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

No. 133

Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of your despatch No. 320, dated July 13, 1933, with respect to an article published at San Salvador concerning revision of the Central American General Treaty of Peace and Amity of 1923 and recognition of the de facto Government of El Salvador. In that connection you are informed that the Department has not recently been approached by “Latin American diplomats” in Washington for the purposes indicated in the translation of the article from La Prensa of San Salvador which you enclosed. However, on June 29, 1933, Dr. Paz Baraona, the Honduran Minister in Washington, spoke to the Chief of the Latin American Division of this Department concerning that Treaty and the following is quoted for your information from the memorandum of that conversation:

“Dr. Paz said that he was instructed by his Government to state that his Government supported fully the 1923 Treaty of Peace and Amity and hoped to have it continued in force. He said that Honduras had been traditionally the battlefield for Central American wars. The treaties of 1907 and 1923 had put an end to this, and Honduras regarded the 1923 Treaty as its salvation. He said that [Page 689] during his own presidential term he could never have held the free and fair elections that were held and have turned over peacefully the Government to his successful opponent of the opposing party without the influence exerted through the existence of the 1923 treaty and the moral support given to it by the United States.

“I inquired whether Honduras found any embarrassment in the situation growing out of the non-recognition of Martínez. Dr. Paz said he did not think so. He said that Carias had friendly sentiments regarding Martínez, since the latter had supplied arms and ammunition to put down the revolution shortly before Carias assumed the presidency, and when Carias was in charge of the Honduran troops. I inquired whether the Honduran Government had any plan in mind to deal with this general situation arising out of the non-recognition of Martínez and the fact that the 1923 Treaty had been denounced by both Costa Rica and El Salvador. Dr. Paz said he did not know. I said that our policy was, as it had been, to do whatever we appropriately could to assist the Central American republics, if they so desired, in their own efforts to promote peace and stability.”

The following is for your strictly confidential information. The Embassy at Mexico City, in a despatch dated June 16, 1933, informed the Department of an offer of mediation made by Dr. Puig, the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, in order to bring about recognition by the United States of the regime of General Martínez. In reply the Embassy was instructed to explain fully to Dr. Puig the policy which this Government has consistently followed for the past several years and to make it clear to him that as regards recognition of governments coming into power in Central America through revolution, the Government of the United States is guided by the principles established by the Central American States themselves in their Treaty of Peace and Amity of 1923 in an effort to achieve stability and to discourage revolutionary disturbances in their countries. It was pointed out that the Government of General Martínez is, of course, barred from recognition by the Treaty of 1923, as is evidenced by the unanimous refusal of recognition to it on the part of the other four Central American States. The Embassy was further informed that there has been no change in the policy of this Government.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Jefferson Caffery