In this connection, I desire to call your attention to the treaty of
peace and arbitration, which was signed in this city on May 23, 1892, by
the commissioners from Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and
ratified since that time by the Governments of Salvador, Honduras, and
Article 11 of that treaty provides that “it is not indispensable for the
validity of this treaty that it be ratified completely by all the
Republics who sign it. The one who may approve it shall communicate the
fact to the Government of Salvador, so that it may be communicated to
the other contracting powers. This procedure shall serve in lieu of
exchange of ratifications between the parties who may have approved
And, therefore, the fact would be valid in so far as the Republics of
Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua are concerned, although the latter,
while it approved the treaty, never advised Salvador of the fact.
The President of Salvador considers the treaty in force between the three
nations, and, in accordance with that view and in the interest of peace,
he has communicated by wire with the Governments of Honduras and
Nicaragua, asking them to send each a commissioner to La Union of
Salvador to meet there a commissioner from this country who will offer
the friendly offices of this Government in an effort to submit to
arbitration the questions at issue between Honduras and Nicaragua.
To this Honduras has replied that, while the Government appreciates the
friendly intervention of Salvador in this matter, it desires to await
the reply of the other Central American Governments to its
communication, similar in tenor to that sent to Salvador, mention of
which was made above.
Nicaragua has replied, thanking the Government of Salvador for its
intervention, and advising that a minister would be sent. I am informed
also by a private letter from Costa Rica that that Government has
offered its friendly offices to Honduras and Nicaragua in the interest
of [Page 437] a peaceful settlement of
the matters at issue between them. This was done, in all likelihood, in
reply to the communication of Honduras to the administration at San
Jose, of which I speak in the preceding paragraph.
[Inclosure in No.
Treaty of peace and arbitration of San
The Governments of Honduras, Nicaragua, Salvador, and Guatemala,
represented in the Central American peace congress, through their
respective plenipotentiaries, viz: Dr. Don Adolfo Zuñiga for
Honduras, General Isidro Urtecho for Nicaragua, Dr. Don Manuel
Gallardo for Salvador, and Dr. Cayetano Diaz Merida for Guatemala,
wishing to insure the benefits of peace between the Republics of
Central America and to strengthen at the same time the sentiments of
brotherhood which must serve as basis for the settlement of the
disputes which may arise between them, have agreed to enter into a
treaty covering these points, and to that end, after having
exhibited their respective full powers, and after conferences and
discussions on the subject, have agreed upon the following
Art. 1. The high contracting parties
recognize and guarantee to each other, as a basis of their
international public law, the following principles:
- Nonintervention in the internal affairs of the respective
- The strictest neutrality in the questions or difficulties
which may occur between two or more of the contracting
Republics. Notwithstanding this, if any of these Republics
shall permit, encourage, or protect the organization of
factions within its territory, or shall invade another
state, causing a “de facto” rupture, then the neutral
Republics shall make common cause and shall constitute
themselves into a defensive alliance with the state offended
or invaded, until they shall obtain the reestablishment of
- Arbitration as the sole method of settling or solving all
questions or difficulties which may arise between the
signatory Republics, whatever their cause, nature, or object
Art. 2. For the safeguard and application
of these fundamental principles a periodical delegation is
established, composed of five plenipotentiaries, one being named by
each of the Governments of Central America. This delegation shall be
called the “Central American Diet,” and it shall hold its inaugural
session on the 1st of January of the year 1893.
The sessions of the Central American Diet shall last ninety days,
which may be extended, at the will of said diet, when the affairs of
which it must take cognizance or the, public interest demand it; and
it may adjourn before the expiration of the term mentioned if it
should deem it expedient.
The meetings of the Central American Diet shall take place, in turn
each year, in the capitals of the contracting Republics, Guatemala,
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
Art. 3. The Central American Diet has the
- To offer its pacific mediation when there is danger of any
disagreement between the contracting Republics.
- To settle, as arbitrators, questions which may be
submitted to it if pacific mediation should not suffice to
end the dispute.
Art. 4. The Central American Diet has
moreover the following functions:
- To draw up all the treaties involving private
international law in criminal, civil, commercial, and
- To draw up treaties for the Central American customs,
monetary, postal, and telegraphic union.
Art. 5. When the signatory Republics wish
to submit their disagreements or questions to the arbitration of the
Central American Diet, the Republic believing itself menaced or
offended shall present to the diet, through its plenipotentiary, a
memorandum stating the grounds of complaint. The plenipotentiary of
the Republic against which the memorandum shall have been drawn up
shall present one of explanations. If in that one there should also
be complaints, the plenipotentiary who took the initiative shall
With these documents before them the plenipotentiaries of the
Republics not directly interested in the question shall deliberate
in regard to the means of conciliation which may appear the most
equitable and efficacious, and shall submit them to the
consideration of the plenipotentiaries of the differing Republics,
in order to try to reach an agreement.
If such agreement can not he attained, the competent
plenipotentiaries shall name arbitrators to complete the diet from
among the ministers of the friendly nations, residing in Central
The majority of votes shall constitute a decisive award.
Art. 6. If when the Central American Diet
is not in session any question should arise between two or more of
the contracting Republics, the Governments having no interest in the
dispute shall, upon hearing thereof, interpose their friendly
offices to bring about a settlement. If this should not be possible,
they shall advise the contending parties to submit their
disagreements to the arbitral award of the diet or of any friendly
If the Governments concerned should express the desire that the diet
settle the pending question or disagreement, the latter shall be
called together, without any loss of time, by one or more of the
mediating or neutral Governments.
In this case the diet shall proceed in conformity with the provisions
of article 5.
Art. 7. If the disagreeing Governments
should not wish to submit their disagreements to the arbitration of
the Central American Diet, the designation of the arbitrator, the
terms of the question, and the rules to be observed until the
rendering of the award, shall be the subjects of a special
Such treaty shall be signed within the term of four months after the
grounds of disagreement shall have become known.
Art. 8. Until the contracting Governments
shall agree upon special treaties regulating asylum and the
recognition of their public documents, it is provided that the
removal from the frontier of political refugees, stipulated in the
treaties, shall take place without any further proceedings than the
demand of the Government of the nation whence they come, to the
Government of the nation in which they took refuge.
And it is also stipulated that the verification of the authenticity
of public documents issued by any of the contracting Republics shall
be sufficient to establish the validity and force of such documents
and their effectiveness in securing in any of the Republics the
results inherent to their nature as if they had been issued by that
Art. 9. The treaties and conventions
entered into heretofore by and between the Republics of Guatemala,
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica in matters relating to
peace, friendship, commerce, and extradition, and in any other
matters not in conflict with the present stipulations, are
considered valid and in force in conformity with the internal
constitutional law of these countries.
Art. 10. The present treaty shall be
submitted to the Government of Costa Rica for its adhesion.
Art. 11. It is not indispensable to the
validity of this treaty that, it be formally ratified by all the
Republics who sign it. The one who may approve it shall communicate
the fact to the Government of Salvador, so that it may be
communicated to the other contracting powers. This procedure shall
serve in lieu of exchange of ratifications between the parties who
may have approved it.
In testimony whereof the respective
plenipotentiaries sign this treaty in quadruplicate, at
San Salvador, on the 23d day of May,
Cayetano Diaz Merida.