500.A15/438: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chief of the American Representation on the Preparatory Commission ( Gibson )


95. In reply to the inquiry made February 24 in your private letter to Mr. Dorsey Richardson of the Division of Western European Affairs,29 on position to take should necessity arise of defining this Government’s attitude toward an economic blockade which the Council of the League of Nations might declare under article XVI of the Covenant of the League, you will be guided by the following statement:

  • “1. The Government of the United States cannot become a party to any agreement involving an undertaking on its part to sever either trade or financial relations with any state in any contingency, nor can it participate in any blockade which may be decreed by any power or by any group of powers, whether the blockade is decreed under the auspices of the League of Nations or otherwise. No arrangement directly or indirectly contemplating possibility of prohibiting or restricting carrying on of trade or commerce by American citizens with any other country or countries by institution of an economic blockade can be entered into by the Government of the United States.
  • 2. This Government will not agree to any form of international supervision or control of armaments. This Government considers that, as far as it is concerned, sole sanction for reduction and enforcement of any convention for reduction or limitation of armaments is the good faith of all the nations which are concerned; this good faith naturally requires scrupulous observance on their part of their treaty obligations.”

  1. Not printed.