The Chargé in the United Kingdom ( Atherton ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 13.]
Sir: I have the honor to quote below text of an informal Note I have received today from the Foreign Office in which, I venture to point out, information is requested as to whether my Government would be prepared to furnish certain information under Article 10 of the London Naval Treaty, 1930,14 and Chapter II, Part 3 of the Treaty of Washington, 1922:15
“You will remember that Article 10 of the London Naval Treaty, 1930 and Chapter II, Part 3 of the Treaty of Washington 1922 provided for the communication to the other signatories of the Treaty of various particulars including information in regard to the date of laying down and completion of vessels by or for the Contracting Powers. The Protocol of Signature of the London Naval Treaty, 1936 as worded, however, makes provision only for exchange of information in regard to vessels laid down after January 1st, 1937. The Protocol of Signature does not provide for exchange of information between signatory Powers in respect of the completion or acquisition during the period between January 1st, 1937 and the coming into force of the London Naval Treaty 1936, of vessels which were laid down before the end of 1936.
Our view of the position is that it was the intention of the Protocol of Signature that full exchange of information similar to that provided for in the Treaties of 1922 and 1930 should be continued during this interim period. We propose, therefore, to be guided by the spirit rather than the exact wording of the protocol of Signature and to continue to furnish to the signatory Powers of the London Naval Treaty, 1936, the information required by Article 10 of the London Naval Treaty 1930, and Chapter II Part 3 of the Treaty of Washington 1922 in respect of ships laid down either before or after January 1st, 1937 and acquired or completed during the interim period.
I should be grateful if you would be good enough to inform your Government accordingly and to inquire whether they would be similarly prepared to furnish His Majesty’s Government with the full information as would be required under Article 10 of the London Naval Treaty, 1930 and Chapter II, Part 3 of the Treaty of Washington 1922.”