710/13: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Peru (Sterling)

54. Your 65, July 27, 5 p.m.1

Uruguayan Minister on July 27th, directed the attention of the Secretary of State to the proposal of Uruguay that one of the subjects for discussion at Fifth Pan American Conference should be the formation of a Pan American League of Nations. On following day Peruvian Ambassador called under instructions of his Government to say that it had been asked by Uruguay for an expression upon the matter and desired to know the views of the United States before replying.

The Secretary said that only question before him at this time was whether this topic should be embraced among subjects to be discussed at coming Pan American Conference; that he was not inhospitable to suggestion that topic be placed on the program and that if any Latin American Power desired to discuss some better basis of confraternity and some arrangements by which intercourse could be facilitated by Conference on subjects of mutual interest he had no objection to propose. The Secretary said that of course what would ultimately be done would depend upon what concrete proposals were made and thoroughly considered, and he assumed that all the powers would not in any way compromise their independence or their sovereignty, and that it was a mistake in such matters to attempt too much. The Secretary said he felt a loose association which would not attempt to commit nations in advance with respect to their action in unknown contingencies but left them their appropriate freedom of action, while giving opportunity for consultation and interchanges of views in a convenient way, were much better than attempts at hard and fast organizations which would defeat their own purpose. The Secretary added that he [Page 985] assumed matter would be brought up at meeting of Board of Governors of Pan American Union in October, when topics to be discussed at coming Pan American Conference would be considered, and that he had no objection to inclusion of topic proposed by Uruguay, but he, of course, had no request to make of any Government in relation to the matter, and hoped each Government would express its opinion unreservedly.2 You may inform Foreign Office of above.

Repeat to Quito and La Paz by mail for confidential information.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The text of the telegram to this point was sent as a circular telegram, August 5, 3 p.m., to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela; August 7 (by mail) to Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and San Salvador; August 23, 9 a.m., to France to be repeated to all missions in Europe.