The Secretary of State to the Honduran Minister for Foreign Affairs (Aguirre)

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s note no. 1728 of June 13, 194165 with reference to the work of the Mediation Commission which has been considering suggestions regarding the means, acceptable to both parties, which might be adopted by Honduras and Nicaragua with the object of arriving at a definitive settlement of the controversy between them.

Your Excellency states that, since three years have elapsed and the Mediation Commission has not so far reached the final stage of its mission, and its functions have been extended to take cognizance of matters beyond its competence, the Honduran Government considers that by these acts, which are incompatible with the fulfillment of the Royal Award which determined the territorial rights of Honduras, the Mediation Commission has already completed its task, in as much as it is not pursuing such a settlement of the present dispute as was agreed in the Pact of Mutual Offers,66 but rather is seeking means which were not anticipated when the Pact was signed.

In noting these and the further statements in Your Excellency’s communication, my Government assumes that they are intended merely as a reaffirmation of the rights asserted by Honduras under the terms of the Award of the King of Spain, that Your Excellency’s Government will continue to observe the provisions of the pact signed at San José de Costa Rica on December 10, 1937, and that it will cooperate in efforts to facilitate a peaceful solution of the controversy.

Your Excellency will recall that the offer of good offices, in which my Government was associated with the Governments of Costa Rica and Venezuela on October 21, 1937 and which was accepted by Your Excellency’s Government the following day,67 specifically envisaged that suggestions for a definitive settlement of the dispute would be made. You will further recall that this offer made it very clear that the suggestion as to the means which might be adopted by Honduras and Nicaragua for the definitive settlement of the controversy were to be equally acceptable to both parties. The Mediation Commission, [Page 262] therefore, is in no sense an arbitral body; its suggestions or recommendations can be of use in the present controversy only if they are acceptable to both parties.

In the light of all of these circumstances my Government is confident that the best means to find a satisfactory solution of the controversy is for the Mediation Commission to pursue its efforts.

Cordell Hull
  1. Not printed.
  2. Signed at San José December 10, 1937; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1937, vol. v, p. 112.
  3. See note to the Honduran Minister for Foreign Affairs, ibid., p. 92, and reply, p. 93.