Zuckerman Archive: UN Group of Consultant Experts on Chemical and Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The earlier minutes of the Group are absent from the file and those for the 11th-24th meetings are incomplete (File SZ/CBW/1).

The file of correspondence, SZ/CBW/2, is slim. It contains: a list of the members of the Group; notes relating to suggested amendments to the report; a memorandum from SZ to Academician O.A. Reutov, the Soviet representative, on his (Zuckerman's) amendments to the final chapter of the report; a signal from the Canadian Delegation to the contemporaneous disarmament negotiations in Geneva; correspondence with William Epstein, Chairman of the Group, referring to the submission received from the WHO, and to Zuckerman's first edited draft of the report; and a signal from the Cabinet Office, which had been asked to provide him with the source of the quotation Armis Bella non vinenis geri.

The miscellaneous background notes in File SZ/CBW/3 are: photocopies of extracts from various documents relating to pre-war efforts to ban the use of chemical and biological weapons, and data on gas warfare.

The reports received (File SZ/CBW/4) include: submissions to the Group by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pugwash Conferences; U.S. Department of the Army Training Circular TC 3-16 Employment of riot control agents, flame, smoke, antiplant agents, and personnel detectors in counterguerilla operations, 1969; a special issue of the journal Scientist and Citizen, vol. 9, no. 7, 1967; copies of the Home Office Report of the enquiry into the Medical and Toxicological aspects of CS... Part I, HMSO, 1969, Cmnd 4173; a WHO report Health effects of possible use of chemical and biological weapons, 5 December 1969; the report of the proceedings of a conference on chemical and biological warfare sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Salk Institute, 25 July 1969; and a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report Legal aspects of the Geneva protocol of 1925, 1970, by R.R. Baxter and Thomas Buergenthal.

Administrative / Biographical History

At its 23rd session, 1968, the General Assembly of the United Nations directed the Secretary-General, U Thant, to prepare, with the assistance of a group of experts, a report on chemical and bacteriological weapons. U Thant appointed a panel of 14 experts, chaired by William Epstein, Director of the UN's Disarmament Affairs Division of the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs. Solly Zuckerman was a member of the Expert Group and was responsible for drafting the [English-language] text of the report. The report of the Expert Group was submitted to U Thant on 30 June 1969 and published by the United Nations as Chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons and the effects of their possible use.


  • SZ/CBW/1 Minutes of the 11th-24th meetings (incomplete), 1969
  • SZ/CBW/2 Correspondence, 1969
  • SZ/CBW/3 Miscellaneous background notes, 1931-1937, 1969
  • SZ/CBW/4 Reports received, 1969
  • SZ/CBW/5 Draft report, 1969 [in eight sub-files]
  • SZ/CBW/6 Russian draft text of report, 1969
  • SZ/CBW/7 Final text of report, 1969

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.



Conditions Governing Use

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.