Science, Security and the Cold War: An Australian Perspective
Abstract from Phillip Deery's article in War and Society,
Vol 17, Number 1, 1999
One afternoon, in late July 1949, the permanent head of the
Australian Department of Defence, chairman of the Defence Committee and
member of the Council of Defence, Sir Frederic Shedden, met with his British counterparts
at the Ministry of Defence in Storey's gate, London.
A short distance away, in the Strand, another Australian, a postgraduate student of
Thomas Kaiser, was participating in a small and ineffectual political protest
outside Australia House. Neither Kaiser nor Shedden was aware of the other, and the
reasons for each being in London that afternoon were not related. Yet very soon the
career of the young scientist would become entangled with the concerns of the powerful
bureaucrat. This article will attempt to unravel this unusual
connection by analysing the so-called 'Kaiser Case'. In doing so, it will
open another window onto Australia's troubled defence relationship with the
United States and great Britain during the early Cold War.