The Secretary of State to the Minister in Honduras (Keena)
Sir: Reference is made to your despatch No. 646, of March 11, 1937,6 as well as previous correspondence, in connection with the employment by the Government of Honduras of American citizens in the armed forces of that country. The statements recently made to you by President Carias, as reported in the despatch under reference, with regard to the services rendered by American aviators in the recent disturbances in Honduras have been noted.
In your despatch No. 364, of April 24, 1936,6 you reported that both the President of Honduras and the Minister for Foreign Affairs had given you assurances “that American aviators would not be used in military operations”. It is now evident that these assurances were [Page 599]not fulfilled, since the American pilots were actively employed during the course of the operations recently carried out against insurgent groups in Honduras. The machine gun attack on the Honduran sloop Stella H. in the territorial waters of British Honduras is a case in point.
You are, therefore, instructed to seek an early audience with the President of Honduras and to reiterate to him the importance which this Government attaches to the non-employment of American citizens in active military operations within or without the borders of Honduras and to request him to give you renewed assurances that they will not be so employed.
You should also, at an opportune time, inform the American aviators of the provisions of Section 5282 of the Revised Statutes, and advise them that the obvious intent of the neutrality laws of the United States is to discountenance the enlistment of American citizens in foreign armed forces.
Very truly yours,