File No. 800.24/64
The Ambassador in France ( Sharp ) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 9, 3.44 a.m.]
4130. War Trade Board [from McFadden], attention of War Department and War Industries Board:
No. 160. The following is an unofficial communication received from the Munitions Council which they desire shall be brought promptly to your attention.
Memorandum of the principal points to which the Inter-Allied Conference has requested the American delegates to draw the special attention of the American Government, and same will be the object of official communications
- The American Government is requested to appoint its representative as soon as possible upon this Council.
- Powder. It is called to the attention of the American Government that the arrangements for the manufacture of propelling powder foreseen by the United States seemed to very much exceed the production necessary for the needs of the American Army itself at its maximum development as well as for the supplying of powder by the United States to France and Great Britain.
- Artillery on caterpillars. It is of first importance for the success of the war to facilitate the movement of artillery when off roads by means of tractors equipped with caterpillars. The United States is asked to make a great effort in this direction. America ought to be able to manufacture these particular gun carriages or tractors or at least the caterpillars. France with the help of Great Britain would guarantee to furnish the artillery material and the mounting thereof.
- Tanks. It is of equal importance to develop largely and rapidly the manufacture of tanks of various categories. France can assure the manufacture of small tanks but United States is urgently requested to develop the manufacture of large tanks (Chatteauroux).
- Chemical material. It is of imperative importance finally to keep the Allied armies supplied with abundance of gas shells especially hyperite and collongite shells the basis of which is chlorine. The United States is requested to place at the disposal of this manufacturing programme from now on all chlorine which it has at its disposal and to develop as soon as possible in America the complete manufacture of these products.
The following are the salient points developed at the conference which we venture to bring to your attention:
- The French and British delegates constantly referred to the fact that the original suggestions, etc., in connection with the organization of the council had been inspired by agencies [Page 584] of the United States and therefore it was a matter of great regret and disappointment that the United States was not officially represented.
- It was strongly urged that the proper departments of the United States Government should immediately establish a permanent committee in Paris of technical munitions experts familiar with our munitions programme for the purpose of conferring continuously with corresponding technical committees established by the French, British, and Italian ministries in Paris.
- The subcommittee on explosives and propellants stated that in their judgment the production of the United States in connection with explosives and propellants was largely in excess of any possible requirements of the Associated Governments.
- An increase in the production of chlorine was considered of the greatest importance and it was particularly emphasized that same be brought to the attention of the United States.
The quartermaster departments of the Associated Governments have agreed to pool all military supplies after arrival in France including railway transports and materials, motor transports, warehouses, etc., with a view to the coordination and most economical employment and distribution of same.
We respectfully urge you to not only appoint immediately the proper representatives of the United States Government upon the Munitions Council, but also to send a committee of technical experts to remain permanently in Paris. McFadden.