500.A15A4/966: Telegram

The Acting Chairman of the American Delegation (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

102. From Wilson. I have consulted Gibson67 concerning your 53, April 2, 3 p.m.

Points 1, 3, 4 and 7, no comment.

Concerning 2, our preoccupation had been that the formula for figures should not be presented before the formula for security. We agree that the two speeches could well be separated provided security comes first.

[Page 72]

Point 5. We will do our utmost to get the speech presented on the dates suggested. It may not however be feasible on these particular dates since certain other states, notably France, have made earlier claims to the right to it at the beginning of the session. Nevertheless, I hope it can be done through Drummond and Henderson.

Point 6. We respectfully beg reconsideration of the question raised in this point. We have given it the most careful consideration in the light of the situation here and are convinced that the speech perceiving the formula for effectives should be produced with the fullest possible publicity and flying of banners in order that its contents may be brought to the attention of the peoples as well as the governments of the Continent. Under this formula the wasteful burden of the defense contingent will be plain to the man in the street if it is presented in such way as to reach him. We have had considerable difficulty in getting this item placed on the agenda of the General Commission and only did so over obstacles placed by the Czechoslovaks and French in the Bureau and Secretariat. It is clear that these states are apprehensive of publicity on the President’s suggestion. We are considering submitting for your approval a draft resolution to be submitted with the speech to the General Commission in which the General Commission would straddle in attempting68 principles suggested and request the Land Commission to work out the details and report back. We earnestly state that we are convinced that in the experience of procedure over here this is the proper policy to pursue in this matter.

Furthermore, it has been our experience that in any matter touching general principles the Technical Commission have invariably refused to investigate the suggestion until the General Commission has given a ruling on the principle involved. Therefore if the procedure which you suggest were followed the Land Commission would undoubtedly refer the matter back to the General Commission with a request for a ruling and thus we would lose the opportunity of presenting this case on our own basis and could only present it after it had been sniped in public and private, for some days.

Concerning the strictly confidential 52, April 2, 2 p.m., this welcome information will enormously strengthen our case. Please let me know regarding aviation at the earliest convenient moment since the text of the speech will of course in some degree be dependent upon your decision.

[Page 73]

We hope to put a draft speech on the wire Thursday evening from Geneva.

  1. Mr. Gibson had temporarily returned to his post as Ambassador in Belgium.
  2. Sentence is apparently garbled here.