The Chargé in El Salvador (McCafferty) to the Secretary of State

No. 168

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram No. 100 of September 6, 1932 (5 PM),28 in which I informed the Department that the daily La Prensa of San Salvador had that day published a headline article announcing the recognition by the British Government of the Martínez régime basing this assertion on the fact that the British [Page 608] Minister in Guatemala the day previous had addressed a telegram to the Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs requesting provisional recognition for the new British Chargé d’Affaires here until the receipt of his credentials by mail.

I immediately got in touch with the British Chargé d’Affaires who confirmed the text of the above mentioned telegram and stated that he had also been authorized by his Government to address official notes to the de facto Minister of Foreign Affairs and deal officially with the Martínez Government. While he had not been instructed to send an official note recognizing the de facto regime, he felt that the above action was tantamount to recognition.

The British Chargé d’Affaires also informed me that the British-Salvadoran commercial treaty expired on September 15th, and, from the conversation, it appeared to me that the desire to be able to carry on official negotiations with the de facto régime for its extension, was the immediate reason for the British action at this time. The treaty has since been renewed for the period of one year.

During the conversation with Mr. R. G. Goldie, the British Chargé d’Affaires, I explained to him our position regarding non-recognition of revolutionary governments in Central America. I told him that our only interest was to encourage peace and order in this part of the world and we believed that it was also to the interest of the British to cooperate with us in promoting stability in the Isthmus. He agreed, that our policy designed to discourage revolutions was a sound one, but he felt that the fact that Great Britain had withheld recognition for so many months was a strong indication to the de facto régime that it disapproved of governments arising through violence.

I have observed that there has been a surprisingly small amount of local press comment on the British recognition of the Martínez régime, which would seem to indicate that the de facto Government has changed its former policy and at present is not encouraging publicity regarding the question of recognition.

Respectfully yours,

W. J. McCafferty
  1. Not printed.