File No. 319.1123L25/3.

Minister Price to the Secretary of State.

No. 469.]

Sir: Referring to my telegrams of April 2 and April 4, and the Department’s telegram of April 6, I have the honor to report that investigations by our military authorities and by the Panaman authorities are still in progress, a representative of our respective authorities being in attendance at each other’s hearings.

The investigation under charge of Col. Chamberlain, temporarily on the Zone on inspection duty, has continued from day to day, being now, since Thursday, when Col. Chamberlain left for the United States, conducted by Lieut. Goetz, Aide on staff of Brigadier General Edwards.

Lieut. Goetz was the one who arrested the policeman charged with shooting Corporal Maurice Langdon in charge of our patrol. * * * It seems now that up to this time no one has been found who can identify the policeman who shot Langdon, although there is good testimony that a policeman was seen dodging back and forth behind the corner of a building and shooting toward Langdon. Another Panaman policeman has been under arrest since Sunday, or Monday charged with participation in the riot.

I herewith enclose newspaper accounts of the affair.10 The one from Panama Morning Journal of April 3, and the small reference of April 7 in Star and Herald, are fairly accurate. The enclosure from Panama Morning Journal of April 5 was an account inspired by the Panaman officials.

As soon as I saw this last account I got in communication with the editor of the Morning Journal, Mr. Niemeyer, who lately came from the States to take charge of it, and he told me that this was written, including the item regarding the release of the policeman, pursuant to a report made to him by the Secretary of President Porras, and by one of Mr. Federico Boyd’s sons, who proves to be Jorge, now sitting in place of his father on the Joint Land Commission. * * * I at once got into communication with the Panaman Foreign Office, protesting against the possible release of this policeman, and submitted a note, copy of which is enclosed. They declared he would not be released, and he is still in confinement.

I have [etc.]

Wm. Jennings Price.

Minister Price to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

No. 160.]

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to the following paragraph appearing in the “Panama Morning Journal” in its issue of this morning in an article upon the mêlée in Colon Friday afternoon, namely:

Panaman government officials said last night that the policeman would be released today as it was absolutely proven that he could not have shot Lang don.

[Page 1196]

I am informed that the investigation being conducted by our military authorities has already brought forth strong evidence of the guilt of the policeman referred to and arrested for the killing of Corporal Langdon of our patrol of that afternoon and has so far disclosed a situation very different from that set forth in said newspaper article.

I am, of course, aware of the informality usually of accounts appearing in newspapers in cases of this kind, but in the name of my Government and out of all precaution I protest against the release of this man and represent to your excellency that my Government confidently expects a thorough and prompt investigation of this affair and such visitation of punishment and redress of grievances and conditions as a fair and impartial consideration of the whole affair may show to be just and proper.

The investigation by our authorities in this case has been and will be open to your excellency’s representatives and an invitation through Governor R. S. Arcia was duly extended for your excellency’s Government to have a representative present and the request made and, I understood, granted that we might have a representative present at the investigation by the authorities of your excellency’s Government. For this purpose we should appreciate it to be given notice and opportunity to have our representative on hand at your excellency’s investigations. I shall appreciate as prompt a response as possible and agreeable to your excellency to this note in this deplorable affair.

I avail [etc.]

Wm. Jennings Price.
  1. Not printed.