500.A15A4/1574: Telegram

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

311. From Davis. I fully appreciate situation indicated your 277, October 26, 2 p.m., and in my talks with Prime Minister and others had made clear to them that we would probably need more detailed study of naval questions than was possible prior to my departure from London.

In the light of your cable I believe it will be unnecessary to issue any press statement and understand British now inclined to take same view. I have kept American press advised that conversations were proceeding satisfactorily and could hardly be carried to final conclusions prior to my departure; that no definite Anglo-American agreement was contemplated at this time but that by frank, friendly and informal discussions we had helped to reconcile different views and to prepare the way for discussions with the other naval powers. Yesterday I lunched with Grandi 23 and this morning saw Matsudaira and I have been in close touch with the French Ambassador24 during my stay here. Hence I am confident that there is no possible misapprehension on the part of the powers as to our conversations here. Further, I shall be seeing Herriot in Paris Saturday morning.25

Bellairs, with whom Hepburn has been discussing naval matters, will be in Geneva next week and it is possible that Simon and later even MacDonald may come there. This would permit us to carry forward the conversations on basis of any instructions which you could send us there. The British are apparently anxious to get on [Page 542]with naval conversations with the French and Italians, which seems to me to be most timely, and I believe that we could helpfully cooperate. Unless instructed to the contrary I shall assume that you would see no objection to our participation in any such discussions which might take place in Geneva next week.

Simon told me last evening that a special meeting of Cabinet would be held soon to consider disarmament questions but that he could now tell me the Cabinet is unanimously in favor of the closest possible cooperation with the United States. [Davis.]

Mellon
  1. Italian Ambassador in Great Britain.
  2. Aime Joseph de Fleuriau.
  3. October 29.