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cult to administer, the alleged breach of any technical provision of which would inevitably lead to international mistrust and ill-will.
Should an attempt be made to separate governmental from private manufacture you should insist that any agreement to be acceptable to the United States must cover both categories. In this connection, you may point out that such a provision would appear to be absolutely essential to make an international agreement for publicity useful since the contingency might arise wherein a government which followed the policy of manufacturing all of its military equipment in government arsenals might engage in practices very similar to those which are imputed to private manufacturers and condemned. A memorandum pointing out the distinction between the position of the United States Government and of certain other governments in regard to methods of supplying needs for military equipment is transmitted herewith as an annex to this instruction.
You will, of course, not join in any report which the Special Commission may make to the Council of the League of Nations. In this connection, you may advise the Commission that you will make your report to your government.
You should make it abundantly clear during the meeting that should the other nations represented on the Commission wish to recommend the formulation of a convention of a more elaborate nature this government would, of course, offer no objection, although it would naturally reserve its right to abstain from adherence to such a convention or to adhere to it with reservations in keeping with its announced and well known policy in the premises.
There is transmitted herewith, as an annex to this instruction, a memorandum covering in general the statistics of production of arms in the United States in recent years. By reference to this you will observe that the United States has taken a very minor part in this type of business. You should emphasize these data in case an attempt is made to place upon the United States the onus for prospective failure of the Commission's work or any statements are made to the effect that a convention regarding arms manufacture could not be effective without American participation.
The above-mentioned memorandum further contains certain suggestions as to the statistical material that will be most readily and economically obtainable and also suggestions as to the frequency of collection and publication which should be provided for in any convention.
« Not printed.
There is transmitted herewith as an annex to this instruction a memorandum setting forth the existing law and practice of this government respecting the collection and publication of statistics and indicating the general authority of the government in the premises. 65a I am [etc.]
JOSEPH C. GREW
Memorandum Commenting Upon the Preliminary Draft Convention
Submitted to the Committee of the Council by the Committee of
Whereas the international trade in arms and ammunition and in implements of war is governed by the Convention concerning the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms and Ammunition and in Implements of War signed at Geneva on June 17th, 1925;
Whereas the International Conference which drew up the said Convention unanimously declared:
"That the Convention of to-day's date must be considered as an important step towards a general system of international agreements regarding arms and ammunition and implements of war, and that it is desirable that the international aspect of the manufacture of such arms, ammunition and implements of war should
receive early consideration by the different Governments”; Whereas the international trade in arms and ammunition and in implements of war should be subjected to a general and effective system of supervision and publicity;
Whereas such a system is not provided by existing treaties and conventions in regard to manufacture;
Whereas the manufacture of arms, ammunition or implements the use of which in war is prohibited by international law ought not to be permitted for such purpose :
Have decided to conclude a Convention and have accordingly appointed as their plenipotentiaries:
(Here follow the names of the plenipotentiaries.)
Who, having communicated their full powers, found in good and due form,
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
This preamble appears to be unnecessarily long and involved. It is believed that all necessary purposes could be served by a brief preamble somewhat to the following effect:
“Whereas it is desirable that the international aspect of the manufacture of arms, ammunition and implements of war should receive consideration" etc.
Ha Not printed.
Article 1 (Same as Chapter I of the Convention for the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms—document A.16.1925.IX, pages 5 and 6.) This Article is satisfactory.
Supervision and Publicity
Article 2 For the purposes of the present Convention, private manufacture shall be considered to mean manufacture taking place in establishments of which the State is not the sole proprietor.
This Article should be eliminated, since any convention to which the United States would desire to become a party would necessarily cover both governmental and private manufacture.
The High Contracting Parties undertake not to permit in the ter- ritory under their jurisdiction the private manufacture of the articles included in Categories I, II, III and IV and paragraph 1 of Category V without the written authorization of the Government.
This authorization shall be given in the form of a licence, which shall be valid for a period to be determined individually by each High Contracting Party and which shall be renewable for a further period.
This Article is not acceptable from the point of view of the United States. The constitutional possibility of establishing a licensing system for manufacturers of arms and ammunition is to say the least extremely doubtful. As has been pointed out in the body of the instructions it would probably be possible to require manufacturers to obtain Federal licenses to manufacture arms in the District of Columbia and in the Territories, and also to obtain licenses for interState or foreign commerce in arms and ammunition. The possibility of obtaining legislation of this character, however, seems so remote that it is not desirable for the American representative even to discuss the possibilities in this regard during the course of the coming meeting.
