The Department of State to the British Embassy


With reference to the memorandum handed him by the British Ambassador on March 15, 1923, relating to the statements which had been made as to the elevation of the turret guns of British capital ships, the Secretary of State today made the following statement to the press:

“In my speech at New Haven on December 29, 1922, I made the following statement with respect to alterations in the British capital ships: ‘The result is that in a considerable number of British ships bulges have been fitted, elevation of turret guns increased and turret loading arrangements modified to conform to increased elevation’. [Page 31] In making this statement I relied upon specific information which had been furnished me by the Navy Department and which of course the Navy Department believed to be entirely trustworthy.

“The Department of State has been advised by the British Government categorically, ‘that no alteration has been made in the elevation of the turret guns of any British capital ships since they were first placed in commission’, and further, ‘that no additional deck protection has been provided [since February 6, 1922, the date of the Washington Treaties]’.25

“It gives me pleasure to make this correction, as it is desired that there should be no public misapprehension.”

The Acting Secretary of the Navy has also made a statement to the press as follows:

“The Navy Department, in the hearings before Congress, stated that the elevation of the turret guns on the British capital ships had been and was being increased. This statement was based on information believed to be thoroughly reliable by the Department.

“The British Admiralty has informed the Department that this is not the case, and that the elevation of the turret guns on the British capital ships is the same as when these ships were originally commissioned. This places the matter beyond further question, and the Department takes pleasure in correcting its previous statement in consonance with the above.”

  1. The phrase in brackets was added to the public statement at the request of the British Embassy.