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The differences between the parties emerged in several areas. First, there was a dispute about whether “parity” should be measured based on tonnage or the number of vessels. The United States preferred tonnage, while the British preferred to count the fleet. To keep overall tonnage below the established limits, the British preferred to build light cruisers. Still, because light cruisers were essentially useless in the battle against heavy cruisers, they wanted the United States and Japan to build the lighter variety as well. The United States had virtually no use for light cruisers and felt that as long as they stayed below the tonnage limit, they should be able to build as many heavy cruisers as they liked. It was a fundamental impasse.
Second, Great Britain set forth what is called the “doctrine of requirements,” which asserted that the size of a nation’s naval fleet should be based on what is required to defend its territory; this idea was in opposition to the American preference that the size of the fleet required should be proportional to the size of the navies of other nations in the world. Accepting the “doctrine of requirements” would mean agreeing to the British demand for many cruisers and then undertaking a massive American building program to achieve parity, so neither the United States nor Japan approved of it. Although the three countries made some progress in their discussions over other classes of auxiliary ships, the powers were agreed that there would only be a new treaty if the “cruiser controversy” were solved. As a result, the stalemate over the cruiser question ended the conference without a new treaty.
==Why did they fail to draft a Treaty?==