The Salvadoran Minister (Sol M.) to the Secretary of State
Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that by a cablegram of the 22d instant, Dr. Don Juan Francisco Paredes, Minister of Foreign Relations of Salvador instructs me to bring the following to Your Excellency’s knowledge:
Mr. Frank D. Arnold, Chargé d’Affaires of the United States in Salvador has orally informed my Government that by a cablegram of the 15th of the present month of May, the Department of State advised him that it had received reports from the American Legation at Tegucigalpa to the effect that the Government of Salvador had served an ultimatum on that of Honduras; that it also had information of a declaration of war by Salvador against Honduras and that the actual beginning of hostilities was feared; and asked for information about the nature of the said ultimatum.
The Chargé d’Affaires further declares that he is instructed by the Department of State in the event of a state of war actually existing to notify my Government that that of Your Excellency views with the gravest concern the outbreak of hostilities in Central America and is unwilling to believe that the Republic of Salvador wishes deliberately to violate the neutrality of Honduras, thus disregarding the provisions of the convention concluded in Washington on December 20, 1907; that the Government of the United States confidently expects the Salvadoran Government immediately to withdraw its ultimatum and refrain from further acts of hostility, and strictly to comply with the obligations assumed under the said convention.
The said Chargé d’Affaires finally tendered to my Government the good offices of that of the United States for the peaceful solution of any question pending between Salvador and Honduras and said that a similar tender had been made to the Honduran Government.
The Government of Salvador assured the Chargé d’Affaires of the United States that the reports transmitted to the Department were wholly inaccurate and through me it makes the following declarations:
- First. The Government of Salvador has not sent any ultimatum to that of Honduras. There has been no declaration of war against the Republic of Honduras by the Republic of Salvador, and there is no actual beginning of hostilities.
- Second. The policy of the Government of Salvador towards Honduras rests on the foundation of strict abstention and absolute neutrality [Page 739] in the domestic life of Honduras, of the fulfillment of its duties as a good neighbor, and of respect and good will.
- Third. Although the Salvadoran Chancellery has declared on former occasions to the other Central American Chancelleries its belief that the General Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed in Washington on December 20, 1907, cannot be regarded as still in force, the Government of Salvador deems itself virtually bound by the general terms of that covenant and will always, for its part, take pride in regarding as a rule of Central American public law the principle contained in article I of the said treaty, under which the Central American Republics regard as their primary duty in their mutual relations the maintenance of peace.
- Fourth. Adhering to the course above outlined, the Government of Salvador has paid earnest attention to any suggestions it has received from the Government of Honduras, especially with regard to the patrol of Salvador’s frontiers to prevent raids by Honduran political refugees; to keep under arrest the refugees, and to intern and to place under surveillance generally all the Honduran political refugees, numbering more than 2,000 persons.
- Fifth. My Government has not demanded up to date from that of Honduras any compensation whatever on account of putting into effect the above-mentioned suggestions.
- Sixth. The Government of Salvador has interested itself in and managed to prevent license of speech or attacks through the press that might endanger its friendly relations with the Government of Honduras, and, on the other hand, has prevented Honduran political refugees from acts or manifestations that would injure the interests of the Government of that Republic.
- Seventh. Notwithstanding the various suggestions of the Government of Salvador, which His Excellency the President of Honduras repeatedly offered to carry out, his Government has shown itself unable to intern and place under surveillance the few Salvadoran political refugees, who, under the leadership of Arturo Araujo, organized and armed themselves against Salvador near its frontier and within the Honduran territory.
- Eighth. According to the declarations of the Legation of Honduras in Salvador, Sefior Araujo and other Salvadoran political refugees received war material from the Commandant of the Department of Intibucá in Honduras, General Gregorio Ferrera.
- Ninth. In view of the facts heretofore stated and of the menace to the peace and tranquility of the Republic involved in those acts, the Government of Salvador deemed it its duty not to continue any longer in its waiting attitude and found itself constrained to prescribe measures tending to protect its frontiers with regular forces of its army for the purpose of repressing any revolutionary attempt from Honduras that might affect public order and the safety of the Salvadoran institutions.
- Tenth. The national territory having been invaded on the afternoon of the ninth of this month of May by a group of Salvadoran refugees coming from Honduras, the Government of Salvador totally defeated the revolutionary movement within its own territorial limits and in so doing received the support and patriotic cooperation of the [Page 740] Salvadoran people, who opposed and energetically condemned the subversive movement.
- Eleventh. The Government of Salvador, anxious to conserve the peace and good will which must exist between neighboring countries, has asked the Government of Honduras to capture and intern the Salvadoran political refugees and to expel their leaders, without setting any time limit therefor; this application cannot be considered in any way to be an ultimatum.
- Twelfth. The Government of Salvador is in possession of affidavits which prove that Captain Major Antonio B. Lima, a Salvadoran political refugee, under an order of the ninth of March of this year, authorized by Dr. Carlos Lagos, Minister of War of Honduras, was appointed machine-gun instructor of the First Regiment of Artillery of the Honduran Army. The Government of Salvador regards with grave concern the fact that that same Captain Major Antonio E. Lima, under the designation of Chief of Machine Guns, had enlisted among the Salvadoran revolutionists forming part on active duty of the group that invaded the national territory.
- Thirteenth. Inasmuch as the conduct of the Minister of War of the Government of Honduras, Dr. Carlos Lagos, has shown him to be tolerant toward the Salvadoran revolutionists, perhaps on account of the said Dr. Carlos Lagos having taken an important part in the propaganda of opposition to the present order of things during the last electoral campaign in Salvador, my Government has signified to the Government of Honduras the serious fears it entertains that the presence of Dr. Carlos Lagos in the Honduran Cabinet may, in the future, prove an obstacle to the harmony and good understanding between the Governments of the two countries.
- Fourteenth. The Government of Salvador knows that the Legation of Honduras in Washington gave out the news that the Government of Salvador had launched against that of Honduras in the beginning of this month a revolution organized with Honduran political refugees and that on that account, it would not be a remote possibility that the Government of Honduras might let loose against the Government of Salvador Arturo Araujo and other Salvadoran political refugees. The foregoing assertions of the Legation of Honduras in Washington, made prior to the date on which Senor Araujo and other Salvadoran political refugees invaded the national territory, are significant, and their bearing is to be taken into serious consideration inasmuch as Salvador has not launched any revolution whatever against the Government of Honduras, as I informed the Department of State at the proper time, giving also assurance that the Government of Salvador is faithfully complying with its duties as a good neighbor.
The obviously earnest, loyal, and correct conduct of the Government of Salvador brought out in the foregoing statement impels it again to deny the charges brought against its correct international action and to decline all responsibility for what has occurred.
In stating here its firm desire for the maintenance of peace in Central America and especially with the Government of Honduras, [Page 741] my Government hastens, through me, to express its most earnest gratitude to the enlightened Government of Your Excellency for the good offices which it has deigned to tender through the Chargé d’Affaires, Mr. Arnold, in the above cited telegram of the 15th of this month.
I renew [etc.]
- File translation revised.↩