711.00111 Armament Control/Military Secrets/1135

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

The Soviet Ambassador called at my office this morning by appointment. He asked when he might be informed of the nature of the reply to be addressed to Mr. Gibbs, the naval architect, in regard to the plans which he submitted for a battleship to be constructed in this country for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

I told the Ambassador that the matter was still under consideration; that we were making every effort to expedite action; and that I expected to confer with officers of the Navy Department in regard to it this afternoon.8 I added that I thought it possible that a reply might be addressed to Mr. Gibbs in about a week.

The Ambassador said that he hoped that all the questions which had arisen in connection with the attitude of the Government toward the construction of a battleship for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics might be definitely settled in the very near future as he intended to leave for Moscow before the end of June, and he wished to be in position to give his Government full information so as to enable it to decide upon the course which it should pursue.

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The Ambassador said that he had received instructions from his Government stating that a battleship of 45,000 tons would be satisfactory.

The Ambassador asked whether he had correctly understood the Secretary’s assurance given in a recent conversation that if a battleship under construction in this country for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were commandeered for the United States Navy his Government would be reimbursed.

I replied that there was certainly no intention on the part of this Government to take over the battleship without reimbursing his Government.

Joseph C. Green
  1. Memorandum of conversation not printed.