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The Riddle of the Rhine: Chemical Strategy in Peace and War by Victor LeFebure

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The Americans have also established beyond doubt the active
co-operation between the German Government and the I.G. But,
if the policy of the German Government and of the organic
chemical industry had many points in common before the war,
they became one before hostilities were many months old.
The part played by the I.G. in munitions production, in which it
was virtually a tool of the Government, has already been seen.
It must be remembered that, after the first Battle of the Marne,
the German Government turned to the I.G. for a large part of
its explosives and practically all its poison gas, and, as has
been stated on many occasions, and with reason, Germany would
not have been able to continue the war after the summer of 1915
but for the commercial development of the Haber process
by the I.G. The story is too well known to repeat at length.
The basic element of explosives is nitrogen, which is introduced
by nitric acid. This was produced from imported Chili saltpetre,
but the blockade cut short these imports, and but for the Haber
method, the vital step in producing nitric acid from the air,
Germany would have been compelled to abandon the struggle.

There is striking coincidence between the commencement of
the Great War and the successful completion of certain vital
German chemical developments. As late as 1912 Germany still
depended on other countries, chiefly England, for her phenol,
the basic raw material for picric acid as well as a dye necessity.
Soon after that date the development of the Bayer plant made
her independent in that product, and gave her, in fact,
an exportable surplus.

War Activities of the I.G.--Reviewing all these activities and realising
how they all emanate from this one organisation, we are overwhelmed by its
formidable nature as an offensive and defensive weapon in time of war.
Here we have an organisation, the I.G., whose sinister pre-war
ramifications dominated the world by their hold on the supply of organic
chemicals vital for peace and war. This organisation functioned,
in a sense, as the life blood of German offensive warfare.
German sources tell us very little of the war activities and future
significance of the I.G. A veil of secrecy seems to be cast
over the whole matter, but behind this veil must exist an acute
realisation of the value of the I.G. as a trump card for the future.
Krupp is uncovered, the whole world was alarmed at its meaning for war,
but heard with a comfortable sense of security how Krupp was
exchanging the sword for the plough. But the gigantic I.G. controls
in its great hand a sword or plough for war or peace at will.
This is no far-fetched metaphor.

The Rhine Factories and the Armistice,--It therefore becomes important
to inquire into the attitude and activities of the I.G. since
the Armistice, and to examine its position in world reconstruction.
For one brief period, the few weeks following the Armistice, the German dye
industries appear to have been without policy, its leaders in confusion.
But with the confidence inspired by the Allied Rhineland occupation,
with the assistance provided by the Allied controlling organisations,
with regard to labour, fuel, and commercial transactions, the industrial
morale speedily recovered.

The tide of revolution which accompanied the German debacle in
the autumn of 1918 swept over the Rhineland chemical factories.
Colonel Norris, writing on his visit in February, 1919, tells us
that after peace was restored by the Allied forces:[1]--
"the managers of several factories agreed that the occupation
of the territory was the best thing that could have happened.
On the other side of the Rhine, labour refused to work,
and demanded unheard-of pay--everything was topsy-turvy. In fact,
before the Allied armies arrived, revolutionary notions were
growing rapidly along the Rhine. One director of a well-known
chemical plant is said to have escaped by night with his life
by way of the river, when his employees were especially menacing.
When the British Army came he returned, and is now at his old post."
Thus, although the I.G. was model in its institutions for
the welfare of employees, at least one of its most prominent
directors was compelled to take refuge from infuriated labour.
What with danger from the latter, and the uncertainty of action
by the oncoming Allied troops, the future of the factories
appeared very gloomy. In fact, there are fairly credible
rumours that the German directors were willing to dispose
of their assets to the Allies while they remained intact.
But the same Allied troops, whose advent was feared, rolled back
the tide of revolution from the banks of the Rhine, and restored
industrial security. It is doubtful whether the investing
armies realised the full war significance of these factories,
except the French. The latter instituted a fairly thorough
control almost at once. But, judging from reports of
different missions to these factories, we were even backward
in organising inspection of the purely munitions plants.
Thus the Hartley Mission did not materialise until three
months had elapsed.

[1] _Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry_, Vol. XI., 1919,
Page 817.

War Mentality of the I.G.--We watch a vivid impression of the war
mentality of the I.G. in a few phrases from Colonel Norris's account:
"Around the walls of the director's room was a beautifully painted
and artistic frieze which pictured the various plants of the
Bayer Company and their activities. Dr. Duisberg, the director,
pointed out proudly to the Americans the view of the company's plant
on the Hudson River. We were not surprised to see it, although pre-war
advertisements had assured us at home that Bayer aspirin had been made
on the Hudson for years by an American company. During the war an
ante-room had been decorated in a similar way, with pictures illustrating
the activity of the plant in the preparation of war-gas materials.
One saw how gas was made, shells were filled, and gas masks assembled.
The work was done by an artist, and has a permanent value.
The fact that the thing was conceived and executed during the stress
of war throws an interesting sidelight on German character."
Incidentally, it also throws a further sidelight upon the part played
by Leverkusen in the chemical warfare campaign.

German Attitude towards Inspection.--As was quite to be expected,
the German factories did not receive our missions with open arms,
and they were particularly jealous of any inspection at Oppau,
the site of the wonderful Haber synthetic ammonia plant.
Lieut. McConnel, of the U.S. Navy, tells us:[1] "Upon arrival
at the plant the Germans displayed a polite but sullen attitude.
They seemed willing to afford the opportunity of a cursory
inspection, but strongly objected to a detailed examination.
On the third day of the visit the writer was informed that his
presence had become a source of serious objection and that if his
examination were prolonged a formal complaint would be submitted
to the Peace Conference." The Allies had only themselves to blame.
Their facile yielding to the argument that this great arsenal
was principally of peace significance, owing to the fertilisers
which it would eventually make, and the feeble backing provided
for inspecting missions, were reflected in the semi-resistant
attitude of the I.G. personnel.

[1] _Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry_, Vol. XI., 1919,
page 837.

The Rhine and Chaulny Contrast.--It was a curious contrast, however,
to pass through Chaulny on the way to the Rhine. At Chaulny,
the oldest chemical works in France, quoting again from
Colonel Norris, "where Gay-Lussac did his famous work on the
manufacture of sulphuric acid, where Courtois discovered iodine,
and where plate glass was first made, had grown with the times,
and was amongst the largest factories in France. Around it
was a thriving town of about 13,000 inhabitants, with some
excellent public modern buildings. When the Germans in their
first retreat were forced to leave the place, they dismantled
the factory and carried away everything that was portable.
The fortunes of war brought them back, and before they left
a second time a regiment of soldiers was put to work to destroy
systematically the factory and the entire town. For, a month
they kept at work, and when they withdrew but a few bricks were
left standing. Every boiler had been blown up with dynamite,
and every tank too heavy to be carted away rendered useless.
About half an acre was covered with chemical stoneware of
all kinds; each piece had been broken with a sledgehammer.
Nothing was too small or too large to escape destruction.
And to make sure of a good job, everything that would burn was
set on fire." Yet within twenty-four hours one met Germans,
in-directly or directly responsible for this policy of destruction,
resenting peaceful Allied inquiries on the munition activities
of their own plants. We hardly know whether to attribute such
effects of Allied policy to our own integrity in respecting
the peace activities of these arsenals or to official ignorance
of their war-like nature.

German Revolution and the Industrial Leaders.--It is curious how
the leadership of the captains of German industry was left untouched
by the revolutionary disturbances of the post-Armistice period.
Evidence is to be found in the composition of the main German delegation
to Paris for the settlement of the Versailles Treaty. Many of the
members were big industrial magnates, several had direct connection
with chemical industry, and at least one was a prominent director
of the I.G.

The German Peace Delegation.--Commenting on the composition of the main
German delegation in the spring of 1919, we find the German press
deploring the omission of any "visible representative" of Army
or Navy. Does this imply the presence of invisible representation?
Whether intended or not, there is truth in the implication.
The list contains the name of one of the leading representatives of
the big dye combine. Others of the delegates have chemical interests.
This is significant. It more than implies the German official
acknowledgment of the importance of the dye industry in general
for the future of Germany, and of its prime importance for war.

Recent Signs of Government Interest.--Recent developments
have merely strengthened the dye combine and provided
further evidence of Government interest in its welfare.
The chief signs of reviving. German Government interest in the I.G.
are to be found in the loan for the nitrogen enterprise and in
the privileges which it enjoys with regard to Government taxes.
An American source,[1] a witness before a Senate Committee,
reveals that the dye plants "have to pay no direct Government taxes.
According to an understanding with the present Government,
all organic chemical productions, the companies themselves,
as well as all dependencies, without exception,
for the next ten years, are freed from all direct State tax.
In so far as community taxes come into consideration,
I believe we will obtain a remission for our profession."
The latest sign of Government support is to be found in
the preferential treatment obtained by the German dye industry
in coal deliveries. Coal is a critical factor in the German
attempt to regain their monopoly.

Nitrogen Fixation.--The industrial fixation of nitrogen by Germany to form
ammonia has great importance from the point of view of our discussion.
Statements by various prominent Germans, such as Dr. Max Sering,
of the University of Berlin, and Dr. Hugo Schweitzer, already referred to,
leave no doubt. The former, writing in 1915, tells us:
"The complete cutting off of the supply of Chili saltpetre during
the war has been made good by our now taking nitrogen directly
out of the air in large factories built during and before the war.
With extraordinary rapidity the question has been solved how the
enormous quantities of the needed ammunition were to be produced,
a question which in England still meets with difficulties, in spite
of the help from America."

[1] Hearings before Committee on Finance, U. S. Senate, 1920, page 195.

The German Nitrogen Syndicate.--The two great Haber plants at Oppau
and Merseburg are both constituent parts of the I.G., and they
introduce a new element of Government interest into the I.G. policy.
Giving evidence before the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
of the United States Senate, Colonel Joyce develops this question
of Government interest in detail. He tells us how war nitrogen supply
was energetically and specifically fostered by the German Government
through an Imperial Commissioner under the War Department. One of
the three advisers of this campaign was Doctor Bueb,
representing the Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik. Colonel Joyce tells us:
"That was a strictly war control organisation, but even before
the war closed, Germany, with her usual foresight, was giving
consideration to the future commercial aspects of her nitrogen works,
and in August, 1919, there was definitely formed an association
of the producers which was called the Stickstoff Syndikat G.m.b.H.
or Nitrogen Syndicate. This designation is a commercial one,
and the organisation is along commercial lines, but it is,
reliably stated that the establishment of this syndicate was
largely due to governmental influence. This will be more easily
understood if it be realised that the German Government had given
financial assistance to many of the new plants and plant increases
which the war had necessitated."

