500.A15a3/667: Telegram

The Chairman of the American Delegation ( Stimson ) to the Acting Secretary of State


36. At the request of the Secretary of the Navy, and if the President sees no objection, please communicate to Acting Secretary of the Navy Jahncke, for discussion with the President only, the substance of our telegram No. 35, February 4. Thereupon see Senators Swanson and Hale29 at the request of Senators Robinson and Reed, and communicate to them the substance of our proposal with messages as follows:30

“For Senator Swanson from Robinson:

Please keep this strictly confidential except for Senator Hale. All delegates agree that American proposal best possible, and that insistence on 21 cruisers would make Japanese demands for 8-inch gun vessels so large that Australia and New Zealand would insist on building such vessels independently of British Navy. I am thoroughly satisfied with the methods of working out this proposal with the negotiations incident to it, and of the value of the proposal to the interest of the United States.

For Senator Hale from Reed:

Kindly regard this as strictly confidential except for Senator Swanson.

After conversations with British and Japanese our delegation is unanimous that we have outlined the best proposal that can be made. Japanese insistence of basing their figures on American 8-inch-gun cruiser tonnage will bring about cruiser building by Australia and New Zealand, consequently parity could only be obtained with Great Britain alone and not with British Empire. You will see that in other directions we would receive many compensating advantages.”

  1. The ranking minority member and the chairman, respectively, of the Naval Affairs Committee of the Senate.
  2. Quoted passage not paraphrased.