Washington, April 19, 1915.
To the Diplomatic Officers of the United States accredited to Latin American Countries.
Gentlemen: You have received previous communications from the Department in re the Second Pan American Scientific Congress which is to be held under the auspices of the United States Government in Washington, D. C., December 27, 1915, to January 8, 1916. The First Congress, meeting in Santiago, Chile, in 1908, highly honored this Government by the generous and unsolicited act of designating Washington as the meeting place of the next Congress. It is desirable, therefore, that the diplomatic representatives of the United States to the participating foreign countries do all in their power to assist in making this Second Congress what it promises to be—a great Pan American gathering—where not only scientific matters of Pan American interest will be discussed by the leading scientists of these countries, but where, through the character of the persons, societies, and institutions designated to represent them, will be established more intimate relations on the basis of a common interest in science, culture, and economic progress.
The First Pan American Scientific Congress, in designating Washington as the next place of meeting, appointed certain visiting delegates from the United States members of the Executive Committee, charged with the organization and procedure of the Second Congress. These gentlemen, with certain others elected by them, constitute the Executive Committee of the Second Pan American Scientific Congress. The Honorable William Phillips, Third Assistant Secretary of State, is Chairman ex officio of the Executive Committee. This Executive Committee, among other duties, will appoint the Honorary Presidents and Vice Presidents, who are to be selected from the participating countries. The Director General of the Pan American Union, Mr. John Barrett, a member of the Executive Committee, has accepted the post of Secretary General of the Congress, and Dr. Glen Levin Swiggett, Professor of Romance Languages in the University [Page 19]of Tennessee, has been appointed Assistant Secretary. The Governing Board of the Pan American Union has signally complimented the Congress by tendering the use of its handsome building for the offices and sessions of the Congress.
This Government has perfected its local organization. Proceeding under the direction of the Executive Committee, in cooperation with the Secretary General, a committee has been designated to invite preparation of papers on topics of special interest and pertinent to the subject-matter of the nine program sections. These sections are as follows:
- Astronomy, Meteorology, and Seismology;
- Conservation of Natural Resources, Agriculture, Irrigation, and Forestry;
- International Law, Public Law, and Jurisprudence;
- Mining and Metallurgy, Economic Geology, and Applied Chemistry;
- Public Health and Medical Science;
- Transportation, Commerce, Finance, and Taxation.
Following my cablegram of instructions of the 17th instant that it is most expedient that a similar committee, to act as a cooperating committee with the Executive Committee of the United States, be appointed at once in the several participating countries, this communication is sent to you with the request that you urge the Government to which you are accredited to appoint, without delay, such an executive or cooperating committee, if it has not already done so.
The members of this committee should then be immediately informed of the urgent necessity that steps be taken at once to see that their government and country are properly represented at the Congress by contributed papers and visiting delegates. It is hoped further that these committees of the several countries will fully cooperate with the Executive Committee and the Secretary General of the Congress at Washington in preparing a list of persons to be invited to submit papers and in making sure that their government and country are adequately represented at the Congress by persons chosen from among its leading scientific organizations, educational institutions, and learned societies.
The following persons will be members of the Congress: I. The official delegates of the governments represented; II. The representatives of the universities, institutions, societies, and scientific bodies of the countries represented; III. Such persons in the countries participating in the Congress as may be invited by the Executive Committee with the approval of the governments represented and their cooperating committees.
There will be forwarded to you immediately copies of the Preliminary Program of the Congress in English and Spanish (or, in the case of Brazil, English and Portuguese), which you are requested to transmit to the proper persons. As soon as a special mailing list of individuals can be prepared for the different countries, copies of this program will be forwarded directly to those individuals. You will cable the names and addresses of the members of the [Page 20]local cooperating committee as soon as they shall have been appointed by the Government to which you are accredited. Such committees are requested, moreover, to communicate directly with the Secretary General of the Pan American Scientific Congress at the offices of the Congress in the Building of the Pan American Union, Washington, D. C. If it is found desirable to communicate with the Secretary General by cable, the code address is “Pau, Washington.”
I am [etc.]