File No. 103.94/503

The Ambassador in France ( Sharp ) to the Secretary of State


5248. For Baruch from Summers:

No. 29. In further reference to steel requirements, Allied Munitions Council today passed unanimously following resolution:

Resolved that, viewing the military situation and the readiness of the French and British Governments to supply the requirements of artillery ammunition of the American Expeditionary Forces until the output of American plants is available in France, the committee is of the opinion that the demand for shell steel from America by the European Allies, consisting of 110,000 tons per month for France, 60,000 tons per month for Great Britain, and 11,000 tons per month for Italy should for the next sixty days be given priority over the American shell manufacturing program to as great an extent as possible without interfering with the continued manufacture of shells in American plants.

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I particularly call your attention to quantity of steel which is now being delivered to War Department. We have shipped for the first half of this year 42,000 tons of shell steel per week, and note the small output of shells that has resulted. It is manifestly impossible to continue to allow this steel to remain unutilized in view of the shortage existing and the heavy consumption now taking place on the front. Above action contemplates utilizing steel promptly with Allied manufacturing facilities, as there is a very heavy consumption of shells under existing conditions of warfare. The urgency of rail requirements has previously been cabled you.