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then to the peoples who are ranged against each other. We appeal to that same sentiment of humanity that we do not believe to be extinct even after three years of war.

Do you wish that victory be for you only a complete destruction of those you fight? Do you wish that victory become opprobrium because it shall not have been due to the valour or intrepidity of your sons? Do you wish at their return to salute not the brave who do not hesitate to expose their lives for their country, but the men who without risk to themselves have succeeded in ridding themselves of their enemies by the aid of poison and by inflicting horrible suffering?

We cannot but believe that in every country generous hearts have revolted against this outlook, and therefore we do not hesitate to demand openly that this atrocious method of warfare be renounced. For this an immediate agreement is necessary which the various armies should agree to execute loyally. If the International Red Cross should bring about this agreement, if it could be concluded under the shadow of its flag, it would constitute the first return to the Geneva convention and the Hague conventions. This act which would save millions of lives would be entirely to the honour of the nations as well as of the armies.

File No. 763.72116/532
The Chargé in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

BERNE, February 11, 1918, 10 a. m.

[Received February 12, 1.56 a. m.] 2617. Referring to my 2615 today's date transmitting protest of International Committee of Red Cross against use of poison gas. I have received a confidential and personal appeal for President Wilson from Naville and Ferrière, President and Vice President of International Committee respectively, that as a matter of high moral strategy President and Allies should without a day's delay unanimously adopt the appeal of Red Cross and agree to act upon it, providing the Central Powers will do the same. They add that there is no probability that the Central Empire will consent, but that the Allies will have won an immense moral victory and will also be in a position to command the support of the world and especially of such humanitarian organizations as the Red Cross.


File No. 763.72116/533
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Sharp)


WASHINGTON, February 21, 1918, 5 p. m. 3212. Department has received an appeal from the International Committee of the Red Cross at Geneva for the discontinuance by all the countries at war of the use of poisonous, asphyxiating and other gases. The British Embassy here reports a suggestion from the French Foreign Office that identic reply be framed in Paris. You may consult your British colleague unofficially and telegraph Department the tenor of suggested reply.


File No. 763.72116/548
The Ambassador in France (Sharp) to the Secretary of State

PARIS, April 11, 1918, 9 p. m.

[Received April 12, 5.30 a. m.] 3580. My 3261, February 28, 12 noon. Now learn that General Bliss in his telegram No. 65 of March 27 2 reported to Department of War the text which the inter-Allied representatives at the Supreme War Council recommended to their Governments as an answer to the appeal of the International Red Cross of Geneva. Foreign Office informs me that French Ambassador at Berne has been instructed to arrange with his Allied colleagues to communicate to the President of the Committee of the International Red Cross a note based on the resolution adopted at the Supreme War Council.


File No. 763.72116/551

The Minister in Switzerland (Stovall) to the Secretary of State


BERNE, April 13, 1918, 3 p. m.

[Received April 15, 3.40 a. m.] 3072. Referring to my despatch of February 11, No. 2369.2 French Ambassador has furnished me with a copy of the reply which he is instructed by his Government to present to the Swiss Political Department [International Committee of Red Cross at Geneva] and has inquired of all Allied Legations whether they will associate themselves in presentation of this note, of which the following is a résumé. Please instruct.

Allied Powers at beginning of war believed civilized nations would not make use of cruel means of warfare according to international agreement. Germany introduced asphyxiating and then poison gas. Allied Governments have been obliged to seek means of protection for their armies and methods of warfare furnishing their armies equal offensive instruments. If Allied Governments agree to

* Not printed; see Department's telegram No. 3212, Feb. 21, supra. ? Not printed.

proposals of Red Cross Committee, what guaranty have they that Germany will not again break her pledge? But should German Government agree to proposal of Red Cross relative to cessation of the use of gas and offer detailed and effective guaranties “the Allied Governments will be inclined to examine that proposition in the most liberal spirit. But in the absence of such guaranties the Allied Governments would be failing in their duty by not availing themselves of every means which they may deem proper to prevent their adversary from doing them harm.”


