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500.A15/506 : Telegram

The Chargé in Argentina (Cable) to the Secretary of State


BUENOS AIRES, April 20, 1927—3 p. m.

[Received 7:40 p. m.] 40. Department's No. 16, April 13, 4 p. m. I found it impossible, because of Easter vacation, to obtain the information desired until yesterday. I have now learned that Pereza, the representative of Argentina, in accepting the French proposal on April 11 was acting under instructions from his Government. I was informed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Doctor Gallardo, that the revised French thesis, which permitted four classifications of naval units, met the Argentine requirements and accordingly their representative at Geneva had been instructed to accept in principle the French proposal. The Minister for Foreign Affairs further stated that, owing to the lack in the Argentine Navy of modern light units and the absorption of tonnage by their two dreadnaughts, which would curtail the units desired by them, they originally had refrained from supporting the French plan. My personal impression is that the contemplated Argentine naval program is responsible for the decision and the instructions issued by the Ministry.

A confidential conference was held in the afternoon of yesterday between the Ministers of Finance, Marine, and Foreign Affairs. It is believed that the financing of the proposed naval program must have been the subject of this conference. See the last paragraph of my telegram No. 38.45


500.A15/519 : Telegram The Chief of the American Representation on the Preparatory

Commission (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

GENEVA, April 26, 1927–9 p. m.
[Received April 26—7:40 p. m.]

m 260. Preparatory Commission adjourned this evening. In closing speech President singled out American delegation alone for warm tribute to our helpful attitude which had promoted good understanding. He alluded to the forthcoming three-power conversations as calculated to facilitate the further approach to the problem of disarmanent.


* Not printed.

500.A15/534 : Telegram

The Ambassador in Chile (Collier) to the Secretary of State

SANTIAGO, May 16, 1927–4 p. m.
[Received 8:50 p. m.]

. 65. Upon the day of receipt of your 18, April 13, 4 p. m.,46 I went to Foreign Office to get necessary information. Sickness of Minister for Foreign Affairs delayed consideration several days, then Under Secretary assured me Chile's policy since prior to last Pan American Conference 4? had been limited by categories and he did not believe personality had changed but he would consult Navy Department in which instructions originated. This was subsequently confirmed by Minister for Foreign Affairs. A few days ago Under Secretary gave me a memorandum stating that, though Chilean policy had not changed, its Navy Department had construed the French proposition as a compromise fixing limit for total tonnage with a liberty of varying within it the limit fixed for each class, thus serving what the memorandum calls "a freedom for the distribution of tonnage". This was a desire entertained by Chile even at the time of Pan American Conference. The memorandum of Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs says he believes that there is a contradiction between the terms "limitation of tonnage by categories" and "distribution of tonnage among the different types of ships" and that as a result of this misunderstanding Chilean policy had been changed. By this the Under Secretary evidently meant that instructions inconsistent with Chilean fixed policy had been given. The Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs communicated these views to Under Secretary of the Navy who in turn consulted General Staff of Navy whose reply had not been received at the time the memorandum was handed me a few days ago. Yesterday Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs told me Under Secretary of the Navy told him that evidently the French proposal had been misconstrued and the Chilean delegate had been erroneously informed but that shortly correct instructions would be given to oppose all propositions inconsistent with the idea of limitation by categories. Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has promised to send me copy of memorandum of Navy Department or its proposed instructions as soon as received by him. I will send full text of his memorandum in the next pouch.48


See footnote 43, p. 203.

Fifth International Conference of American States. For proceedings, see Report of the Delegates of the United States of America to the Fifth International Conference of American States (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1924).

** Despatch No. 1081, May 21, not printed.

500.A15 a 1/524 : Telegram

The Chairman of the American Delegation to the Naval Conference

(Gibson) to the Secretary of State


GENEVA, August 1, 1927-noon.

[Received August 2—3:19 a. m.] 148. In conversation with one of the members of our delegation this [last?] evening, Clauzel, one of the French Mission d'Information, stated that, if the Naval Conference should fail, necessity would arise of postponing meeting of the Preparatory Commission scheduled for next November, and that he intended to consult Cecil in regard to this. It was suggested to him that until Naval Conference adjourned it seemed somewhat premature to discuss matter. Clauzel said he appreciated that fact but that he would like to speak to us about it after the meeting Thursday.


