500.A15A4/1573: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Mellon)

277. For Norman Davis. Your 309, October 26, noon. I am sorry that we are not in a position to answer your questions concerning the naval discussions at the present time. They involve so basic a decision on questions of policy that we cannot commit ourselves without a careful scrutiny. The Secretary is away and the President is leaving tomorrow on a speech making tour. The Navy Department has not yet completed its studies and has not even begun consideration of your point 3.

With regard to your first query, a joint statement along the lines suggested in your 30822 would seem in order. Please cable the exact [Page 541]text as soon as available as well as the date and time of its intended release.

I am exceedingly sorry that we cannot be more helpful, but the situation here in Washington absolutely precludes more definite action for the moment. In the circumstances, I see no other course of action open to you than to explain this confidentially to MacDonald and Simon, tell them that our failure to answer more promptly does not indicate a decision either for or against the proposals suggested and that as soon as our study has been completed you will be authorized to communicate with them again.

Castle
  1. October 25, 6 p.m., p. 536.