The Honduranean Minister to the Secretary of State.


Sir: I have received your excellency’s note, dated yesterday, in which you are pleased to express the displeasure of the Department of State at the action of my Government in canceling the exequaturs of the American consul and vice consul at the port of Ceiba at the very time when the Government of the United States of America is aiding in favor of Honduras in maintaining the cause of peace, and lending its powerful support for the conservation of the respect of Honduras’s territorial integrity.

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It affords me pleasure to assure your excellency, as I now do, that I am foremost in requesting the timely and disinterested services of the American Government in the cause of peace in Central America, particularly marked during the last year, and of which the Government of my country has received unquestionable proofs; and it affords me satisfaction to add that the said Government, animated by sentiments of profound gratitude, has shown under all circumstances due appreciation of these friendly acts, as I had the honor to inform your excellency on several occasions.

With these premises, and well aware of my Government’s sentiments, I thought from the beginning there must have been reasons of great weight for the course taken with regard to the American consul and vice consul, and that the said course must have been founded on satisfactory evidences of the culpability of these functionaries in connection with the recent revolutionary movement. I also thought that local circumstances were of so imperative a character that my Government found itself constrained to take this very important step without any delay whatever, being on that occasion unable to employ the means customary between friendly nations in such emergencies.

In the reply of the minister of foreign relations to the inquiry I sent him on the subject in which he offers to send me information and particulars by mail, I already find confirmation, in part, of the facts I had suspected in the assurances that “the consuls converted themselves into agents of the rebels; asked the commander to surrender the place immediately; concealed the whereabouts of the rebels, and exaggerated their numbers;” adding that, “Public opinion reproves such acts considered by the Government contrary to the friendly attitude of the American Government.” To all of which statements I must give entire credit as representative of my Government.

Your excellency is pleased to express in the said note the idea that in view of the existing friendliness of the two countries, the cancellation of the exequaturs of the consuls should be withdrawn, and any reclamation of the Government of Honduras against those officers be given a friendly settlement through the diplomatic channel. In reply to this proposition, I have the honor to inform your excellency that on receiving the first notice of the events under consideration, and gladly complying with the oral suggestion of your excellency, I intimated to my Government that it would be expedient to suspend the decree of cancelation; this, I believe, had no effect, since I have received no information whatever making it known to me, and the omission is probably due to circumstances of national sovereignty touching the internal politics of the country; but in view of the above-stated propositions, I again addressed to-day my Government to which I transmitted the wishes of your excellency, and shall have the pleasure to communicate to you in good time the answer I may receive.

Referring to the last statement in the above-mentioned note of your excellency, in which you are pleased to declare that in the absence of consular representation a naval commander has been charged with the protection of American life, property, and interests at La Ceiba and environs, I have the honor to reply that the said lives, properties, and interests are under the due protection of the laws and authorities of Honduras, as evidenced by the fact that thus far there has been no [Page 461] complaint made of such rights being violated; and I respectfully call, at the same time, your excellency’s attention to the alarm that this kind of exercise of foreign jurisdiction within the territory of the sovereign nation may create in Latin countries, to the detriment of the fraternal intentions and of the sound purposes which I know are animating the American Government toward the nations of the Western Hemisphere.

I avail, etc.,

Angel Ugarte.