The Minister in Costa Rica (Eberhardt) to the Secretary of State

No. 1242

Sir:—In confirmation of my telegram No. 78 dated December 24, 12 Noon (1932),15 I have the honor to forward herewith Executive Decree No. 10 dated December 23, 1932 of the President of the Republic, in the form of a clipping from La Gacetar–Diario Oficial no. 291 of December 25, 1932, as well as the copy and translation of Note No. 555–B which was addressed to me by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica on December 24th last. These enclosures contain the text of the Executive notification of renunciation by Costa Rica of the General Treaty of Peace and Amity, signed at Washington [Page 346] on February 7, 1923, as well as the text of the relevant notification of Costa Rica’s action to the other signatories.

Dr. Leonidas Pacheco, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has just called at the Legation to inquire what the policy of the United States Government will be in respect of these treaties, subsequent to the inauguration of Mr. Roosevelt. I professed the utmost ignorance.

He then spoke about the ambiguous position in which his country is now placed through the arrival in San José during the last few days of a Salvadorian Consul; he said that the Consul had come to him this morning and requested an exequatur, and that refusal had been necessary due to the non-existence of diplomatic relations between El Salvador and Costa Rica. He added that he told the new Consul to enter into his functions without official recognition.

Dr. Pacheco then said that, much to his regret, his Government would not be able to recognize the Martínez régime in El Salvador until the first of January 1934, on account of the restrictions of the Treaty.

The Foreign Minister professed regret at the failure of his recent mission to Guatemala (vide despatch No. 1204 of November 21, 1932 et seq.).16 He said, with some attempt at sardonic wit, that every country has its “White House” but that in Guatemala City there were two; that the influence there of Mr. Sheldon Whitehouse is unlimited.

Beyond the mere announcement of the denunciation of the Treaty, there has been no press statement in the matter, nor have local observers commented on President Jiménez’ decision of December 23d.

Respectfully yours,

For the Minister:
McCeney Werlich

The Costa Rican Minister for Foreign Affairs (Pacheco) to the American Minister (Eberhardt)

No. 555–B

Mr. Minister:—The Government so worthily represented by Your Excellency was invited by the Central American Republics to attend the discussions which resulted in the signing of the so-called Washington Treaties.

In view of the decision of the President of the Republic to denounce the General Treaty of Peace and Amity signed on February 7, 1923, I have deemed it an obligation of courtesy, which I discharge with pleasure, to notify Your Excellency of that decision, and I consequently have the honor to transcribe for Your Excellency the respective [Page 347] Decree and the note which this Ministry is addressing to the Central American Republics, reading as follows:

“No. 10. Since by virtue of Law No. 21 of November 24, 1924, Costa Rica approved the General Treaty of Peace and Amity signed by the Central American Republics in the city of Washington on February 7, 1923, and—Considering—That some of the provisions of said Treaty have not had in practice the results which were expected of them,—Therefore, in conformity with the procedure outlined in Article XVIII of said Treaty,—The President of the Republic—Decrees:—Denounce the Treaty in question and communicate the fact to the other Republics of Central America.—Given in the Presidential House, in San José, on the 23d day of December, 1932. (Signed) Ricardo Jiménez.—The Secretary of State in the Portfolio of Foreign Affairs, (signed) Leonidas Pacheco.”

“No. 64–A.–000–83—San José, December 23, 1932.—Mr. Minister:—I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the President of the Republic by Decree dated today has denounced the General Treaty of Peace and Amity, concluded in Washington on February 7, 1923, by the Central American Republics, having had recourse to Article XVIII of said Treaty to accomplish said denunciation, and that the Republic of Costa Rica is consequently freed of the obligations contained therein, starting from the first of January 1934, the date on which the ten-year period of life established in the Treaty will expire.—The Government of Costa Rica desires it to be clearly and definitely understood that in proceeding to denounce the Treaty, it does not want to be considered as having been motivated by the purpose of removing itself from the interests which are common to Central America, neither does it object to the majority of the provisions which the Pact contains; but it believes that notwithstanding the good intentions and the fraternal spirit which animated the Central American Republics at the time they signed the Treaty, the results obtained to date do not justify the preservation of some of its clauses establishing obligations which affect the sovereignty and independence of the signatory Republics, and which do not deserve to be perpetuated considering the actual state of affairs and the events which have occurred during the period the treaty has been in effect. The President likewise desires to make known his very genuine wish, even more, his fervent desire to enter into new negotiations with the sister Republics tending to the revision of this pact, whereby from that labor may result not only the adequate re-establishment of the present (one), but also the signing of others, which, while scrupulously respecting the absolute sovereignty of each of the Central American Republics, may create new clauses designed to reinforce the spirit of cordiality and to invigorate the bonds of common purpose which have united and each day will unite the Central Americans more and more in the pursuit of their greater progress and wellbeing.—On the basis, therefore, of absolute respect, and with the sovereignty of the five Central American Republics untrammelled, the President expresses his earnest desire that at the earliest possible opportunity the interested Parties reconsider the denounced Pact in [Page 348] order to study with the highest cordiality the new forms to which our relations should conform, with due consideration of all the peculiarities, advantages and guarantees required by the feeling of sincere brotherhood which ought to prevail in Central America.—I seize the opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my high and distinguished consideration, (s) Leonidas Pacheco.——His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of—Guatemala—Honduras—Nicaragua.”

I avail myself of the occasion afforded to reiterate to Your Excellency the assurances of my high consideration.

Leonidas Pacheco
  1. Not printed.
  2. Despatch not printed.