The meeting was secret—but meetings of conspicuous people in conspicuous places are not easily kept secret in Washington.

Harry Truman had invited to Blair House 14 high military, diplomatic and congressional figures, including Defense Secretary Louis Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, Chairman David Lilienthal of the Atomic Energy Commission and Vice President Alben Barkley. Secret Service men shooed people away from the sidewalk out front, and forbade photographers to use their cameras. When the visitors finally left, after 2½ hours with the President, they were grim-faced, and their jaws were clamped shut by order of the President. Senator Millard...

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