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500.A15 a 1/165 : Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State

Tokyo, April 6, 1927noon.

[Received April 6–10:10 a. m.] 50. Embassy's telegrams 47, April 2, noon; and 49, April 2,9 p. m.26 Minister for Foreign Affairs has informed me that in addition to Saito,27 Viscount Ishii, Japanese Ambassador to France, has accepted position on delegation. These two will be principal delegates, accompanied by Saburi 28 as political expert and secretary to delegation, with Vice Admiral Kobayashi and Rear Admiral Hara as naval experts.

While plans not definitely settled it seems probable that delegates will leave Japan April 25th, proceeding via Suez and due Geneva early June. Full biographical data members delegation goes forward first pouch.29


500.A15 a 1/182b : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chief of the American Delegation on

the Preparatory Commission (Gibson)


WASHINGTON, April 13, 1927—2 p. m. 116. Reported in press that Three-Power Conference will meet June 20, 1927. Department's latest advice from Great Britain and Japan was that Conference would be held as early as possible after June 11; we had assumed that would mean June 12. If definite date has been arranged please cable.

The President and I have conferred with Mr. Hughes,30 but do not believe that he can attend Conference and in that event do not know of anyone else to invite. Our thought was that if Mr. Hughes was able to go, his international reputation might be of assistance to you and contribute to arriving at favorable result.

I discussed with the President and Mr. Hughes the advisability of sending over some good lawyer to help you in drafting the treaty. We thought that we might get Allen Dulles, who, as you are aware, is thoroughly conversant with all the background.

We should like to have your views. The Navy will send Admiral Schofield and some other assistants; further information on that will

Neither printed.
Admiral Viscount Saito, Governor General of Korea.
Mr. Sadao Saburi, Chief of the Treaty Section, Japanese Foreign Office.
29 Despatch not printed.
Charles Evans Hughes, Secretary of State, Mar. 4, 1921-Mar. 4, 1925.


be sent you. We are very anxious, of course, for success of this ThreePower Conference.

Great Britain has notified us that her delegates will be the Rt. Hon. W. C. Bridgeman, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, Admiral Field, Chief of the Naval Staff, and other naval experts. Japan has notified us that her representation will be as follows: Admiral Viscount Saito, Governor General of Korea, and Viscount Ishii, at present Japanese Ambassador to France; Vice Admiral Kobayashi and Rear Admiral Hara, naval experts; and Mr. Sadao Saburi, Chief of the Treaty Section of the Foreign Office, Secretary


500.A15 a 1/185 : Telegram

The Chief of the American Delegation on the Preparatory Commission

(Gibson) to the Secretary of State


GENEVA, April 14, 1927–9 p. m.

[Received 11:59 p. m.] 241. Until it should be possible to arrive at some idea of developments here I have postponed request for Department's instructions concerning arrangements for Naval Limitation Conference. The Preparatory Commission will in all likelihood adjourn towards the end of the month, see my No. 239,31 and will not resume its sessions until after the Assembly meeting in September. There will therefore be no conflict in time between the Three-Power Conference and the Preparatory Commission.

It would seem to me inadvisable to approach Sir Eric Drummond 32 before the receipt of instructions from you and before further developments could be more clearly estimated. My information is, however, that Drummond would, if requested, be happy to grant us the facilities of the Secretariat's machinery as he is eager to have the pourparlers take place in Geneva.

Bridgeman, in conversation with me in London, made no secret of the fact that he was opposed to Geneva as a meeting place and that his preference lay in the direction of Brussels or The Hague because they were more accessible to London and were free from the atmosphere of Geneva. He attached some weight to this in the event that the negotiations should be protracted and that his presence in London should, from time to time, be required. I replied that the

31 Not printed.

Secretary General, League of Nations.

President had particularly suggested Geneva since he wished it made clear that the conversations were in no manner of means in rivalry with the work of the Preparatory Commission but were, on the contrary, closely connected therewith. I therefore gave it as my assured opinion that we would not be willing to initiate any change in this regard. It is possible that the British will resuscitate the suggestion concerning Brussels or The Hague upon the adjournment of the Preparatory Commission, and should that question arise I hope that a decision in one sense or another will be reached before Drummond is approached. The First Lord's suggestion contains one sound idea : a large number of persons of all nationalities are always cognizant of any proceedings in the Secretariat and it may be felt preferable to form a secretariat of our own. Since my Japanese colleague informs me that his country's delegation favors the English language in the conduct of negotiations, this should present no difficulty as the need for translation and interpreting will be avoided. My own convenience will, of course, be best served by the choice of Brussels, but I trust you understand that I would not like this to be taken into consideration in reaching a decision. I might add that the expenditure will be largely reduced in that case since the Embassy Chancery could be used for our work and the considerable expense for headquarters at the hotel be avoided.

