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TAREE-POWER CONFERENCE AT GENEVA FOR THE LIMITATION OF NAVAL ARMA

MENT, JUNE 20-AUGUST 4, 1927—Continued

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1927 July 8

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July 8

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To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Approval of suggested private conversation should Conference
fail; suggestion that a short adjournment might be of value if
agreement seems impossible; additional considerations to be
included in American delegation's statement to the public
meeting if Conference breaks up.
From the Ambassador in Great Britain (tel.)

Substance of conversation with Chamberlain, in which he
appeared to be impressed by Ambassador's statement that
U. S. public opinion had reacted unfavorably to British
proposals. Ambassador's opinion that, should total tonnage
be kept under 400,000 tons, it will be a material concession to
American views.
From the Britain (tel.)

July 9

85

(158) e repote from Chamberlain (text

printedy

, reporting discussion

July

with the Prime Minister and colleagues of substance of con-
versation with American Ambassador, July 8, and stating likeli-
hood that British may ask for short adjournment at Geneva in
order to study the points raised in that conversation.
From the British Embassy

Explanation of attitude of British Government at Geneva, in
order to dispel apparent misunderstanding of its policy.
To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

9

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July 9

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23) ) directing

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July 9

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July 11

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July 11

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Secretary to instruct chairman that a clear, strong statement of
American position is needed, regardless of where blame falls,
and approving suggestions in Secretary's telegram No. 30, July
8, to the chairman.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Summary of a private conversation of the three delegations,
held at instance of British, in which it appeared that a pos-
sible way out of the cruiser impasse might be reached; chair-
man's opinion that a solution may yet be found.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Indefinite postponement of plenary session scheduled for
July 11, as a mark of respect to death of Irish Foreign Minister,
who recently participated in the Conference's work.
To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Protest of British Ambassador concerning Wythe Williams'
article in New York Times (excerpts printed), which predicts
release by American experts, if Conference fails, of documen-
tary proof that Great Britain has violated Washington treaty
terms by overtonnage of battleships.
From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)

Foreign Minister's request that his earnest desire for U. S.
assistance to Japanese in bringing about an agreement which
will not call for material increases in naval armaments be con-
veyed to Washington.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Belief that delegation should concentrate on need to find
common ground for agreement between Japanese and British
on tonnage levels, and should emphasize U. S. preference for
Japanese levels.

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July 11

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July 11

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THREE-POWER CONFERENCE AT GENEVA FOR THE LIMITATION OF NAVAL ARMA

MENT, JUNE 20-AUGUST 4, 1927—Continued

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1927 July 12

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July 12

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From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Opinion that the Wythe Williams, article was founded on
pure conjecture; information that American delegates have
been scrupulous in not revealing confidential information
to the press.
To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Inquiry as to truth of press reports from English sources
(excerpt printed) that representatives of steel plants or manu-
facturing concerns are in Geneva or are interfering with delib-
erations by propagandizing American experts.
From the Ambassador in Great Britain (tel.)

British suggestion (text printed) that agreement should be
sought on basis of total tonnage in each class beyond which
each party would not go up to 1936. Chamberlain's intention
to ask short adjournment and order Bridgeman to London for
consultation if agreement cannot be reached along this line;
his willingness to meet the Secretary in Geneva if necessary,
and if Secretary so requests.

(Repeated to Geneva.)
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

American suggestion to mixed committee exploring cruiser
problem that the real difficulty lies in British effort to force
other navies to accept same type of cruisers as themselves,
regardless of individual requirements; reiteration by British of
unacceptability of tonnage figures of Japanese.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Unacceptability to Americans and Japanese of British draft
plan (text printed) providing for tonnage limitation of 550,000
tons under certain ages, retention of over-age ships in the
amount of 20 percent of this figure, and a limitation of 10,000-
ton cruisers to 12-12-8, all other cruisers to be limited to
6,000 tons, mounted with no larger than 6-inch guns.
To the Ambassador in Great Britain (tel.)

