File No. 763.72/3439

The Minister in Honduras ( Ewing) to the Secretary of State

No. 420

Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the reply of the Honduran Government to the note delivered February 4 last, in compliance with the Department’s cabled circular instruction of February 3 last.

This reply was received late yesterday and is submitted in the original Spanish together with a translation made in this office.

I have [etc.]

Jno. Ewing

The Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs ( Vásquez) to the American Minister ( Ewing)

Mr. Minister: After giving the most careful consideration to the important note of your excellency, dated the 4th of the current month, which served to communicate to me the breaking off of relations by the Government of the United States with that of Germany, on account of the recent announcement by Germany of a renewal of submarine warfare, without distinction, against merchant ships, the President of the Republic has given me instructions to reply to your excellency in the following terms:

The Government of Honduras finds justified the action of the Government of the United States on breaking off its diplomatic relations with the Imperial Government of Germany, on account of the submarine warfare which Germany is making against merchant ships of belligerents or nonbelligerents without distinction, in contravention of the rights of humanity and the principles of international law.

[Page 237]

The Government of Honduras believes that the declaration of the United States Government will produce the effect of guaranteeing, on the part of Germany, the neutral merchant marine in free waters: but in case that this should not happen and on that account should supervene more serious difficulties between the United States and Germany, Honduras will hasten to declare her attitude in such conflicts.1

Praying your excellency to please transmit, if you deem it proper, this declaration to the friendly Government of the United States, it is a pleasure to me to reiterate [etc.]

Mariano Vásquez
  1. By a second note of Mar. 10, the Minister of Foreign Affairs added the following paragraph to this declaration:

    The Government of Honduras declares its sympathy with the principle and rights which the Government of the United States has undertaken to defend in relation to the submarine warfare extended by Germany without distinction against belligerent and nonbelligerent vessels, and expresses its most fervent hope that an outbreak of hostilities between the United States and Germany may be averted.

    Transmitted by the Minister in Honduras as enclosure to his despatch No. 429, Mar. 14, 1917, received Mar. 29 (File No. 763.72/3607).