819.00/2–2045: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Warren), Temporarily in Mexico City

350. The War Department has telegraphed General Brett to consult with and to be guided by Donnelly regarding the political aspects [Page 1247] of the alert, but does not wish to give him a definite directive about termination of the alert. War Department feels it can not decide on termination without giving General Brett some discretion to act according to actual situation in Panama. While deferring to the State Department in the political field, the War Department is of the opinion that the political activities of the Tivoli group impose responsibilities on General Brett as concerns the Canal Zone.

After considering telegrams 155, February 19, 2 p.m.; 159, February 19, 11 p.m.; and 168, February 20, 5 p.m. from Panama to the Department, which were repeated to you, and your 213, February 20, 10 p.m. to the Department,44 there still is some uncertainty about the course of action to be followed by the Embassy and General Brett in Panama.

It is understood here that extradition is to be discouraged and may not be requested. If the Tivoli group is to remain at the hotel, the War Department feels that General Brett is left in a difficult position because of the undoubted political activities of the group in violation of their agreement with the Zone authorities.

The procedure favored by the War Department is for the Department of State to telegraph definite instructions to Donnelly regarding (a) termination of the alert, (b) restrictions to be imposed on political activities of Tivoli group, if they are to stay in the hotel, and (c) desirability of bringing about as soon as possible the departure of the group from the Zone. According to conversations with officers at the War Department, General Brett doubtless would follow the recommendations made by Donnelly acting under instructions from the Department of State.

In view of the foregoing, are there any more specific instructions that you care to telegraph to Donnelly?

Not repeated to Panama.

  1. Telegrams 168 and 213 not printed.