No. 87.
Mr. Williamson to Mr. Fish.

No. 79.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose you copies of my correspondence with the minister of foreign affairs of this government in regard to the prevention of war in these states. A letter verbatim et literatim? like the one addressed to me, was also addressed to Her Britannic Majesty’s minister, Mr. Edwin Corbett, who accompanied me to Costa Rica. After President Guardia had expressed his desire for peace, both of us showed him our letters.

You will observe no mention of the subject of the personal conference of the five Presidents is made in the letters of the minister of foreign affairs. That was owing to the fact that it was thought such a written expression would be unbecoming the dignity of the government of Guatemala; and as the letters referred to were intended to be exhibited in Costa Rica, it was omitted.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure I in No. 79.—Translation.]

Señor Soto to Mr. Williamson.

Sir: It has just come to the knowledge of my government that in the republic of Costa Rica a rumor prevails to the effect that Guatemala is making, considerable military preparations for the purpose of carrying war into that country, and blockading’ her ports on both oceans. By the correspondence which arrived to-day my government is also informed that President Guardia, by a decree issued on the 20th; of November, resigned the supreme power into the hands of Señor Don Salvador Gonzalez, reserving to himself the chief command of the army. For these reasons, and particularly because Señor Gonzalez is now at the head of the government of Costa Rica, I have received instructions from his excellency, the President, to address your excellency, who has showed so great a desire to preserve inviolable the peace of Central America? assuring yon that on the part of the government of Guatemala there does not exist the most distant intention of making war upon Costa Rica, but that on the contrary, it ardently desires to maintain with all of the sister republics the most intimate and cordial relations.

My government hopes that President Gonzalez may be animated by similar wishes and sentiments, and fully expects that he will manifest them opportunely. But in the mean time the president, taking advantage of your excellency’s intended journey to-Costa Rica, commissions me to beg your excellency to deign to inform Señor Gonzalez, and all persons with whom your excellency may speak, that the government of Guatemala desires to remain in perfect peace and amity with the republic of Costa Rica, as well as with the rest of Central America. The kindness with which your excellency interests yourself in all that tends to promote the great interests of these countries, among which their internal and external tranquillity must occupy the first place, makes me hope that your excellency will accede willingly to the wishes of my government; and offering you in anticipation the most sincere thanks for your good offices in this respect, I am happy to subscribe myself,

Your excellency’s obedient servant,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 79.]

Mr. Williamson to Señor Soto.

Sir: I have the honor to reply to your excellency’s note of the first instant, handed me on the eve of my departure for Costa Rica. Inclosed your excellency will find a [Page 133] copy of a memorandum of a conversation on the 10th instant, at Punta Arenas, with President Guardia, an open letter from President Guardia to President Barrios, and a sealed letter from Mr. Edward Corbett; Her Britannic Majesty’s minister, which he read to me before sealing. These papers will inform your excellency’s government of the strongly expressed desire of the president of Costa Rica for peace in Central America, and also of his approval of the proposed personal conference of the five Presidents. I hope all the good results may follow the conference that reasonably may be expected, and redound to the honor of the Presidents of Guatemala and Salvador who inaugurated this seemingly happy plan of settling the differences among the states and their chief magistrates. I also beg to inform your excellency that, on my return voyage from Costa Rica, I sent a copy of the inclosed memorandum to the President of Nicaragua, and handed one to President Gonzalez, whom I had the good fortune to meet at Amapala.

Renewing to your excellency the assurance of my high consideration, I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

  • Señor Don Lic’do Marco A. Soto,
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guatemala.