The Chinese Embassy to the Department of State15

The Japanese in the Shanghai sector have been using the poisonous gas and many casualties have already been reported. The following [Page 604] statement signed by Dr. H. F. Ettinger, Chief Surgeon of the Nanking Red Cross Hospital, and Dr. Borcic, Representative of the League of Nations in China for health organization, is a concrete proof.

“The undersigned have examined three cases in the Red Cross General Hospital, Nanking, diagnosed as gas casualties and submit the following findings.

The patients still have marked symptoms of conjunctivitis with photophobia and are covered with blisters varying in diameter between .2 to .5 centimeters. Some blisters are beginning to dry up and the others show secondary infection and ulceration. The color of most lesion is copperish, but some contain black pigment.

Hoarseness is a common symptom of all cases. The eyelids in two cases are edemantous eyes lacrimating constantly. One case arrived with broncho pneumonia.

The patients present no wounds and state that after three or four hours in the center of enemy attack from artillery and from air, they felt burning all over their bodies. Their eyes started to smart and water. One youngest [youngster?] felt pain one hour after the attack.

The combination of the clinical history with the physical findings convinces us that the patients have been suffering from the effects of the vesicant agent most likely the gas of the mustard group which was released from gas bombs or shells and struck them in a low state of concentration.”

Other cases are still under examination and further reports of the use of the poisonous gas by enemy are still coming in.

  1. Text of message received at the Chinese Embassy dated Nanking, October 12, and forwarded to the Department.