710/36: Telegram

The Minister in Uruguay ( Philip ) to the Secretary of State

8. Your 3 of February 19, 5 p.m. My 6 of February 16, 12 noon.21 Minister for Foreign Affairs has promised me official translation of President Brum’s plan for association of American nations but it is not yet available.

This proposed plan which is modeled on existing League of Nations consists of 81 articles under 10 headings, the first 5 of which comprise the fundamental principles and the rights and duties of the associated nations. Division 6 deals with the establishment of a high council, an assembly and a secretariat as authorities of the association; division 7 with the relations of the American League with the League of Nations; division 8 with general conditions; division 9 with the proposal that the assembly may authorize the formation under the high council of regional American leagues for the solution of special questions; division 10 with changing conditions.

Generally speaking the plan calls for an association of all sovereign American states, and of all those politically dependent upon [Page 294] countries of other [continents,] provided the latter23 maintain a diplomatic representative to at least one American sovereign state and undertake to comply with all the provisions of the association as well as to remain neutral in the event of conflict between the association and the mother countries.

Among the fundamental points upon which the plan is based are the following: the intensification of inter-American friendship, the increasing of the friendly relations of the associates with other countries of the world, the settlement of every American international conflict by arbitration, investigation committees or by the friendly mediation of other countries, the prevention of the extension to any region of the American hemisphere of the nationals of other countries either by colonization or protectorates, the settlement of injuries to the rights of an associate by countries of other continents, the adoption of measures to effectively maintain peace. Regarding the prevention of the extension of foreign dominions the plan states that this is in reference to what is known as the Monroe Doctrine which owing to a certain aspect of protection is made “somewhat vexatious to the dignity of other American countries. Therefore if that formula is useful and just, the natural thing is for it to be adopted by all, so that all may place themselves under its protection or invoke it in defense of some sister country,” etc.

The following basic principles are also put forward in the draft: that all questions coming under the national laws of the associates must be decided in the courts and may not be diverted from such jurisdiction by diplomatic claims except in the case of denial of justice; that the son of a foreigner shall bear the nationality of the American country of his birth, except on reaching his majority and, being in the country of origin, he should express the desire to choose the nationality of the latter; that maintenance of peace requires the elimination of all competition in armaments and “its reduction to what is indispensable to national security and for the execution of the international obligations imposed by collective action.”

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[Paraphrase.] A marked pessimism seems to exist here in diplomatic circles as to the possibility at the pending Santiago Conference that any agreement will be reached on questions of great international moment by the Governments [participating]. In my opinion this feeling arises chiefly from the very divergent views [on the question of naval and other armaments] maintained by Argentina and Brazil. [End paraphrase.]

  1. Not printed.
  2. i. e., “all those politically dependent”.