The Chief of the American Representation on the Preparatory Commission (Gibson) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 6—2:48 p.m.]
221. Cecil informs me his Government is prepared under certain conditions to yield to the French in regard to the limitation of naval effectives. He is informing Boncour that he will be prepared to discuss acceptance of such limitation provided (1) that acceptable agreement can be reached in regard to some compromise such as that outlined in my 216, April 5, 9 p.m., and (2) that limitation of effectives is accepted by the United States and Japan. He feels that while limitation of naval effectives is not a sound method he can see no vital objection to it and is disposed to make certain concessions to the French if this will lead them to reciprocal concessions on naval tonnage.
Although we believe that the method of limitation by limiting effectives unnecessarily complicates the problem and have so represented to the Conference, we are not prepared to contend that it is wholly inadmissible. The views of the Navy Department are especially desired on the subject in view of the fact that the effectives of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard will necessarily be included in naval effectives. Due consideration of the fact that our air effectives are integral components of the naval effectives also is necessary. This latter not being the case with Great Britain or Italy will naturally affect the number of effectives necessary for us in comparison with those two countries.