Mr. Combs to Mr. Hay.
Guatemala and Honduras,
January 11, 1904.
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy with translation appended of the decree No. 639 issued by the President of Guatemala in regard to the relative values of the national currency.
It excited much discussion and uneasiness. A number of Americans called upon me requesting that I join the other diplomatic representatives here in a remonstrance to the Government.
Friday afternoon, on the 8th instant, Mr. Thornton, the British minister, called and asked me to join him in representations to this Government.
I stated to our citizens and to Mr. Thornton I thought present action premature; that this Government had the unquestionable right to regulate the relations its own circulating mediums should bear to each other; that there was nothing on the face of the decree to which we had a right to object, no difference what opinion might be of the wisdom of the proposed course.
Upon reflection, however, I called upon the minister for foreign affairs Saturday the 9th instant and told him of the existing uneasiness. I further stated the interpretation I had put upon the decree, but that I felt unwilling, in view of existing opinion, to sustain the responsibility of such interpretation unless it was corroborated by the Government. He promised to consult the author of the decree and sent for me this Monday morning to assure me the intention of the decree was exactly what I had thought and an elucidation would be given semiofficially through the press at once.
In order to definitely confirm these interviews with the minister for foreign affairs to place on official record the substance of same, I addressed to him a note, copy of which is herewith inclosed, summarizing my understanding of his expression on the part of his Government as to its intentions in reference to the decree referred to.
I have, etc.,