The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to President Roosevelt
My Dear Mr. President: I have your memorandum of June 3, with which you were kind enough to enclose Admiral Stark’s memorandum to you of June 2 commenting upon my letter to you of June 1.
I fully understand the reasons for your belief that the solutions outlined in paragraph 13 of Admiral Stark’s memorandum are the only solutions possible.
I hope, however, that you will instruct the Navy Department to despatch promptly the additional 8–inch cruiser as indicated in Admiral Stark’s paragraph 13; to continue the destroyer shakedown cruises; and to take steps now so that an additional heavy cruiser may be sent in any event in the near future.
As indicated in my letter to you, these steps will carry out the specific recommendations I made.
May I, however, comment upon paragraph 7 of Admiral Stark’s memorandum in which he says, “It seems to me that interference in the internal affairs of a temperamental and suspicious people may have the opposite effect to that which is desired; it may be likened to interfering in a family quarrel.” My own judgment, as you know, is that the real danger at this time lies in subversive movements, in those East Coast republics where German influence is very strong, financed by German money and instigated by German agents, although under the guise, so far as may be possible, of movements responsive to purely internal and domestic causes.
If a situation of this kind develops and the legitimate government is overthrown and asks for the help and support of the other American Republics, and sufficient evidence is obtained that the subversive elements are in fact responsive to Italian and German instigation, I feel very strongly indeed that the other American governments, including the United States, should at once be responsive to such request. I am sure you will agree that if we acquiesce in the creation, through the connivance of non-American powers, of governments in some of the American Republics subservient to Germany, the Monroe Doctrine would be rendered nonexistent …
I agree that situations of the kind I envisage would have to be handled with the utmost care and discretion.
But, if I understand Admiral Stark’s paragraph 7 correctly, I cannot at all agree with his apparent recommendation that in such situations we should do nothing.