Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918

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World History

50–51.

THE WASHINGTON CONFERENCE TREATIES, 1921–1922

50.

The Washington Naval Treaty, 1922 (Extracts)

4

ARTICLE 1.

The Contracting Powers agree to limit their respective naval armament as provided in the present Treaty.

. . . . .

ARTICLE 4.

The total capital ship replacement tonnage of each of the Contracting Powers shall not exceed in standard displacement, for the United States, 525,000 tons (533,400 metric tons); for the British Empire, 525,000 tons (533,400 metric tons); for France, 175,000 tons (177,800 metric tons); for Italy, 175,000 tons (177,800 metric tons); for Japan, 315,000 tons (320,040 metric tons).

ARTICLE 5.

No capital ship exceeding 35,000 tons (35,560 metric tons) standard displacement shall be acquired by, or constructed by, for, or within the jurisdiction of, any of the Contracting Powers.

ARTICLE 6.

No capital ship of any of the Contracting Powers shall carry a gun with a calibre in excess of 16 inches (406 millimetres).

ARTICLE 7.

The total tonnage for aircraft carriers of each of the Contracting Powers shall not exceed in standard displacement, for the United States, 135,000 tons (137,160 metric tons); for the British Empire, 135,000 tons (137,160 metric tons); for France, 60,000 tons (60,960 metric tons); for Italy, 60,000 tons (60,960 metric tons); for Japan, 81,000 tons (82,296 metric tons).

. . . . .

ARTICLE 14.

No preparations shall be made in merchant ships in time of peace for the installation of warlike armaments for the purpose of converting such ships into vessels of war, other than the necessary stiffening of decks for the mounting of guns not exceeding 6-inch (152 millimetres) calibre.

. . . . .

ARTICLE 19.

The United States, the British Empire and Japan agree that the status quo at the time of the signing of the present Treaty, with regard to fortifications and naval bases, shall be maintained in their respective territories and possessions specified hereunder:—

1. The insular possessions which the United States now holds or may hereafter acquire in the Pacific Ocean, except (a) those adjacent to the coast of the United States, Alaska and the Panama Canal Zone, not including the Aleutian Islands, and (b) the Hawaiian Islands;

2. Hong Kong and the insular possessions which the British Empire now holds or may hereafter acquire in the Pacific Ocean, east of the meridian of 110° east longitude, except (a) those adjacent to the coast of Canada, (b) the Commonwealth of Australia and its territories, and (c) New Zealand;

3. The following insular territories and possessions of Japan in the Pacific Ocean, to wit: the Kurile Islands, the Bonin Islands, Amami-Oshima, the Loochoo Islands, Formosa and the Pescadores, and any insular territories or possessions in the Pacific Ocean which Japan may hereafter acquire.

The maintenance of the status quo under the foregoing provisions implies that no new fortifications or naval bases shall be established in the territories and possessions specified; that no measures shall be taken to increase the existing naval facilities for the repair and maintenance of naval forces, and that no increase shall be made in the coast defences of the territories and possessions above specified. This restriction, however, does not preclude such repair and replacement of worn-out weapons and equipment as is customary in naval and military establishments in time of peace.

. . . . .

ARTICLE 21.

If during the term of the present Treaty the requirements of the national security of any Contracting Power in respect of naval defence are, in the opinion of that Power, materially affected by any change of circumstances, the Contracting Powers will, at the request of such Power, meet in conference with a view to the reconsideration of the provisions of the Treaty and its amendment by mutual agreement. . . .

ARTICLE 22.

Whenever any Contracting Power shall become engaged in a war which in its opinion affects the naval defence of its national security, such Power may after notice to the other Contracting Powers suspend for the period of hostilities its obligations under the present Treaty other than those under Articles XIII and XVII [forbidding the reconversion of a scrapped vessel and the use of a vessel being built or already constructed for another Power], provided that such Power shall notify the other Contracting Powers that the emergency is of such a character as to require such suspension.

The remaining Contracting Powers shall in such case consult together with a view to agreement as to what temporary modifications, if any, should be made in the Treaty as between themselves. Should such consultation not produce agreement, duly made in accordance with the constitutional methods of the respective Powers, any one of said Contracting Powers may, by giving notice to the other Contracting Powers, suspend for the period of hostilities its obligations under the present Treaty, other than those under Articles XIII and XVII.

On the cessation of hostilities the Contracting Powers will meet in conference to consider what modifications, if any, should be made in the provisions of the present Treaty.

ARTICLE 23.

The present Treaty shall remain in force until the 31st December, 1936, and in case none of the Contracting Powers shall have given notice two years before that date of its intention to terminate the Treaty, it shall continue in force until the expiration of two years from the date on which notice of termination shall be given by one of the Contracting Powers, whereupon the Treaty shall terminate as regards all Contracting Powers. . . .

4Treaty between the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan and the United States of America for the Limitation of Naval Armament. Signed at Washington, February 6, 1922. Presented by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Parliament by Command of His Majesty, Treaty Series No. 5 (1924), Cmd. 2036, His Majesty’s Stationery Office, London, 1924, pp. 3–17.

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Chicago: "The Washington Conference Treaties, 1921– 1922," Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918 in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan (Chicage: Lippincott, 1951), 198–201. Original Sources, accessed August 11, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51L9FHSH7U4IABJ.

MLA: . "The Washington Conference Treaties, 1921– 1922." Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, edited by Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan, Chicage, Lippincott, 1951, pp. 198–201. Original Sources. 11 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51L9FHSH7U4IABJ.

Harvard: , 'The Washington Conference Treaties, 1921– 1922' in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918. cited in 1951, Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. , Lippincott, Chicage, pp.198–201. Original Sources, retrieved 11 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51L9FHSH7U4IABJ.