500.A15A4 Steering Committee/82: Telegram

The American Delegate (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

403. Since the general discussions in the Committee for the Regulation of the Traffic in and Manufacture of Arms have been concluded, specific points will now be raised and it would be most helpful to have further instructions from the Department as to the attitude the delegation should adopt.

An effort will primarily be made to bring about the abolition of all private manufacture of arms. Although this may be accepted by a majority of the Committee if accompanied by control of state manufacture it will probably fall short of universal adoption. In the latter event considerable pressure will be exerted to bring about a [Page 341]system of control involving traffic in arms, existing stocks and both state and private manufacture.

Does the Department consider its instruction No. 276, August 9, 1928, to Berne82 should still govern the attitude of the delegation or are any changes in the American attitude to be made?

Among the specific questions which may be raised are the following:

Apart from the question of expediency would the complete abolition of all private manufacture of implements of war be considered unconstitutional?

If the use of certain heavy types of weapons are prohibited can any form of prohibition of their manufacture be accepted?

What responsibility if any can our Government accept in the issue of licenses governing export and import of arms?

Wilson