Haber Process Prominent.--The Badische Co. holds a large part of the capital
stock of this syndicate, whose Board contains a Government nominee.
in addition the Board of Managers will have a Government chairman.
Through such arrangements, Government interest in the I.G. nitrogen
enterprise is clearly revealed. In conclusion, Colonel Joyce informs us,
"This information, which comes from most reliable sources and is
not to be disputed, shows that, beyond question, any one outside
of Germany producing or desiring to purchase nitrogenous fertilisers
or similar compounds, will have to deal with a single organisation,
essentially a branch of the German Government, which will have
an absolute monopolistic control of all such products produced in
Germany or whatever surplus there may be for export (Hearing before
the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, U.S. Senate, S. 3390,
Mar. 22nd, 1920, p. 52)." It is reported that the preliminary allotment
of production to the Badische Co. in the Syndicate is three hundred thousand
tons per annum, which should leave a considerable exportable surplus.
This would constitute a formidable weapon in any price-cutting campaigns
entered upon by the I.G. in order to preserve her various monopolies.
We learn from the _Colour Trade Journal_ of August, 1920, that the
German Government has advanced something over ten million pounds
for the construction and operation of the Haber plant.

The New German Dye Combine.--Internal changes have accompanied
the development of these external relationships. The interchange
of capital and directors between the different branches,
the use of all assets for a common purpose, and the pooling of
all profits effected in 1919, has brought about a closer union.
From the relatively loose pre-war combination held together by common
price interests, the organisation has passed through the cartel
to what is now practically a form of trust. The German dye industry
is now a closely woven, almost homogeneous institution. It has added
economic cohesion to technical efficiency, and is to-day the largest
technically efficient potential instrument of war in the world.
We have thus revealed the existence, and indicated the nature,
of the resultant activities of the chemical policy guiding
the pre-war German combination of organic chemical or dye producers.
Further, it is seen how the war stimulated and sealed closer relationships
between the constituent firms, and between the resultant organisation,
the I.G., and the German Government. Continuing, we find the above
tendencies intensified since the Armistice, from unmistakable signs
briefly referred to above.

Aggressive Nationalistic Policy.--Both in peace and war,
the combination of interests, known as the I.G., has successfully
pursued an intensely nationalistic and aggressive chemical policy.
We might ignore what some have regarded as the sinister side
of the I.G. activities, considering the whole as a wonderful
monument to German science, thoroughness and patriotism,
which it undoubtedly is in many respects. But the significance
to the Allies and associated countries remains the same.
Even without any thought or intention on the part of present day
Germany to use this thing for war, it remains a serious menace.
But the direct evidence which we possess does not actually
support such a peaceful view. Her press confidently prophesies
the resumption of the pre-war German monopoly, reassuring its
readers by careful analysis of the causes of the eventful failure
to establish organic chemical industries in Allied countries.

Are we to yield in this field of economic war? If so, then one
of the chief lessons of the Great War will remain unheeded,
and the future cannot fall to prove this to the hilt,
to our cost.



The Element of Speculation.--It is of considerable interest to Introduce
an element of speculation into our discussion of chemical warfare.
In glancing at future possibilities, we can adopt one of two courses,
follow up the clearly marked lines of recent development, or give
the imagination play within the whole field of scientific possibility.
The former course lies more within the scope of this book.

Chemical Tactics and Strategy.--Two basic military conceptions come
to our assistance in attempting to characterise types of chemical
warfare development. With a little explanation it is possible
to place this or that method in the tactical or strategic class.
Any new chemical warfare development capable, under a given
system of individual protection, of successfully attacking
the hitherto protected individual, may be termed strategic.
The method may be aimed at a protected or hitherto immune human function,
but if it overcomes protection it is then capable of effecting
strategic results by its use on a sufficiently large scale.
Thus we regard the first introduction of cloud gas by Germany,
or their use of mustard gas, as examples of strategic chemical
warfare moves. Any fundamental discovery of this sort,
applicable to chemical warfare, is capable of strategic effects.
Used only on a small scale, however, these possibilities may be
lost and tactical advantages may alone accrue.

The tactical type of chemical warfare method involves the use
of some new or old war chemical device in achieving a tactical
objective which may, itself, form part of a larger scheme with
strategic significance. Examples were plentiful during the recent war.
We may refer to the use of smoke, of gas shell for neutralisation,
or of cloud gas as preparation for a local infantry advance.

The same classification can be applied to the protective
as to the offensive side of chemical warfare. The equipment
of an army of millions with a gas mask has a strategic value,
if it counters the large-scale use of gas by the enemy.
The mere fact of this protection may serve the same purpose
as a violent resistance to a huge enemy attack. It may render
the attack, and, therefore, the resistance, out of the question.
By permitting the individual soldier to retain the efficient use
of his weapons in gas, the mask, or other form of individual
protection, may render a costly counter-attack unnecessary.
In this way protective methods in chemical warfare may be the
determining factor in some strategic campaign or tactical activity.
The distinction between tactics and strategy in chemical
warfare cannot be made by grouping substances, or their methods
of application to war, any more than one can say that certain
infantry or artillery formations or weapons have a purely
strategic or tactical function. The distinction lies rather
in the magnitude and incidence of use of the chemical appliance
on the battle-field, while depending on its novel nature.
A new substance, possessing potential strategic value,
may be wasted, and its surprise effect lost, in some local affair.
This applies to the use of mustard gas by the Germans and to our
own use of the Livens projector. Our armies were surprised
and our plans modified by the German use of mustard gas at
Ypres and Nieuport. We were not clear where this new thing
was tending. Think of its strategic and psychological value
had it been used on a scale and front twenty times larger.
Leaving the chemical field, we can say that the first British
use of the tank provided another example.

New War Chemicals.--The question of entirely new war
chemicals is of general interest. The first main group
of substances with which we were faced during the war
contained such types as chlorine and phosgene, whose chief
line of attack was directed towards the respiratory system.
Specific protection rapidly developed and, once obtained,
led to violent attempts to penetrate it or "break it down."
In other words, the attempts to penetrate the mask by using higher
concentrations of phosgene were analogous, from our point of view,
to similar attempts by the use of an entirely new substance aimed
again at the respiratory system. The introduction of mustard
gas confirmed, what the use of lachrymators had suggested,
that the most fruitful line would be found by attacking human
functions hitherto immune. First the lungs, then the eyes,
then the skin of the human being came under fire, so to speak.
What further developments appear possible on these lines?
Assuming that means are found to protect satisfactorily
the respiratory system, and the eyes, what other vulnerable
points can the war chemical find in the human organism?
Some more specific vesicant, some modification of mustard gas,
might arise, limited in attack to certain portions of the human being.
The Germans were already at work on these lines.

"Camouflage" Chemicals.--It is by no means visionary to picture
the loss of the sense of taste and smell by the use of some chemical.
Partially successful efforts were made by both sides during
the war to mask the odour of the harmful constituent of a shell
filling by introducing an appropriate "camouflage" compound.
Whole series of chemicals were examined from this point of view
by the American field laboratory at Puteaux near Paris. The step
from specific camouflage compounds to a single general type
is by no means unbridgeable in theory.

An insight into work of this kind has been given by Colonel R. F. Bacon
of the American Chemical Warfare Service. He says:
"The gas-camouflage is of particular interest. It has been found
that malodorous compounds (butyl mercaptan, dimethyl tricarbonate,
etc.), are useful to mask the presence of other `gases' or to force
the enemy to wear respirators when no other `gases' are present.
As in the case of lachrymators, such `stink gases' must frequently
be accompanied by other `gases,' in order that the enemy may never
know when toxic gases are actually absent. Camouflage gases are also
useful in that they save `mustard gas' and the highly lethal gases.
Their value has been demonstrated in trials at Hanlon Field and also
at the front." The use of such compounds has an obvious value.
By removing the possibility of detecting the dangerous chemical,
they enforce the permanent use of the protective appliance or encourage
a fatal carelessness in the individual soldier.

Functions Hitherto Immune.--In this field of chemical attack upon
hitherto immune human functions, it is particularly easy to class
suggestions as visionary and to be wise only after the event.
But it must be borne in mind that any nation in a position
to effect such a surprise would be in a commanding position.
It is believed, for example, that the human being maintains his
equilibrium through the proper functioning of the semi-circular canals,
organs situated behind the inner ear. It does not appear possible
to attain them chemically directly, but they might be reached
by the absorption of some suitable chemical into the system in
the very small concentrations now possible on the field of battle.
We doubt whether any physiologist would go further than to say
that such a mode of attack is improbable in the near future.
No qualified person would class it as impossible.
It has been advanced that the control of equilibrium occurs
through the movement of certain hairs through a liquid
within these canals. If this be so, then one would simply
require to solidify or change the viscosity of this liquid.
Would this be difficult? Probably not, for most of the body
fluids are of that colloidal nature in which coagulation
occurs in the presence of small quantities of special agents.
Such a result might cause the individual to lose his equilibrium.
This would prohibit all organised movement. An army thus
attained would be less mobile than a colony of cripples.

Picture for a moment such a battle as the great German attack of March,
1918--millions of men urged forward from fixed positions under highly
centralised control--they advance, say, two or three miles beyond this
control and are largely dependent on local initiative for the attack.
They then enter clouds of shell chemical and in less than fifteen minutes
a fair percentage becomes incapable of advancing in a fixed direction,
of obeying local orders, or of anything more than a sort of drunken movement.
By this time their supporting artillery would have been identified
and attained, and the whole attack reduced to almost farcical conditions.
Such a compound may never develop, but who will class it as beyond
the realm of eventual possibility?

Every one is acquainted with the peculiar effects produced by
various anaesthetics. The emergency uses to which they are put and
our personal acquaintance with them may have dulled the imagination.
Think for a moment of the possibilities which they unfold.
Gaseous anaesthetics, in certain concentrations, produce
temporary unconsciousness, other anaesthetics, so called local,
produce absolute immobility without loss of consciousness.
Chloroform and ether are common forms of the first type, but they
are required in such concentrations as to render their battle
use impracticable. But the second type, of which stovaine,
the new synthetic drug, is a good example, produces its effects
in very small concentration. A few drops injected into the spinal
column are sufficient to prevent all movement for a number of hours.
We cannot expect to obtain the conditions of the operating table
on the battle-field, but chemicals which are effective in very
small quantities or concentrations may find another channel into
the human system. For this reason the development of the mask,
the protection of the respiratory channels, is of great importance,
for it blocks the way to substances which by mere absorption
might produce valuable military results.

Chemical Constitution and Physiological Action.--It is impossible
to adopt a more than speculative outlook in this field.
So little is known regarding the relationships between chemical
constitution and physiological action and very few sound generalisations
have been made. A considerable amount of scientific work occurred
on these lines in various countries before the war on the connection
between the chemical nature of compounds and their taste and smell,
but the relationships are still obscure.

Unsolved Problems of Mustard Gas.--The use of a chemical
which attacks some unexpected human function introduces many
disturbing and disorganising factors. Thus the introduction
of mustard gas has left us with a number of unsolved problems.
By employing this substance Germany departed from her usual caution
and violated one of the first principles of chemical warfare.
It is unsound for any nation to introduce a new weapon,
unless that nation is, itself, furnished with the means
of protection against its eventual employment by the enemy.
The Germans have, themselves, explained this breach of
the principles of war. They were convinced that we could not
retaliate with mustard gas, because we could not produce it.
It was a miscalculation but based on grounds of which they
were sure, having been largely instrumental in determining them
through their aggressive chemical policy.

