711.00111 Armament Control/Military Secrets/849

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

After the Secretary had talked over the telephone with Mr. Scott Ferris, counsel for the Carp Export and Import Corporation, I called Mr. Ferris by telephone and told him that with a view to putting an end to the misunderstanding between his clients and the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, I would be glad to see him and a representative of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at any time and, if they wished, to ask Admiral Leahy on behalf of the Secretary to see them. I told Mr. Ferris that I thought that the suggested procedure would be more likely than any other to clear up any misunderstandings which might still persist, in regard to the questions of law and policy arising as a result of the proposal of his clients to purchase one or more battleships in this country; that at the conclusion of such a conversation the questions which had been under discussion between his clients and the New York Shipbuilding Corporation could be settled one way or the other; and that his clients would know definitely whether the Corporation was or was not prepared to enter into the necessary contracts with them. I pointed out to Mr. Ferris that my information convinced me that the reluctance of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation to enter into such contracts was due fundamentally not to any privately expressed opinions of naval officers as he seemed to suppose, but to the conviction of the Corporation that it would find it extremely difficult to construct a battleship without the active and continuous assistance of the Navy Department and to the very necessary and proper refusal of the Navy Department to promise any American shipbuilding company such cooperation in the construction of a battleship for any foreign power.

Joseph C. Green