500.A15A4 General Committee/1035: Telegram
The American Delegate ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 15—10:05 a.m.]
978. The general discussion of the American draft was concluded at this morning’s committee session and received general support of the speakers this morning.
The Soviet representative, however, felt that any convention controlling the manufacture and trade of arms had little value except as part of a general disarmament convention. Specifically, referring to the American draft he proposed to offer amendments which would equalize the control of private and state manufacture which in his opinion was less effective as regards private manufacture in the present draft.
The Czechoslovak, Swedish, and Spanish representatives welcomed the initiative taken by the Americans and accepted the draft as a positive contribution with which they were ready to collaborate fully. While the Swiss delegate felt that the American proposals marked an important contribution and that there were only a few amendments to be wrought in it, he was in agreement with Stanhope in that he thought that the establishment of the permanent disarmament commission should be brought about in a separate protocol. Bourquin in supporting the American proposals recalled the mandate fixed by the Bureau, namely, the preparation of the limited convention which must fulfill the threefold objective. He thought it was important that the committee should keep this in mind as the directive for its work. The Canadian representative supported the American proposal including an adequate system of international control.
At the end of the debate I stated that we were grateful for the interests manifested by the speakers and that our proposal had been prepared with a view to obtaining the widest measure of accord and I hoped that the draft would serve this purpose. I stated that in the interest of orderly debate it was better to discuss the suggestions which [Page 16] had been made at the time when the discussion turned on the appropriate articles.
Discussions have been adjourned until Tuesday to permit the rapporteur opportunity to consult the different delegations with regard to procedure to be followed.