710.C2/226a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Brazil ( Morgan )


17. The following message has been received by the United Press here from its Rio de Janeiro service:2 [Page 368]

“U. S. delegate James Brown Scott announced at International Jurists conference here that the U. S. secretary of state would propose a convention creating an inter-American arbitration tribunal ‘to which all American nations would submit all questions of whatever nature otherwise insoluble.’

He stated that arbitration should be most ample without restrictions, except sovereignty and independence of litigant nations, which would have option to use this or any other tribunal.”

It is requested that you ascertain and report by cable whether Scott is quoted accurately. Your attention is invited, for your own information in this connection, to the following sentence contained in the instructions sent to the American Delegates through the Embassy:

“You will, of course, take no position on any question which might be construed as committing the Government of the United States in any way whatsoever.”

No resolution whatever with a view to recommending a convention for establishing a tribunal of inter-American arbitration has been taken by the Secretary of State. If the matter were placed officially before the attention of this Government, naturally it would receive serious consideration, but we are not committed to the making of a recommendation of such a nature on our own initiative at this time, and it cannot be permitted that the United States delegates to the Commission of Jurists so commit this Government by any declaration.

  1. Quotations in this telegram not paraphrased.