File No. 319.1123L25/15.
Minister Price to the Secretary of State.
Panama, September 8, 1915.
Sir: Referring to the Department’s instruction No. 163 of July 23 and to my despatch No. 599 of August 30, I have the honor to transmit a copy of my reply, sent September 4, to said note of Señor Lefevre.
About the time of the transmission of this note Señor Lefevre called me over the telephone, saying that a few days before he had had a meeting of a number of their judicial officers, their Attorney General and the Governor of the Province of Panama at the President’s palace; that he had read to them two of my notes and had attempted to impress upon them the necessity of diligence in these matters and had stated to them that if their police control in the cities of Panama and Colon were eventually taken from Panama, they must consider themselves partially to blame for it.
He said that he had a stenographer present and would send me a report of the proceedings. He remarked that he believed one beneficial result had already been obtained as he had that day been informed that the Supreme Court had affirmed the sentence of the lower court against Juan Antonio Almangor for stabbing, Mr. E. L. Rahlin, of the U. S. S. Denver, nearly two years ago. * * *
I am convinced that the same dilatory tactics will be utilized by Panama as were followed in the riot of July 4, 1912, and that effective and earnest prosecution will not be had unless Panama is made to feel, in default thereof, a real danger of our exercising our rights under article 7 of the Canal Treaty of 1903 with reference to taking over their police forces in the cities of Panama and Colon.
I doubt exceedingly whether any sustained energetic action will result from the meeting referred to above, even granting that sincere efforts were indulged in there, unless forceful demands on our part are continued in conjunction with the threats, at the very least, as to loss of their police control.
I respectfully solicit the further instruction of the Department.
I have [etc.]