500.A15 Arms Truce/26: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

149. Thanks for prompt action in your 115, September 20, midnight, and 116, September 21, 1 a.m.60 After the paragraph dealing with cruisers ending with words “our treaty rights in this respect”61 the concluding paragraphs read as follows:

“The brief survey that my Government has been able to give to the effects of this proposal if successful has brought to light certain difficulties. I have no doubt that many of you present have found that the proposal entails difficulties of an administrative, budgetary and technical nature, not to mention difficulties arising from relations with neighboring states.

In the case of the United States the Navy Department has asked for, received and opened bids for construction on a limited number of destroyers. These destroyers are the first ships in this category that the United States is building for over a period of 10 years and are destined to replace existing overage tonnage in that category. These contracts will be allocated in different sections of the country in connection with a general program of unemployment relief. This particular construction we cannot undertake to halt under present conditions.

Should this debate develop, as I sincerely hope it will, in such a way that it shows a possibility of real achievement, then I shall perhaps ask permission to enter into more detail in this matter and to invite your sympathetic consideration for the problem involved. For the moment it seems to me that we should confine ourselves to the endeavor to gauge the sentiment of members of this body towards the broader aspects of the problem which confronts us”.

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. See telegram No. 147, September 20, 9 p.m., from the Minister in Switzerland, p. 450.