500.A15/645: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva (Tuck) to the Secretary of State

Department’s February 24, 2 p.m.8 The following is a brief summary of the draft convention of immediate and complete disarmament submitted by the Soviet delegation. Draft convention which begins with a brief preamble contains 5 chapters and 63 articles briefly summarized below:9

Chapter 1. Effectives of armed forces. This chapter contains principles of disarmament relating to effectives. Article 1 reads textually as follows:

“All military units and formations as well as [the effectives of the] land, sea and air forces, whether of the home country or of its oversea possessions, shall be disbanded within 4 years as from entry into force of the present convention and shall not in future be allowed in any way whether open or secret. Disbandment [of the] effectives shall be done in four successive stages:

In the first year as from entry into force of the present convention to [sic] one-half effectives in service whether officials, officers or other ranks shall be disbanded and
In the following year[s] remaining effectives in equal parts.”

[Page 241]

Remainder chapter 1 develops in detail proposal to [sic] put forward by the Soviet delegation at the Fourth Preparatory Commission appearing in pages 16 and 17 provisional minutes first meeting.

Chapter 2. Material. Contains provisions regarding destruction material land, naval, air, armaments, fortifications, bases and military industries.

As regards naval armaments it provides for destruction capital ships, convoys, aircraft carriers, submarines. It allows use of disarmed war vessels as merchant vessels. All other smaller naval vessels including coast guard ships to be disarmed.

Disarmament of military air forces involves destruction heavy aircraft, otherwise military aeroplanes when disarmed can be used by civil organizations.

Chapter 3. Organization of protection on land and at sea. Protection on land provides that establishment of police forces or militia must be maintained within present limits for period of 4 years.

Protection at sea provides for organization of maritime police service and for this purpose waters of the globe are divided into 16 zones. Zones that would affect United States are number 7 (northwestern section of the Atlantic Ocean) and number 7 [14?] (northeastern section of the Pacific Ocean).

Chapter 4. Control. First article of this chapter provides that within 3 months of the coming into effect of the convention there shall be organized a permanent international commission of control, committees of control in each of the contracting states and local commissions. Functions, composition and duties of these bodies described in detail.

Paragraph [Chapter] 5 contains suggestions for conclusion of supplementary conventions and indicates procedure for ratifying conventions and settling questions arising out of violations. Articles 58 and 60 are quoted verbatim.

Article 58. Within one year of the coming into effect of the convention all the contracting powers shall enact legislation providing that a breach of any of the stipulations of the convention shall be regarded as a great [grave] offense against the state. At the same time all acts of national or international importance which are contrary to the above-mentioned clauses shall be repealed or amended.

Article 60. In the case of a direct breach of the present convention by one of the contracting powers [states], an extraordinary assembly of the representatives of contracting powers [states] participating in present convention [shall be summoned as expeditiously as possible] by the Permanent International Commission of Control to decide upon steps to be taken. Steps to be taken [the steps taken] to exercise pressure must not be of a military character. All disputes between States shall be settled by the Permanent International Commission of Control.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Bracketed corrections in arts. 1, 58, and 68 taken from text as printed in League of Nations, Documents of the Preparatory Commission, Series VI, pp. 325, 336, and 337.