The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Bingham )
135. Your 259, June 7, 4 p.m. Please hand an aide-mémoire to the Foreign Office substantially as follows:
The American Government wishes to express its appreciation for the detailed information regarding the pending preliminary Anglo-German [Page 165] naval conversations as set forth in the British aide-mémoire of June 7. It has noted with particular satisfaction (1) that Germanyaccepts the principle of limiting tonnage by categories, and (2) that Germany is prepared to regard a ratio between the British and German fleets, if once agreed to, as final, irrespective of future construction by third powers. While the American Government desires to cooperate fully with Great Britain in seeking a solution of all phases of the naval question, it feels that inasmuch as American interest in the size of the fleets of the Continental Powers is necessarily less immediate than that of Great Britain, the differential between the British and German fleets is primarily one for British decision.
The American Government is sincerely hopeful that the results of these preliminary conversations may lead to a common viewpoint among the leading European naval powers as to a mutually acceptable proportional standard for their fleets, and that this in turn will contribute to a general agreement between the principal naval powers for a further limitation and reduction of naval armaments in line with the principles of the Washington and London Treaties.