World Disarmament Conference of 1932

January 5, 1932

Report Outline
Arms Limitation, World Recovery, and World Peace
Progress in Naval Arms Limitation, 1921–1930
League Preparations for World Disarmament Conference
Prospects for Arms Limitation: Positions of the Powers
Special Focus

Arms Limitation, World Recovery, and World Peace

All Suggestions of postponement having been discountenanced by the governments of the great powers, it is now virtually certain that the World Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments will convene according to schedule on February 2, 1932. When the delegates of some 60 nations, including all countries maintaining large military or naval forces, assemble at Geneva, more than 12 years will have elapsed since the coming into force of the peace treaties which imposed virtual disarmament on the Central Powers as a necessary precedent to reduction and limitation of armaments by other nations. The forthcoming conference will have as a broad purpose fulfillment of the implied pledge contained in those treaties, as well as compliance with Article 8 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which definitely contemplated reduction of national armaments.

The present disturbed economic and financial condition of the world and the political tension existing in Europe, together with the immediate uncertainties created by the problem of reparations and international debts, have been put forward as reasons for delaying the conference. No government has been willing, however, to take the responsibility of officially proposing postponement. It is the general feeling that the conference has already been sufficiently delayed, that further postponement would be a blow to the prestige of the League of Nations, and that it might incite dangerous criticism in Germany as to the sincerity of the intentions of other nations with respect to armament, limitation. Furthermore, as Secretary of State Stimson said in a report to President Hoover, December 21, 1931: “The need for some measure of limitation and reduction of armaments has become more urgent at this time than ever before.”

The threat of a new rare in armaments hangs like a dark cloud over Europe, disturbing political tranquility and preventing that consolidation of peaceful and harmonious relations between nations without which a return to prosperity is impossible. The tremendous deadweight, of armament costs constitutes a drain on the national resources of all nations which not only has helped to bring about and to aggravate the present economic world crisis, but is also actively impeding recovery.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Dec. 13, 2013  Chemical and Biological Weapons
Mar. 2010  Dangerous War Debris
Oct. 02, 2009  Nuclear Disarmament Updated
Jan. 27, 1995  Non-Proliferation Treaty at 25
Dec. 24, 1987  Defending Europe
Feb. 22, 1985  Arms Control Negotiations
Jun. 08, 1979  Strategic Arms Debate
Apr. 09, 1969  Prospects for Arms Control
Mar. 15, 1961  New Approaches to Disarmament
Feb. 25, 1960  Struggle for Disarmament
Nov. 07, 1958  Arms Control: 1958
Jun. 11, 1957  Inspection for Disarmament
Jul. 11, 1955  Controlled Disarmament
Oct. 09, 1933  The Disarmament Conference, 1933
Jan. 05, 1932  World Disarmament Conference of 1932
Apr. 08, 1929  Efforts Toward Disarmament
Mar. 13, 1928  The League of Nations and Disarmament
Feb. 22, 1927  The United States and Disarmament
Alliances and Security Agreements
Arms Control and Disarmament
International Law and Agreements