500.A15A4/973: Telegram

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

107. I am telegraphing under No. 10869 the draft text of speech requested in the Department’s 53, April 2, 3 p.m. The lack of emphasis placed on bombing planes and submarines is intentional. We feel that as matters now stand we can get a maximum of acceptance for those arms essentially used for destroying frontier defenses on land and that although the introduction of bombing planes and submarines would be a logical broadening of the presentation still the linking up of these two weapons would arouse a measure of hostility to the general plan which is not directed against its fundamental purpose but solely towards the retention of the submarine. If we can secure general acceptance of our plan as put forward in the draft speech we believe we can subsequently attack the second step of the bombing plane linked with the submarine with greater prospects of ultimate success.

I saw Henderson this afternoon. He feels that there has been time for the delegates to consult their governments during the adjournment and that they are returning with an increased knowledge of what can be undertaken. He therefore feels that it would be wise to open the session with a few days of general discussion and is anxious that the opening speech should be of a constructive and helpful character with a specific objective. Therefore, unless Tardieu is insistent upon making his speech in reply to the Germans (see my 102, April 4, 1 p.m.) which right he had reserved before the adjournment, Henderson proposes to call on me to initiate the debate on the ground that the new session is opening under the provisions of the resolution introduced by the American delegation (see my 80, March 16, 3 p.m.).70 The first meeting will be Monday afternoon at 3:30.71

  1. Not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 53.
  3. April 11.