500.A15a3/141: Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Dawes) to the Secretary of State


247. This morning the Japanese Ambassador called to say that on August 27 he had an interview with the Prime Minister. During the interview the Ambassador told the Prime Minister that his Government would desire the ratio of strength to be 10–10–7 in any proposed settlement and that his Government was very sympathetic toward the negotiations so far as they had progressed according to information which I had given him. The Ambassador also told the Prime Minister that his Government was hopeful that the cruiser strength agreed upon between Great Britain and the United States would be as low as possible in order that Japan could reach its ratio position without requiring so much building. Parenthetically, it may be said that his attitude in this connection is the same as that of our own. MacDonald told me in so many words to keep the Japanese Ambassador informed of his own position as he would outline it to me from time to time. Matsudaira was informed by me of the informal word which the Prime Minister had sent to the effect that he desired to forestall any attempt, at Geneva, to bring about the transfer to the Preparatory Commission of the negotiations. It is my belief that Matsudaira will be very cooperative in this matter. He leaves for Geneva on the morning of the 29th.