The British Chargé (Lindsay) to the Secretary of State

No. 80

Sir: I have the honour to inform you that I duly forwarded to my Government, a copy of your note of January 6th, regarding the Arms Traffic Convention, and particularly the sale of arms to non-signatory states.

I have now received a reply instructing me to point out to the United States Government that any failure to prevent export by private firms would nullify the point of the Convention, namely:—the disposal of the existing stocks, a contingency which the protocol signed by the United States Representatives, was expressly designed to avert.

Neglect to observe the spirit of the Convention, pending ratification, would constitute a precedent which would justify any of the signatories in allowing private shipments to say, Mexico, which country as the United States Government are aware, has not hitherto been allowed to buy arms in the United Kingdom.

The Promise to Koltchak was given prior to the signature of the Convention, but His Majesty’s Government would not propose that the Convention should prevent sales to the Governments actually engaged in fighting the forces of disorder, and supported politically by the Allied and Associated Governments, though the usual practice [Page 204] has been to secure guarantee from such Governments before allowing shipments.

I have [etc.]

R. C. Lindsay