of the war, when Russia, the Soviet Union, was our ally and helped us to defeat Hitler - even at that time, already their idea was that America will now become the great military power, the only military power in the world, and they were able therefore to suppress the Soviet Union. I say this on the basis of something which I was told directly by the man who was in charge of the whole Manhattan Project, General Leslie Groves. And at a private dinner, when I was in Los Alamos, in March 1944 - this is about 17 months before the bomb was actually used - he said at that time to us, he said, "You realise, of course, that the whole purpose of the Project is to subdue the Russians." And I remember the words to this day, because of the great shock which this gave me. Therefore, this was in the idea... I wouldn't say that all the American military or politicians, but the man who was the leader, the head of the whole Manhattan Project, this was his idea. Later on, this was also confirmed by politicians. James Burns, Jim Burns, who was the Secretary of State under Truman, he said that "the possession of the bomb, and this demonstration of the bomb, will lead to a better management of the Russians." So you have also got from the military and from the politicians that this was their idea... about the use of the bomb. And therefore I would be inclined... although I am not a historian, and I couldn't go into the different sources of why the bomb was used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - it probably is a mixture of motivations, not just one. Nevertheless, this point, that America needed the bomb to demonstrate to the Soviet Union their newly acquired enormous military might, this certainly played a very important role. At that time, some of the Americans, the leaders, believed that this monopoly of the nuclear weapon will last for a very long time. General Groves, for example, he thought it will take at least 20 years before the Russians will be able to make the bomb. And Truman, he said that "These Asiatics" - as he referred to them - "will never make it, never be able to make it." Well, he was wrong. And of course, the Russian scientists were themselves very good scientists, but were enormously helped by help from some of our scientists. But particularly one is well known: Klaus Fuchs, who was a member of the British team. He kept on feeding the Russians with information. I mean, if one reads now the documents, really it reads almost as if... in the old days, a scientist will learn how to proceed from reading the work of other scientists in the open literature. Here, the Russian scientists all the time learnt about the progress of what is going on in America, for example, at the time, each time new information came in. They knew from the beginning what is going on about our project, and therefore it didn't take more than four years to make their own bomb, because Stalin felt, realising that he's now in a weak position, they must also have the bomb. And therefore, by '49 they exploded the first atom bomb. America got into a panic, because they've lost the monopoly, and therefore they decided to take up the project which already was on the table even during the war years: namely to develop the hydrogen bomb - the Super Project, that was called. Edward Taylor was mainly concerned with this. So the Americans began to develop the hydrogen bomb, but the Russians knew also about it, and they also began to follow, they came very quickly at their

INT: Professor, let me pick you up from where we stopped, as a question. ... It's really a continuation of something that you said earlier. Could it be said that the bombs dropped on Japan... although there were many reasons for that decision being made, could it be said that one of the reasons was as a signal to the Russians that America was now controlling the monopoly of the nuclear weapons?

JR: My own view is that the Hiroshima bomb, while it brought the Second World War to an end, was also the beginning of the Cold War. Because, although people say there are different reasons for dropping the bomb, the main reason given is because this will end the war very quickly; it will bring the war to a very rapid end - nevertheless, even this is contested by some historians, because apparently the Japanese already knew that they were militarily defeated, and already began overtures to surrender; they only asked for conditions for surrender. But by that time Truman, who just became President after Roosevelt's death, and he learnt about the bomb, he agreed with those military people who thought "Now we are going to show the Russians what we can do to them," and therefore he decided not to accept, not even to discuss, the surrender, until he could really demonstrate the bomb. Of course, other historians say that there are other reasons as well - of course there would have been. But my own opinion [is] that this point played a very important part, because America having shown the Russians, "Look, we are now the big power," this is the obvious point for... the answer from the other side was: "We are not going to allow you to keep this power. We also will do it." And therefore they began to make their own fission bomb first. They detonated it in August '49. The Americans then began the hydrogen bomb development, the ashes fallout; and then we have this dreadful arms race going on, and bringing really for the first time the danger of the complete end of civilisation, maybe even of the existence of the human species. This was the result, direct result of the use of the first bomb.

(B/g talk)