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for the protection of her territory and its communications, the Cabinet and the Supreme Council of National Defense, have reached the conclusion that it is impossible to accept a limitation below that of 330,000 tons for auxiliary craft and 90,000 tons for submarines, without imperiling the vital interests of the country and of its colonies and the safety of their naval life.
“The French delegation has been instructed to consent to no concession on the above figures.
“To sum up, France accepts, as regards capital ships, the sacrifice which she must face in order to meet the views of the Conference and which represents an important reduction of her normal sea power. She limits the program of the future establishment of her fleet to 330,000 tons for auxiliary craft and to 90,000 tons for submarines.”
In view of the insistence on the part of the French Delegation that they could not abate their requirements as to auxiliary craft and submarines, the British Delegation stated that they were unable to consent to a limitation of auxiliary craft adapted to meet submarines.
For this reason it was found to be impossible to carry out the American plan so far as limitation of auxiliary craft and submarines was concerned.
THE NAVAL TREATY The agreement finally reached was set forth in the Naval Treaty, signed on February 6, 1922.
With respect to capital ships, while there are certain changes in detail, the integrity of the plan proposed on behalf of the American Government has been maintained, and the spirit in which that proposal was made, and in which it was received, dominated the entire negotiations and brought them to a successful conclusion.
The Treaty is in three chapters:
(1) A chapter containing the general principles or provisions relating to the limitation of naval armament.
(2) A chapter containing rules for the execution of the agreement. (3) A chapter containing certain miscellaneous provisions.
Without following the order of this arrangement, the substance of the Treaty may be thus stated:
The first subject with which the Treaty deals is that of the limitations as to capital ships, which are defined as follows:
“A capital ship, in the case of ships hereafter built, is defined as a vessel of war, not an aircraft carrier, whose displacement exceeds 10,000 tons (10,160 metric tons) standard displacement, or which carries a gun with a caliber exceeding 8 inches (203 millimeters).” (Chapter II, Part 4.)
The Treaty specifies the capital ships which each of the five Powers may retain. Thus, the United States of America is to retain 18 capital ships, with a tonnage of 500,650 tons; the British Empire 22 capital ships, with a tonnage of 580,450 tons; France 10 ships, of 221,170 tons; Italy 10 ships, of 182,800 tons; Japan 10 ships, of 301,320 tons. (Chapter II, Part 1.)
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In reaching this result, the age factor in the case of the respective navies has received consideration.
The Treaty provides that all other capital ships of these Powers, either built or building, are to be scrapped or disposed of as provided in the Treaty. (Article II).
It is provided that the present building programs are to be abandoned and that there is to be no building of capital ships hereafter, except in replacement and as the Treaty provides. (Article III.)
It may be useful to make a comparison of this result with the proposal which was made at the beginning of the Conference on behalf of the American Delegation. That proposal set forth that 18 ships were to be retained by the United States with a tonnage of 500,650 tons. In this Treaty the same ships are to be retained.
In that proposal there were set forth 22 capital ships to be retained by the British Empire. Under the Treaty the same number of ships is to be retained, in fact, the same ships, with the single exception of the substitution of the Thunderer for the Erin, with a total tonnage of 580,450, as against the calculation in the original proposal of 604,450 tons for ships retained.
In the case of Japan, the proposal set forth 10 ships to be retained. By the Treaty, the same number of ships is to be retained, the difference being that the Mutsu is to be retained and the Settsu (which was to have been retained) is to be scrapped. The tonnage retained by Japan, as calculated in the original proposal, was 299,700 tons. The tonnage retained under the Treaty is 301,320.
The effect of the retention of the Mutsu by Japan was to make necessary certain changes to which reference has already been made, and for which the Treaty provides. These changes are:
In the case of the United States, it is provided that two ships of the West Virginia class, now under construction, may be completed, and that on their completion two of the ships which were to have been retained, the North Dakota, and the Delaware, are to be scrapped.
In the case of the British Empire, two new ships may be built, not exceeding 35,000 tons each; and on completion of these two ships, four ships, the Thunderer, King George V, the Ajax, and the Centurion, are to be scrapped.
In the case of Japan, as has been said, the difference is that the Mutsu is retained and the Settsu scrapped.
Aside from these changes, the principles set forth in the American proposal in relation to capital ships have been applied, and the capital ship program is in its essence carried out.
A further comparison may be made with respect to ships to be scrapped.
In the case of the United States, it was proposed to scrap all capital ships now under construction, that is to say 15 ships, in various stages of construction. Instead, 13 of these ships are to be scrapped or disposed of. The total number of capital ships which were to be scrapped by the United States, or disposed of, was stated to be 30. Under the Treaty, the number is 28, with a very slight difference in total tonnage.
In the case of Great Britain, the construction of the 4 great Hoods has been abandoned, and while Great Britain is to have 2 new ships, limited to 35,000 tons each, 4 of the retained ships are to be scrapped, as already stated, when these two ships are completed.
It was also provided in the original proposal that Great Britain should scrap her predreadnaughts, second line battleships and first line battleships, up to and not including the King George V. These ships, with certain predreadnaughts which it was understood had already been scrapped, would amount to 19 capital ships, with a tonnage reduction on this account of 411,375 tons. This provision is substantially unaffected by the Treaty, the fact being that under the Treaty 20 ships are to be scrapped instead of 19 that were mentioned in the proposal.
In the case of Japan, the proposal was that Japan
“(1) Shall abandon her program of ships not yet laid down, viz, the Kii, Owari, No. 7 and No. 8, battleships, and Nos. 5,6,7, and 8, battle cruisers.”
