The Chief of the Division of Central America and Panama Affairs (Newbegin) to the Counselor of the British Embassy (Hadow)

personal and confidential

Dear Hadow: I refer to your letter of March 15, 19481 with regard to the Draft Resolution dated March 8 which was presented to the Pan American Union by the Guatemalan Government with regard to British Honduras. You are quite correct in your belief that the Bio Treaty comes into effect in accordance with Article 22 upon the deposit of ratifications by two-thirds of the signatory states.2 As you know, no such number of ratifications has as yet been deposited. I am unable to identify any provision for the implementation of the Bio Treaty in case of an emergency before the deposit of the necessary ratifications.

The Guatemalan note to the Pan American Union proposed a resolution to be submitted to the conference at Bogotá. However, the proposal was not made in time for any action to be taken which might place the resolution on the agenda. Accordingly, no action will be taken in this regard prior to the conference itself. For your confidential information, I may state that the United States Government has expressed to the Guatemalan Government its hope that the British-Honduras dispute will not be pressed at Bogotá, and has further informed it that it could not support the resolution suggested by Guatemala.

Sincerely yours,

Robert Newbegin
  1. Not printed.
  2. Inter-American treaty of reciprocal assistance, Rio de Janeiro, September 2, 1947; Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1838, or 62 Stat. 1681; the treaty entered into force for the ratifying states December 3, 1948. For documentation on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. viii, pp. 1 ff.; for final act, reservation by Guatemala regarding Belize, and statement by the United States with reference to reservations by other Delegations concerning questions of sovereignty over territories within the region defined in the Treaty, see report of the United States Delegation on the conference, Department of State Publication No. 3016, pp. 45, 56, and 57, respectively.