500.A15A4/1449: Telegram

The Chargé in Great Britain (Atherton) to the Secretary of State

274. In a conversation with Simon this morning he brought up British statement on disarmament giving his opinion that it followed very closely along the lines of his conversation with you in Geneva. Tyrrell, he informed me, had reported a satisfactory conversation on the matter with Herriot but so far no reaction had been received from the Berlin Government. Simon was obviously most anxious for your approbation, adding that close cooperation with the United States was essential. He asked whether I had received any cable from you in the matter. I replied that inasmuch as the memorandum had been handed to the Department of State by the British Chargé d’Affaires probably any comment from you would be transmitted to Simon through British Embassy. I added State Department was aware of Simon’s plans for leaving for Geneva tomorrow morning.63

In conclusion Sir John stated that in any voluntary disarmament reductions there would be certain categories of armament retained by other nations which by treaty were not permitted to Germany, a specific instance being the big battleship. Simon said he had not yet thought out the answer to the next question which would most certainly arise in this connection; namely, how much latitude Germany was to be given in those classes of armament which were not renounced by other nations and which were forbidden to Germany by treaty.

  1. The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was a delegate to the Bureau of the General Disarmament Conference scheduled to convene September 21.