This proposal has been carried out and the program has been abandoned by Japan.
"(2) Shall scrap 3 capital ships (the Mutsu, launched; the Tosa and Kago, in course of building) and 4 battle cruisers (the Amagi and Akagi in course of building, and the Atoga and Takao not yet laid down, but for which certain material has been assembled). The total number of new capital ships to be scrapped under this program is 7. The total tonnage of these capital ships when completed would be 289,100 tons.”
Under the Treaty Japan is to scrap all the ships mentioned with the exception of the Mutsu.
“(3) Shall scrap all predreadnaughts and battleships of the second line. This would include the scrapping of all ships up to but not including the Settsu; that is, the scrapping of 10 older ships with a total tonnage of 159,828 tons."
Under the Treaty 10 ships are scrapped, including the Settsu instead of excluding it.
There are certain special provisions with regard to capital ships which should be mentioned in order that there may be no misapprehension, although the matter itself is insignificant. In the tables in Section II of Chapter II, Part 3, it is provided that the United States may retain the Oregon and Illinois for noncombatant purposes after they have been emasculated in accordance with certain provisions of the Treaty. There is a sentimental reason for the retention of the Oregon, which it is understood the State of Oregon desires to possess.
The British Empire is permitted to retain the Colossus and the Collingswood for noncombatant purposes after they have been emasculated. These have already been withdrawn from combatant use.
There is also a provision in the case of Japan that 2 of her older ships, over 20 years old, the Shikashima and the Asahi, which were to be scrapped may be retained for noncombatant purposes after they have been emasculated, as stated.
The matter of scrapping is not left to conjecture or to the decision of each of the Powers taken separately, but is carefully defined by the Treaty in Part 2 of Chapter II, as follows:
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"RULES FOR SCRAPPING VESSELS OF WAR "I. A vessel to be scrapped must be placed in such a condition that it can not be put to combatant use.
“II. This result must be finally effected in any one of the following ways. (a) Permanent sinking of the vessel;
(b) Breaking the vessel up. This shall always involve the destruction or removal of all machinery, boilers, and armor, and all deck, side, and bottom plating;
(c) Converting the vessel to target use, exclusively * * * Not more than one capital ship may be retained for this purpose at one time by any of the Contracting Powers."
There is a special provision in the case of France and Italy that they may severally retain two seagoing vessels for training purposes exclusively; that is, as gunnery or torpedo schools. The Treaty describes the vessels, or the class to which they belong, and France and Italy undertake to remove and destroy their conning towers and not to use them as vessels of war.
There is also provision as to the two stages of scrapping. The first stage is intended to render the ship incapable of further warlike service and is to be immediately undertaken. The process is set forth in great detail in respect to removal of guns or machinery for working hydraulic or electric mountings, or fire-control instruments and range finders, or ammunition, explosives, and mines, or torpedoes, war-heads and torpedo tubes, or wireless telegraphy installations, the conning tower and all side armor, etc. (Chapter II, Part 2, Section III, Sub Division A.)
In the case of vessels that are to be immediately scrapped, the work of rendering them incapable of further warlike service is to be completed within six months from the time of the coming into force of the Treaty and the scrapping is to be finally effected within 18 months from that time. In the case of vessels which are to be scrapped after the completion of the new ships which may be built by the United States and the British Empire respectively, the work of rendering the vessel incapable of further warlike service is to be commenced not later than the date of the completion of its successor and is to be finished within six months from that time. The vessel is to be finally scrapped within 18 months from that date.
The Treaty provides the maximum replacement limits as follows:
525,000 tons France......
175,000 tons Italy ............
175,000 tons Japan...............
315,000 tons The size of each of the capital ships is limited to 35,000 tons; it is also provided that no capital ship shall carry a gun of a caliber in excess of 16 inches. The provisions for replacements of capital ships are set forth in charts which form Section II of Part 3 of Chapter II of the Treaty.
In the case of the United States, the British Empire and Japan, aside from the two ships that may be completed by the United States and the two which may be built by the British Empire, the first replacement is to begin with the laying down of ships in the year 1931, for completion in 1934, and replacement takes place thereafter according to the age of the ships.
In the case of France and Italy, the first replacement is permitted for laying down in 1927 for completion in 1930 in the case of France, and in 1931 in the case of Italy.
The Treaty also deals with aircraft carriers.
“An aircraft carrier is defined as a vessel of war with a displacement in excess of 10,000 tons (10,160 metric tons) standard displacement designed for the specific and exclusive purpose of carrying aircraft. It must be so constructed that aircraft can be launched therefrom and landed thereon, and not designed and constructed for carrying a more powerful armament than that allowed to it under Article IX or Article X, as the case may be.” (Chapter II, Part 4.)
The total tonnage allowed for aircraft carriers is limited as follows: (Article VII.) For the United States ...
135,000 tons British Empire. ...
135,000 tons France. .....
60,000 tons Italy ..........................
60,000 tons Japan....
81,000 tons In view of the experimental nature of the existence of aircraft carriers, that fact is recognized and there is provision for replacement without regard to age. (Article VIII.)
The maximum limit of each aircraft carrier is 27,000 tons. There is, however, a special exception which permits Contracting Powers to build not more than two aircraft carriers, each of a tonnage of not more than 33,000 tons.
What has been said with regard to the disposition of existing capital ships and their scrapping, is to be qualified by the statement that in order to effect economy, any of the Contracting Powers may use, for the purpose of constructing aircraft carriers as defined, any two of their ships, whether