500.A15A5/445a: Telegram

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

193. We would appreciate an analysis with your comment on the announcement made in the House of Commons by the First Lord of the Admiralty with regard to the abandonment of the ratio method of naval limitation.41

We are somewhat at a loss to understand the significance of the announcement by Eyres-Monsell, and the purpose in view, as it is our understanding that upon the suspension of the naval conversations last December the British and ourselves were in substantial agreement that, in the negotiation of a new naval treaty to take the place of the Washington Treaty, the objective would be to endeavor through a different method to continue naval limitation without any fundamental change in the relative naval treaty strength. We feel, as expressed in our recent telegrams, that progress toward eventual agreement on important and basic principles of naval limitation would be materially assisted through a closer collaboration and exchange of [Page 81] information and views. When the British Government takes a step as important as this, which concerns us as well as them, and with relation to a matter on which we have long been working together, we would naturally appreciate being informed in advance. I trust you have made clear to the British Government our attitude in this respect.

  1. For official text of Mr. Eyres-Monsell’s speech on July 22, see United Kingdom, Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 304 (1934–35), pp. 1538–1548.