Mustard gas attacks the respiratory system and the outer skin of man.
The armies were efficiently protected against the first line of attack,
but they never developed efficient protection against the second.
Protection of the skin of the individual soldier against
mustard gas was theoretically possible in three ways.
In the first place a number of chemical solutions were devised which,
applied to the affected skin, would destroy the poisonous chemical.
This was a bad method, and was never efficiently employed.
German army orders after the French introduction of mustard gas were
bristling with references to chloride of lime or bleaching powder.
It was to be kept in every conceivable place where the gas was
likely to penetrate. Soldiers were provided with boxes of bleach
called "Gelbolin." Permanganate of potash was carried as an alternative
for a brief period. A wire from the Third German Army to the
War Ministry, Berlin, dated 17th July, 1918, stated: "Chloride of lime
has all been issued in boxes to the troops. Reserves exhausted."
One had the impression of a drowning man catching at a straw.
Supply on a sufficient scale to cover most cases was practically impossible.
Each soldier would have to carry the protective chemical as part
of his equipment, and its proper use depended on training.
There was no time to identify and assemble the thousands of affected cases
for central treatment. Mustard gas penetrated thick clothing, even boots.
and was often only identified hours after the damage was done.
The second method which was attempted on a large scale was the protection
of each soldier by special mustard-gas-proof clothing, but a man,
fighting for his life on the battle-field, will not tolerate such
a handicap to movement, and, although hundreds of thousands of oiled
suits were prepared and were of definite use in certain special cases,
for example in certain artillery formations, yet the method
must be rejected as unsuitable from a military point of view.
The third solution, which was tried experimentally on a large scale,
was to cover soldiers going into action with a cream or paste of
protective chemical. This, again, could only be applied in special cases,
prior to an assault, for example, and could not be regarded as a
permanent form of protection.

As we have seen, mustard gas infected whole areas for many days, owing to its
great persistency. It was often necessary to cross such zones for attack
or counter-attack. How was this to be effected without huge losses?
It was found possible, literally by creating roads of bleach, that is,
by sprinkling bleaching powder on chosen lanes through the infected area,
to pass columns of troops through such areas, but this cannot be viewed
as a practicable solution. Carried to its logical conclusion, it would
have taxed the possibilities of supply beyond their utmost capacity.
Here, then, we have a case in which it is not possible to protect a soldier
by some specific appliance, and the war found us embarking on schemes
of protection by the use of chemicals in quantities which threatened
to carry us out of the range of possible manufacture.

A New Type of Obstacle.--Chemical warfare has introduced a new type
of strategic and tactical obstacle. Mediaeval methods of war relied
largely on natural and man-built barriers. Rivers, moats, forts were,
and still are, to a certain extent, critical factors in war.
The conceptions of a Vauban could determine the issue of a campaign.
Such obstacles were only effective, however, when properly manned and armed.
The Hindenburg Line and the Canal du Nord were tremendous obstacles when
backed by German artillery, rifles, and machine-guns, but, without the latter,
they would have been mere inconveniences for the passage of an army.
The massing of a multitude of guns, used for the first time during
the recent war, produced another form of temporary obstacle, but troops
could be trained to, and actually did, advance through the barrage.
Further, the ultimate limits of supply and the use of counter artillery
introduces time and quantitative limitations to the use of the really
intensive barrage. Chemical warfare, however, has introduced a method
of blocking out chosen areas of the battle-field in such a way as to
prevent their effective use for military defence, communications,
or other purposes. It is now possible, by chemical means, to give
a normal piece of country the same value as a natural obstacle,
or one organised for defence by formidable engineering construction,
and manned by rifles and machine-guns. This can be achieved by the use
of a highly persistent dangerous gas or war chemical of which, so far,
mustard gas is the most effective example. We have seen how the Germans
formed defensive flanks during their March, 1918, offensive, by spraying
certain areas between their fronts of attack with mustard gas.
It is true that, in the quantities in which it has, so far, been used,
mustard gas has not converted open areas into absolute obstacles against
the movement of a determined individual, platoon, or even larger unit.
But even in the quantities which have already appeared on the battle-field,
it has rendered whole zones practically unusable for huge masses of men,
owing to the certainty of a very high percentage of casualties.
Up to the present its value has been rather as a serious factor in Staff
consideration of losses than as an actual physical barrier. Many of
the casualties are only incurred a few hours after contact with the gas.
This may not deter a man from crossing an affected zone, but it may deter
the Staffs from using that zone, when they realise that this would imply
the certainty of many thousands of casualties amongst the troops.
The choice is between two evils, tactical acquiescence to the enemy's plan,
blocking out a certain area, or the certainty of huge casualties.
A very interesting case occurred in the German attack near Mt. Kemmel in
the spring of 1918, where large quantities of German mustard gas were
used some distance in front of the original line of German attack.
In this case, not only was it clear that the Germans would not attempt
to advance beyond a limited objective (and they did not), but the development
of their attack left them organising their defences behind their own
mustard gas barrage.

The "Persistent Lethal" Substance.--The importance of these
considerations can hardly be exaggerated when we realise that,
at any time, a substance possessing the same strategic value as mustard
gas, but much more violent casualty effects, may be discovered.
The Germans were certainly aware of these possibilities.
According to the statement of an apparently reliable prisoner
of the 30th R.I.R., July, 1918, the Regimental Gas Officer
stated in a lecture that, as the Allies had used a new gas,
the Germans were going to employ a "White Cross" gas shell.
This gas was "stronger" than any of the gases at present
in use; it possessed a persistence up to eight days,
and could, therefore, not be used on the front for an assault.
Its persistence was favoured by damp or misty weather
and by the nature of the ground. Neither the German drum
nor the masks of the Allies afforded protection against it.
The last important German development consisted in the use
of pumice impregnated with phosgene in their Livens bombs.
It was clear that the Germans were attempting to produce
a gas which was not only highly lethal but persistent.
Following up this idea, we can forecast the use of a chemical
which will not only permit the formation of defensive flanks,
or pockets, in the enemy front, or in our own defensive positions,
through their influence on Staff considerations with regard
to casualties, but, by replacing the relatively mild casualty effect
of mustard gas by a highly and rapidly lethal effect, will render
these areas not only strategically, but physically, impassable.
One of the most significant possibilities in chemical warfare
development is the arrival of this type of the compound,
the highly lethal, highly persistent chemical.

The Critical Range.--These considerations are very interesting
from the military point of view. Consider the phenomenal
amount of muscular energy required to organise any captured
stretch of territory against counter-attack. The type
of compound we have outlined is likely to change completely
the aspect of attack and counter-attack. The Somme battlefield,
for example, gave the impression of a series of defensive
positions organised by the one side or the other after attack
or counter-attack, in order to hold small gains of ground,
which were never intended to represent the final advance.
Successful progress from one trench system meant building another,
under the pounding of the enemy's artillery, and the deadly
fire of machine-guns, exposing, in this improvised system,
large numbers of troops, among which casualties constituted
a continuous drain upon eventual reserves. The arrival
of the highly persistent lethal compound should provide
an effective substitute for this laborious constructional
protection in the shape of the persistent lethal barrage.
This will render immediate counter-attack and near machine-gun
fire very difficult. Automatically, fewer men will be
needed to hold the advanced positions. It is true that,
with the next attack, "kicking off" and assembly positions will
be required, for these can be much more efficiently developed
behind a deep chemical barrage and will demand the exposure
of fewer men where more time is available for preparation.
Such conditions, however, can only occur if one, side possesses
some distinct advantage with regard to surprise by,
or efficient protection against, the persistent lethal compound.
When both sides are equally matched in this respect, a duel
will arise in which the winner will be the one who can throw
the critical concentrations of chemical into a given area at
the greatest range. This might be called the "critical range."
Herein lies the importance of the development of such weapons
as the Livens projector, and the Germans had certainly grasped
an important principle, when they used our own modified
weapon against us with a much greater range than our own.
If we admit the possibility of a persistent lethal compound,
this question of critical range assumes outstanding importance.

The New No-Man's-Land.--The recent war witnessed a rather sudden
adoption of trench warfare, during a period in which the artillery
strengths of both sides were relatively feeble, when compared with
the later stages of the war. Accordingly, there arose very definite
lines of field fortifications, and strongly held trench systems,
separated from each other by a comparatively narrow No-Man's-Land, With
the development of the formidable artillery strengths of belligerents,
there was a tendency to form a much wider No-Man's-Land, and the front
line systems were lightly held, approximating, in many cases,
to an outpost line.

The discovery and mass production of a persistent lethal substance is
likely to convert No-Man's-Land into a permanently infected gas zone,
manned by special outposts of permanently protected troops.
Combined with the development of smoke, this may render unnecessary
the highly organised trench assembly systems of the recent war,
used before the assault, and, with the development of the tank
as a fast fighting machine, and for the transport of troops, one can
obtain a glimpse of the nature of the new attack and counter-attack.
A recent writer[1] has shown us the future tank carrying war into
the enemy's country and destroying his nerve centres by actually
reaching and paralysing the G.H.Q.s. of armies and smaller formations.
Such operations will have to occur through a wide zone of the new gas
and will necessitate the anti-gas tank. Indeed, one of the most
important functions of the tank will be to carry the advance guard
of an army beyond the infected No-Man's-Land, and such an advance will
occur behind a series of smoke barrages created, in the first place,
by the artillery, and, later, by the advance of tanks themselves.

[1] _Tanks in the Great War_, Col. J. F. C. Fuller., D.S.O.

The "Alert Gas Zone."--The development of the "gas alert"
idea has definite interest for the future of chemical warfare.
It is well known how the development of gas shell and surprise gas shoots
by the Germans led to the necessity for "gas alert" conditions between
certain times and within certain distances of the front line.
The mask had to be worn in the so-called ready position, in order
that swift adjustment might be possible in case of surprise attack.
The summer of 1917 witnessed a great increase in gas shell activity.
This was reflected in important changes in the "gas alert" regulations.
In the autumn of that year all periods of readiness were abolished
and replaced by a constant state of readiness. In the forward area
absolute readiness was required within two miles of the front line,
and special precautions were taken as far back as twelve miles.
That the Germans suffered under the same restraints is witnessed
by many captured documents. In particular, a divisional order
taken in December, 1917, gave the gas danger zone as within
fifteen kilometres of the front line, and within this region
every one must carry a mask. The alert position of the mask
was insisted upon within two kilometres of the front line.
By July the alert zone had increased in depth in both armies.
This tendency must have increased, had the war continued, for both
sides were employing gas in guns of larger calibres, and weapons
were being devised, such as the improved German Livens projector,
which gave high concentrations at much greater distances from
the front line, _i.e_. with greater critical ranges.

