500.A15A4/1136: Telegram

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

258. Department 136, June 18, 11 p.m. Davis and I talked with MacDonald at my home until midnight last night. We outlined in strict confidence and for his personal information the President’s conception of how the present situation should be treated and read him the substance of the draft statement. He said that it was an admirable conception.

As regards land and air armaments, British delegation in full accord. When he came to naval armaments class he expressed concern about trying to modify the London agreements which he said were such a delicate adjustment and had been arrived at with so much difficulty that any change might have far-reaching consequences; and that furthermore, with the situation as it is in the Far East, he questioned the wisdom of further reductions in the cruiser category. He did not exclude the possibility of dealing with cruisers but felt that this offered very serious difficulties for them to which he would have to give further consideration.

We feel that he grasped the significance of such a project to be advanced by the President and supported by the British and recognized that the time element is vital.