File No. 817.812/106c.
The Secretary of State to Minister Long.
Washington, January 28, 1915.
Misunderstanding with Costa Rica removed. When we made treaty with Nicaragua for canal option we offered to make similar treaty with Costa Rica. We had no thought of including the Platt Amendment in the Costa Rica treaty but Costa Rica quite naturally assumed that we wanted to include that amendment because at that time it was included in the tentative treaty with Nicaragua. When the Nicaragua treaty was submitted to the Senate the Platt Amendment was omitted and we are now negotiating with Costa Rica for the purchase of an option on her part of the canal route. Everything seems to be moving along very smoothly with Costa Rica now.
You know that we have agreed to an amendment to the Nicaragua treaty to the effect that nothing in the Nicaragua treaty shall be construed to impair any rights that Costa Rica may have. We are perfectly willing to broaden that amendment so as to include Salvador or any other country, although we regard the amendment as unnecessary because no treaty between us and Nicaragua could impair the rights of any country not a party to the treaty. It occurs to me that Salvador may have misunderstood our proposal when we offered to buy from her a naval base the same as from Nicaragua. While the naval base which we expect to purchase from Nicaragua will be sufficient for our purpose, still, in order to show our impartiality and our desire to treat all nations alike, we are perfectly willing to purchase a naval base from Salvador and also Honduras if they desire to sell. These treaties, of course, would not include the Platt Amendment but merely the lease of a naval base similar to the lease provided for in the Nicaragua treaty. Make it clear to the Government that we do not ask for any such treaty but are perfectly willing to negotiate it if Salvador wishes it; and the same with Honduras. Report attitude of Government and feeling of officials on the subject.