By Margaret Gowing (auth.)
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Extra resources for Independence and Deterrence: Britain and Atomic Energy, 1945–1952
No holds were barred and there were no rules of seniority in the debates: junior staff were amazed to find their radical suggestions adopted. Some of the toughest mutual brainsharpening occurred at meetings with Harwell peoplewho suspected that Hinton's own staff, who seemed to sit mutely by, were yes-men. But the internal debates among them had taken place in earlier rounds. Hinton showed immense courage in taking decisions, but once the decisions were made, it was essential that everyone should accept them and that they should go through the normal chain of command.
This latter group covered an age-range from thirty or so upwards and included, for example, A. R. Greatbatch in radiology; R. Pilgrim, an expert in blast measurements who had been with Penney at Bikini; H . H. M. Pike, a physicist; G. L. Hopkin, a metallurgist; L. C. Tyte, W. J. Challens and C. A. Adams, who specialised in electronics and instrumentation; and E. H. Mott and W. J. Moyce, who were explosives experts. These men displayed great adaptability in moving into all kinds of new knowledge and techniques and their versatility The Men 31 was a credit to their training within the Government service.
When this expansion was authorised in Februar y 1948, the Prime Minister again minuted the Minister of Supply and other Ministers concerned, saying that he attached to the expanded programme the same high degree of importance and urgency as he had attached to the original one. He wanted this made clear to all concerned; he hoped nothing would be allowed to interfere with its realisation and that the Minister would let him know at once of any serious difficulties. Again, the demands on resources (including provision of housing) were not likely to be heavy and, apart from some skilled scientists, engineers and technicians who would have to be withdrawn from other important projects, the effects on other highpriority programmes should not be serious.