740.00111 A.R./1069: Telegram

The Ambassador in Panama (Dawson) to the Secretary of State

63. My telegram No. 62 of May 14, 5 p.m. Further telegrams approving Uruguayan proposal and draft have now been received by the Panamanian Government from Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, and Venezuela. In addition telegrams have been received from Argentina and Mexico proposing substantial changes in Uruguayan draft and from Colombia suggesting elimination of word ruthless and broadening of protest to include attacks on Norway and Denmark. Dr. Garay is telegraphing texts of replies to Uruguayan Government but is not circulating them to other American Republics. The texts of Argentine, Colombian and Mexican replies follow en clair as section 2 of present telegram.

Argentine reply reads as follows:

“I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your telegram of yesterday by which you were good enough to advise me of the initiative of the Government of Uruguay for an American protest on account of the aggressions of which Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg are the victims. Having received the suggested text directly from the Uruguayan Chancellery, I have to inform Your Excellency that the Argentine Government agrees in principle with the spirit of the initiative but, in a desire to give it greater force, could only adhere to it if its last paragraph should be modified, for which purpose I suggest that after the words ‘exigencies of justice’, the following paragraph be substituted for the (present) paragraph: ‘The American Republics, confronted by such events, reserve all their freedom of action to proceed as may be appropriate to the defense of their external and domestic interests.’ José María Cantilo.”

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Colombian reply is as follows:

“Colombian Government expressed its doctrine as regards unjustified aggression against weak countries when Finland was invaded62 and it believes that for itself it is sufficient to repeat that opinion in domestic statements of external effect when similar cases occur—as it has already vehemently done in the case of Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg—in order not to lessen the sternness of that attitude through frequent repetitions, but if the American nations decide to repeat their protest on this occasion it will cordially accept their initiative. If this occurs, we suggest adding the names of Denmark and Norway in the text of the joint declaration and suppressing the qualifying adjective ‘cruel’ which perhaps detracts from the calm tone in documents of this kind. With assurances of my highest consideration, Luis Lopez de Mesa.”63

Mexican reply reads:

“With reference to Your Excellency’s courteous message dated yesterday, I inform you that I have received the text of the Uruguayan proposed protest on account of the aggression against Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg. I find the said text weakened by unnecessary quotations and I beg to propose the following wording: ‘The nations of America, in conformity with the principles of international law and in application of the resolutions adopted by them in their continental conferences and particularly at the consultative meeting at Panama in 1939, consider unjustifiable the cruel violation by Germany of the neutrality and sovereignty of Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg and resolve to protest against such acts, at the same time making an appeal for the reestablishment of law and justice in the relations between peoples.’ I renew to Your Excellency the assurance of my highest and most distinguished consideration. Eduardo Hay.”64

  1. See section entitled “Proposed Collective Protest by the American Republics Against the Soviet Invasion of Finland,” Foreign Relations, 1939, vol. v, pp. 128 ff.
  2. Colombian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs.