500.A4/4a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Harvey )

388. The following is statement proposed to be made by President Harding for publication Monday morning, provided you advise Department that proposal is satisfactory to British Government.

“The President, in view of the far-reaching importance of the question of limitation of armament, has approached with informal but definite inquiries the group of Powers heretofore known as the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, that is, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan, to ascertain whether it would be agreeable to them to take part in a conference on this subject, to be held in Washington at a time to be mutually agreed upon. If the proposal is found to be acceptable, formal invitations for such a conference will be issued.

It is manifest that the question of limitation of armament has a close relation to Pacific and Far Eastern problems, and the President has suggested that the Powers especially interested in these problems should undertake in connection with this conference the consideration of all matters bearing upon their solution with a view to reaching a common understanding with respect to principles and policies in the Far East. This has been communicated to the Powers concerned and China has also been invited to take part in the discussion relating to Far Eastern problems.”

To avoid any misunderstanding you should wire approval of statement or indicate changes desired at earliest moment. If any changes are necessary, do not publish until you receive authority from the Department. As President is cruising and can be reached only by radio, greatest expedition in cabling necessary and changes not vital should not be suggested.

Hughes