500.A15A5/871: Telegram

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

178. Foreign Office has informed me that Foreign Secretary has handed to British Ambassador in Tokyo formal Japanese reply refusing to accept 14-inch gun limitation since it would mean “qualitative without quantitative limitation”.

An editorial entitled “Japan’s Responsibility” published in today’s Times concludes as follows: [Page 625]

“The first step towards a new naval race will be the adoption of 16-inch guns as the largest that may be mounted instead of the 14-inch provided by the Treaty; despite her withdrawal from the Conference it was within the power of Japan to prevent that step by a mere undertaking before April 1 not to take it herself. Her definite refusal to give any such undertaking has just been reported from Tokyo. If the world now finds itself once more committed to the folly of unrestricted naval competition there can be no possible doubt where the responsibility lies”.