710. Consultation (3)A/213

Resolution on Clandestine Radio Communications Approved by the Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense on September 11, 1942



The Third Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics recommended in Resolution XL26 that the governments adopt immediate measures to eliminate clandestine communication [Page 93]stations and that they conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements in order to carry out this purpose;
It was recommended in the Annex to Resolution XVII that the governments adopt measures to prevent acts of espionage, to punish the divulgence of defense information, and to surveille all communications to and from member States of the Tripartite Pact of States subservient to them or in contact with them;
The security of information relating to the defense and security of any American Republic is of vital importance to all the American Republics, and the lack of effective control over the transmission of said information from any country endangers the security of all countries of the hemisphere;
Essential information, including that relating to cargoes and movements of ships, military and naval forces, defense equipment and installations, and production of strategic materials is being transmitted at the present time to the military and naval forces of the Axis countries by means of clandestine transmission stations located on the continent.
A coordinated and efficient system of detection and discovery by means of local stations is essential in order to be able to locate, intercept, surveille and eliminate all clandestine communications.
There has been instituted in the United States of America, in accordance with Resolution XL a program of training and equipping persons of the American republics in the discovery of clandestine transmission stations.

The Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense Resolves:

To recommend to the Governments of the American Republics:

That they participate in and lend all possible support to the program of the creation of a coordinated and efficient system for the discovery, interception, and surveillance of clandestine stations and also to the program of locating and equipping personnel, including the supplying of land, buildings, equipment and personnel necessary for the establishment and operation of adequate stations for discovery, interception and surveillance.
That the organization charged in each country with the discovery, interception and surveillance of clandestine stations establish direct contact and cooperate fully with similar organizations in the other American republics, or with any other hemisphere headquarters established to integrate the work of these organizations in order that:
there may be immediate communication among the American Republics of information relating to the existence and operation of any clandestine telecommunication station within the boundaries of any country.
the findings of the various stations charged with discovering, intercepting and surveilling in the hemisphere will be unified to the end that communication stations—in non-continental countries—may be discovered and located with exactitude.
That in order to facilitate the coordination of the systems of detection, interception and surveillance, the Governments make whatever modifications are necessary in the regulations which govern their boundaries and international communications,—so that such regulations will not imperil the success of this work.
That each government direct its political and military authorities and other authorized agencies
to cooperate in the work of discovering clandestine transmission stations and
to seize and close any station which is operating illegally or communicating with military, naval or other agents of member States of the Tripartite Pact or States subservient to them, or which is operating in any manner prejudicial to the defense and security of the hemisphere.
Provided that the continued operation and surveillance of said transmitting station would serve the interests of or defense of the American republics, the closure and capture of said station will not be carried out immediately, but full reports on said station and its activity will be given to all American Republics.
That in order to facilitate the punishment of persons guilty of espionage, the unauthorized communication of vital information, or other crimes against the security of the State or the hemisphere, the competent tribunals in each of the American republics be permitted to accept as legal evidence authenticated information concerning clandestine communications obtained by the official operative personnel charged with discovery, interception and surveillance in any American republic.

  1. Department of State Bulletin, February 7, 1942, p. 140.