File No. No. 763.72112Aml/8

The Minister in Honduras ( Ewing) to the Secretary of State 1


Department’s December 18, 6 p.m. Situation taken up with President and Foreign Minister yesterday. President stated, with regard to first, secret contract; the matter was not for diplomatic discussion but for judicial procedure—further necessary to establish identity third party injured. Replied stating people of Honduras injured together with injury accruing to United States through avoidance of Enemy Trading Act. President considers little possibility of German activity at Amapala, stating his Government watching Germans carefully. Further stated Department badly misinformed regarding German activities—that private persons had no doubt given false information. States regarding fraudulent sale German interests would not interfere with American shipping. With regard to internment of Germans, point somewhat evaded with suggestion by President that Germans could be interned commercially by United States black list, which would be effective. Unofficially discussed possibility steamship companies, in order to avoid possible violation enemy trading law, may decide not to visit Amapala. This question gave rise to considerable discussion, President stating situation of this character would seriously injure Honduras, and as Honduras was an Ally while Salvador was distinctly pro-German. Question steamship company’s attitude taken seriously although [he] gave assurances this was unofficial discussion of that subject. Honduras will welcome establishment of agency to compete with Germans but is not in position financially to back proposition.

  1. Corrected in accordance with second copy received Jan. 4, 1918, 10.53 a.m. (File No. 763.72112Aml/11.)