812.404/1628

The Secretary of State to Senator Schwelleribach52

My Dear Senator Schwellenbach: I have received your letter of March 16, 1935,50 enclosing a communication addressed to you by…suggesting that this Government invite the Republics of South America to join with the United States in a memorial asking the Government of Mexico to “cease persecuting religion”.

Notwithstanding the altogether definite policies and views on the subject obtaining in this country, I know you understand that other nations are recognized as being entitled to regulate for themselves their internal religious conditions in such manner as they may deem [Page 798]proper and that, accordingly, it is not within the province of this Government to intervene in the situation in Mexico to which your correspondent refers.

If interference by one government in the domestic concerns of another government is likely to be resented by the latter, it would appear that the same result might be expected to ensue from collective interference by a group of foreign governments. It is also apparent that the government taking the initiative in suggesting such joint action would necessarily attract the full force of this resentment, whether the suggestion was or was not accepted by the other governments approached in the matter. Consequently, I do not feel that this Government could, consistently with its earnest desire to promote and maintain the policy of the Good Neighbor in its relations with the countries of this hemisphere, adopt the suggestion of… although I am, of course, entirely convinced that in making it he has been actuated by the best of patriotic and altruistic motives.

I should prefer that this letter not be made public at present.

Sincerely yours,

Cordell Hull
  1. Lewis B. Schwellenbach, Senator from Washington.
  2. Not printed.