710.H Agenda/42

The Minister in the Dominican Republic (Norweb) to the Secretary of State
No. 255

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch no. 236 of March 9, 1938, recounting the comment of the Dominican Foreign Secretary25 in respect of the Dominican-Colombian proposal for a Pan American League of Nations.

The Legation has received a note verbale from the Foreign Secretary dated March 16 transmitting the text of the draft treaty for the creation of an Association of American Nations with the comment that “the creation of the Association of American Nations does not collide with the organization at Geneva but, on the contrary, tends to collaborate with it for the maintenance of peace in the American continent.”

I enclose a translation of this note verbale and its accompaniment in the Spanish text.26

In recent weeks, particularly since the breakdown of the original League of Nations as a political force has become more publicized by events in Europe,27 I have found Mr. Ortega Frier anticipating the argument which will undoubtedly be voiced at Lima; that if the Geneva League of Nations was a failure an American League would suffer from like impotence. He counters this argument by analogy with the insistence that the fundamental conditions which will bring an American League of Nations into being are not the same as those which gave rise to the Covenant incorporated in the Treaty of Versailles.28

It is Mr. Ortega’s thought that his American League of Nations will be given cohesive force and, consequently, political power, by the joint interest of all the American States in preserving their system of government and their American heritage against inimical outside influences seeking a foothold in the New World. Where the various [Page 18] American peace pacts have already given the American nations inter-continental security, he would add the League force to assure extra-continental security.

Respectfully yours,

R. Henry Norweb