The Secretary of State to President Wilson

My Dear Mr. President: I send you herewith a revise of the four propositions to form a basis of a Pan-American Convention.17 I have drafted these after consultation with Ambassador Naón who is heartily in favor of the plan as you know, and who understands the objections which have been raised by the Chilean Ambassador in particular to the original form.

Article II, you will see, I have greatly abbreviated because if the time for settlement is eliminated it would be better for the negotiations in my opinion to take this shorter form and not enter into such details as the constitution of the arbitral tribunal which is to settle the disputes.

You will observe that I have added a new article (Article IV) in place of the one which covered the control of the manufacture and sale of arms and ammunition. In order to prevent hostile action between neighbors it is necessary, I think, to bind the parties not [Page 492] to assist insurgents or revolutionists in the country. Such aid is a source of constant irritation in Central American countries and as you know it is one of the causes of disorder in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I think, too, it is not unusual in South America. I believe that the article would be received with general approval and I cannot conceive of any serious objection to it.

If these articles, as revised, meet with your approval I will at once take the matter up with Ambassador Suárez with the hope that I can secure his adhesion and willingness to make a favorable report to his Government.18

Faithfully yours,

Robert Lansing
  1. Not enclosed with file copy of this letter; for a later draft of the articles for the proposed treaty, see p. 495.
  2. President Wilson replied on November 15, expressing his approval.