500.A15A4/1223: Telegram

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

163. Your 285, June 29, 9 p.m. If it seems possible to conclude a treaty of real reduction I am prepared to accept the right of inspection along the general line of the French proposed amendment to Article 52, which you quote.

This would involve a complete reversal of the position taken by the American Delegation throughout the Preparatory Disarmament Commission and as such you will undoubtedly be able to use it as a trading point of high value with the French. Our observance of treaty provisions is so scrupulous that we should have nothing to fear in the event of inspection; in fact I feel that any honest nation would not only accept but welcome open inspection to disprove vague and unsubstantiated charges against her of violating the treaty and maintaining armaments in excess of her undertakings.

I leave to your discretion not only possible drafting modifications to improve the form in which the French proposal is cast, but the larger question of tactics by which you may obtain the most useful results from this change of position.