816.01/349: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Nicaragua ( Lane )

2. Your 2, January 8, 8 p.m. It has come to our attention that the three Central American Governments which have not recognized the government of General Martínez in El Salvador would in fact be glad to extend recognition if they could do so consistently with their treaty obligations, thereby clearing up the anomalous situation which has so long existed in Central America and constituting another important step in the establishment of normal friendly relations among all the nations of America.

With the foregoing in mind you are instructed to approach President Sacasa in strict confidence with the suggestion that he and the Presidents of Honduras and Guatemala might desire to reach an agreement more or less in the following terms: “In view of the denunciation by Costa Rica and El Salvador of the General Treaty of Peace and Amity signed at Washington by the five republics of Central America on February 7, 1923, and pending a revision of that Treaty, the three Presidents signing this agreement declare that the Governments of the three States over which they respectively preside shall regard that Treaty as being in force with respect to the relations maintained by said three States, with each other, but not in force with respect to the relations of those States with Costa Rica and El Salvador.”

You may suggest to President Sacasa that if the plan appeals to him, he may wish to put it forward as his own initiative with the Presidents of Guatemala and Honduras.

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It is contemplated that such an agreement between the three Presidents would clear the way for and be followed immediately by the recognition of the present government of El Salvador by the three Central American Governments and the United States acting independently.

The agreement as indicated would contemplate the calling at some early date of another conference of the Central American States to consider a revision of the General Treaty of Peace and Amity and such action relating to the other treaties signed in 1923 as might appear appropriate, as well as such other matters as might seem of common advantage. It is our thought that such a conference should be held in some place other than Washington and that the United States should take no active or leading part in the proceedings, while holding itself ready to lend unofficial aid or counsel in the role of an observer if requested to do so by the Central American States.

In your conversations with President Sacasa, you should bear in mind that it would be our purpose throughout the suggested negotiation to have the initiative taken by the Central American States and to have any suggestions emanating from us regarded as strictly confidential.

A strictly confidential intimation has been made to this Government by the Government of El Salvador of its desire to have a new Central American Conference called. We are likewise given to understand that the Government of Costa Rica would not actively oppose the holding of such a conference. In our judgment, should the present abnormal situation which exists with regard to the Government of El Salvador be terminated, the holding of the suggested Central American Conference in the manner above described would be of decided usefulness both to the Central American nations themselves and to the relations between the Central American nations and this Government.

Please confer with President Sacasa at the earliest opportunity and report in full by cable.