Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, 1930

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Author: Herbert Hoover  | Date: July 11, 1930

230
Message to the Senate Declining the Request for Confidential Documents Relating to the London Naval Treaty.
July 11, 1930

To the Senate:

I have received Senate Resolution No. 320, asking me, if not incompatible with the public interest, to submit to the Senate all letters, cablegrams, minutes, memoranda, instructions and despatches, and all records, files and other information touching the negotiations of the London Naval Treaty.

This Treaty, like all other international negotiations, has involved statements, reports, tentative and informal proposals as to subjects, persons and governments given to me in confidence. The Executive, under the duty of guarding the interests of the United States, in the protection of future negotiations, and in maintaining relations of amity with other nations, must not allow himself to become guilty of a breach of trust by betrayal of these confidences. He must not affront representatives of other nations, and thus make future dealings with those nations more difficult and less frank. To make public in debate or in the press such confidences would violate the invariable practice of nations. It would close to the United States those avenues of information which are essential for future negotiations and amicable intercourse with the nations of the world. I am sure the Senate does not wish me to commit such a breach of trust.

I have no desire to withhold from the Senate any information having even the remotest bearing upon the negotiation of the Treaty. No senator has been refused an opportunity to see the confidential material referred to, provided only he will agree to receive and hold the same in the confidence in which it has been received and held by the Executive. A number of Senators have availed themselves of this opportunity. I believe that no Senator can read these documents without agreeing with me that no other course than to insist upon the maintenance of suchconfidence is possible. And I take this opportunity to repeat with the utmost emphasis that in these negotiations there were no secret or concealed understandings, promises or interpretations, nor any commitments whatever except as appear in the Treaty itself and in the interpretive exchange of notes recently suggested by your Committee on Foreign Affairs, all of which are now in the hands of the Senate.

In view of this, I believe that to further comply with the above Resolution would be incompatible with the public interest.
HERBERT HOOVER

The White House,
July 11, 1930.

NOTE: On July 21, 1930, the Senate consented to the ratification of the London Naval Treaty. The resolution of ratification provided: "That in ratifying said treaty the Senate does so with the distinct and explicit understanding that there are no secret files, documents, letters, understandings, or agreements which in any way, directly or indirectly, modify, change, add to, or take away from any of the stipulations, agreements, or statements in said treaty .... "

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Chicago: Herbert Hoover, "230 Message to the Senate Declining the Request for Confidential Documents Relating to the London Naval Treaty.," Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, 1930 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Herbert Hoover, 1930 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.589 292. Original Sources, accessed September 23, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKZC9AGPGRTG4C2.

MLA: Hoover, Herbert. "230 Message to the Senate Declining the Request for Confidential Documents Relating to the London Naval Treaty." Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, 1930, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Herbert Hoover, 1930 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.589, page 292. Original Sources. 23 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKZC9AGPGRTG4C2.

Harvard: Hoover, H, '230 Message to the Senate Declining the Request for Confidential Documents Relating to the London Naval Treaty.' in Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, 1930. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Herbert Hoover, 1930 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.589, pp.292. Original Sources, retrieved 23 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKZC9AGPGRTG4C2.