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

No. 1776

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram No. 535, October 24, 4 p.m.16 and to forward herewith the text of the invitation to a naval conference referred to therein.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Ray Atherton

Counselor of Embassy

The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Hoare) to the American Ambassador (Bingham)

A 8984/22/45

Your Excellency: His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom have been giving careful consideration to the results of the preliminary bilateral conversations which have been proceeding between representatives of the signatory Powers of the Washington and London Naval Treaties17 to prepare the way for a Naval Conference. In view of the express provisions of Article XXIII of the Washington Naval Treaty and of the corresponding article in the London Naval Treaty, the effect of which is, in the circumstances which have occurred, that the signatory Powers must meet in conference during the present year, and in view of the fact that this country has so far taken the initiative in arranging for these bilateral discussions, His Majesty’s Government are prepared to summon a Conference to meet [Page 279]in London on the 2nd December next.18 The purpose of this Conference would be to secure agreement on as many aspects as possible of naval limitation with a view to the conclusion of an international treaty which would take the place of the two Naval Treaties expiring at the end of 1936. It is hoped that, once agreement is in sight between the representatives of the signatory Powers, an extension of the scope of the Conference may be possible so as to include representatives of the other naval Powers.

I should be grateful if Your Excellency would be so good as to inform me as soon as possible whether the United States Government are prepared to be represented at the proposed Conference.
I have the honour at the same time to suggest that it may prove convenient to all concerned and may serve to keep the size of each Delegation as small as possible if Your Excellency’s Government and the Governments of France, Italy and Japan were to be represented by their Ambassadors in London. It would furthermore be very desirable that there should be present at the Conference from the outset naval representatives or advisers of sufficient rank to speak authoritatively on behalf of their respective Governments.

I have [etc.]

(For the Secretary of State)
R. L. Craigie
  1. Not printed.
  2. Department of State Treaty Series Nos. 671 and 830, respectively.
  3. The opening date of the Conference was later postponed to December 7, 1935.