We have seen how the possible development of a persistent lethal compound
may produce an infected and wide No-Man's-Land. Imposed on this,
there will, no doubt, be "gas alert" conditions of great depths.
How do these conceptions work out for the war of movement?
It would appear that the possession of such a compound and the means of
producing and using it on a very large scale could determine the stationary
or open nature of warfare, if other forces were not too unequal.
A new military factor emerges, the artificial, permanent, unmanned obstacle,
which can be laid down at will on areas whose magnitude depends finally
on manufacturing capacity. The germ of the idea appeared during
the war at Kemmel and in the various mustard gas barrages formed by
artillery or delayed mines used by the Germans in their great retreat.
The sudden development of such barriers will be equivalent in effect
to the creation of strong trench systems, but these could never result,
under war conditions, in time to approach the strategic flexibility
and importance of the persistent lethal infected barrier.

Gas and Aircraft.--The combination of gas and aircraft presents
the possibility of attaining strategic effects by chemical means.
Many rumours were afloat, towards the end of the war, regarding the use
of gas by enemy aircraft, and there was apprehension amongst
the civil populations, which has been reflected in numerous
public utterances. Evidence on the matter is very scanty.
In July, 1917, the use of gas in aeroplane bombs by the Germans
was reported, but not confirmed. Further reports in August
indicated the use of Blue Cross, owing to the sneezing effects
which were produced on those within reach of the air bomb.
In October, the evidence was more conclusive. But the German
aeroplanes left no blind or dud shell, and, beyond the violent nasal
and sneezing effects of Blue Cross, evidence was again absent.
This report was very persistent, for, in July, 1918, there were
again rumours that Blue Cross bombs had been dropped on the British
near Ficheux. The Air Forces of the different armies were,
perhaps, the last to feel the effects of the gas campaign,
but the pilots of low-flying aeroplanes in the 1918 offensive
were constantly crossing pockets of gas, and this, added to
the fact that the pilots were often compelled to land in gas,
led to their equipment with gas masks. A respirator of special type
was taken from a German aviator in April, 1918, after the fighting
at Passchendaele. But the war gave us no direct evidence
of the successful use of gas and war chemicals from aircraft.
This, however, is no criterion as to its eventual importance.
The Allies definitely refrained from employing the combination
until Germany should give them the start in what was regarded
as a new atrocity. The main reason for their lack of development
on these lines was probably the fact that the most suitable
type of gas only developed during the later stages of the war,
when it was required exceedingly urgently on the front.
No really harmful persistent compound appeared before the advent
of mustard gas, and the dangerous non-persistent types,
such as phosgene, could not have been used with great success,
owing to the fact that very considerable quantities
would have been required to produce any serious effect.
Mustard gas, however, which could have haunted a city for days,
would not have been required in such large quantities.
But its more urgent need on the front, and the fact that soon
after it arrived the Germans were sending out feelers to see whether
the Allies would consider the cessation of chemical warfare,
were probably sufficient reasons to explain their failure to use
it from aeroplanes.

Another point must be raised in connection with the use of gas
from aircraft which has not yet received much attention.
We must remember that the use of projectiles from aircraft
over a city was a very different proposition from their use
over a battle-field. One of the advantages of gas over explosives
on the field of battle was its greater range of action.
It produced effects at longer distances from the point of impact,
but no such incentive existed for the use of gas from aeroplanes
over large cities. Explosives, which might miss their
objective on the field of battle, could not do so in a city.
They were bound to hit something. The load of the aeroplane
is always important, and the essential is to carry, weight
for weight, the material which will produce the most effect.
There is no doubt what this will he when the persistent lethal
compound arrives, and mustard gas would probably have been superior
to explosives for use by German aircraft on British cities.

Protective Development;--Individual Protection.--The question of protection
against chemical attack presents some knotty problems for the future. Let us
glance at the broad lines of war development in this field and forecast their
future in a speculative way. Protection developed along two main lines.
Individual protection covered the mask and any other protective appliance
used by the individual soldier, while the term collective protection was
applied to any method or appliance which afforded simultaneous protection
for a number of individuals.

In general, the former represented an attempt to purify the poisoned
air actually inspired by the soldier, whereas the latter was an
attempt to purify the atmosphere of a locality or to prevent its
initial poisoning. How far can the individual form of protection
develop to meet the possibilities of the chemical attack?
It certainly seems to have countered satisfactorily all the war
attacks upon the respiratory system, although, as we have pointed out,
the Germans might have failed, had we been sufficiently prompt
in introducing our arsenic compounds. But we have forecasted the use
of chemicals which may attack human functions hitherto immune.
For the sake of our argument, we can divide these into two classes,
those attained through the respiratory and digestive systems and
those attained through contact with some other part of the body.
The former can probably be satisfactorily met by developments
in the mask. Even that does not appear certain, when we
remember the emphasis laid by Germany upon the possibility
of penetrating the mask by using a particulate cloud.
The last word has certainly not been spoken in the struggle
between the mask and the chemical attempting to penetrate it.
But both the introduction of mustard gas and general speculative
grounds justify us in concluding that attacks may materialise upon
other parts of the human organism, We cannot foresee the actual
point of attack and can, therefore, only view with assurance
some form of protection which covers the whole body.

Collective Protection.--All parties dabbled in such a form of protection,
but the French were the only ones to make a large-scale experiment
on the front. It was not very successful, for the burden of these
oilskin suits was intolerable. It may be that some successful form
of protection for the whole body will materialise, but on general
grounds we can assume that development will follow other lines.
What are the possibilities? They all lie in the direction of
collective protection. The individual cannot be satisfactorily
protected from the new gas and remain an efficient soldier.
We must, therefore, see whether it is not possible to protect numbers
of men by removing them from contact with the poisoned atmosphere.
A stationary form of such protection was used by all the armies,
but emphasised by the French, by the creation of a large number of enormous
underground chambers, some capable of holding more than a thousand men,
the entries to which were carefully protected by special filtering
devices to prevent the entry of the poisoned external atmosphere.
On the British front these enormous dug-outs, although not absent,
were largely replaced by the efficient gas-proof organisation
of the smaller dugouts. The use of impregnated blankets for this
purpose must be well known to any who visited the front or took part
in hostilities. But you cannot imprison a whole army in this way.
The value of these collective protective chambers depended on the fact
that a certain number of men were always on the alert in the defensive
systems outside and around the chambers, exposed to those gases
against which the latter chambers were devised.

In my opinion, the further intensive development of gas warfare,
such as would have accompanied, say, the doubling or quadrupling
of the German factory output, would have forced us into realising
the limit of this collective protection. It would have compelled
us to immobilise, in these shelters, more men than was consistent
with the safety of the zone in question. Undoubtedly, the future
of collective protection lies in some form which will leave
the soldier his combatant powers, in other words some mobile form.
This has already been forecasted by Colonel Fuller in his book on
_Tanks in the Great War_. But he passes lightly over the protection
of the tank against gas. With the increase in depth of infected zones,
through the increasingly lethal nature of the persistent compound,
the tank will he compelled to rely on filtration methods of protection,
instead of the use of compressed oxygen in a gas-tight compartment.
Once committed to the use of oxygen, the only safe procedure will
be to close up the tank and employ the oxygen while there is any
suspicion of the presence of gas, and, under these conditions,
oxygen transport would become a factor militating against
the prime purpose of the tank, the transport of troops and arms.
It is safe to forecast a tense struggle between chemical weapons
and protective tank devices in the event of future wars.

Conclusion.--The facts which we have surveyed in early chapters,
and the development foreshadowed above, form part of a much
wider subject, for they are but one aspect of scientific warfare.
In what main directions has science modified or revolutionised
modern war? Its influence has touched practically every weapon
in manufacture or design, introducing profound modifications in
many cases. The sum total of such changes may be claimed to have
revolutionised warfare, but the term revolution should be reserved,
for some more specific scientific innovation, which threatens to change
the nature of war rather than merely improve existing weapons.
Modern wars have all echoed the popular cry for some new scientific
principle or device to settle hostilities with one sharp stroke.
This conception has been the sport of writers of fiction
and others for many years. The "electric" death-dealing ray,
the all-powerful gas, the deadly bacteria, and the "explosion"
wave have all shared in buoying up the hopes or quickening
the fears of warring peoples. Contrary to popular supposition,
a decisive scientific military surprise of this nature is not likely
to follow close on the heels of the discovery of a new phenomenon.
It is more than eighty years since the mind of a Faraday delved
so fruitfully into electrical science, yet the oft prophesied
large scale direct use of high voltage electricity, or some
other form in war has not materialised. Organic chemistry was
a well-founded branch of science early in the nineteenth century,
and flourishing industries, fostered by it, were in existence
thirty years ago, yet it was not until the early twentieth century,
and the recent war, that we witnessed the rapid growth of organic
chemical warfare, which, I claim, was as revolutionary as any
other war development. The physical sciences, have left their
mark on every weapon and mechanical appliance, and the cumulative
effect of these changes is indeed large, but the most revolutionary
upheaval in warfare, with permanent results, came from chemistry.
The flexible nature of organic chemistry must not be lost sight of.
In the physical sciences, electricity, for example, years of
co-ordinated world progress are required to produce an epoch-making
discovery which might have critical and direct war significance.
Radioactivity has shown us what undreamt-of energy is bound up
in the atom, and many are the prophesies regarding the harnessing
of these forces for constructive activities. At least one prominent
novelist has pictured their destructive use in the radioactive bomb.
But the use of this wonderful store of energy for peace and war
can only result from years of costly and voluminous research,
and we have no idea of the difficulties involved in production,
without which any invention, however telling and revolutionary,
has no incidence on war. But in organic chemistry a single worker,
following up some rare family of compounds, may stumble
upon a substance pot far removed chemically from related
compounds yet infinitely more potent for war. Mustard gas,
or B:B dichlordiethylsulphide, is a member of a group of compounds
differing only slightly in chemical structure the one from the other.
Yet its nearest chemical relative is comparatively harmless.
The persistent lethal compound which will vastly change the nature
of warfare will probably be but a slight chemical modification
of some harmless substance, Thus, by comparison with other
branches of science as the handmaids of war, organic chemistry
is sympathetic, flexible, and theoretically capable of yielding
revolutionary discoveries in a relatively short time.
We can only base such speculations on general grounds.
Circumstances may disprove our contention over a short historical period,
but it will be borne out in the long run. This is not the only reason,
however, for the unique war importance of organic chemicals.
It so happens that many of them are essential to our daily life,
as dyes, drugs, photographic and other synthetic products.
Industries, therefore, have arisen for their manufacture.
And this is not all. Organic chemical factories have proved to be
not only arsenals in disguise but endowed with the flexibility
of their parent, the science itself. The factories and plants
ignore the war significance of the problems put to them.
They can develop the production of practically any chemical
which research can produce. The will of man can thus silently
and swiftly convert the dye factory into an arsenal.

These inherent possibilities of organic chemistry, flexibility in research
and production, make chemical warfare the most important war problem
in the future reconstruction of the world.



