715.16/22: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Salvador (Arnold)

10. Your 17, May 11, 9 p.m.

American Legation Tegucigalpa informs Department that Salvador Government has sent ultimatum to the Government of Honduras. Inform Department of the nature of this ultimatum. Also a report has been received … indicating either a declaration of war by Salvador against Honduras or the actual commencement of hostilities.

If it is true that a state of war exists, you will inform the Government of Salvador that the United States regards with the gravest concern the outbreak of hostilities in Central America and is unwilling to believe that Salvador would deliberately violate the neutrality of Honduras thus disregarding the provisions of the Washington conventions of December 20, 1907. Because of the participation of the United States in the Washington conference and the fact that the conventions were communicated to the Government of the United States as a consulting and advising party, this Government feels a special interest in the observance of the provisions of the conventions and cannot remain indifferent to their violation. This Government therefore confidently expects the Government of Salvador immediately to withdraw its ultimatum, to refrain from any further acts of hostility and strictly to comply with the obligations entered into under the aforesaid conventions. Any other course will be regarded by this Government with grave concern as the Government of the United States regards any disturbance of the peace of Central America at this time, as a continental calamity and those responsible therefor are charged with the gravest responsibility before the world.

Past experience has shown that there are no questions pending between the Central American Republics that cannot be settled peaceably by the exercise of good will and mutual forbearance.

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You are directed, therefore, to offer to the Government of Salvador the good offices of this Government for the peaceful solution of any questions pending between the two countries. A similar offer has been made to the Government of Honduras.