500.A15/446: Telegram

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

194. My 191, March 23, 11 a.m. With reference to second course proposed. At today’s session of Commission, Boncour in presenting his draft declared that it was only in an earnest determination to meet American position that he framed provisions of his draft concerning carrying into effect of convention and embodying erection of Permanent Disarmament Commission; otherwise he would have preferred to utilize already existing League organs. French draft, unlike British, still provides for supervision and control of contracting parties’ territory.

[Paraphrase.] If second course should be adopted, however, Boncour is so conciliatory that I feel that I might suggest the possibility of dividing the convention into two parts, the first part to contain the absolute provisions for the limitation and reduction of armaments and the second to comprise those provisions which members of the League of Nations might be desirous of having enforced by those agencies under the control of the League. It is believed that under such circumstances the members of the League could apply the second convention as among themselves while we might adhere to the first with such additional undertakings as might make our adherence acceptable to those states members of the League. [End paraphrase.]