500.A15 a 1/1f: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Japan (MacVeagh)


14. Department’s telegram 12.6 The President desires, when you present the memorandum to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, that you orally point out to him that the plan is believed to be in thorough accord with the Japanese Government’s desire for further limitation of naval armament, that already there exists between the two Governments a substantial agreement in essentials, that even in minor matters between the United States and Japan there appears to be no conflict of opinion or interest, and that any minor differences can readily be adjusted.

The United States Government has avoided proposing in this memorandum any detailed plan because of the belief that representatives of the interested Governments can find an acceptable solution of their naval problems the more easily if they remain at liberty to explore as fully as possible and are not limited by rigid instructions from which receding would be difficult.

Acceptance by the Japanese Government of this proposal would particularly gratify the United States Government.

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You should add that this Government believes the negotiations contemplated by its memorandum, while not necessarily beginning on the date of the Preparatory Commission’s convening, should be commenced as soon thereafter as may be generally agreeable to the five interested Governments.

You should say further that President Coolidge for some time has considered this matter to be urgent, but, since he did not wish to draw the Japanese Government’s attention to so important a question prior to the impending funeral ceremonies of the late Emperor, he withheld action, both in Tokyo and other capitals, until the conclusion of the funeral ceremonies.

  1. See footnote 3, p. 1.