File No. No. 763.72112Aml/17
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Honduras ( Ewing)
Your December 21, 2 p.m., and December 22, 5 p.m.3 You will call in person upon the President of Honduras, in company with the commanding officer of the U.S.S. Cincinnati who has been ordered by this Government to proceed to Amapala for this purpose. You will present to the President a note reading textually as follows:
The Government of the United States sincerely regrets that the necessary elimination of enemy connections at the port of Amapala has resulted in the cessation, for the time being, of calls at that port by American steamships, and wishes that you be informed that it has been giving most careful consideration to the question of how best to aid in the re-establishment of communications along lines calculated to advance Honduran commercial interests.
The Government of the United States, particularly at this time, and in order to see that the interests of Honduras are further advanced, would look with favor upon the establishment in Honduras of a new Pacific port under favorable conditions, on the mainland or at. a point to With this end in view the Government of the United States will gladly lend its good offices to those American corporations who may be interested in undertaking such development, it being understood that the assurances given by President Bertrand at the time of his conference with American officials and representatives of American companies during the visit of Minister Long to Honduras, included the idea that such corporation as should undertake the building of the port would collect all wharfage charges and dues until its capital and interest were returned in full, at which time a new arrangement could be entered into.[Page 377]
The Government of the United States offers all assistance in its power to facilitate the equitable conclusion of such an arrangement, should it be desired by the parties interested. Meanwhile the urgent necessity is apparent for perfecting an arrangement of a temporary character to provide for the handling of merchandise, so that American ships may resume their calls at Amapala with least possible delay. To facilitate this a working arrangement might be entered into with, or even a temporary concession granted to, some responsible persons sympathetic with the cause of the United States and the Allies for the operation of a lighterage and forwarding business. It would appear advisable that any such arrangement should be made subject to termination on six months’ notice, with the proviso that the Honduran Government or the company empowered to operate a new port, should satisfactory arrangements for this purpose be concluded should take over the equipment to be acquired for temporary needs at a price to be agreed upon when the operation would be effective.
Referring to Legation’s December 28, 11 a.m.,1 and December 29, 5 p.m.,1 which were signed “Belt,” this Government would be prepared to give favorable consideration to a new. temporary agency composed of pro-Ally Honduran or French or American firms, if satisfactory to Pacific Mail, to Legation, Consulate, and commander of the U.S.S. Cincinnati.