The Executive Council would, I learn, be inconvenienced should the work commence before June 20, since until shortly before then the Council will be in session. We would hardly be warranted in asking the Secretariat to undergo the large outlay and inconvenience which a carrying on of the conversations coincident with the Council meeting would involve.


500.A15 a 1/185 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chief of the American Delegation on

the Preparatory Commission (Gibson)


WASHINGTON, April 20, 1927-11 a.m. 121. Your No. 241, April 14, 9 p. m. Inasmuch as it was as a part of the Preparatory Commission that the President invited the five powers to confer in Geneva on the limitation of naval armaments, he feels that if the United States were to take initiative in holding Conference elsewhere this would place us in embarrassing position and provide France and Italy with opportunity to allege that we were attempting to disrupt Geneva Conference. Were the other two powers, Great Britain and Japan, to make clear their desire to have Conference

meet at some other place, preferably in Belgium, I do not think that we should oppose it. If the League of Nations would be embarrassed by having these negotiations at Geneva or if the League is not prepared to provide the necessary facilities, for which, of course, we should be willing to pay, we should then have no objection to holding Conference at some other place. You may, if you think wise, approach Sir Eric Drummond on the subject.

I should like to have your opinion in regard to distribution of personnel on termination of the Preparatory Commission. Are you and Admiral Jones of opinion that he should return here for consultation ? 33 We think that, if there is time, both the General Board of the Navy and the Department would be glad to have opportunity to consult with Admiral Jones, but wish to leave decision in matter to him.


500.A15 a 1/204: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain



WASHINGTON, April 27, 1927noon. 84. Bridgeman saw Admiral Jones when latter was in London on way to Geneva and raised possibility of moving Conference to some other place. British Naval delegate on Preparatory Commission likewise suggested to Gibson possibility of Brussels. No suggestion of this sort has ever come from anyone in British Foreign Office or from the Japanese.

Gibson has informed Department that Drummond has stated that, in regard to use of League facilities by Conference in Geneva, he preferred requests for this use to come from states members of League, that is to say, from Great Britain and Japan.

As this Conference at Geneva was called by President in connection with work of Preparatory Commission, the United States would not care to change location of Conference except on formal request of Great Britain and Japan, who are members of the League, in which event this Government would willingly consent to change to Brussels. There is no doubt that British and Japanese would be willing to request use of necessary League facilities if it be definitely decided to hold Conference at Geneva.

All the above considerations were discussed yesterday with Mr. Chilton of the British Embassy, the Ambassador being absent, and

Rear Admiral Hilary P. Jones, American naval expert on the Preparatory Commission. Telegram from Mr. Gibson, No. 250, Apr. 22, 1927, 5 p.m. (not printed), referring to distribution of personnel, stated that Admiral Jones would return to Washington for consultation (ile No. 500.A15 a 1/195).

with Japanese Ambassador, who promised to communicate with their respective Governments. You should find occasion to explain situation to Chamberlain and to urge early decision.


500.A15 a 1/206 : Telegram The Ambassador in Great Britain (Houghton) to the Secretary

of State


LONDON, April 28, 1921–5 p. m.

[Received April 28—12:47 p. m.] 98. Your No. 84, April 27, noon. Chamberlain tells me that British Government prefer Geneva for Conference and that they have so notified Japan. They are also taking the necessary steps in regard to League facilities.


500.A15 a 1/213a : Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain


WASHINGTON, May 5, 1927noon. 93. Please bring following to the attention of Chamberlain : This Government assumes that the British Delegation at the forthcoming Three Power Conference will either include fully empowered Dominion representatives as at the Washington Conference or will itself be empowered by Dominion Governments.


500.A 15 a 1/216 : Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Houghton) to the Secretary

of State

LONDON, May 6, 1927--1 p. m.

[Received May 6–8:56 a. m.] 105. Your 93, May 5, noon. Chamberlain assures me that British delegation at the forthcoming Three-Power Conference will include fully empowered Dominion representatives.


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