During his last turbulent years in public office, David Lilienthal had often turned the phrases over in his mind. They came easily last week as he wrote his letter to the President. "I submit herewith my resignation as chairman and member of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission ... to be effective at the close of business on December 31, 1949."

The letter was not a complete surprise (TiME, Nov. 28). Lilienthal had hinted broadly that, at 50, he had found it high time to divorce himself from Government salaries (present salary: $17,500) and start building for his own financial future....

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