Mr. Williamson to Mr. Fish.
Guatemala, Nov. 26, 1873. (Received December 18.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that President Barrios has returned. Both of the ministers who accompanied him called to see me, and stated that at the conference held at Chin go it was agreed between Presidents Barrios and Gonzalez that Leiva was to be elected President of Honduras by the constituent assembly of that State, which is called to assemble (by the actual President, Arias,) on the 1st of December. Leiva was present at the conference and, although President Arias was not there in person, through his representative he expressed a willingness to abide by the decision of the constituent assembly, and turn over the government to Leiva or whoever else might be elected. These gentlemen also state there is no doubt of the election of Leiva, and in their opinion there is no doubt of his now being in perfect accord with the political principles of Presidents Barrios and Gonzalez. It is proper to say these gentlemen add that the governments of Guatemala and Salvador do not put any restraint (nor do they propose to put any) upon the action of the people of Honduras in the selection of their chief magistrate. The inefficiency and great unpopularity of Arias and the reputed universal popularity of Leiva seem to justify the opinion that the people of Honduras will be much pleased with the change of Presidents. I also called upon President Barrios, who confirmed all of the above statements. He said, moreover, that he thought a good opportunity now existed for the pacification of the Central American States, if, through me, the chief magistrates of the several states could be brought together face to face to talk over matters of difference and common interest. He said no other person but the representative of the United States Government could accomplish that desirable object; and, I may add, he was flattering enough to pay some high compliments to my personal address and tact in the management of such a delicate question. I then asked him what would be the main questions to be discussed at such a conference. In his usual frank and off-hand style, he answered substantially as follows: 1st, a settlement of present misunderstandings. 2nd, a treaty involving the following points: first, free trade between the states of articles either in the raw or manufactured state, if produced in said states; second, uniformity of postal system; third, uniformity of currency; fourth, concentration of their foreign representation in the hands of one person with a view to a uniform foreign policy; fifth, a settlement by arbitration or treaty of the question of limits between Nicaragua and Costa Rica; sixth, a treaty involving a pledge upon the part of each state that it will not harbor revolutionists, or permit revolutionary expeditions to be fitted out in its [Page 125] ports or territory, or allow revolutionary plots to be concocted to disturb the peace of any other state. I had previously talked over all these points, which were quite familiar to me, and which I found to-be acceptable to the governments of Salvador and Nicaragua. The President assured me that Leiva, when elected President of Honduras, would also approve these views, and would cheerfully consent to the conference proposed. The only President, then, to approach is Guardia, of Costa Rica. I replied to President Barrios that I was willing to undertake to obtain President Guardians consent, and, if possible, would leave on the next steamer. I also stated to him I could not leave on that steamer unless my mail was delivered to me before leaving, as my last dates from Washington were the 9th of September. It is understood, therefore, if the mail arrives in time for me to examine it before the departure of the steamer of the 1st proximo, that I will go to Costa Rica; and if the mail does not so arrive, I shall postpone my trip until the steamer of the 10th.
I have, &c.,