Mr. Young to Mr. Gresham.
Guatemala and Honduras,
Guatemala, June 28, 1894.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of No. 114, calling for a report in the case of steamship Oteri.
The investigation has not been made for the reason that it was practically impossible to do it under the circumstances up to this time. There has not been ten days of peace and tranquillity in the Republic of Honduras for fifteen months. On the 3d of June, 1893, when I arrived in Guatemala, I found Honduras under the government of General Vasquez, as provisional President. The country had just [Page 334]emerged from a revolution. In the election held in September Vasquez was elected President, and almost immediately war was declared against Nicaragua. Then followed the Bonilla revolution and an invasion by the Nicaraguan army. Vasquez’s government was overthrown and Bonilla proclaimed himself provisional President. He is now provisional President and Dictator. It is supposed that an election for President will be had about the last of August. But there prevails in Honduras at this moment great dissatisfaction and discord among the leaders of the party in power, and trouble may be expected at any moment.
I respectfully call your attention to the Department’s No. 32, in which my postponement of my visit to Honduras was approved, and also to No. 33 of the Department, in which the last sentence reads as follows: “And deferring your personal visit to Honduras until you shall be instructed to proceed thither.”
I regret exceedingly that it has been impossible to make a satisfactory investigation of this case up to this moment. It will involve a considerable expense to the Government of the United States when made, and therefore it should be done thoroughly, and not until a government that is responsible is in power in this unhappy country. I am ready to make the visit to Honduras at a moment’s notice and to proceed with the investigation; but I advise against it until peace is entirely restored and a permanent government shall be established. It is hardly necessary for me to say that not one of the foreign ministers to Central America has visited Honduras at any time during the last fifteen months.
With the hope that my course has met with approval in the Department of State,
I have, etc.,