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it would be inconsistent with our traditional policy for us to withhold our full cooperation.

When the Preparatory Commission met there were many divergent views expressed as to what constituted practical solutions for the various problems set forth in the Questionnaire. These problems were referred to various technical subcommittees which, after discussing them during several months, succeeded in eliminating a number of conflicting views and narrowed the field to two principal schools of thought.

One school of thought, which is representative of the views of a group of governments chiefly situated within a limited area of the European Continent, may be generally indicated by five of its fundamental principles:

(1) That security must be guaranteed by some form of military assistance against aggression as a necessary condition precedent to the reduction and limitation of armaments;

(2) That agreements for the reduction and limitation of armaments must be guaranteed by an international inspection and control of the military establishments to ascertain whether treaty obligations were being faithfully executed.

(3) That there exists a complete interdependence of armaments and that it is impossible to deal with any single category (land, sea, or air) without simultaneously dealing with the others;

(4) That it is not sufficient to deal with the actual peace-time armaments of nations but that industrial, financial, economic, and other factors must be taken into account in any general scheme that may be drawn up;

(5) That any agreements on the limitation and reduction of armaments in order to be effective must be universal and that there must be a single standard system applicable to all countries of the world.

This scheme appears to us to involve so many complicated and difficult factors that its adoption would retard rather than forward the limitation and reduction of armaments. Consequently at the beginning of the Conference the American Delegation presented certain principles for consideration which may be briefly stated as follows:

(1) That there should be a direct approach to the question of limitation and reduction of armaments without awaiting complicated measures for providing security, in the belief that the cause of security will be promoted through the reduction and limitation of armaments and the elimination of suspicion and ill-will which can be expected to follow;

(2) That in order to be really effective agreements for the reduction and limitation of armaments must be founded upon a respect for treaty obligations and a belief in the good faith of the contracting parties. It is our belief that any agreements founded upon distrust and providing for a machinery of inspection and control will not only. fail to achieve its purpose but will create new elements of suspicion and ill-will;

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(3) We believe that insistence upon a joint consideration of land, sea, and air armaments will tend to render needlessly complicated the task of a final conference and will tend to render more difficult achievement in regard to the limitation and reduction of any single category of armament. For that reason we feel that ultimate success lies along the line of isolating from the general problem as many concrete questions as possible and dealing with them in a direct and practical manner;

(4) We feel that the only practical approach to the question of the limitation and reduction of armaments is through dealing with visible armaments at peace strength. We feel that this is a relatively simple problem where we are dealing with known quantities and where, through the exercise of patience and good will, we can hope for constructive achievement. We feel, on the other hand, that any scheme involving the complicated and variable industrial, financial and economic factors would tend to inject a needless complication into the problem and render more difficult any hope of real achievement;

(5) It is our view that there is no possibility of devising a system for the limitation and reduction of armaments which could be made either applicable or acceptable to all countries of the world and that any attempt to reach such a solution would merely mean an indefinite postponement of achievement. We feel that land and air armaments constitute an essentially regional problem and that different solutions can best meet the needs of different regions; that naval armament can best be dealt with through direct agreement among a limited number of naval powers.

I may state, for your information, that when we entered the Preparatory Conference in May, 1926, we had no previous arrangements or understandings with any government. Our representatives stated our views at the opening meeting and we feel that the six months discussion which followed have only served to confirm the soundness of the stand taken by our representatives. This is further confirmed by the fact that from a position of almost complete isolation at the beginning of the conference our thesis has so far commended itself to other delegations that before the recent adjournment in November almost half of the conference voluntarily came to support our views without any changes, concessions, or abandonment of principle on our part.

It seems to me that it has been a distinct step in advance to eliminate many divergent views and narrow the field down to a choice between two schools of thought. This work has been carried as far as it could be by the technical representatives who conducted most of the discussions at the first meeting. At the meeting in March the entire problem will be taken up by our political representatives, whose essential duty is, so far as possible, to conciliate the conflicting views which I have set forth for your information and to prepare an agenda for a general conference. I may say that we believe that such conciliation


is possible in that we feel that some features of the other thesis while not acceptable to us may be entirely applicable to the special needs of other countries. Our thesis is tolerant in that it seeks to understand the problems and requirements of other countries and other regions, and we believe it is best calculated to lead to direct and practical achievement.

