Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Special Inter-American Affairs ( Jamison ) to the Acting Officer in Charge of the Division of Central America and Panama Affairs ( West )

It seems to me that the inclusion in Ambassador Davis’ otherwise excellent statement of Saturday, December 3, 1949,* of the remark [Page 739] that US non-recognition “… merely reflects disapproval of the use of force to replace legal democratic procedures”, which was apparently picked tip by the AP and quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, was at variance with a central purpose of our Latin American recognition policy as stated by the Secretary on September 19 and as contained in Bogotá Resolution XXXV.1 This purpose, as I understand it, is to separate the fact of recognition or non-recognition from approval or disapproval of domestic aspects of a situation.

The basic difficulty, I believe, is to be found in the tendency to associate our disapprobation of events which go on within a country, which we have a right to express, with the question of continuance—or discontinuance—of diplomatic relations. Each of these two things we have a sovereign right to do, but when they are tied together, as they were in the Ambassador’s statement, the essential separation which is necessary to maintain them individually is lost, and in the public mind, we once again get back to the place where non-recognition is regarded as disapproval of a regime, and even more unfortunately, to the place where recognition, when it comes, is interpreted as an expression of our approval of that regime and the events which brought it into power.

Edward A. Jamison
  1. Telegram 798, December 4, 1949, from Panama City. [Footnote in the source text.]
  2. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ix, p. 98.