500.A15a3/691: Telegram

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

[Paraphrase]

121. Your telegram No. 67, February 16, 5 p.m., has been considered. We have no particular suggestions to offer. We do not expect the Japanese position to be changed substantially by the elections on the 20th. If before reaching a final result, and to reach it you decide that concessions are to be made by you in the cruiser class although you do not yourselves believe such concessions to be justified, it seems here to be of importance that the right to build such additional unjustified tonnage should arise only toward the very end of the treaty period for the following reasons: (1) that not until that time will the United States have built up its cruiser category anywhere near to where it should be, and the same is not true with regard to Great Britain or Japan; (2) that right to build additional unjustified tonnage should not arise until after or until time of the conference which will be called toward end of the treaty period; (3) that such right to build shall arise at so late a date that any other nation which feels that it is threatened thereby will very shortly be in a position to be free of the treaty and to build as it chooses; and (4) because if this course is followed it will tend to place a financial burden in certain years which would be likely to be a handicap to actual building.

The foregoing are suggestions only.

Cotton