My purpose in outlining these two schools of thought is to bring out the necessity for the sort of preliminary work that is being done by the Preparatory Commission and the hopelessness of trying to call a general world conference to conclude treaties until we have reached some measure of agreement as to the problems to be discussed. Until such agreement is reached, it would be impossible even to draw up a programme for a conference and, accordingly, the Preparatory Commission will have achieved a full measure of success if it is able to present a definite agenda acceptable to all governments. I feel very strongly that in view of our consistent advocacy of the limitation and reduction of armaments we can not withhold our full and cordial cooperation in any effort of this sort to explore the subject and facilitate a practical approach to the problem. Furthermore, I desire to point out, for your consideration, that if after participation in the work of the Preparatory Commission during the six months we now withdraw for lack of necessary funds, it would not be surprising if the inference were drawn in some quarters that we were not sincere in our advocacy of the limitation and reduction of armaments. I am [etc.]


500.A15 b/39

The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the American Representa

tion on the Preparatory Commission (Marriner) No. 8

WASHINGTON, February 10, 1927. SIR: Reference is made to the Department's telegram Am Mission No. 85, of December 29, 1926, and to the letter, dated December 30, 1926, which you addressed to the Secretary General of the League of Nations pursuant thereto.21

There is transmitted herewith a memorandum containing observations on the Report of the Joint Commission, and you will forward this to the Secretary General of the League with the request that it be circulated to the governments represented on the Preparatory Commission. I am [etc.]


* Letter not printed.


Memorandum Containing American Observations on the Report of

the Joint Commission 22

The Report of the Joint Commission represents, of course, merely the views of a group of individuals as to the economic effect of the reduction and limitation of armament and conversely as to the influence of certain economic and financial factors upon the problem of reduction and limitation of armament. The views of the individuals on the Joint Commission are interesting and represent a considerable amount of labor. However, the applicability of the conclusions reached by the Joint Commission and indeed the appropriateness of taking into account the economic factors suggested by the Joint Commission in approaching the concrete problem of the reduction and limitation of armament are matters solely for consideration and decision first, by the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, and, second, by the governments represented thereon.

The American Government has noted that Sub-Committee B of the Preparatory Commission has been careful to reserve for all the governments represented on the Preparatory Commission the right to make any observations they may think fit either in written documents or orally in the course of the discussions at the forthcoming meeting of the Preparatory Commission. The American Government desires to make the following remarks relative to the subjects considered in the report of the Joint Commission, reserving the right to amplify those remarks before the Preparatory Commission.

Section I

This Section of the Joint Commission's Report contemplates the supervision or regulation of certain essential national industries, and international agreements among such national industries looking to the divulgence of certain information and the rationing of manufactures. There is also contemplated a system for the collection and publication of statistics of manufactures.

The American Government, as has been repeatedly stated by the American Delegation at Geneva, does not view favorably any proposal partaking of the nature of international supervision of the administration of an agreement limiting armament. It believes that the surest foundation upon which to construct such an agreement is that of international good faith and respect for treaties. It believes that the introduction of the element of supervision and control is calculated to engender suspicion and illwill, the disadvantages

* Circulated by the Secretary General of the League to the Preparatory Commission and to members of the League, under date of Mar. 10, 1927.


of which would far outweigh any advantages to be derived from such supervision or control.

With regard to the specific suggestion of agreements between national industries, it may be pointed out that in the United States, at least, there might be grave legal and constitutional objections to an international agreement whose effect was to compel American industries to enter into agreements with industries of other countries.

It may further be pointed out that it is the practice of many countries, including the United States, to publish periodically statistics covering the production of various industries.

Section 11

This Section of the Joint Commission's Report may be divided into two parts:

(1) The advisability of the insertion in a General Disarmament Convention of provisions similar to those contained in the Statute of the International Labor Office (Articles 411 to 420 of the Treaty of Versailles) and

(2) Thé effect, economically, of inserting such provisions in a convention regarding the prohibition of certain forms of warfare.

As regards the insertion of such provisions in a convention limiting armaments, it is noted that the Joint Commission recommends a comprehensive plan of procedure, providing for investigation of complaints by a commission of experts and action upon the recommendation of that commission by the Council of the League of Nations.

Quite aside from the fact that the United States is not a member of the League of Nations and that consequently proposals calling for the submission of disputes to the Council for investigation and action would necessarily not concern it, the American Government desires to call particular attention to the declaration in which the American Delegation at Geneva joined with the Delegations of Chile, Italy, and Japan in the Report of Sub-Committee A on the questions contained in paragraph 2B of the report of the Preparatory Commission to the Council.23 The objections there set forth from the military point of view to a system of control similar to that contained in the Statute of the International Labor Organization would seem to be equally applicable from the economic point of view.

In regard to this general question, the American Government believes it appropriate to reiterate here the declaration which the American Delegation at Geneva made jointly with the Delegations of the British Empire, Chile, Italy, Japan and Sweden, with respect

* Report of Sub-Commission A, p. 165,

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