File No. 103.94/455
The Ambassador in France ( Sharp ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 23, 1.50 a.m.]
5159. For Baruch from Summers:
No. 23. We have been continually at work on the American program for shells realizing that it was out of all proportion to the firing program. This is of fundamental importance not alone in steel but in explosives and propellants since it meant the creation of further facilities at a great sacrifice of capital and essential labor. Conferences yesterday and today with Pershing’s officers led to conclusion that the program will be materially reduced with a considerable saving of steel, particularly 75 millimeter. Details of this will reach you through War Department as they are cabling revised calculations today.
Am investigating railroad situation and all indications are that with advance of the Allied armies extensive railroad construction will be necessary and it will be impossible to reduce Pershing’s program. Will advise you after conference with General Atterbury. We are endeavoring to standardize size and shape of rails so as to use jointly any reserves created here.