816.00 Revolutions/31: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in El Salvador ( Curtis )


63. Your telegram No. 109, December 6, 10 a.m. Reservations to treaty of 1923 by Salvador at time of ratification have no bearing on this matter. As the Department has previously informed you, this Government has adopted, in accordance with the principles of the [Page 188] treaty of 1923, the policy of nonrecognition of Central American Governments which come into power by revolution. Please inform the Department of the necessary steps which should be taken by Salvador for the formation of a constitutional government which can be accorded recognition by the United States, and by the other Central American Governments under the provisions of the treaty of 1923.

The question of the constitutionality of the present regime is not affected by the elections for the Legislative Assembly. In this connection the Department does not understand the significance of your statement that these elections will be held in a few days. The Department’s understanding is that elections for the Legislative Assembly will be held the second Sunday in January. Please clear up this point.23

An examination of article 2 of the General Treaty of Peace and Amity of 1923 will make it clear that the treaty does not necessarily require that elections be held subsequent to the revolution.

What the Department now wants to know is the part the Vice President took in the revolution. You are requested to make careful inquiry into this essential point and advise the Department of your conclusions, giving your reasons therefor. This is a matter of importance and should have your very careful attention.

Under the constitution, the Vice President succeeds to the office of President in the President’s absence; but if the Vice President was a leader in the coup d’état or revolution, under the terms of the treaty of 1923 he could not be recognized.

It is the understanding of the Department that the President did not resign, but left the country after his palace was bombarded. As the Department cannot decide upon a course of action until it has the necessary facts to go on, will you please furnish a detailed statement of the President’s departure, including all the facts and actions connected therewith.

If the Vice President is implicated in the revolution and therefore cannot be recognized, what about the designates? It is indicated in your telegram No. 108 of December 6, 9 a.m., that the second designate may have been involved. Inquire into the facts regarding him also.

Was the revolution caused by popular feeling against President Araujo personally or against his administration? If the latter, was the Government actually badly administered, or was it the desire for power of certain of the military leaders?

If it appears that the Vice President was implicated, what obstacles are there, if any, in the way of the Government’s being turned over to the First Designate?

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The Department is concerned for fear the situation may get out of control, and requests, in addition to the answers to the above inquiries, that you report in full the results of your efforts, in accordance with instructions in Department’s 56, December 4, noon, to make the revolutionary leaders understand its policy in support of the 1923 treaty.

  1. See footnote 22, p. 186.