Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The British Ambassador33 called to see me this morning at his request. The Ambassador inquired whether I cared to give him any information as to the course of the deliberations undertaken by the Permanent Neutrality Committee in Rio de Janeiro.

I replied to the Ambassador that the Committee was engaged upon the consideration of various problems involving the joint interests of the American Republics and that in as much as the question of the competence of the Committee to formulate recommendations to the Governments of the American Republics with regard to the implementation [Page 278] of the Declaration of Panama had arisen, the Governments of the American Republics were all of them being requested to express their desires in this regard. I said to the Ambassador that from all indications so far received, the opinion of the United States that it was highly desirable that the Permanent Neutrality Committee formulate recommendations on this topic was shared by the Governments of the other American Republics.

The Ambassador asked if I would advise him if any decisions were reached in this regard, expressing again the opinion that it would be helpful not to have made public any determinations as to policy in this regard before the British Government had been afforded an opportunity of considering the questions involved.

I told the Ambassador that were the Committee to formulate recommendations on this subject, and were the American Republics to take action upon such recommendations, their decisions would undoubtedly be made public, but that I would be glad to advise the Ambassador from time to time of any questions which might be determined by the Neutrality Committee in which I believed he might be legitimately interested.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. The Marquess of Lothian.