The Chairman of the American Delegation (Davis) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 27—4:53 p.m.]
14. Your 9, October 26, 5 p.m. I agree entirely with you that the unity of view between the British and ourselves with relation to the Japanese question should not be prejudiced by the injection at this time of a discussion with the British on technical questions on which there are differences. The meeting between the British and ourselves, which is now fixed for 3:30 Monday afternoon, is mainly for a discussion of the issues raised by Japan but is also staged for its possible effect on Japan.
I told MacDonald frankly that we still favored a net reduction in total tonnage and that we would not be willing to agree to an increase in total tonnage. Recognizing, however, the importance of keeping the British in line and at the same time avoiding a dangerous technical discussion I told MacDonald, in agreement with Standley, that if we could agree upon a common position with regards to the issues raised by Japan there was a possibility of reaching an agreement, within the limits imposed upon us, for an increase in cruiser tonnage provided any such increase could be offset by an equal if not greater decrease in other categories.