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.

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