500.A15a3/61: Telegram

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


177. (1) With reference to your telegram No. 186 of July 11, 1929, the President and myself heartily concur in your views regarding the importance of Mr. MacDonald’s presence at the final naval conference and the manner in which you handled the matter in your interview with him is fully approved by us. The President and I consider it of prime importance that Mr. MacDonald should head the British delegation to such a conference and are of the opinion that his doing so would contribute greatly to accomplishing the end so much desired by all of us. The Prime Minister’s proposed answer to the interpellation is fully approved by the President and myself.

(2) We can cooperate with the Prime Minister’s suggestion that there be a slow-down in construction. The United States has completed, or ready for early launching, eight of the new type of approximately ten thousand ton cruisers; there are two more under contract in private shipyards; in Government yards in the United States there are three undertaken for construction and Congress has authorized ten more. Fourteen cruisers of about the same type have been completed and apparently ten more are under construction or have been authorized by the British Government. The United States can reciprocate upon Mr. MacDonald’s announcement by a statement that we have slowed down our preparations for laying the keels of the three cruisers which have been undertaken by the Government yards in the United States. The statement as to what we propose to do must, of course, come from the United States and can be made in response to the Prime Minister’s statement in Great Britain.