THE PRACTICE OF ARMED PROTECTION
When diplomacy proves insufficient for the protection of American property abroad, the Navy Department is frequently called upon to furnish the required persuasive influences. The growth of the reliance upon force to safeguard American holdings in backward countries is a tendency of the last decade. The contention that American commerce and investments require an expanded navy has been put forth with increasing frequency and vigor during the last few years. Such an argument has an undoubted appeal when directed to many business men, and has proved to be effective in the halls of Congress. While large diplomatic movements and tendencies are ordinarily not reducible to measurement, the progress of the use of force in the widening regions of our economic influence can be traced roughly in the statistics of guns and tonnage that represent the growth of the American navy.
A summary of the demands made upon the Department of State during the revolutionary disturbances in Nicaragua in August, 1926, is set forth by the department in a recent publication.1 A quotation from this pamphlet may serve to show vividly how investments in backward countries result in increased naval activity on the part of the United States.
On Aug. 19, 1926, the Otis Manufacturing Company telegraphed that further revolutionary disturbances in Nicaragua were reported, that an outbreak at Bluefields would be serious, and asked what steps were being taken by this government to protect property. The department replied on Aug. 21 that it was following developments closely and would take such appropriate action as possible to protect American interests which might appear to be in danger.
On Aug. 20 the Freiberg Mahogany Company telegraphed that interests in Nicaragua seemed to be in danger and said that sending____________________