500.A15A4 General Committee (Arms)/358

The Acting Secretary of State to the American Delegate (Wilson)

Sir: I refer to your despatch No. 119 of July 16, 1935, with further reference to your recent conversation with Lord Stanhope in regard to the Draft Articles for the Regulation of the Trade in and Private and State Manufacture of Arms and Implements of War.

In reply, I have to inform you that the procedure suggested in your final paragraph meets with my approval. It is suggested that you express no definite opinion of Lord Stanhope’s proposal until such time as the hypothetical conditions on which it is predicated may have become actualities. Should the situation become such that in your judgment an expression of our opinion would be advisable, it is suggested that you request further instructions.

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For the time being our position remains unchanged. We feel very strongly that it would be unwise for this Government to entertain any suggestions for compromise on the essential points which Lord Stanhope has raised, until there is definite reason to believe that concessions on our part would result in a general acceptance of the Convention in the immediate future.

Very truly yours,

William Phillips