Permission to inform Chamberlain of Secretary's concur-
rence in British suggestion outlined in Ambassador's telegram
No. 162, July 12; assumption that by "each class” is meant
cruisers, destroyers, and submarines; assertion that while the
United States requires 10,000-ton cruisers, it does not object
to the smaller-type cruisers preferred by British, provided
they do not exceed the total tonnage limitation; opinion that
a short adjournment of Conference might serve a useful
purpose.

(Repeated to Geneva.)
To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Reluctance of Ambassador in Great Britain, expressed in a
telegram of July 13 (text printed), to inform Chamberlain as
directed by Secretary's telegram No. 159, July 12, for fear of
consequences unfavorable to the American position at Geneva.
Instructions to advise Ambassador of any suggestions chair-
man plans to make concerning Secretary's telegram and
possible adjournment.

(Footnote: Information that the Ambassador in Great Britain was informed of the contents of this telegram by Department telegram No. 160, July 13, 5 p. m.)

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July 12

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July 13

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THREE-POWER CONFERENCE AT GENEVA FOR THE LIMITATION OF NAVAL ARMA

MENT, JUNE 20–AUGUST 4, 1927-Continued

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1927 July 13

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July 14

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July 14

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From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Opinion that British delegation is aware that the largest
size of cruiser is most suited to U. S. needs; belief that restric-
tion of number of maximum-size cruisers cannot be decided
until the total tonnage figure is agreed upon, that short ad-
journment might cause loss of ground gained by American
delegation, and that probably Secretary's influence would
continue to be most effective if he remained in Washington.

(Copy to London.)
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Japanese proposal for a 30 percent cut in tonnage of auxiliary
surface craft now built, building, or authorized, which would
result in approximate figure for Great Britain of 484,000 tons,
for the United States of 454,000 tons, and for Japan of 310,000
tons.

(Copy to London.)
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Doubt that any truth exists in press reports of activities of
steel and other interests at Geneva, and opinion that such
assertions are British-inspired.
To the Ambassador in Great Britain (tel.)

Instructions, in view of possible misunderstanding of term
"class” in British plan, to advise Chamberlain of American
interpretation; information that as delegation believes prog-
ress is being made, no immediate necessity for adjournment
exists.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Belief that as a last resort Secretary might accept Chamber-
lain's suggestion to meet in Geneva, but that suggestion may
be merely part of British effort to postpone decision; informa-
tion that as a result of Japanese refusal to discuss a figure
exceeding 315,000 tons for their combined cruiser-destroyer
tonnage, the British will have to decide either to reduce their
figures to approximately 500,000 tons or to accept whatever
consequences result.
To the Ambassador in Great Britain (tel.)

Advice that the British proposal is rendered valueless by
British Ambassador's explanation that Chamberlain meant by
"class" of ships, the different sizes of cruisers rather than the
categories of naval craft.

(Sent also to Geneva.)
To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Telegram No. 165 to the Ambassador in Great Britain
(text printed) instructing him to advise Chamberlain that the
Secretary foresees no circumstances which would require him
to go to Geneva, and advising that the only real question is
whether the British can reduce their figures on total cruiser
tonnage to meet views of the American and Japanese delega-
tions.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Request for comments on chairman's statement to second
plenary session, July 14.

July 15

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July 16

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July 16

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July 16

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THREE-POWER CONFERENCE AT GENEVA FOR THE LIMITATION OF NAVAL ARMA

MENT, JUNE 20-AUGUST 4, 1927—Continued

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1927 July 18

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From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Japanese memorandum (text printed) summarizing the
specific propositions set forth by each power in British-Japa-
nese informal conversations.
To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

July 18

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July 18

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gestion that if another plenary session becomes necessary,
the specific facts to justify American conclusions be stated;
instructions as to the nature of statement to be made with
regard to American position should Conference break up.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Request for instructions as to certain points of Japanese
memorandum: (1) Advance in ratio for Japan from 3 to 3.25,
(2) question of 8-inch guns, and (3) maximum size of smaller-
type cruiser.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Suggestion that the Secretary discuss with the British
Ambassador the two conflicting issues which now prevent
agreement: (1) British insistence on small-type cruisers and
restriction of 8-inch gun, and (2) American insistence on
liberty of armament.
From the Ambassador in Great Britain (tel.)

