File No. 817.812/108.



The purport of Department’s January 28, has been faithfully communicated to President-elect, Acting President, and to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, none of whom have manifested the slightest desire to enter into an arrangement of the nature our Government is willing to make. The internal political effect of this country’s protests against the Nicaraguan canal convention and the arguments used prior to the regular presidential elections have been to consolidate public opinion against the making of any such treaty at the present time. From an unofficial but reliable source I learn that the power guiding this Government would like to see public opinion modified now so that later on a different attitude might be assumed. To this end it might be well to begin by including Salvador in the amendment to the treaty with Nicaragua as suggested in the cablegram under acknowledgment. The President and the Minister for Foreign Affairs praised our sense of equity in dealing with Costa Rica as evidenced by the proposed amendment, thus indicating it would be acceptable but without asking that it be extended to Salvador. It seems to me that if Honduras should lease to our Government a naval base in Fonseca Bay it would have a mollifying effect upon this country. Such an arrangement if concluded as soon as possible would be well worth the effort for the effect that it would have upon this Government.

On the whole I see no disposition on the part of this Government openly to withdraw from its original position unless the extension of amendment so as to include Salvador, the securing of a lease from Honduras, and the advent of a new cabinet after the inauguration of the President-elect, should work such a change upon public opinion as to make it possible for Salvador to enter into negotiations.