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Gas Warfare (Retaliatory Measures)

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1943

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asked the Prime Minister whether he will give an assurance that before any decision is taken by His Majesty's Government to embark upon gas war steps will be taken to certify beyond doubt that gas has been used by the enemy, and that such certification will be from a neutral observer?


the Prime Minister whether he will assure the House that before His Majesty's Government decide to employ poison gas a neutral commission shall be requested to ascertain the facts as to the use of that weapon by the enemy against the Russians in the first instance?

Retaliatory action will not be taken until His Majesty's Government are convinced that gas has been used by the enemy, but we have no intention of inviting neutrals to assist us in this matter.

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he recollects, as every fighting soldier will testify, how often during the last war misstatements about the use of gas were made; and before this added horror is let loose on the world, will he take all precautions to make sure?

I have very good confidence that we shall receive true information from our Russian Allies.