500.A15 Arms Truce/50: Telegram

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

130. Your 169 September 27, 8 p.m. I am greatly disappointed at the failure to agree on a text as reported in your 167. The Scandinavian resolution is unacceptable to us in its present form as it seems to be open to the same objections as the first draft you sent us (see my 128 September 25, 6 p.m.) namely: (1) the phrase “actual present levels” is ambiguous in that it might be interpreted as preventing completion of vessels now actually on the stocks; (2) it permits to some nations unlimited replacements in naval armaments.

I wish therefore you would see Grandi and Massigli and express to them our hope that they may join with the United States in finding a suitable text, pointing out the reasons why we consider the Scandinavian resolution as unsatisfactory.

[Paraphrase.] We consider that if the resolution of the French Government maintained for the year of the truce the “loi navale”67 [Page 463] it would make a sham of the whole plan. You may point this out to Massigli. I will never give my consent to it. [End paraphrase.]

  1. “Projet de loi sur le statut naval,” a general plan for naval construction presented to the French Chamber of Deputies on December 16, 1924. Under this draft law the French Navy was to be built up year by year until its ultimate strength was attained in 1943. The “statut naval” never attained the force of law, but the yearly appropriations of the French Parliament for naval construction followed it closely.