A good deal of abuse has been showered on chemical warfare
methods by those who understand very little about them.
It has been claimed by such that gas is particularly atrocious.
Feeling on the matter has been so strong in certain
quarters that the fact that all war is particularly vile
and atrocious seems to have been completely lost sight of.
Let us take up this matter in a rational way. In the first place,
what do we mean by the atrocity or inhumanity of a weapon?
We can either appeal to the imagination or the reason, in the
first case, by visualising the battlefields, or, in the second,
by making a cold analysis of the casualties caused by gas.

Nature of Gas Casualties.--Every normal person who experienced
and survived the throes of the different stages of the war,
and of the different gas surprises, mainly German, which were
sprung upon us, finds it difficult to think out, or express,
a cool and balanced view on the question of poison gas.
But such a balanced view is most important for the future.
It must be remembered that the official protests in 1915 arose
on the grounds, to use Lord Kitchener's words, that "they
employed these poisonous methods to prevail when their attack,
according to the rules of war, might have otherwise failed."
Had the rules of war permitted their use, we should, no doubt,
have been protected. But these protests, submerged in popular
sentiment, became an outcry against the atrocity of the new weapon.
This, a just criticism at the time, became inaccurate
when the Allies reacted, methods of protection developed,
and the specific tactical uses of gas were realised.
The view of the peculiar atrocity of gas has outlived the truth
of war experience with regard to it. We agree that chemical
warfare is atrocious. But it is no exception, for thus are all
the aggressive methods of warfare. Indeed, when we attempt
to interpret atrocity in terms of available casualty statistics,
we find that gas is slightly less atrocious than the other weapons.
We must either incline to this view or dispute the figures,
which are authoritative. Consider the American figures.
These will he more truly representative than our own,
because their troops were only exposed during the later
and more developed phases of the war. Of the total strength
of the A.E.F., the number gassed was about six per cent., wounded
by rifle and machine-gun fire about one per cent., wounded
by high explosive one and a half per cent., shrapnel wounds
three percent., and bayonet wounds less than one half per cent.
But although enemy gas caused more than 70,000 casualties, yet of
these only one and a half per cent. were fatal, while the total
number of deaths for all types of casualties was thirty per cent.
Thus against the American army, measured by casualties produced,
gas was by far the most effective, and yet by far the least
deadly weapon. What can be more atrocious than the actual cone
of tens or even hundreds of dead and wounded invariably left
before an untouched machine-gun emplacement in an assault?
What is more horrible than the captured first line trench after
its treatment by the preparatory bombardment, or the mutilation
of men peacefully sleeping in billets behind the battle front
and thrown, broken and bloody, through their billet walls
under the wheels of passing transport, as one has seen them?

The whole experience of real war is beyond adjectives.
But, leaving impressions, let us turn to facts.
With regard to the future and from the point of view of atrocity,
gas has a hopeful outlook as compared with other weapons.
This may seem a curious statement to make, but consider the following.
We cannot envisage advances in the use of explosives in shell or bomb
to render them more humane. Explosives, if their development be pressed,
can only become more violent, with a wider range of action.
Chemical warfare may follow the same lines, but it has
the unique possibility of developing on more humane lines.
The vesicant action of mustard gas produced huge casualties with
relatively little permanent harm. Chemicals may be found which
temporarily influence human functions, enabling military objectives
to be attained with a remarkably small amount of pain and death.
In a fair review of the whole situation, this possibility cannot
be overlooked. It is more than possible that a League of Nations,
compelled to employ an element of force in its eventual control
of peace, may find its most effective and humane weapon in some
chemical development. However visionary these views may appear,
they are not unjustified as scientific possibilities.
Analysis of war gas casualties reveal two main trends.
As the struggle became more intense the number of casualties multiplied.
They were considerable during the first period of cylinder attack,
and the rate remained steady until the beginning of the mustard
gas period. From the summer of 1917 to November, 1918,
there were more than ten times as many gas casualties as for
the preceding three years of war. But the percentage mortality,
the number of deaths amongst each hundred men attained,
decreased considerably. As high as twenty-five per cent.
during the early cylinder attacks, it decreased to two and a
half per cent. for the huge number of mustard gas cases.
Yet mustard gas was an exceedingly important military factor.
It illustrates the possibility of development on these lines,
but we must by no means disregard the atrocity of chemical warfare,
and safeguards are required for the future.

We cannot do better than conclude by quoting from General Hartley's
report to the British Association. He says:

"The general impression that gas is an inhumane weapon is derived partly
from the German breach of faith in using it contrary to the Hague Convention,
and partly from the nature and number of casualties in the earliest cloud
attacks which were made against unprotected troops. Under the stress of a
long war the individual is apt to forget the physical and mental sufferings
it involves, unless he is daily in contact with them, but a dramatic
occurrence such as that of the first gas attack forces on the imagination
the brutal significance of war--the struggle for victory by killing--and the
new weapon is judged as inhumane, like gunpowder in the fifteenth century.
If we accept war as a possibility, the most humane weapon is that which leads
to a decision with the smallest amount of human suffering and death.
Judged from this standpoint, gas compares favourably with other weapons during
the period when both sides were fully equipped for offence and defence.
The death-rate among gas casualties was much lower than that among casualties
from other causes, and not only was the death-rate lower, but a much
smaller proportion of the injured suffered any permanent disability.
There is no comparison between the permanent damage caused by gas,
and the suffering caused to those who were maimed and blinded by shell
and rifle fire. It is now generally admitted that in the later stages
of the war many military objects could be attained with less suffering
by using gas than by any other means.

Sargent's Picture.--"The judgment of future generations on the use
of gas may well be influenced by the pathetic appeal of Sargent's
picture of the first `Mustard Gas' casualties at Ypres, but it must
not be forgotten in looking at that picture that 75 per cent.
of the blinded men he drew were fit for duty within three months,
and that had their limbs and nerves been shattered by the effects
of high explosive, their fate would have been infinitely worse."

Need for Safeguards.--We have continually referred to the need
for safeguards instead of mere reliance on prohibition.
Such views and facts as the above should be more generally
known in order that very worthy sentiments may not impel us
to adopt an unsound solution for future peace. However alarmed
and revolted we may have been in 1915 and later during the war,
it is essential to take a balanced view in the present critical
period of reconstruction.



Preceding chapters have shown how chemical warfare has now
become a normal, technical, and increasingly important part
of the science of war. Further, it has opened vast possibilities,
the limits of which it is very difficult to fix.

The Treaty of Versailles.--Chemical warfare received definite attention
in the formulation of the Treaty of Versailles. Lord Moulton,
one of the few Allied representatives who realised the full importance of
the matter, has drawn attention to its Treaty aspect in a recent speech.
He lays emphasis on the fact that the full significance of the German
dye industry was not realised during the war. Referring to its
chameleon-like nature in peace and war, Lord Moulton says:
"All this was imperfectly present to my mind throughout the war,
and I was aware of the gravity of the matter, but until I learnt
what had passed in Germany I could not appreciate it fully.
I have spoken to you of the extent to which the Germans turned
their chemical works into general works for supplying explosives.
I have not touched the part in which they played the most deadly
game against us, and that was where they used their chemical works
to produce those toxic gases."

The same statement tells us, "The knowledge that I have gleaned
as to what was going on in Germany during the war makes me
feel that all my anticipa-tions of the importance of chemical
industries in time of war, all the views that I expressed
of that importance, did not nearly approach what has been
proved to have gone on in the enemy's country during the war."
He then proceeds to explain how a clause was inserted in the
treaty--"whereby the Germans have to tell us all the secrets of their
manufacture of explosives, all their methods of making toxic gases--
in fact, all the military secrets that made them so terrible.
This clause was a very just one. It is not fair that when we
have gone through this agonising struggle, and when we are still
suffering from the consequences of all the wealth of knowledge
and ingenuity which they employed for their infamous purposes--
it is not fair, I say, to allow them to keep these secrets
to themselves, and I think you will agree with me it was in the highest
degree consonant with justice that we should make them reveal
them all to us." Small wonder that we missed this vital point,
that we failed to fathom the force behind the German chemical war,
if such an eminent authority was left groping for the truth.
There was no time for mature reflection with the problems
of war supply pressing forward in an endless stream.
Lord Moulton was himself responsible for the brilliant solution
of the most important, the problem of explosives supply.

The realisation of the facts in question led to the direct
admission of their importance in the Treaty. Article 172,
the one in question, states: "Within a period of three
months from the coming into force of the present Treaty,
the German Government will disclose . . . the nature and mode
of manufacture of all explosives, toxic substances or other
like chemical preparations used by them in the war, or prepared
by them for the purpose of being so used."

German Information.--This clause should be fulfilled in detail.
In any given period of the stage of intensive chemical warfare and at the end,
the Germans, in addition to those devices in operation, must have had
a large number of more telling and more novel ones in preparation.
It is important to get as much information as possible on this development.

A striking fact emerges. The years 1915, 1916, and the early part
of 1917 witnessed the actual manufacture of the war chemicals which were
used by Germany on the front. All the research and other work which
precedes chemical manufacture must have been completed much earlier.
What surprises, then, had the German laboratories in store for us after 1917?
Have these been revealed under authority of the Treaty?

Probably the most important point in the clause is its interpretation
with regard to the Haber process. Its critical importance in
the manufacture of explosives is so great that our neglect to use
the Treaty to remove the monopoly is a direct menace to peace.
This process undoubtedly saved Germany in 1915 and is largely
responsible for the three years of war agony which followed.
It can only have missed specific reference in the Treaty on account of its
claim to represent the fertiliser rather than the explosives industry.
To yield to such views, however ideal the motives, is to threaten
the greater ideal of world peace.

Limitation of Armament.--This clause, covering only war development,
cannot be regarded as a serious safeguard for the future.
It is rather the fruits of victory, the logical outcome
of Allied success and the German breach of faith.
But the Treaty of Versailles contains an admission of the importance
of chemical warfare for the future. Article 171 states:
"The use of asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases and of
analogous liquids, materials, or devices being prohibited,
their manufacture and importation are strictly forbidden
in Germany. The same applies to materials specially intended
for the manufacture, storage, and the use of the same products
or devices." What kind of guarantee is this? How far is it
supported by other disarmament? It is very important to answer
these questions. In a sense the full execution of the other
relevant Treaty clauses would provide a partial answer.
We deal with these in the next chapter.

Report of the Hartley Mission.--Chemical warfare is the _point
faible_ in world disarmament. Judging from the above clause
of the Treaty, it is clear that this is not fully recognised.
Once again our trust is invited in mere prohibition. The lesson
of the war is not learnt. The chemical menace is not countered.
Why should this be? There are two main reasons. In the first place,
very few had any conception of the tremendous growth in this branch
of warfare, for facts had rarely been disclosed, and those with no
direct contact with chemical warfare were relying on impressions.
The vivid recollection of the first German cloud attack, and of
the introduction of mustard gas, have, for most people, obscured the
solid facts of the case. The great importance of the projector,
the high percentage of chemical shell used by the enemy artillery,
and the tremendous undertaking involved in protecting an army
of millions with a modern gas mask, have not been grasped.
The Hartley report clearly revealed the importance of the German dye
factories for chemical warfare production. But we have a shrewd
idea that it left many of its official readers much better informed
on production than on the use of the materials concerned, that is,
on the military value of chemical warfare.