Article 4 The High Contracting Parties undertake not to grant a licence for the manufacture of the material referred to in Article 3 and to withdraw such licence if it has been granted to any firm which is in a position to influence a newspaper either because it holds a sufficient portion of its capital or because it conducts the management or any other part of its work, or because its directors, managers or high officials are in a position to exercise such influence.
The High Contracting Parties undertake to withdraw the licence of any holder who has advertised war material covered by Categories I, II and III or who has advertised war material covered by Categories IV and V in the special zones defined in Chapter III of the Convention concerning the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms and Ammunition and in Implements of War.
This Article is obviously unacceptable for the reason stated under the comments on Article 3. Further, the administration of the provisions contained in this Article or of other provisions directed substantially to the same end would appear to be almost impossible from a practical point of view. The most elaborate investigational machinery would be necessary to ascertain the connection of munition manufacturers with the press and it is not believed that an attempt in this direction would serve any practical or useful purpose.
The second paragraph of Article 4 seems likewise impossible to administer effectively.
Article 5 Each of the High Contracting Parties undertakes not to conclude any contracts for the supply of the kinds of war material enumerated in Article 3 with a private firm one or more of whose directors or managers are members of the legislature of that Contracting Party.
The provisions of this Article, while plausible on first sight, would not be acceptable. The war materials included in the Categories of the Arms Traffic Convention are manufactured in many types of industrial plants, some of which could not be termed strictly munitions factories. To endeavor to eliminate from consideration all manufacturing establishments capable of producing any of the articles included in the Categories, in which members of the Senate or the House of Representatives are directors or managers would be both unwise and impracticable.
Article 6 The High Contracting Parties undertake to publish within two months after the close of each quarter the licences granted during that quarter, together with the following particulars:
(a) The kind or kinds of war material which the holder of a licence is allowed to manufacture;
(6) The names, styles and addresses of the proprietor or proprietors in the case of enterprises belonging to a private individual or to the partners in a firm having a collective title, and those of the managers or directors in the case of enterprises organised as commercial companies;
(c) The names of all the enterprises with which the holder has concluded agreements or associations of any kind whatever, with a view to the production of the articles of war material for which the licence has been granted.
The High Contracting Parties also undertake to publish annually a report of each holder's operations relating to the manufacture of the material for which the licence has been granted such report to be drawn up by the holder and verified by the High Contracting Parties.
The United States Government is in favor of a system of publicity for manufactures of arms and ammunition. It would appear, however, that a more appropriate system of publicity is provided for in Article 7 as noted below, than in Article 6. Eliminating the idea of licenses from Article 6, there remain merely the provisions that the names, styles and addresses of the proprietor or proprietors, partners, managers or directors of munition plants, be published, and that the existence of all munitions contracts be made known along with an annual report of the business of each munitions manufacturer.
It is not perceived how the publication of this information would be of great value to anyone save the competitors of the manufacturers in question. In so far as the trade of individual plants with foreign countries is concerned the Arms Traffic Convention provides adequate publicity.
Article 7 To complete the general system of publicity for armaments, irrespective of their origin, provided for in the Convention for the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms signed at Geneva on June 17th, 1925, the High Contracting Parties undertake to publish within two months after the close of each quarter a statistical return of the articles covered by Categories I, II and IV delivered or held in stock during that quarter.
This return shall be drawn up in accordance with the specimen form contained in Annex * to the present Convention and shall show under each heading of the said categories in Article 1 the weight, the number and the value of the articles manufactured under a licence. The first statistical return to be published by each of the High Contracting Parties shall be for the quarter beginning on the first day of January, April, July or October subsequent to the date on which the present Convention comes into force with regard to the High Contracting Party concerned.
The High Contracting Parties undertake to publish as an annex to the above-mentioned return the text of the provisions of all statutes, orders or regulations in force within their territory dealing with the manufacture of war material covered by Article 1, and to include therein all provisions enacted for the purpose of carrying out the present Convention. Amendments and additions to these provisions shall be likewise published in annexes to subsequent quarterly returns.
The provisions of the present article shall also be applied as far as possible to articles manufactured in establishments of which the State is sole proprietor.
This Article appears to be acceptable provided always that it is extended to cover the production of Government as well as private
* This Annex has not yet been examined by the Committee of Enquiry. (Footnote in original draft convention.]