The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to President Roosevelt36

My Dear Mr. President: I am bringing to your personal attention the attached telegram which came in today.37

I shall appreciate it if you will authorize me to say in my next meeting with the Panamanian Minister for Foreign Affairs that you feel it only necessary to say that the nature of the present conversations I am having with him is fully known to you and that necessarily the views which I have expressed to him and which I shall express to him represent your own views.38

[Page 453]

… As I said to you the other day, I think it is worth a few millions of dollars to us to prevent trouble with the Panamanian Government at this time provided the money we make available to them is for projects which are really in our own defense interest.…

Believe me [etc.]

Sumner Welles
  1. Original returned by President Roosevelt with the notation, “SW OK FDR”.
  2. Supra.
  3. In the fifth meeting between Under Secretary of State Welles and the Panamanian Foreign Minister on June 23, 1941, Mr. Welles informed the Foreign Minister as follows: “I have received from President Roosevelt a personal commission to express categorically to the Government of Panama, through the intermediary of its worthy Minister of Foreign Affairs, that the President has from the beginning been informed of the nature of the present conversations which I have carried on here with Your Excellency in my Government’s behalf, and that the views which I have expressed or will express fully represent those of the President. I am obliged to make these statements on the express order of the President.” (711F.1914/347)