The London Naval Conference 1930



The London Naval Conference of 1930 was the high watermark of inter-war naval limitation. During the years of Anglo—American tension, and the deadlock at the Preparatory Commission, the goal of comprehensive naval limitation had seemed to be beyond the grasp of the maritime powers. But now, less than three years after the debacle at Geneva, the tentative agreement on cruisers between the new administrations in Britain and America, and the common idealism and sense of purpose between those countries’ leaders, had eliminated the obstacle upon which naval limitation had foundered in 1927. The change in the diplomatic climate gave grounds for widespread optimism about the outcome of the Conference. Its Chairman, Ramsay MacDonald, reflected the general confidence that prevailed in the early stages of the Conference when he asserted that the London Naval Conference was ‘not merely a Naval Conference. It aimed at making a substantial contribution to the problem of general disarmament … and to the peace of the world’.1


Plenary Session Building Programme Privy Council Naval Officer Preparatory Commission 
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© Christopher G. L. Hall 1987

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