The Chief of the American Representation on the Preparatory Commission ( Gibson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 9—8:15 a.m.]
225. Department’s 110, April 7, 6 p.m., and my 221, April 6, 5 p.m. Cecil repeats that his Government is prepared to yield to the French on naval effectives, providing that acceptable agreement can be reached with respect to limitation of tonnage. While fully realizing that limitation of naval effectives is not a good or even a practical method I feel that the question has now reached a brighter phase where you may feel it advisable to consider making concessions if by so doing an acceptable compromise agreement can be reached on the more fundamental important question of tonnage limitation. Department will of course bear in mind situation created if British yield and leave us alone in opposition. The possible effect of any agreement on the contemplated three-power conversations will be watched and you will be kept fully advised of progress. I therefore request the Department’s instructions at its earliest convenience.