500.A15A5/841: Telegram

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

157. Your 249, December 3, 4 p.m. Bingham now reports that the British are discussing the matter of 14 or 16-inch guns directly with the Japanese, that the conversations between the Japanese Admiralty and the British Naval Attaché in Tokyo have been voided, that Craigie is dealing directly with Yoshida and that the basis of the conversation is the possibility of the Japanese giving a “semi-official” assurance to the effect that they have no plans for the construction of ships carrying guns larger than 14 inches and will not take any steps preparatory to the construction of vessels carrying guns of larger caliber without previous notification to the British Government. The British request a tolerant attitude on our part towards the Japanese in this matter at least through this month.

In view of the circumstances above mentioned, consideration is not being given to the question of an approach before the end of December by this Government to the Japanese Government. However, we would appreciate your giving continued thought to the matter and telegraphing any conclusion you may reach in the light of our recent instruction.