The Anglo-American Naval Situation

September 28, 1929

Report Outline
Strategic Naval Needs of the_leading Powers
Anglo-American Negotiations of 1929
Five-Power Naval Conference of 1930
Special Focus

Ramsay MacDonald, Premier of Great Britain, will set foot in New York on Friday, October 4, and will go at once to Washington. He comes to the United States in order to cement with President Hoover the naval understandings reached in the informal negotiations between their governments that have been under way since last June. The Prime Minister's visit will afford opportunity also for discussion between the heads of the two governments of Anglo-American relations generally. While some slight difference still remains between the British and American positions on the relative cruiser strength of the two countries, no attempt will be made-according to Secretary of State Stimson-to close this gap during Mr. MacDonald's visit. This final difference will be left for adjustment until the meeting of the five-power naval conference now being planned for January 1930.

The coming of the British Premier will be the latest, but not the last, step in a naval drama that stretches back to the Washington Conference for the Limitation of Armaments in 1921–22. With that conference began a movement for the limitation and reduction of naval armaments, which continued through the abortive Geneva Conference of 1927, the Anglo-French naval accord of 1928, and the meeting of the Preparatory Disarmament Commission of the League of Nations in April 1929. The signing of the Kellogg antiwar pact on August 27, 1928, and the English adherence to the optional clause of the World Court statute on September 19, 1929. Have also had an important bearing upon this movement.

The full significance of Mr. MacDonald's approaching visit, the precise character of the problem confronting him and Mr. Hoover during their negotiations, the nature of the tentative agreement at which they have arrived, and the conditions underlying the successful culmination of their efforts, will be better understood if the several steps in the naval drama are briefly reviewed, the assumed naval needs of the five leading sea powers set forth, their comparative naval strength analyzed, and the quest of Great Britain and the United States for a formula, which would promote parity, followed.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Navy
Jul. 23, 1976  Navy Rebuilding
Mar. 06, 1968  Sea Power and Global Strategy
Oct. 06, 1945  Army-Navy Consolidation
Oct. 02, 1941  Undeclared Naval Warfare
Oct. 25, 1939  Naval Blockades and Submarine Warfare
Nov. 20, 1935  American Naval Policy
Nov. 19, 1934  Naval Limitation and Pacific Problems, 1921–1936
Oct. 27, 1931  The Proposed Naval Holiday
Jul. 25, 1930  Military and Naval Expenditures
Jan. 16, 1930  The London Naval Conference
Sep. 28, 1929  The Anglo-American Naval Situation
Feb. 13, 1928  The 1928 Naval Building Program
Defense Technology and Force Planning
Diplomacy and Diplomats
International Law and Agreements