500.A15A4 Steering Committee/49: Telegram

The American Delegate (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

380. Since as you will note from my 379, September 21, 8 p.m., the question of preparation of gas warfare in time of peace will be one of the first questions to be dealt with exhaustively and in view of the last paragraph of your 109, May 24, 6 p.m.,81 I feel that I should again bring it to your attention.

I have made an informal poll and have discovered: the British will agree to abolition of means of chemical warfare and training but maintains a reservation as to any attempt to prohibit or control manufacture of gas for industrial purposes. The French have approximately the same point of view but insist on extended supervision. The Italians and Japanese have approximately the British point of view. From recollection of previous sessions the Scandinavian States, Holland and Spain are also for the abolition of preparation.

I shall not reiterate the arguments which the delegation advanced to you previously but suggest early consultation with Senator Swanson on this subject and reconsideration of our position since we are apparently isolated, certainly among the great powers.

  1. Ante, p. 141.