740.00116 Pacific War/85

The Apostolic Delegate (Cicognani) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Hull: The Cardinal Secretary of State has just informed me that the Special Envoy of the Japanese Government to the Holy See has brought to his attention an article by a Mr. Baldwin, in the New York Times, and pointed out that the tenor of this article appears to indicate that American military authorities are preparing to use poison gas in the Far East, on the grounds that gas has already been employed by the Japanese forces in China.

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The Japanese Ambassador to the Holy See assured His Eminence that the assertion on the use of gas by the Japanese army authorities in China is not true.43 The Ambassador added that the Japanese will always refrain from the use of poison gas, provided the American officials follow this same principle.

The Ambassador then requested His Eminence, in the name of the Japanese Government, to bring this assurance to the attention of the United States Government.

His Eminence adds that he expressed to the Japanese Ambassador his own personal conviction that, in the light of its frequent condemnations of the use of poison gas as a military weapon, he feels certain that the United States military authorities have no intention of employing such means of warfare.

While I convey this information to you according to the directions of His Eminence, I am [etc.]

A. G. Cicognani

Archbishop of Laodicea
  1. In telegram 1251, July 20, 1 p.m., the Ambassador in China (Gauss) cited the Military Attaché in China (De Pass) as authority that there was no acceptable evidence of Japanese use of poison gas (740.0011 PW/7–2044).