New Conceptions in Chemical Disarmament.--The second
difficulty preventing a full understanding of the case lies
in the fact that chemical disarmament involves certain
conceptions which are remote from the normal military outlook.
Let us examine the matter as simply as possible.

During the many discussions on disarmament in Paris, various principles
were suggested as a basis. One which received recognition
in the Treaty was the limitation of the number of projectors
or guns, using the term "projector" in a general way to cover
all projectile-throwing weapons. Thus, in the sense implied,
rifles, machine-guns, field and heavy guns are projectors.
Recent writers have termed gas a projectile, one which,
on account of its fluid nature, ignores the limitations of explosive
shell and multiplies their radius of action indefinitely.
This is true--with one most important qualification.
Gas has never entirely depended upon the usual form of projector,
the gun, and with the limitation of the latter its dependence
will decrease. New forms of chemical weapon will evolve.
Now it is true that almost every form of warfare which one
can conceive depends for success on some sort of projector,
and it is also true that the manufacture of these projectors
can be controlled, because it is usually so complicated.
These remarks apply, for example, to the manufacture of a
field or heavy gun. But there is one serious exception
to the covering power of this method of limitation.
You cannot carry on tank warfare without ordinary projectors,
but you can run a chemical campaign without them.

Facing the difficulties which are before any League of Nations
or international body planning world disarmament, let us assume
armament reduced to a police basis. In other words, the use
of force is not entirely ruled out, but is limited to the minimum
required for reducing local disorder, maintaining the peace,
and contributing to any general scheme for preventing war.
The nations, then, agree to limit their personnel and material
within certain prescribed bounds. The work of the League
of Nations, or central organisation, does not finish here.
We cannot assume that permanent purity of national intentions,
in other words, some check or guarantee must be instituted. This may
take the simple form of systematic reporting by nations and their
inspection by the League. Here we meet with considerable difficulty.
Unless some simple covering principle for inspection can
be determined upon, we shall end up with one-half the world
inspecting the administration and organisation of the other.
The matter becomes an absurdity.

Limitation, Mechanical and Chemical.--Considering the present
trend of war development, we can divide the factors requiring
limitation into three classes--the combatants, and weapons
of a mechanical and chemical nature.

Tank Disarmament.--A little thought will show that the limitation
of the number of projectile-throwing weapons covers the first two types,
and is a matter which is not theoretically beyond the possibility
of inspection. Periodic inspection could reasonably be regarded as a check
against very big scale production beyond the normal scope of industry,
for such weapons as rifles, machine-guns, field and heavy guns.
If we consider the most important new mechanical war appliance, the tank,
we find it no exception to the above remarks. Without projectors, that is,
machine-guns, rifles, etc., it merely becomes a means of conveying troops
and material from one place to another.

Two possibilities then arise. The number of tanks required
might be so small that they could be suitably armed with light
projectors without entering upon large-scale production.
Secondly, the tank might become an offensive weapon
without projectors, by the use of some chemical contrivance.
This merely goes to prove that steps must be taken to limit
the output of the tank itself. Are such steps possible?
We assume that the modern tank is, and will increasingly become,
a weapon practically as specific as a big gun, requiring a number
of special parts which normal industry does not provide,
and that the production concerned can be controlled by inspection
with the same order of difficulty as that of the bigger projectors.
We now come to the third type requiring limitation under
a disarmament scheme.

Chemical Limitation.--Can we limit chemical armament?
Our review of production has shown the impossibility of doing so,
unless we completely wipe out the organic chemical industry
which is essential for world progress by its contribution
of dyes, drugs, and other synthetic commodities. The factories
of the organic chemical industries are more silently converted
into arsenals than any other type. It is true that, under normal
conditions of warfare, the decisive success of a chemical campaign
might be restricted by the use of other weapons, such as artillery.
But, under conditions where the latter are seriously limited,
the chemical weapon becomes, relatively, of much greater importance.
One of the main trends in chemical warfare was the development
of devices which would give long-range chemical effects without
a complicated form of projector, or with none at all. Having thus
shown the independence of the chemical weapon, under conditions
of limitation of armament, we are faced with an important question.
What can be the guarantees for the limitation of chemical warfare?

Research.--In the first place, can any research results accrue under
Treaty or League conditions? The chief poison gases used during
the war owed their discovery, as individuals, to pre-war research
which was not stimulated by the need for an offensive chemical.
Phosgene was discovered in 1811 by J. Davy, while experimenting on
the action of sunlight on a mixture of carbon monoxide and chlorine.
Guthrie, in 1860, trying to throw light on some theoretical aspects
of organic chemistry, examining the nature of certain so-called
radicles or groups of atoms, came across a family of compounds
of which mustard gas, or B:B dichlordiethylsulphide, was a member.
This he found to be a dangerous substance, but the nearest members
of the series were harmless.

These substances will arise as a result of normal chemical research.
We admit they may multiply much more quickly if work is specially
directed towards their discovery, but it is practically
impossible to control such work. The research worker's nearest
confidante and laboratory companion might be unaware that he was
developing some new vitally important chemical for warfare.
No serious person can claim the possibility of a check upon
such research. If, then, the Government of any country desires
to provide its chemical factories with suitable subjects for
chemical warfare production, these can be produced under ANY
international arrangements, however prohibitive.

Production.--But what of production? Here, again, we have an entirely
different problem compared with that of limiting the output of a gun.
Let us assume that the production of some vitally important new
organic compound involves four different steps, and that the last
step produces the toxic substance. This is a fair assumption.
Let us further assume the most favourable condition for detection,
_i.e_. {t}he final product is a liquid or gas with obviously
toxic properties. Given a big organic chemical industry,
there is no possibility of detection by open methods of control.
With regard to the first three steps, in practically every case they
will be related to some new or existing dye, drug, photographic, or other
commercial organic product. The products of these first reactions can
either be stored, ready for the rapid realisation of the last reaction,
in which case there is no possibility of detection, or the reaction
can be completed and the materials passed without exposure through
a standard type of plant to an easily concealed container.
The only type of inspection which could possibly cope with such a
problem would require to probe deeply into the technical and commercial
secrets of the factories and plants, and could even then be misled
owing to the constantly developing nature of the compounds produced.
The inspectors would require to be numerous and as closely in touch
with the plants and processes as the actual factory staffs.

Consider the Leverkusen works for a moment. They cover a very wide
range of products, are admirably planned on a well thought out and
rational scheme, and there is a reason for the position of every unit.
Their methodical arrangement would be of more assistance
to inspection in this than in any other large organic chemical
works with which we are acquainted. Even under such favourable
conditions satisfactory inspection would be most difficult.
Each one of the twenty huge blocks contains many units of plant,
and is devoted to the production of primary, intermediate or
finished materials. For the inspection of suspected poison
gas production, an examination of the first two would be of
no assistance, for the war and peace materials would be identical.
Differentiation would occur in the dye and finished product blocks.
Each one of these blocks may be producing as many as one hundred
different compounds at the same time, and each one of these
compounds may, itself, involve two, three, or four different stages.
The members of one official mission, when asking to be shown
the plant for the manufacture of _p_-amidophenol, an important
dye and photographic chemical, were taken to a large building
filled with assorted plant, and were told by the guides,
"We have no special plant for the product you mention;
we make it in this building with a great many other products,
for it is our principle not to have plant which makes one
product only, but is readily adaptable for making a variety."
In many of the processes the materials do not appear to the naked
eye after their introduction into the first plant unit, being fed
by gravity or pressure from one enclosed apparatus to another.
It would be absolutely essential for any inspection to conduct
chemical tests at the different stages. The difficulty of inspection
is incontestable. It could be done with a large staff, but we
must remember that the Rhine plants are, themselves, but a small
corner of the whole world of industry requiring inspection.
Even under the most favourable conditions for detection,
the chances are exceedingly small. But, in most cases, an enemy
with a strong organic chemical industry need not undertake
manufacture during peace. He could rely on the potentialities
of his chemical industry, which would enable him to commence
production in his existing plant immediately on the outbreak of war.
The question of the use of the chemical then arises.
If of an exceedingly novel and decisive nature, it could take
its share of use in the limited number of guns available;
on the other hand, it might be capable of use in one of the very
simple weapons already devised for chemicals, or to be devised
in the future.

Consider the Livens projector, by no means a favourable case.
The latest German designs have a range well over a mile.
This range maybe increased. Yet the Livens projector can
be made without serious or obvious war modification of plant,
in a tube works, where the bomb can also be produced.
The very nature of chemical warfare is such that great accuracy
is not required, and simplification of production of the gas
projector follows naturally. We conclude from the above that
whatever treaty or international arrangements exist for prohibiting
chemical warfare, we can find no safeguard in practicable methods
of control, and must find safety in some other measure.

Mechanical and Chemical Preparations for War.--There is a fundamental
difference in preparation for the mechanical and chemical methods of war.
This difference necessitates special consideration for the chemical method
from the point of view of disarmament. All the modern mechanical types
of war appliances are characterised by their great structural intricacy,
witness the Lewis gun with its innumerable complicated parts,
the heavy and field guns with their wonderful mechanism, and the future
tank with its anti-gas, anti-water, and general anti devices.
This characteristic of great structural development has certain
concomitants which are of considerable military importance.
It imposes certain conditions on production, involving special factories
for special parts and other factories for the assembly of those parts.
It implies large scale experimentation for the improvement of the appliance.
All this brings control and inspection within the region of the
theoretically possible, and militates against sudden surprise.
The structural characteristic also imposes certain important conditions
in military training. It takes a definite period of time to create
a machine-gunner who will humour the wonderful mechanism which he serves.
He must know the different jambs, and simple repairs. He must be trained.
The same remarks apply to any other structurally intricate appliance,
such as the tank. In other words, this characteristic is a distinct check
on any nation aiming at a sudden expansion from limited to war armament.

But consider the chemical method. The specific property
of the chemical which gives it its military value is ultimately
its influence on the human organism, which causes casualties
or imposes heavy military handicaps on protected troops.
There is, again, a question of structure, the chemical
structure of the substance in question. This, however,
does not involve the same aids to armament limitation as for
the mechanical type, unless it be in a very restricted sense.
In research, the discovery of the most effective chemical
the world will ever see can occur by the use of a few beakers,
pots and pans, and common chemicals, directed by a trained mind.
Being atomic or molecular, the structure imposes no large scale
conditions on the research. Nor is it fair to say that from
the point of view of production there is a parallel between
the complexity of the molecule and the plant required to make it.
The chemically complicated Blue Cross arsenic compounds were
produced by Germany in a plant which was simplicity itself
when compared with the marvellous installation developed
to produce oleum, a concentrated form of the relatively simple
sulphuric acid, a fundamental substance in explosives production.
Instead of manipulating a huge lathe, or forge, or exceedingly
complicated multiple mechanical device, you manipulate
temperatures and pressures and vary the reaction medium.
Naturally, chemical engineering is very important,
but its magnitude and complexity is in no sense parallel
with the intricacy of the chemical molecule, whereas a
distinct parallel exists for the mechanical war appliance.
More than this, we believe that developments in both fields
will exaggerate rather than diminish the difference.
We see thus how, on general grounds, the chemical weapon tends
to evade any normal condition of limitation which might be
perfectly adequate for the mechanical type.

