Mr. Lee to Mr. Hay.
Panama, November 14, 1904.
Sir: * * * At midnight yesterday (Sunday) I was called up by the alcalde of Panama and Raul Amador, son of the President, and consul-general for Panama at New York. They had been sent by the President to inform me of the discovery of a plot by General Huertas and Dr. Belisario Porras to arrest President Amador and Mr. de la Guardia, minister for foreign affairs, this morning (Monday) at 6 o’clock while attempting an inspection of the troops in honor of the minister for foreign affairs, who is also minister of war. General Huertas had written to the President in peremptory terms demanding that he be present at the ceremony. I advised his Excellency to remain at home, and this he did, finally, but with misgivings as to whether it would not be safer for him to go, because he feared that General Huertas might send men to take him by force.
The U. S. S. Bennington was due here yesterday to take aboard her commander, Capt. Lucien Young, and I informed the President simply of the fact that she might be sighted at any moment.[Page 648]
At half past 5 this morning I was called up by President Amador’s private secretary, sent by the President, to ask me to call a force of marines from Empire, in the canal zone. This proposition I would not entertain. I, however, conveyed the information in a decided tone to General Huertas that article 136 of the constitution of Panama stated the right of the United States to interfere for the preservation of constitutional order if necessary; that I considered it high time for such proceedings as he contemplated to cease, and that I was sure that he had the best interests of his country at heart and did not wish to stain the fair fame of Panama.
The minister for foreign affairs went alone to the review and no attempt was made to detain him, * * *
I am, etc.,