The Secretary of State to the Minister in Panama ( Gonzalez )11

No. 174

Sir: You are instructed to inform the appropriate authorities of the Government to which you are accredited that an appropriation act passed by the Congress of the United States, approved by the President on June 19, 1934, contained the following provision:

“Inter-American Highway: To meet such expenses as the President in his discretion may deem necessary to enable the United States to cooperate with the several Governments, members of the Pan American Union, in connection with the survey and construction of the proposed Inter-American Highway, $1,000,000, to remain available until expended. The expenditure of such sum shall be subject to the receipt of assurances satisfactory to the President from such governments of their cooperation in such survey and construction.” (Public—No. 412—73d Congress, p. 24.12)

At the same time, please explain that another act of the United States Congress, approved by the President on the preceding day, June 18, 1934, contained the following item:

“Sec. 15. To provide for the continuation of the cooperative reconaissance surveys for a proposed inter-American highway as provided in Public Resolution Numbered 104, approved March 4, 1929 (45 Stat. 1697), and for making location surveys, plans, and estimates for such highway, the Secretary of Agriculture is hereby authorized to expend not more than $75,000 to pay all costs hereafter incurred for such work from any moneys available from the administrative [Page 477] funds provided under the act of July 11, 1916 (U. S. O, title 23, sec. 21), as amended, or as otherwise provided.” (Public—No. 393—73d Congress, p. 4.13)

Consideration is now being given to the places where, and the ways in which, these funds shall be expended; and the Department will be glad to receive any recommendations you may care to submit, it being understood that assistance will be confined to the countries through which the reconnaissance survey has been completed, and that the next step in the assistance to be rendered will be the initiation of the instrument survey through the same countries. You will also bear in mind that the expenditures of this Government from the appropriation mentioned above in connection with the construction of the highway will be made in the United States for such articles as materials needed in the construction of bridges, road-building equipment, et cetera. Assurance that this policy would be followed was given to the Congressional committees during the hearings in connection with the appropriations. It is understood that such material, equipment, et cetera, shall be donated by this Government to the various cooperating governments.

For the Department’s guidance, you are instructed to ascertain and report as soon as you can conveniently whether the Government of Panama accepts the route through that country laid down in the reconnaissance survey report, which, in the Department’s instruction of May 28, 1934,14 you were asked to deliver to the Panamanian Government. It should be understood, of course, that the line as shown in the report is not a located line, but is subject to deviations and revisions, which may be agreed to between the engineers in charge of the final instrument survey and the engineers representing the Government of Panama.

Very truly yours.

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, October 17, to the diplomatic missions in Costa Rica (No. 96), El Salvador (No. 38), Guatemala (No. 98), Honduras (No. 631), and Nicaragua (No. 146).
  2. 48 Stat. 1042.
  3. 48 Stat. 996.
  4. Not printed, but see Senate Document No. 224, 73d Cong., 2d sess.