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  Library Correspondence Ralph Bard: Memorandum, June 27, 1945

Memorandum on the use of the S-1 Bomb
From: Ralph A. Bard, Undersecertary of the Navy
To: Henry Stimson, Secretary of War
Date: June 27, 1945

Ever since I have been in touch with this program I have had a feeling that before the bomb is actually used against Japan that Japan should have some preliminary warning for say two or three days in advance of use. The position of the United States as a great humanitarian nation and the fair play attitude of our people generally is responsible in the main for this feeling. 

During recent weeks I have also had the feeling very definitely that the Japanese government may be searching for some opportunity which they could use as a medium of surrender. Following the three-power conference emissaries from this country could contact representatives from Japan somewhere on the China Coast and make representations with regard to Russia's position and at the same time give them some information regarding the proposed use of atomic power, together with whatever assurances the President might care to make with regard to the Emperor of Japan and the treatment of the Japanese nation following unconditional surrender. It seems quite possible to me that this presents the opportunity which the Japanese are looking for. 

I don't see that we have anything particular to lose in following such a program. The states are so tremendous that it is my opinion very real consideration should be given to some plan of this kind. I do not believe under present circumstances existing that there is anyone in this country whose evaluation of the chances of the success of such a program is worth a great deal. The only way to find out is to try it out. 

RALPH A. BARD 

27 June 1945 

Source: Michael B. Stoff et al., ed., The Manhattan Project: a documentary introduction to the Atomic Age (Philadelphia: Temple University Press: 1991), p. 162.

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