500.A15A4 Steering Committee/545: Telegram
The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:02 p.m.]
49. Supplementing my 48, May 21, 5 p.m.37 In respect to the first paragraph of your 30, May 20, may I ask your consideration of the fact that Mr. Davis and I spoke to Cadogan38 about our views, that Cadogan was somewhat non-committal but believed that his Government would want to urge some effort in respect to publicity of expenditure. At the end of this conversation it was understood that Cadogan would talk with the British Government and that if they agreed with us in principle he would let Mr. Davis or myself know. To my knowledge he has made no such move. Furthermore, since that conversation the British White Paper Cmd. 5451, May 1937, states beginning page 10 ,[Page 17]
“Nevertheless, they (His Majesty’s Government) consider that the question of the publicity of national defence expenditure might be examined and the possibility explored of attaining general agreement on the Draft Convention on this subject drawn up by the competent sub-committee of the Disarmament Conference. They are prepared to accept this Convention and to enforce it if it is accepted by the principal Powers.”
Eden and Cranborne will presumably leave London Sunday for Geneva. If on their initiative they inquire as to our attitude I could then show them our draft and give them an opportunity to take a similar position or to use the same type of argument with respect to the bearing of economic factors on disarmament. I cannot, of course, be aware of the full situation from your point of view but think it well to ask you to consider what is presented above before reaching final decision.