Recent Disarmament Proposals.--A superficial examination of recent
disarmament speeches by prominent League of Nations advocates leaves
one with the glow of inspiration produced by homage to a great ideal.
But later reflection, in the cold light of reason, produces a critical,
but not cynical, frame of mind. Disarmament depends for success on
the way in which we tackle certain critical cases, The carrying out
of the more commonly considered forms of disarmament will give immensely
added importance to other forms of warfare which have already challenged
supremacy in the keen competitive atmosphere of the great world war.
The outstanding example is the chemical arm, whose peculiar requirements
in any scheme of disarmament have been but vaguely understood.

The great case and rapidity with which the German dye
factories mobilised for poison gas production on a
super-industrial scale has already been demonstrated.
It took forty years and more to develop those factories.
Yet forty days saw many of their plants producing huge tonnages
of poison gas, and as many hours were sufficient for others.
In some cases, indeed, they were already producing eventual
munitions long before the outbreak of war. We must not remain
insensible to the double-edged nature of this industrial weapon.
When with one hand Germany withdrew life-giving drugs from America,
with the other she poured upon us an endless stream of deadly poison
made in the same factories. Even when our textile industries
were threatened through lack of indigo, from the very plants on
which we had depended there issued a steady stream of mustard gas,
each ounce of which threatened Allied limb and life.
But how does this touch disarmament? Very simply.
A few quotations from some recently published disarmament utterances
will show that we are not pressing the point without need.
But let us follow the matter through in a logical way.

The Covenant of the League;--Need for Guarantees.--We start from
the sure ground of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Article 8,
recognising the reduction of armaments to the lowest point
consistent with national safety, refers to the formulation
and revision of plans for such reduction and states:
"The members of the League undertake to interchange full
and frank information as to the scale of their armaments,
their military and naval programmes, and the conditions of such
of their industries as are adaptable to warlike purposes."
Here is the frank admission of the importance of such industries.
But later exponents of the League express dissatisfaction
with Article 8, claiming the wording to be vague. Thus, from
Major David Davies, M.P.,[1] "The whole wording of Article 8 is vague.
These proposals would not eradicate the old atmosphere of suspicion
which has brought about so many wars. Nations who put their
trust in the League are entitled to an assurance that the League
will be able to enforce its decisions with promptitude.
The proposals concerning armaments in Article 8 and elsewhere
do not give this assurance. Something more definite is required,"
and he proceeds to lay down three aims which must be covered
by an efficient disarmament scheme.

[1] _The Flaw in the Covenant and the Remedy_. Major David Davies, M.P.

"(_a_) Allow each nation an army sufficient to maintain internal
order within its own boundaries, and sufficient also to furnish
its quota for the League of Nations when required.

"(_b_) Ensure that the quota of any nation shall not be rendered useless
by the employment of a new weapon of war by another nation.

"(_c_) Provide the League of Nations with an adequate force
for immediate use.

"All the above essentials are incorporated in a scheme for an
International Police Force. This scheme, which is given in
the merest outline, is based on the assumption that our national
security must always be absolutely safeguarded, and that before
we decide on any relaxation of our armament policy we must
be certain that the alternative offers complete protection."
Other exponents emphasise this last essential. This reference
to an International Police Force raises an important issue.
Such a force must draw its personnel from the different nations.
Without any doubt, one of the most important contributions from
the nations is the fostering of organic chemical research and
technical cadres which can only be maintained under true disarmament
conditions by the redistributed organic chemical industries.

Viscount Grey--"Germany Must Disarm First."--Viscount Grey,
at the public meeting in support of the League of Free Nations
on October 10th, 1918, stated: "Germany must disarm first.
She led the way up the hill in increasing expenditure on armaments.
She must lead the way down the hill. That as a first condition,
from our point of view, goes without saying. There can be no talk
of disarmament until Germany, as the greater armer, is disarmed."
One can only heartily agree with such expressions, but the
_denouement_ brings a sense of disappointment. There is a feeling
that those who should be nearest are but groping for a solution.
The peculiar significance of chemical warfare for the future is freely
admitted in these utterances. Thus Major David Davies states:
"If they had kept their intentions secret until they could utilise
a thoroughly deadly gas in the general attack, it was more than
possible that they would have completely broken the Allied line,"
and Lord Grey, "You cannot limit the amount of merchant
ships or commercial aeroplanes, and the fewer the armaments,
fighting aeroplanes, and ships of war, the more potential as weapons
of war become the things which you use in commerce-ships, aeroplanes,
chemicals of all kinds."

Left in this state the case is true but not complete.
The essential point is that the new and telling types
of armament will develop from these very peace industries.
We are not merely concerned with their relative magnitude
in a state of disarmament, but with the critical types which may
develop from them.

So far, so good, but what steps are proposed to counter the menace?
In reviewing what has been suggested by different responsible individuals,
we find that the methods intended to cover armament limitation for the newer
weapons fall into two classes.

Suggested Methods.--In the first place, it is suggested "that war's
newest weapons--poison gas, aeroplanes, submarines, heavy artillery,
and tanks, should be ceded to the League to form the _Headquarter's Force_,
and that no state should be allowed to own them or to make use of any
new invention for warlike purposes.

"There should be no delay in handing over the new arms before they can
claim long traditions. Vested interests have not yet been created on
a permanent footing. Great disturbance would not be caused at present
by the suggestion of denationalisation."

This really claims the advisability of verbal prohibition, which is
absolutely useless, unless supported by the second class of safeguard,
periodic "inspection." Major Davies suggests "all arsenals and
munition factories would be open to inspection by the General Staff,
who would use them, when necessary, for arming the quota of a
nation other than that in whose territory they were situated."
We know of no practical method by which inspection could be relied upon
to give satisfactory warning of the conversion of the plants of the I.G.
for war purposes. A distinction must be made between those weapons whose
production can and cannot be practically controlled by inspection.
In attempting such a classification, Major Davies claims, "It is
difficult to prevent the secret manufacture of rifles, but it is easy
to prevent the manufacture of tanks, aeroplanes, gas, or submarines."
No one having witnessed the large scale operations of assembling tanks
and heavy guns, and aware, at the same time, of the German methods
of producing mustard gas or Blue Cross compounds, could make such an
elementary mistake in classification, and any international disarmament
arrangements based on such an error can only produce a false security.
_*Gas is the outstanding case of a weapon whose manufacture it is
difficult to prevent_.

"Vested Interests."--With regard to the vested interests
in the new method of warfare, the most striking example
is again the I.G. We find Ludendorff consulting Krupp and
the I.G. representative when formulating his plans for a vast
munition programme. Few people have realised the existence
of another Krupp in the I.G. It would, indeed, be a revelation
to find Germany sharing in these schemes of disarmament
to the extent of voluntarily abandoning her dye monopoly.
For such a situation is the only one consistent with safety.
While the sole big source of production of these substances
exists in Germany or in any one country for that matter,
no scheme of disarmament is on sure ground.

"Handing Over" Inventions.--Certain disarmament advocates have ingenuous
ideas with regard to new war inventions, and their "handing over"
to the League. How can an invention be handed over? If every country
informed the League of its new scientific war developments, those countries
would still be aware of them. It is possible, commercially, to hand over any
invention by assigning a patent, but this is of no use for war purposes.
What country would regard patent law as a barrier to the use of a
valuable war invention? Secondly, the cession of an invention to
the League depends entirely on the goodwill of the nation concerned.
No country can be sufficiently inspected to root out its new inventions.
Suppose a gas ten times more useful, from a military point of view,
than mustard gas were discovered in the laboratories of the I.G. An inspector,
or "Secret Service" agent, at the next bench in the laboratory might never
know that the research was not aimed at the discovery of a new dye.
World equilibrium may at this moment be threatened by the discoveries
of some absorbed scientist working, say, in a greenhouse in St. John's Wood.

We come back to the same point, that the crux of the situation lies in the
possession of the means of production. There is hope of controlling this
for a weapon like a tank, but it cannot be controlled for chemical warfare.
If the League requires these weapons it cannot rely on obtaining them from
a monopoly source so complete as the I.G. Further, with or without a League
the mere existence of this monopoly is a permanent menace to peace.

Neglect of Chemical Disarmament in the Treaty.--Let us face the facts.
Our treatment of chemical industry during the Treaty negotiations
and in the Treaty itself persistently ignored its chameleon nature.
We knew that the nitrogen plants at Oppau and Merseburg were the most
menacing munition plants in existence. We knew the grave dangers of
leaving Germany, a guilty country, in possession of the poison gas monopoly.
Yet, deaf to such arguments, the Treaty opportunity was ignored.
Even now the lesson is only half learnt by those whom it vitally concerns.

Here is a new weapon whose exploitation demands research and large
scale production. The former cannot be checked, and the latter
cannot be destroyed or suitably controlled to prevent conversion
for war purposes. Yet three distinct features of this weapon make
the disarmament need imperative.

In the first place, everything points to "chemical disarmament"
as a key measure to control the large scale use of all other weapons.
The aggressive agent in war is the chemical. All weapons,
except the bayonet, depend upon it.

In the second place, chemical warfare is itself so overwhelmingly important
that it is farcical to con-template any disarmament scheme which does not,
first and foremost, tackle this question.

Thirdly, no nation ever held a more complete monopoly for any weapon
than did Germany for chemical warfare. Yet the levelling up process
which occurred during the war, tending towards armament equilibrium,
towards removal of enormous disparity, failed to touch the chemical arm.
Germany through her guilty exercise of the new weapon, has still further
increased her enormous manufacturing superiority for war.

This age has witnessed the growth of an industry critical for war
and disarmament. Others will follow as science progresses.
Without them, the possibility of sudden decisions,
and therefore war incentive will be removed. Sir Oliver Lodge
prophesies the war use of the newly controlled atomic energy.
The fulfilment depends on the growth of another critical war
industry whose nature it would be difficult to foretell.
It is these critical industries which rational disarmament must harness.
At present the chemical industry holds the field.

Surely the first and crying need is to effect a redistribution
of these organic chemical forces. This, indeed, is the one solid
chemical disarmament measure which can and must he brought about.

The certain establishment of these industries in the chief
countries outside Germany must be fixed far beyond the hazard
of local politics and the reach of organised German attack.
True, it is essential that no such support should in any way
drug the will, weaken the initiative and impoverish the service
of the fostered industries. This must depend upon wise
organisation and control in the country concerned.

