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

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1187 SZ/CBW
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      3 boxes; seven files; 1.5 linear feet

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

Access Information

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.