816.00 Revolutions/112: Telegram

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

18. Your 25, January 31, 4 p.m. As stated in the Department’s 17, January 29, 6 p.m., it is felt that the American destroyers should be kept in Salvadoran waters only so long as there exists a serious danger to American lives which the authorities of the country are unable to control. In the absence of such actual danger the Department feels that both destroyers should withdraw from Salvadoran waters. One or both of them could stand by at Corinto, which is but 5 hours steaming time from La Libertad, to await developments.

In this connection your 24, January 30, 4 p.m.,33 reports that the Salvadoran Congress will meet on February 7. One of the most important functions of this Congress will be to elect new designates who [Page 622] may succeed to the presidency. In order to avoid any possible criticism that we were trying to exert pressure in this situation, the Department believes it preferable that no American war vessels be in Salvadoran waters at the time of the meeting of Congress.

The foregoing has been communicated to the Navy Department.

  1. Ante, p. 572.