500.A15/661: Telegram

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

Wilson and I called this afternoon on Colban, chief of the Disarmament Section Secretariat. He is of course unable to foresee duration of forthcoming meeting.
  • Point 1 of agenda will probably result in formal adoption of Security Committee’s report since it was drawn up by practically the same membership as that of the Preparatory Commission and they can probably have little to add.
  • Point 2. Feeling in regard to the Russian proposal is divided. While there is an element in favor of dismissing the proposal as unworthy [Page 247]of serious consideration it seems probable that they will either be given a full discussion immediately with a view to convincing public opinion of their futility or referred to a subcommittee for careful study with a view not only to demonstrating their futility but also to deferring the second reading of draft convention as this obviously could not be undertaken prior to debate on Russian proposal since the latter is a radical amendment to our whole scheme and has precedence under our method of procedure.
There is a nearly unanimous feeling more harm than good would result by embarking upon the second reading before making a determined effort to reach a larger measure of agreement by direct relations between various governments. Colban’s impression was that while the Germans will protest against delay they will not be unduly insistent and that possibly they would be satisfied by a proposal to have the third commission of the Assembly, which is made up of the representatives of all member states, examine the progress of the work next September. To this body certain nonmember states such as the United States, Russia and Turkey would be invited.