The Secretary of State to the Panaman Minister (Alfaro)

Sir: I have received your note No. 373–D of December 15, 1927, inquiring, pursuant to instructions from your Government, whether the policy outlined by Secretary Root in his notes of December 4, 1905, and February 21, 1906, and by Secretary of War Taft in his instructions to the Governor of the Canal Zone, Mr. Magoon, on April 26, 1906, continues to be the policy of the United States Government in connection with the question of intervention by the United States in the internal affairs of the Republic of Panama.

In reply I am pleased to inform you that the policy outlined in the communications referred to above continues to be the policy of this Government. As stated in substance by Secretary Root, the primary duty to maintain order and to enforce the election laws devolves upon Panama. As between the two parties, the United States will maintain absolute impartiality and will not, directly or indirectly, lend support to any candidate for president or other office. The United States will, of course, carry out its treaty obligation guaranteeing to maintain the independence of Panama, and will exercise the treaty right to maintain order in Panama, Colon and the territories and harbors adjacent thereto but it does not intend to supervise the election in Panama. Of course, it is the earnest wish of the United States that there should be a free, fair and honest election in Panama, as such elections are necessary to the peace and prosperity of the state, but the United States cannot assume the primary obligation of supervising the election.

I am enclosing herewith an extra copy of this communication which I have the honor to request you to be so good as to transmit to Doctor Belisario Porras in reply to the letter and memorandum13a which he left at the interview which he had with me in your presence on December 15.

Accept [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg
  1. Memorandum not printed.