710.Peace/450

The Minister in El Salvador ( Corrigan ) to the Secretary of State

No. 655

Sir: I have the honor to convey to the Department a suggestion made by President Maximiliano H. Martínez that mutual action for defense of the Americas be considered at the proposed Inter American Conference. President Martínez said that he had entertained this [Page 16] idea for sometime but had never written it out. He believes that the time has come for joint agreement between the American Republics on a plan of co-operative defense against aggression from any quarter. He observed that whatever may have been true in the past there is today “no American nation with imperialistic ambitions—a condition certainly not true in the rest of the world.” “The present plight of Ethiopia18 presents an object lesson worthy of notice of all small nations.” “Ethiopia’s fate shows what could happen if Europe dominated by three or four strong governments which could easily reach an understanding among themselves should decide to embark on a campaign of conquest.”

President Martínez believes that a plan of joint action for American defense should be considered at the proposed conference. The campaign for the conquest of Ethiopia by Italy has evidently made a powerful impression and brought home to him the helplessness of a small country like his in the event of attack by an aggressive powerful nation.

I submit this interview and the suggestion of President Martínez in the belief that the Department may be interested in whatever thoughts have been aroused in the minds of Chiefs of States as they consider possible agenda for the Conference program.

Respectfully yours,

Frank P. Corrigan