I claim, however, that it is one of the main duties of any League
of Nations or other organisation dealing with disarmament to proceed
two steps beyond the paragraph in Article 8 of the Covenant. This runs
as follows: "The members of the League undertake to interchange
full and frank information as to the scale of their armaments,
their military, naval, and air programmes, and the conditions
of such of their industries as are adaptable to warlike purposes."
Such an exchange of information must be used, first, to isolate that
industry which is of a vital or key nature to the armament of the period,
either on account of its value as a universal check, or because it
fosters some particularly deadly new type of weapon or aggressive agent.
The chemical industry at present fulfils both conditions, for without it,
all weapons except the bayonet become silent, and it includes the organic
chemical industry which fosters the deadly weapon of the period.

Secondly, rational disarmament must prevent the existence
of monopoly in this critical industry. It may be objected
that we are interfering with the play of ordinary economic laws.
But we must face the possibility that the war of the future
can never be averted without such interference. Indeed, if we
accept the reports of the American Alien Property Custodian,
this very monopoly which now threatens us was established
by methods open to the same objections. It is indeed an
interesting question whether the German dye monopoly resulted
from forces which directly opposed the play of economic law.
Further, the question is not so simple as it appears, for, in the
industries which disarmament most concerns, governing technical
changes are constantly occurring, and the normal home for
the production of a whole range of chemical products may be
shifted by a change of process which demands new raw materials
or new types of energy and power. We must be ready, in certain
critical cases, to regard disarmament as the paramount need.
International agreement, through the League or otherwise,
must find a suitable method to control the critical industry
and prevent its use against world peace.

To be the ardent possessor of an ideal, to be its official guardian,
does not allow us to ignore the technical aspect of an international
and national issue. After our gigantic praiseworthy, but wasteful,
attempts at chemical armament, let us at least disarm on rational lines.



I have endeavoured to present the facts of chemical warfare
as briefly yet as truly as possible, giving a glimpse of the war
possibilities inherent in this branch of applied chemical science.
Nor have I ignored the hidden forces which inspired, stimulated,
and supported the huge war chemical experiment. The great Rhine
factories of the I.G. still cast their shadow on the outer world,
obscuring the issues of reconstruction. This looming menace,
its share in the past and future of chemical warfare, and the fatal
growth of the latter present questions demanding an imperative answer.
It is the weak point of world disarmament.

The Treaty of Versailles answers the riddle in principle,
but have the actual clauses been unfulfilled?

Article 168 demands the limitation of munitions production to factories
or works approved by the Allied and Associated Governments. "All other
establishments for the manufacture of any war material whatever shall
be closed down."

True, the plants of the I.G., like most other munition plants,
have a dual function for peace and war. But their recent vital
use for the latter brings them without doubt within the scope
of the above clause. Are they still equipped for war purposes?
Very drastic action will have been necessary by the
Inter-Allied Commission of Control to justify a negative answer.
Has that action been taken? If not, the I.G., a second Krupp,
remains in splendid isolation, secure behind our mediaeval
but generous conception of munitions, for fifty per cent.
of the German shell fillings, the message of their guns, were eventually
provided by the I.G. It is true that they were manufactured in
synthetic dye and fertiliser plants, but the explosives were none
the less violent and the poison gases none the less poisonous.
Do we understand that the Allied and Associated Governments
voluntarily leave Germany in unquestioned possession of this vast
source of munitions in the face of the Treaty Article 168?

Article 169 wisely requires that any special plant intended for
the manufacture of military material, except such as may be recognised
as necessary for equipping the authorised strength of the German Army,
must be "surrendered to be destroyed or rendered useless."
The most formidable examples of such excess production were,
and remain, the nitrogen fixation and the nitric acid plants
of the I.G. The factories of the latter represent explosives
and poison gas capacity far in excess of the authorised needs
of the German Army. Why, then, should they be left. intact?

What is the authorised equipment of the German Army? In the first
place the manufacture and use of poison gas is specifically forbidden
by the Treaty. The plants in question are therefore all in excess
of authorised production, and should be destroyed or rendered useless.
At present, to the best of our belief, they stand ready to produce at
short notice at the rate of more than 3000 tons of Poison gas per month.
Does this mean that we admit them as authorised equipment?
If so, we are ourselves contravening another clause of the Treaty.

The Treaty tabulates the authorised equipment in stock of shell.
Based on the figures, we find that the actual war explosives production
of the I.G., which, we believe, still largely remains available,
could meet the total stock allowed to Germany by the current production
of little more than one day!

Even if the Treaty provided authority, could these plants evade
their just penalties on the ground of commercial world need?

Consider the question of German poison gas, all produced within
the I.G., and its use and manufacture in Germany forbidden by
the Treaty. It was made in converted or multiplied dye plants,
or in special plants of the same type. Germany's great
advantage was due, unquestionably, to her pre-war dye monopoly.
The 1913 figures for production and home consumption are
given below, under (A) and (B) :

Country. Dye Production, Home Dye Dye Production,
1913. Consumption. 1918,
Tons Tons Tons
Germany 135,000 20,000 135,000
Switzerland 10,000 3,000 12,000
France 7,500 9,430 18,000
U.K . 4,500 31,730 25,000
U.S.A 3,000 26,020 27,000
Other Countries 3,000 72,820 4,000
---- ---- ----
Total 163,000 163,000 221,000

The completeness of the German monopoly stands clearly revealed.
If, therefore, any plants capable of making dyes were built for
poison gas or explosives during war, they could find no post-war
_raison d'etre_ unless the feeble production of other countries
had even further diminished.

Do the above figures (C) justify such an assumption? There is an
increase of production outside Germany of nearly 60,000 tons per annum.
Almost all of this, representing development under definitely expressed
national policy, must be maintained unless we wish to revert to the
exceedingly dangerous situation of a German dye and poison gas monopoly.
Much of this 60,000 tons per annum German excess could be covered
by plants used or built specially for poison gas or explosives.

There is every reason, for world peace, to eliminate such excess plants.
There is no important reason, for commerce, to maintain them.
In addition, many of them represent excess capacity which should be destroyed
because they originated solely for the exploitation of a forbidden weapon.
Even if a generous ruling, superimposed on the Treaty, offered these guilty
plants a new lease of life because of their urgent peace-time use,
the claim could not be supported before neutral experts. The Treaty
provides authority for the disarming of certain chemical munition plants.
Nothing but the most drastic economic need can justify departure from this
critical disarmament measure. The need may justify Treaty exemption
for other types of munition production in which the disarmament aspect
is not so overwhelmingly important. The matter demands examination.
We can hardly conceive that this has not been done. Are our missions
equipped to meet the best German commercial minds on such a matter?
In any case, Allied Governments have already wisely adopted a dye industry
policy inconsistent with the special Treaty immunity of the excess I.G.
munition plants. Our figures remove any ground for the economic argument.

The nitrogen fixation plants of the I.G. undoubtedly demand
the same critical examination. These plants were built almost
entirely for war purposes, for the production of ammonia to be
oxidised to nitric acid. Ammonium nitrate also resulted.
These substances are the mainstay of explosives warfare, and, as a
matter of fact, their production in these very plants was the chief
factor which enabled Germany to continue the war beyond 1915.

Under the simple reading of the Treaty clauses, the plants
should "be destroyed or rendered useless." Here, possibly,
strong arguments will be advanced by Germany for the retention
of the plants for the purpose of fertilising her own soil.
The argument is strong, for the impoverishment of German soil
has been such as to demand, theoretically, enormous tonnages
of ammonium sulphate. But it is vital, for the stability
of peace, that this unique capacity for producing explosives
must not remain the monopoly of any one country.
It is the expressed intention of certain governments outside
Germany to foster the nitrogen fixation enterprise. If, then,
we admit the immunity of these German plants from the Treaty,
for strong agricultural reasons, we must not allow Germany
to use this privilege as a military advantage.

In other words, if we yield to such arguments it must be on two conditions.
In the first place, the plants to evade the Treaty clauses must
be proved necessary for German agriculture. Secondly, the products
of the untouched plants must be used for this purpose and no other.
As far as we know, no attempt has been made to apply the Treaty
to the nitrogen fixation plants, and their products, instead of being
mainly used for agriculture on German soil, have served as a deliberate
weapon against the growing chemical industries of other countries.

Indeed, the figures at our disposal would indicate that even if the full
demands of German agriculture were met, the plants built and projected
leave a big margin which can only find outlet by export or military use.
According to the _Frankfurter Zeitung_ of November 23rd, 1919, the total
consumption of nitrogenous material by Germany was, in 1913, as follows:

Source and Nature Tons Calculated as
Chili Saltpetre 750,000 116,000
Ammonium Sulphate 460,000, 92,000
Norwegian Nitrate 35,000 4,500
Calcium Cyanamide 30,000 6,000
Haber Ammonium Sulphate
(by Fixation) 20,000 4,000
Total 222,500

The same journal, October 18, 1919, states the capacity of the finished
Haber plants to be equivalent to 300,000 tons of nitrogen per annum,
and the total consumption of the old German Empire was thus less than
the amount available from one source alone, _i.e_. nitrogen fixation
by the Haber process. But other pre-war German sources of nitrogen,
expanded by the war, will easily contribute their pre-war quota.
We can therefore very safely assume German capacity of above 400,000 tons
of nitrogen per annum, approximately twice the pre-war consumption.
It is exceedingly unlikely that Germany will actually consume such
a quantity. In any case, a large excess is now deliberately used
to recapture world chemical markets, and this, as explained above,
should be dealt with under the Treaty even if special immunity be afforded
the capacity required for home purposes. We are indeed entitled to ask,
what is being done on this vital matter?

Article 170 prohibits the importation of munitions of every kind
into Germany. Considered from the point of view of chemical munitions,
this clause shows a complete failure to understand the situation.
Far from importing, possession of the I.G. leaves Germany the greatest
potential exporter of chemical munitions in the whole world.
Further, it is not improbable that countries outside Germany
may encourage her in munitions production for export.
Lord Moulton stated in a speech at Manchester in December, 1914:
"Supposing our War Minister had been in the last few years
buying in the cheapest market for the sake of cheapness,
and that he had had the munitions of war manufactured by Krupp's
of Essen. Gentlemen, I think he would have been lynched about
three months ago."

We have fallen far from the inspired resolution of those days!
Knowing the true war significance of the I.G. as a second Krupp,
if we fail to establish our own organic chemical industries,
that warning may become a prophecy.

Article 171 forbids the manufacture of asphyxiating gases and analogous
materials in Germany.

Has this clause any value unsupported by definite measures of control?
With such an enormous capacity of rapidly convertible production,
need Germany consider the production of these chemicals during peace?
Once engaged in war, what is the value of the prohibition?
True, failure would imply penalties for the specific breach of
the Treaty. But a similar breach of International Convention is
already involved, and admitted in the first phrase of Article 171:
"The use of poison gases being prohibited, etc."

It is difficult to see, therefore, unless penalties be actually
incurred for the existing breach, why Article IV would be a serious
deterrent for the future.

A trenchant comparison is afforded by the motive for this Treaty Article,
and the actual operation of other Articles which should support it.

The Treaty makers thought it necessary to give direct reference

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