The Counselor for the Department of State (Lansing) to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: I am submitting to you a memorandum upon the “Present Nature and Extent of the Monroe Doctrine and Its Need of Restatement,” since the questions, with which it deals, appear to me to require consideration and decision at the present time.
In all frankness I should say that my personal inclination has been against expanding our traditional policy in dealing with Latin America, and that I have been concerned over certain actions of this Government which seemed to be beyond the purposes of that policy. I approached the subject with this prejudice against any radical departure from established policy, but after taking into consideration the scope of the Monroe Doctrine, the present problems in Latin America, and the motives which to-day inspire our conduct in the international affairs of this hemisphere, I have been compelled to change my views.
It seems to me that the logic of the situation is irresistible, and that we must modify our present declared policy.
Whether this is to be done by a wider application of the Monroe Doctrine so as to include new methods of obtaining political control by European powers; or whether it is to be done by announcing a new doctrine, which will include the present standard of international duty, are questions which I am not prepared to answer without a more careful study of the subject. But that something should be done I am convinced, if this Government is to avoid the charge of insincerity and inconsistency in its relations with Latin America, [Page 460] of which suggestions are already too frequent and not without apparent justification.
When you have had opportunity to examine the annexed memorandum I would like very much to discuss the subject with you.
Very sincerely yours,
- Filed separately under file No. 710.11/185½.↩