500.A14/244: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the American Delegation (Burton)


24. Your No. 32, May 15, 9 p.m. If there is no obligation implied in the redraft suggested in third paragraph, its utility to the convention seems doubtful. If it does obligate a signatory government to prevent action, which though legal within its own territory might be contrary to the laws of another country, then it would prove embarrassing.

Department desires you, therefore, to oppose the proposal of the Uruguayan delegate as was indicated in its No. 20, May 14, 6 p.m.55

Under such provision of the treaty, if Latin American states were to pass laws forbidding importation of arms and then communicated them to the United States, the freedom of action of this Government with regard to supporting deserving revolutionary governments would be seriously hampered.

  1. At the meeting on May 18 of the Legal Committee the amendment proposed by the Uruguayan delegate was provisionally withdrawn, but was not later revived. See League of Nations, Proceedings of the Conference for the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms, p. 594.