The Consul at San José (Chase) to the Secretary of State

No. 819

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on July 25th., of Department’s instruction dated June 25, 1920, (no file number) inquiring as to the exact present status with the Government of Costa Rica of the Treaties concluded at the Central American Peace Conference of 1907.

Costa Rica has never at any time given any notice of an intention to terminate any of said Treaties or Conventions and there is no present intention of doing so.

In reply to the invitation sent to the other Central American Republics by El Salvador to meet to reconsider said Treaties the Government of Costa Rica accepted the invitation and made the suggestion of a desire to make provision for combining the diplomatic and consular corps so that one individual would serve for the entire five Republics in each post. (See my despatch No. 812, dated July 8, 1920,38 for the text of the reply).

My information is that the Government of Costa Rica desires to adhere to all of the fundamentals of the various Treaties and Conventions [Page 173] and, while possibly advocating some changes as a result of the past experience, will stand for revivifying and putting all of them into active force just as they are rather than have any of them fail. It may be the representatives at the conference called by El Salvador will advocate the selection of jurists as judges for the Court of Justice.

Not only the present Government of Costa Rica but the people in general seem well disposed towards these treaties. Evidence of this is that they are not referred to in the press and no one has published a pamphlet or circular against them, as is the custom here on all questions on which opinions differ.

As showing the attitude of the Costa Rican Congress on the question of closer relations between the Central American Republics, Article 9, of the Law making some tariff changes as reported July 9, 1920,39 is quoted, in translation:

Article 9. The Executive is authorized to make treaties with the Governments of Central America for free trade and for the formation of a Central American merchant fleet to trade along their coasts. The ships that Costa Rica would have to place in said fleet may be national or may belong to national Companies subsidized or aided in their formation by the State, the Executive being hereby authorized to proceed to the formation of her part in the fleet referred to.”

Provisions were made for some students from other Central American Republics at the Costa Rican Normal School at Heredia, under the provisions of the Convention known as the Central American Pedagogical Institute, and some were in attendance until the coup d’état of January 27, 1917,40 but all then left the country. None have returned since the restoration of law and order.

I have [etc.]

Benjamin F. Chase
  1. Not printed.
  2. Consular report of July 9 not printed.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1917, pp. 301 ff.