710.G Personnel/339: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chairman of the American Delegation (Hull)

52. Your 30, December 6, 5 p.m. Think your motion of reference to special committee on policy excellent. We of course hope other delegations will consider carefully, from point of view of long time interests of all American States, wisdom of fundamentally altering character of these conferences as strictly inter-American gatherings.

In any consideration of possible reexamination of functions and purposes of the Pan American Union, it might be recalled that the Convention on the Union adopted at the Sixth Conference9 seems a [Page 165] satisfactory basis for that organization. The Convention enters into effect only after ratification by all 21 republics; so far it has been ratified by 12. It might seem the part of wisdom to obtain ratification by the other 9 states and put this Convention into effect rather than to seek at the present Conference to restate the powers of the Union. Article VI of the Convention provides that the Governing Board of the Union shall not exercise functions of a political character. This seems very sensible and we hope nothing will be done to modify this principle.

Of course, there is no reason why the Pan American Union and Conferences as at present set up, maintaining their integrity and identity, should not cooperate fully and cordially in all appropriate ways with other international organizations.

While the foregoing represents our general views, it would seem so far as the present application is concerned, that if the other Delegations desire to handle the matter along the lines of the suggestions you mention, namely, that the League representative should be admitted purely as an observer for the time being on account of League peace activities in the Chaco but not as a precedent (and then only to public sessions) we should not in the interest of harmony and good feeling wish to oppose this being done.

  1. Convention regarding the Pan American Union, signed at Habana, February 20, 1928, ibid., 1928, vol. i, p. 615.