500.A15 a 1/524 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the American Delegation to

the Naval Conference (Gibson)


WASHINGTON, August 2, 1927–4 p. m. 89. Your No. 148, August 1, noon. The Government of the United States was not responsible for calling the Preparatory Commission and should not be responsible for the Commission's discontinuance or postponement. That is a matter which is entirely in the hands of the League of Nations. If continuation is desired we shall attend and if they wish to postpone we shall make no objection, but they must take the responsibility. We do not have any affirmative suggestions to make and we do not wish to enter into any agreement on the subject.


500.A15c/3: Telegram

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The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Belgium (Gibson)

WASHINGTON, October 20, 1927—10 a. m. 53. The report of the Third Committee of the League Assembly, dated September 23, 1927, designated A.108.1927.IX, contains, on page 5, section 3, what amounts to an agenda of a committee on security to be created by the Preparatory Commission during its next meeting in November, at which short meeting the United States will be represented by Wilson.

Please telegraph your suggestions and comments regarding the attitude of the American delegation to the Preparatory Commission concerning the formation of the proposed security committee and possible American representation on this committee.



The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Secretary of State No. 144

BERNE, October 25, 1927. L. N. No. 985

[Received November 12.] SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary General of the League of Nations dated October 24, 1927, (C. L. 137 (a) 1927 IX),49 in which Sir Eric brings to the attention of the Department paragraphs of the resolution of the Assembly and of the decision of the Council providing that states, nonmembers of the League of Nations represented on the Preparatory Commission may, if they so desire, sit on the Committee indicated in paragraph three of the Assembly's resolution of September 26, 1927, relative to the work of disarmament.50 I have [etc.]

For the Minister:

LEON H. ELLIS Secretary of Legation

500.A150/5: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

BRUSSELS, October 27, 1927–1 p. m.

[Received 5:30 p. m.] 76. Department's 53, October 20, 10 a. m. As a practical matter I

. do not see how an American representative could participate fully in work of Security Committee. On the other hand I feel that it would be unfortunate and afford pretext for criticism if we were to adopt attitude of complete aloofness. Would it not avoid these extremes and evidence friendly interest if Wilson were to accept invitation to sit on Security Committee explaining that while he could not, in view of our nonmembership in the League, join in written recommendations

Not printed. ** Resolution No. 5, printed in League of Nations, Official Journal, October 1927, p. 1483. The resolution provides, in part, that: “This Committee would be placed at the Commission's disposal and its duty would be to consider, on the lines indicated by the Commission, the measures capable of giving all States the guarantees of arbitration and security necessary to enable them to fix the level of their armaments at the lowest possible figures in an international disarmament agreement."

258346-42-vol. 1-19

to Council or Assembly, he would be glad to follow proceedings and give from time to time, as they might be desired, our views on matters of interest to the other members of the Committee.


500.A 15c/5 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Belgium (Gibson)




WASHINGTON, November 8, 1927–6 p. m. 54. Your 76, October 27, 1 p. m. By resolution of the Assembly and of the Council of the League of Nations, the Preparatory Commission is requested to create a subcommittee or commission composed of representatives of all the states participating in the Conference. Consideration of the subjects of security and arbitration is the declared object. It appears from a reading of the resolutions both of the Assembly and of the Council together that scope of inquiry is broad one; that it includes mutual covenants and guarantees of security, treaties of arbitration both bilateral and multilateral, and also question of sanctions for enforcement of covenants and guarantees. Evidently whole subject of Geneva protocol of 1924 is in this way sought to be opened again, with a view as well, perhaps, to wider application of Locarno formula.51 Conclusion is difficult to avoid that this proposal is wide departure from (at least, striking enlargement of) purposes of Preparatory Commission as these were originally laid down. If proposal be adopted, it would virtually establish a parallel organization to Preparatory Commission. Assembly's resolution clearly expresses opinion that work of Preparatory Commission is practically in suspense and that further progress cannot be made until problem of security is worked out. It appears that League, instead of taking up problem of security as strictly a League matter as has been its practice heretofore, is adopting rather peculiar expedient of attempting to work problem out through and under Preparatory Commission. Whether or not this procedure is merely device to bring this Government into that discussion, it is certain that the United States cannot, in any event, enter into mutual covenants that guarantee security or undertake to use either its military or naval forces in the application of sanctions or sign arbitration treaties such as European nations seem to regard as essential to their particular needs. We are inclined to believe, under these circumstances, that this Government ought not to be drawn into negotiations of this nature, and that should the Preparatory Commission resolve itself, in effect,

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