500.A15A5/815a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)

101. The British Ambassador will consult with you shortly regarding the intentions of the Japanese Government in respect of the provision of Part II, Article 4 (2) of the London Naval Treaty, 1936, which would limit to 14 inches in caliber the guns of capital ships.

For your information, we recently made informal inquiries of the British Government with regard to this matter through the Embassy at London and the Embassy has replied that the British do not regard the Japanese action in refusing to adhere to the Treaty as necessarily carrying with it a refusal to accept the qualitative stipulation relating to the caliber of guns on capital ships. The British feel that the Japanese cannot be presumed to have refused to accept the 14 inch gun limit unless they make declaration to that effect any time between the present and April 1, 1937, but in view of the importance of a knowledge of the Japanese attitude to the signatories of the Treaty they have requested an expression of his views from their Ambassador at Tokyo who will be instructed to discuss the matter with you.