July 18

(107)

114

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163)9 Fromnambermain-saconcurferece Britenen Secretary's opinion that

116

117

nothing would be accomplished by a meeting at Geneva

between them.
July 19 To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)
(55) Opinion that the 5-5-3 ratio must be adhered to, with slight

concessions should exact ratio be impractical, and that after
reaching agreement on total cruiser tonnage, the United
States must retain right to construct within such limits the
number and type of cruisers up to 10,000 tons, with such
armament up to 8-inch guns as may be necessary. Instruc-
tions to cable further data on suggestion in Japanese memo-
randum that 25 percent of the tonnage totals be retained in

over-age vessels.
July 19 From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)
(108) Declaration, at meeting for further discussion of Japanese

'memorandum, of willingness to discuss retention of over-age
"ships after agreement is reached on the other issues, and of
reasons for insistence on liberty of armanent within the tonnage
limitations; reiteration of suggestion that treaty might con-
tain a political clause providing for reexamination of the
cruiser question in case either of the other powers should be-
come apprehensive in the future as to the quantity of U. S.

construction of 8-inch-gun vessels.
July 19 From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)
(110) Suggestion that, in view of British delegation's recall to

London for consultations, a full statement of U. S. position as
to tonnage level and liberty of armament within that figure be
presented to the British Government either through its Em-
bassy in Washington or through the American Ambassador in
London.

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THREE-POWER CONFERENCE AT GENEVA FOR THE LIMITATION OF NAVAL ARMA

MENT, JUNE 20-AUGUST 4, 1927—Continued

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July 21

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July 21 (102)

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again with the British Government, considering instructions
to the American Ambassador quoted in telegram No. 50, July
16, but that he will do everything possible to assist in bringing
about an agreement. Fear that emphasis on 8-inch guns will
lead British to assume U. S. willingness to build cruisers below
10,000 tons armed with 8-inch guns.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)
the power to allocate all tonnage to 10,000-ton cruisers, but to
indicate willingness to consider possibility of a smaller-size
cruiser to be armed with 8-inch guns.
To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Advice that it was not intention to direct delegation to
insist on the construction of the entire tonnage in 10,000-ton
vessels, and instructions to adhere to right to arm all new
cruisers with 8-inch guns.
Το

Conversation with the British Ambassador, in which the
Secretary emphasized that the American delegation had made
extensive concessions, but that the British must agree to a
total tonnage limitation and mounting of 8-inch guns if any
treaty is to be made.
From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)

Foreign Office information that Japanese still hope to bring
tonnage figure down to 450,000 tons, that they have not ap-
proved British 6-inch gun proposal, and that they recognize the
difficulties presented by the obsolete cruiser tonnage clause.
To President Coolidge

Doubt that Geneva Conference will have any practical re-
sults, in view of grave difficulties encountered with regard to
the British demands.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Further explanation of proposal for retention of over-age
ships as contained in Japanese memorandum; unacceptability
to American delegation of proposal as it now stands, but
possibility that modifications might be worked out which
would make it a basis for discussion.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Inquiry as to authorization to accede to Japanese wish for
discussion of 5–3 ratio, and possibility of seeking compromise
which would satisfy both U. S. demand for maintenance of the
Washington treaty ratio and Japanese need to meet domestic
political objections regarding its minority ratio.
From the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Request for opinion on two drafts of a political clause
providing for reexamination of cruiser question (texts printed).
To the Chairman of the American Delegation (tel.)

Preference for the more specific form of political clause, should necessity for it arise.

July 22

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July 22

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July 22

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July 23

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July 25

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