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

No. 37

Sir: With reference to your telegram No. 71 of February 25, 9 p.m., the Department on June 5, 1931, authorized the American Legation in Tegucigalpa,58 in a similar case, to invite the aviator’s attention to Section 5282 of the Revised Statutes and to inform him that the obvious intent of the neutrality laws of the United States is to discountenance the enlistment of American citizens in foreign armed forces.

The Legation was likewise authorized to inform the President of Honduras of the above and to add that the Government of the United States would prefer that no American citizens should be employed on active military service in Honduras. The Legation was authorized to point out that in addition to the objections to such action as they might concern the relations of the American citizen to his Government was the further objection of the possibility of serious injury to unoffending civilians and to foreign as well as Honduran property resulting from aerial bombardment by an untrained civilian aviator.

Should the need arise you are authorized to make known confidentially the Department’s views as outlined herein.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles