Mr. Williamson to Mr. Fish.
Guatemala , January 14, 1874. (Received February 5.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that in an interview with the minister of war of this state to-day he exhibited to me what purported to be duplicate copies of the demands made by the commanding officers of the forces of Guatemala, Salvador, and of Señor Leiva’s provisional government upon President Arias for the surrender of Comayagua and his vacation of the presidency.
The demands are joint. They are quite temperate in language, and allow President Arias three days to reply. They bear date 3d January, 1874. If, at the expiration of the three days granted, President Arias does not comply, he is notified the responsibility of the consequences must be borne by him and his confederates. The commanding officers state to President Arias they know his actual force, and that it is daily diminishing by desertions, while their own is six times his in point of numbers, with complete equipments and munitions. They profess to wish to avoid a useless destruction of life and property in so unequal a contest-In an official letter from General Solares, commanding the troops of Guatemala, which was also shown me, he states the plan of operation of the allies if President Arias refuses, and maintains he has reliable information Arias has but four hundred men. He adds, that he has reason to believe a large part of those will desert as soon as the fight begins. He expresses the expectation that Comayagua and the President may be captured without much loss of life or property.
I ventured to ask the minister whether he thought President Arias would yield to the demands. He said he was an obstinate man, and that Central American Presidents held on to their offices, as a general rule, until they were shot or banished.
In a few days intelligence ought to reach here of the result of the above-mentioned proceedings. I shall communicate it as soon as received.
I have, &c.,