500.A15A4 Plenary Sessions/106: Telegram

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

117. In this morning’s session Grandi supported his own proposals for complete suppression of “all aggressive weapons” (a document number 106 was circulated last night which is being mailed immediately).83 In his conception this includes tanks, mobile guns above 100 millimeters, capital ships, aircraft carriers, submarines, bombing, aviation and gas. He analyzed Tardieu’s speech of yesterday much to its detriment pointing out in a devastating way its lack of logic. He expressed the greatest sympathy for the American proposals and said that he could adopt them although he hoped we could go still further along the lines of his proposals.

Brazil84 gave enthusiastic support to our proposal mentioning that the great navies were already under severe restriction and that at the time when the principal armies had reached the same point of [Page 89] restriction a great step in advance in security would have been achieved. (You may wish to mention our appreciation to the Brazilian Ambassador).

Tevfik Rüstü, Turkey, argued in favor of his plan for a continuing reduction in forces tending to eventual equality. He gave support to the American proposal and hoped it would be brought out of the Bureau in such form that it could be dealt with effectively.

Cosio, Uruguay, surprised us by making a fervid plea for a League of Nations force along the lines of the French proposal. He dismissed the American plan with a word of faint praise.

Khan Alâ, Persia, urged the internationalization of the manufacture of arms as tending towards equality between the producing and non-producing countries.

Marinkovitch, Yugoslavia, supported the French thesis for a League armed force in an able presentation which was most depressing in the assumption that there was no good faith among nations, that abolitions would be disregarded by any statesman in case of necessity, and that international undertakings had value only in so far as they could be enforced by sanctions.

  1. League of Nations, Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments, Geneva, 1932, Conference Documents, vol. i, pp. 181–185 (Official No.: Conf. D. 106.); not reprinted.
  2. The speech was delivered by José Carlos de Macedo Soares, head of the Brazilian delegation.