Courtesy Reuters

The Inter-American Treaties of Pacific Settlement

IN PROPOSING a special conference of American states, which as I write in August is scheduled to meet at Buenos Aires in December, President Roosevelt suggested as its general purpose the advancement of "the cause of permanent peace" in the western hemisphere. In many ways, the time seems auspicious for realizing that purpose. Seldom have relations between the twenty-one American Republics been more cordial. Many sources of discord have recently disappeared. The war in the Chaco has been brought to an end; the flare-up between Colombia and Peru over Leticia has died away; a definitive frontier has been established between the Dominican Republic and Haiti; several boundary disputes in Central America have been successfully adjusted; and progress is being made toward fixing the boundary between Ecuador and Peru.

Moreover, the "good neighbor" policy of the United States has borne important results, both tangible and intangible. It has led the United States to withdraw its armed forces from Haiti, and to negotiate new treaties with Cuba, Haiti and Panama; and in some measure it has diminished the suspicion which so often has frustrated Pan-American coöperation in the past. Just at this time, also, some of the American states are seriously disturbed about the progress of events in other parts of the world. Already in 1936, three Central American states have given notice of their intention to withdraw from the League of Nations, and it is no secret that similar action has been contemplated elsewhere. If there is reality in the much-heralded solidarity of the American Republics, the present would seem a favorable time to give it a more durable foundation and to consolidate their joint influence for the maintenance of peace.

Yet it is not easy to envisage the definite lines along which this effort might proceed. The numerous proposals for the agenda of the forthcoming Conference range all the way from the creation of an American League of Nations to measures only remotely connected with the advancement of peace, such as "

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