710.J/3–548: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to Diplomatic Representatives in the American Republics Except Nicaragua 1


At earliest appropriate opportunity, please communicate orally and informally to FonMin views of US Govt as stated below re item on agenda of Bog Conf entitled European Colonies in Americas (proposed by Guatemala):

  • US has many times expressed and demonstrated its devotion to general principle that peoples of dependent territories should be helped to attain increasing measure of self-govt. It is pointed out that this principle is incorporated in Chapter XI of Charter of United Nations to which all American States and those non-American states having colonies in the Americas, are parties.

While language Guatemalan project for Bog agenda item referred to above implies desirability self-govt of present colonial territories in Americas, adoption resolution of type embodied in that project might, under present circumstances, be subject to widespread and unfortunate misunderstanding. Certain these territories have for long been in dispute between American and non-American powers. US is party to none of those disputes, and continues, as in past, follow a scrupulously objective and impartial position in regard to claims of any parties. This Govt deeply regrets that recent developments with respect to certain disputed areas in Americas have assumed a contentious character. It will continue to be policy US to maintain that such disputes should be settled by peaceful means available to all parties and consistent with Charter UN.

US will, according to this long-standing policy, be unable to support any action by Inter-Amer Conf which, by appearing to advance claims of any one party in such disputes, would prejudice the opportunity for their equitable and peaceful solution in accordance with international law. In taking this position US is mindful of its obligations under Charter of UN which are specifically recognized and preserved in-Treaty of Rio de Janeiro.2

  1. Repeated to the Embassies in Nicaragua and the United Kingdom for information.
  2. Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1838, or 62 Stat. (pt. 2) 1681.