File No. 763.72111/2382
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Germany ( Gerard )
1917. Your 2511. Investigations show that the advertisement in question was of a machine for the manufacture of explosive shells and not of the shells themselves; that the sentence quoted was inserted to attract attention and the Department is informed that this advertisement will not appear again in this objectionable form.
You may make use, in your discretion, of the following information:
Owing to numerous press reports describing the use by the French of American shells and the killing of German soldiers by such American ammunition, and that the mortalities have been considerably increased because the French were using poisonous American shells [Page 790] made by a certain company in Cleveland, Ohio, the French Embassy on July 1 issued the following statement:
In view of such frequently reported assertions, it can not be amiss to state once for all that France has bought no shell of any sort in the United States since the beginning of the war.