710.H Agenda/37

The Minister in the Dominican Republic (Norweb) to the Secretary of State
No. 236

Sir: Reference is made to my despatch No. 216 of February 23, 1938, concerning the League of American Nations proposed by the Dominican Republic and Colombia.

I have now the honor to report that the Minister for Foreign Affairs today indicated that his Government was endeavoring to enlist the [Page 15] support of as many Latin American countries as possible for the project and that three countries which he did not name but referred to as “a Central American nucleus,” had already responded favorably.

The Minister wanted me to understand that the proposed League of American Nations was merely the germ of a broader idea of his Government—namely some sort of a declaration of policy which he hoped would be brought up at the forthcoming Pan American Conference supported by the Dominican Republic, Colombia and other interested countries.

The Minister defined such a declaration as a medium through which the Latin American nations, particularly the smaller countries, could reciprocate our Good Neighbor Policy with a Pan American expression of solidarity behind the leadership and protection of the United States in connection with Europe and world politics and more specifically in connection with the problem of combating the infiltration of unwanted foreign influences in this hemisphere. The Minister dwelt at some length on this idea and the need for smaller nations such as the Dominican Republic to benefit from our liberal attitude by following our lead in such matters.

Argentina, the Minister commented, might not be entirely favorable to such a policy but sooner or later would have to realize the preponderance of power of the United States. The Minister believed that Argentina’s foreign policy under Dr. Cantilo, the new Foreign Minister, would be more liberal and less chauvinistic than under his predecessor, Dr. Saavedra Lamas.

The obvious intention of the Dominican Minister to have his country play a role in formulating Pan American ideals leads me to believe that his enthusiasm may possibly be coupled with a desire on the part of President Trujillo to recover any prestige abroad which he feels he may have lost as a result of the Haitian incident.

Respectfully yours,

R. Henry Norweb