500.A15A4/1222: Telegram

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

294. We have had indication from different sources that the British, who said they were not yet ready to discuss matters with us, have had long talks with the Japanese and that they are seeking to get the Japanese lined up with them against the naval portion of the President’s proposal.

While Simon has put us off from day to day on the ground that he was not yet ready to talk naval matters with us he has today suggested a meeting of the five powers on Monday to discuss “naval question”.

We are bearing constantly in mind, and have so informed the British, the necessity for working in good understanding in order to preserve intact our general handling of Far Eastern problems. We have told them we consider it essential that we iron out our difficulties in private and avoid any public divergence of views.

We are convinced that this is primarily Simon’s personal activity.

We do not feel that this reflects any change in the point of view of the Prime Minister but find difficulty in approaching him while Simon is at Geneva in charge of disarmament matters.