500.A15A4 General Committee (Arms)/103: Telegram (part air)

The American Delegate (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

989. My 987, February 22, 5 p.m., first paragraph.

The wording of paragraph “a” of article 7 may give some slight basis for Venitzoff’s45 contention as to inequality of treatment given state and private establishments. It does give a peg on which to hang his ideas as to potential production capacity which essentially is the old “potentiel de guerre” theory advanced in the Preparatory Commission.
We believe that (a) we must be in an unassailable position to defend absolute equality of treatment of state and private establishments and, (b) the convention must be confined to matters dealing with actual production of armaments. All provisions dealing with actual or potential production capacity or speculation or estimates dealing with possibilities in this field must be firmly rejected.
We have been contemplating the possibility of amending article 7, subheads A and B, and are sending a tentative text herewith merely as an example of how we consider this might be done.

“Paragraph A. Within 3 months after the entry into force of the convention a list of state establishments specifying for each: (1) the name and location of the establishment, (2) a description of the implements of war (categories of arms, arms, or component parts, as specified in article 1) the manufacture of which is authorized;

and thereafter, within 30 days after their occurrence, any changes in the information required under 1 and 2.

Paragraph B. Copies of all licenses to manufacture granted, amended or renewed, within 30 days following the grant, amendment or renewal of the license.”

Please instruct.

  1. Semen Venitzoff, Soviet member of the League Permanent Consultative Commission for Military Questions.