711.00111 Armament Control/Military Secrets/813

Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control (Green)

Mr. Scott Ferris, representing the Carp Export and Import Corporation, and Mr. E. R. Leonard, representing the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Limited, called at my office this afternoon. Their joint call was the result of a series of telephonic conversations during the morning in which I had attempted to arrange to have Mr. Ferris and Mr. Leonard make each other’s acquaintance and then come together to my office in order that I might attempt to clear up the various misunderstandings which had arisen as the result of the way in which conversations with me and with officers of the Navy Department had been reported by representatives of one company to representatives of the other company. Mr. Ferris and Mr. Leonard had just had lunch together and they said that during their luncheon conversation they had cleared up all misunderstandings …

Mr. Leonard said that on behalf of his company he had definitely informed Mr. Ferris that as Bethlehem had recently entered into a contract with the United States Navy to design destroyers, its designing force was so occupied that the company could not possibly undertake to prepare designs for a battleship for the U. S. S. R. at this time.

Mr. Ferris said that he had definitely accepted Mr. Leonard’s statement and that there would be no further question of attempting to persuade Bethlehem to submit designs for a battleship to be purchased by Carp on behalf of the U. S. S. R. He said that acting on the information which he had obtained from Mr. Leonard he now proposed to advise his clients to concentrate their efforts upon an attempt to persuade either Gibbs and Cox, Incorporated, or the New York Shipbuilding Corporation to submit plans on the understanding that these plans would not be disclosed to Carp until they had been transmitted to the Department so that the appropriate authorities of the Government might determine whether or not they incorporated any military secrets. Should they be found to incorporate military secrets the plans would then be revised and the secret features eliminated. Mr. Ferris added that the contract which he hoped either Gibbs and Cox, Incorporated, or the New York Shipbuilding Corporation could be persuaded to enter into with Carp would provide that only after all military secrets had been eliminated would the plans be communicated to the latter. Carp would then be in a position to ask the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Limited, the New York Shipbuilding Corporation and the Newport News Shipbuilding and [Page 485] Dry Dock Company to bid competitively for the construction of a battleship according to these plans.

Mr. Leonard said that if the plan which Mr. Ferris had outlined could be carried through he thought it probable that Bethlehem would be willing to enter a bid for the construction of the battleship.

Before leaving, Mr. Ferris said that he proposed to attempt to persuade the president of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation44 to authorize a representative of his company to call on me with representatives of Carp, including himself, in order that any misunderstanding created in the minds of officers of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation by Mr. Wolf or other representatives of Carp might be completely cleared up as they had been cleared up in respect to Bethlehem as a result of his conversations with Mr. Leonard.

Joseph C. Green
  1. John F. Metten.