No. 819.1052/49.

The Secretary of State to Minister Price.

Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your despatch No. 568, dated July 26, 1915, with which you transmitted a copy of a letter from Brigadier General Edwards, in reply to your request for the opinions of Major General Goethals and Brigadier General Edwards as to the “exact powers and functions that should be vested [Page 1228] in the military patrols” maintained by the United States military authorities in the cities of Panama and Colon.

The Department notes that in the opinion of these officers it is not advisable to attempt any definite written agreement as to the functions and powers of these patrols, and that the present status is as satisfactory as any can be, short of taking over the policing and sanitation of the two cities in their entirety, by the American authorities.

The Department further notes in General Edwards’ letter “that if you could secure from the Panaman Government the disarmament of the Panaman police of high-powered rifles, it would be an essential precaution and the strict enforcement of the law against carrying of weapons, which now is the general practice, would be most wise.”

You are instructed to bring this matter to the attention of the Panaman Foreign Office, and to urge upon it the disarmament of its police personnel, and the strict enforcement of the law against carrying weapons, as suggested by General Edwards. You may communicate with the General, informing him of the reply of the Foreign Office to your representations.

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing.