500.A15A5/438: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham)

182. Your 309, July 9, 6 p.m. We fully concur in your decision, during your recent interview with the Foreign Minister, to defer raising the specific question of communicating the German building program to us in view of his apparent lack of information at the time. You will wish, nevertheless, to bear in mind that the data on German building furnished our Berlin Embassy, as summarized in our 169 of July 8, relate only to the current year, whereas we assume that the “details of the future building program” furnished by Germany “at considerable length” to the British (your 28838) covered a longer period, including, at least, 1936. If this assumption is correct, we hope you will raise this point when you next see the Foreign Minister.

Our principal concern, as set forth in the first paragraph of our 155 of June 27, is with the fundamental question of the interweaving of the proposed European naval negotiations with the Five Power Conference contemplated under the naval treaties. Instead of stressing again the question of the technical fulfillment of last year’s understanding for a full exchange of information between our two governments, [Page 79] it would therefore seem desirable, in your next interview, to emphasize the interrelationship of the present European discussions with the general naval problem. We do not doubt, moreover, that the British Government shares our conviction that the successful negotiation of a new naval agreement covering all the principal navies calls for the utmost frankness and confidence between the British and American Governments, both in the course of the preliminary stages and during the conference itself. We therefore trust that the British Government will keep us currently informed.

  1. June 26, 2 p.m., p. 71.