710.League of Nations/95

Memorandum by Mr. Warren Kelchner, of the Division of the American Republics, to the Under Secretary of State ( Welles )

For Mr. Welles: The draft treaty on the creation of an Association of American Nations is the same as was presented to you previously by the Colombian Minister. This document also contains “Exposición de Motivos”. Copies which were given to our Chargé d’Affaires in Bogotá by the Colombian Foreign Office have now arrived in the Department with despatch no. 2098 of March 16.29

A study of the arguments has not revealed anything which would call for a modification in any way of the recent letter to the Minister of Colombia on this matter.30

The “Motivos” deal at great length with the League of Nations. They point out that there is no antagonism between the Geneva organization and the proposed American Association but that there is an intimate relation between the decline of the importance of the League and the necessity of considering the creation of an American organization. It refers to the loss of prestige of the Geneva League, the withdrawal of several American republics, the failure of the League to take effective action in recent years and the passive participation in the League by the American members.

It is pointed out that the proposed Association “is the means of saving what is most precious in it (League), maintaining this law in effect in a continent where it will have full application because of the characteristics of the member countries.” It points out that the American organization “incorporated into the League through the amendment of Article 21 and taking the place of the Monroe Doctrine, might be the transitory depository of law accepted by the signatories of the Pact until humanity with greater loyalty and confidence comes closer to international solidarity and the League of Nations.”

The “Motivos” state that withdrawal of the other American republics from the League would be a serious blow and that the only way to avoid this would be to create an American political organization affiliated with the League.

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The “Motivos” make it clearer than even the text of the draft treaty that the real purpose is to establish an American organization which will be a part and parcel of the Geneva League of Nations.

Kelchner
  1. Not printed.
  2. Letter from the Under Secretary of State, March 23, p. 15.