File No. 763.72116/563

The British Embassy to the Department of State No. 434

MEMORANDUM The British Embassy present their compliments to the Department of State and have the honour to state that they are in receipt of a telegram from the Foreign Office to the effect that His Majesty's Government have had under their consideration the reply drafted by the Versailles Council to the protest made by the Central Committee of the Red Cross against the use of poisonous gas. His Majesty's Government approve generally of this reply but, as regards the last paragraph, are of opinion that it should be clearly stated that the guarantee asked for from the German Government must be of a new and substantial character.

His Majesty's Government suggest, therefore, that a sentence to this effect should be added to the last paragraph of the draft reply and the British Embassy are instructed to express the hope that, in the event of the United States Government agreeing with this view, they will be so good as to send instructions to their representative at Berne with a view to his concerting with his Allied colleagues in inserting such a sentence and in presenting the final reply to the Red Cross. WASHINGTON, April 24, 1918.

[Received April 25.]

File No. 763.72116/557
The Minister in Switzerland (Stovall) to the Secretary of State

BERNE, May 19, 1918, 4 p. m.

[Received May 9, 1.47 a. m.] 3275. My 3072, April 13, 3 p. m. British Minister informs me that he has received instructions to present note suggested by French Ambassador concerning poison gases to President of International Red Cross and that he will deliver it on 8th instant and publish in

Swiss press.


File No. 763.72116/557

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Stovall)


WASHINGTON, May 17, 1918. 1926. Your 3275, May 7, 4 p. m. You may present note to President of International Red Cross suggested by French Ambassador as outlined in your 3072, April 13, 3 p. m., regarding use of asphyxiating and poisonous gases in warfare.


File No. 763.72116/575
The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Sofia (Murphy)

No. 147

WASHINGTON, July 5, 1918. SIR: The Department transmits herewith a translation of a statement received from the Greek Minister 1 in regard to the unfortunate conditions reported to exist in Greek Macedonia as a result of the action of the Bulgarians in that country. The Minister has requested this Government to intervene with the Bulgarian Government on humanitarian grounds.

After informal consultation with the diplomatic representative of the power in charge of Greek interests in Bulgaria you may bring the statement textually to the attention of the Bulgarian Government and state that in view of these reports, which appear to emanate from trustworthy sources, you have been instructed by your Government to protest on behalf of the Government of Greece and to request the Bulgarian Government to take such steps as will effectively put an end to these reported conditions in Macedonia and bring these unfortunate people into a state of existence compatible with the most elementary humanitarian principles of civilization. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:


Not printed.

File No. 763.72116/588

The Swiss Chargé (Oederlin) to the Secretary of State

Department of
German Interests

The Chargé d'Affaires a. i. of Switzerland, representing German interests in the United States, presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and has the honor to submit to His Excellency the contents of a cablegram received today from the Swiss Foreign Office:

The German Government protests against the use of shotguns by the American Army and calls attention to the fact that according to the law of war (Kriegsrecht) every prisoner found to have in his possession such guns or ammunition belonging thereto forfeits his life. This protest is based upon article 23(e) of the Hague convention respecting laws and customs of war on land. Reply by cable is required before October 1, 1918.

The Chargé d'Affaires will be glad to transmit the reply of the Government of the United States to the Swiss Foreign Office for communication to the German Government, and will not fail to transmit to His Excellency, immediately upon receipt thereof, the note verbale of the German Government on this matter, which, it is understood, is en route to the United States.

WASHINGTON, September 19, 1918.

File No. 763.72116/588

The Secretary of State to the Swiss Chargé (Oederlin)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Chargé d'Affaires of Switzerland, representing German interests in the United States, and acknowledges the receipt of his memorandum, dated September 19, communicating the protest of the German Government against the use of shotguns by the American Army.

In reply to the German protest, the Government of the United States has to say that the provision of the Hague convention, cited in the protest, does not in its opinion forbid the use of this kind of weapon. Moreover, in view of the history of the shotgun as a weapon of warfare, and in view of the well-known effects of its present use, and in the light of a comparison of it with other weapons approved in warfare, the shotgun now in use by the American Army cannot be the subject of legitimate or reasonable protest.

The Government of the United States notes the threat of the German Government to execute every prisoner of war found to have in his possession shotguns or shotgun ammunition. Notwithstanding

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