Pan American Political Relations

November 1, 1939

Report Outline
American Nations and European War
Foreign Ideologies in Latin America
Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America
Pan American Cooperation

American Nations and European War

Representatives of twenty American republics are meeting in Washington November 1 with Department of Commerce officials and business men from various sections of the United States to consider methods of increasing trade between the United States and Latin America. The conference was arranged at the meeting of American foreign ministers at Panama City in September. It is a further practical result of the Declaration of Continental Solidarity, adopted by the Pan American Conference at Lima last year, and the provisions for consultation which accompanied that declaration.

The early months of the present European war find all of the independent countries of North and South America acting in concert with a spirit in striking contrast to the lack of harmony which led to failure of attempts to arrive at a joint policy of neutrality in 1914. Less than a month after the outbreak of hostilities in September of this year the delegates at Panama City agreed upon and adopted a general neutrality declaration and they are now making a joint effort to solve some of the economic problems created by the war. Such cooperation is evidence of the changes which have occurred in Pan American relations during the last twenty-five years. The Latin American countries are now much less suspicious of the United States, and the intensive efforts of some European governments to spread their propaganda in Latin America seem to have had comparatively little success.

Latin America in the World War

In August, 1914, the government of Peru proposed consultation between the nations of the Western Hemisphere with respect to their commercial interests and their action as neutrals. The response at that time was much less enthusiastic and prompt than the acceptance of the Panamanian call for a conference this year. Peru had proposed consultation through the representatives of the various governments in Washington, but this idea was abandoned; instead it was agreed that the problem should be taken up by the governing board of the Pan American Union, which did not meet for that purpose until December 8. The governing board then established a special neutrality commission of nine members, which in turn agreed to operate through a permanent subcommittee of three, consisting of the representatives of Argentina, Uruguay and Honduras.

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