File No. 815.00/1284.

Extract from the minutes of the peace conference held at Puerto Cortes on board U. S. S. “Tacoma.1

inaugural session.

The commission named to compose the peace conference met at Puerto Cortes, Republic of Honduras, on board the American war vessel Tacoma, February 21, 1911, for the purpose of reaching an amicable termination of the civil war which is at present agitating the country.

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The commissioners so named, and their secretaries, were: The Hon. Thomas C. Dawson, special commissioner of the Government of the United States; the Hon. Dr. Alberto Membreño and the Hon. Dr. Fausto Dávila, commissioners of the provisional government of Gen. Manuel Bonilla; the Hon. Gen. Máximo B. Rosales, commissioner of the government of Don Miguel R. Dávila; Don Claude I. Dawson, secretary of the commissioner of the United States of America; Dr. Francisco A. Matute and Manuel F. Barahona, secretaries of the. commissioners of the revolution and of the Government, respectively.

The commissioners and the secretaries exhibited their powers, which, being in due form, were mutually accepted.
Mr. Dawson stated that the object of the conference was well known to all; he cherished’ the hope that it would have the most complete success, reestablishing peace in Honduras in order to avert unnecessary shedding of blood and as a guarantee of the national interests; the Government of the United States had offered to lend its good offices in order to reach that end, without preference of either of the contending parties; he read his instructions to that effect.
Mr. Dawson was elected to preside.
The president asked the commissioners of the revolution and of the Government to express their ideas concerning the situation of the country from the point of view of their instructions. The commissioners thereupon stated the desires of their constituents.

ninth ordinary session.

The session was opened March 3, 1911, Mr. Dawson presiding.

1. The minutes of the preceding session were read and approved without discussion.

2. The commission took up the draft of an agreement to be proposed to the respective constituents, which was approved after a short discussion, and is as follows:

The conference agrees that the candidate for provisional president, which it approves, shall have the support of all the political factions of the country that are allied with the Government and the revolution, in order to facilitate practically and efficiently the discharge of his functions and lead to their complete success.

  • Article I. The provisional government will be obligated:
    To introduce in the National Congress a bill of amnesty, covering military and political crimes and offenses related to politics, the Government being obligated to make a law of amnesty which shall be practical and effective.
    To guarantee absolute liberty to all political parties, and to Hondurans in general, in the approaching elections for supreme and local authorities; and to guarantee to an equal degree other public liberties in conformity with our laws.
    To recognize and pay the debts of the Government and of the Revolution and the losses suffered as a result of the present civil wars.
    To grant pensions to the disabled and to discharge and pay the forces of the Government and of the Revolution.
    To organize the Government and the public administration with persons of well-known integrity, without taking into account their political affiliation, and to this end treating and considering the friends of the Revolution and of the Government on the basis of perfect equality.
    The provisional President will form the cabinet distributing the portfolios equally among friends of the Government and of the Revolution. In case of resignation of one or more of the ministers, they will be replaced in conformity with this stipulation.
  • Article II. The Congress now in session will call an election for the national officers, which election will be held in October of this year.
  • Article III. The Government organized by virtue of the election had in conformity with the preceding article; will carry out the obligation imposed by paragraph C.
  • Article IV. The provisional government as well as that organized as a result of the elections of October next will respect the promises of the Government and of the Revolution.
  • Article V. The forces of the Government and of the Revolution will deposit their arms, which, together with the war material of both armies in campaign will be deposited as follows: (a) The revolutionary forces that operate in the north coast will deposit the war material in La Ceiba and Puerto Cortes; (b) The forces of Gen. Tiburcio Carias A will deliver their arms and war material in Comayagua; the forces under the immediate command of Gen. Gutiérrez, in Tegucigalpa; the other forces which obey the orders of the same chief, where most convenient; the forces under command of Gen. Salamanca, in Choluteca; the forces of Gen. Francisco López, in Santa Barbara; (c) The revolutionary forces under command of Col. Marin, in Danli or Yuscaran, and the revolutionary forces that operate in the Departments of Yoro and Olancho in Yoro and Juticalpa.
  • Article VI. The conference recommends to the provisional government the settlement of the public debt, as a means of recovering the national credit, which is without doubt indispensible for the development of the country.
  • Article VII. The honor and patriotism of the provisional government and of all Hondurans guarantee the strict fulfillment of this agreement, which has for its highest aimthe securing and retention of public tranquility and the constant promotion of concord in the Honduran family.

3. The president stated that, referring to the matter mentioned in point 6 of the minutes of the third session and in deference now to the repeated requests of both delegations, that he should give to the conference his opinion concerning the candidate of the six proposed that would be most desirable for the general interests of Honduras, and said that he believed that Dr. Francisco Bertrand is the best, under all aspects and conditions, so far as he could judge from what had been said and discussed in the 10 days of sessions during which this conference had continued.

4. The session was adjourned to March 4, 1911.

  1. Transmitted by the Special Commissioner in his report, dated April 30, 1911.