740.00111–A. R/A: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (Armour)1

142. The outbreak of a general European war constitutes in the judgment of this Government a potential menace to the peace of the Western Hemisphere and consequently justifies the resort to inter-American consultation envisaged in the pertinent conventions and declarations of the Conference of Buenos Aires2 as well as in the [Page 16] Declaration of Lima.3

Please call immediately upon the Minister for Foreign Affairs and inquire whether the Government to which you are accredited coincides in the views above expressed, and if so, whether it would be willing to join with the Government of the United States and the governments of certain other American republics in a request to all of the American republics for consultation. You may state for the confidential information of the Minister that a similar inquiry is being made of the Governments of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.

In the event that the Government of Argentina is willing to join in the request for consultation, this Government suggests that the request for consultation might well be phrased as follows, and that it might be issued simultaneously by the governments mentioned therein:

“In as much as the tragic conflagration which has, broken out in Europe constitutes in the judgment of the Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and the United States an act susceptible of disturbing the peace of America and therefore justifies the initiation of the procedure of consultation provided for in the Convention for the Maintenance, Preservation, and Establishment of Peace signed at the Conference for the Maintenance of Peace of Buenos Aires, as set forth in the Declarations of Inter-American Solidarity and Cooperation unanimously adopted at the same Conference, and as further set forth in the Declaration of Lima, the Governments above mentioned request that an inter-American conference be held in the city of Panama on . . . . . . . to be attended by the Minister for Foreign Relations of each American republic, or by his representative, in order that the American republics may exchange views as to the measures which they may collectively or individually take in order best to assure the peace of the American continent.”

You may further state that this Government submits for the consideration of the Argentine Government the desirability of fixing the time for such conference ten days from the date upon which the request for consultation is made. If these suggestions are acceptable, it is further suggested that the Government of Panama might be designated as the recipient of the replies of the governments to whom the proposed joint request would be addressed.

Please telegraph immediately the response made to you by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date to Brazil (telegram No. 164), Chile (No. 110), Colombia (No. 84), Cuba (No. 101), Mexico (No. 193), Panama (No. 68), and Peru (No. 51).
  2. See Convention for the Maintenance, Preservation and Reestablishment of Peace, signed at Buenos Aires, December 23, 1936, Report of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace, Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 1–23, 1936 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1937), p. 116; Declaration of Principles of Inter-American Solidarity and Co-operation, approved December 21, 1936, ibid., p. 227.
  3. Declaration of the Principles of the Solidarity of America, known as the “Declaration of Lima”, approved December 24, 1938, Report of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Eighth International Conference of American States, Lima, Peru, December 9–27, 1938 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1941), p. 189.