File No. No. 763.72112Aml/18

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


Department’s January 5, 8 p.m. In company with Captain of Cincinnati, Foreign Minister, [and] Secretary, [I] called officially on President on 15th, presenting joint note as instructed. Government yesterday formally replied as follows:2

Under instructions of the President of the Republic, I have the honor to answer the esteemed note dated yesterday and signed by Your Excellency and Mr. F. H. Brumby, Captain of the U.S. Navy in command of the U.S.S. Cincinnati.

The President has seen with satisfaction the terms of the said note in so far as they express the sentiments of cordiality which govern the friendly relations that happily exist between the Government of the United States and that of Honduras and also as they bring out the earnest desire of both countries for closer industrial and commercial relations, and consequently wishing to bring at once, to the best attention, the project looking to the opening of a new [Page 378] port on the Pacific coast of this Republic either on the mainland or on an island near it, such as that of Sacate Grande, which would open easier and more convenient communications with the interior.

On this point, I take pleasure in saying to Your Exellency that my Government will give the attention it deserves to such proposition as may be offered to it for the execution of so important a work as is the opening of the port above referred to, which proposition will be examined with special care, so as to decide thereon that which best suits the rights and good of the nation in harmony with the interests of the corporations, the importance and consequence of that work for the promotion of the general trade of Honduras, and in particular of that which it carries on with the United States of America, being recognized in advance.

To that end, the President directs me to say to Your Excellency that he is dominated by the best desire to afford every facility for such reconnoitering and surveying as may be deemed necessary or expedient for the selection of a site offering the most favorable conditions for the establishment of the port referred to.

With respect to the difficulties of a temporary character met in the port of Amapala by the North American steamship companies, I may assure Your Excellency that even though commercial concerns of a private nature such as agencies were concerned, my Government has endeavored, as far as it could interfere in such matters, to remove those difficulties, for the good of the trade, in the manner of which Your Excellency is already aware.

Believing that in this sense the points of the esteemed note above mentioned have been satisfactorily answered, I take pleasure in reiterating to Your Excellency [etc.]

Mariano Vásquez.

In conference last night [it was the] unanimous opinion of the Legation, Consulate, representative of Pacific Mail, and Captain of Cincinnati, that reply was absolutely unsatisfactory. Instruction sent by Captain of Cincinnati for northbound steamer Peru:1 “Under no circumstances call at Amapala until further instructions.” Captain of Cincinnati here respectfully requests rush instructions.

John Ewing
  1. Text corrected by comparison with translation later received by despatch. (File No. 763.72112Aml/39.)
  2. Of Pacific Mail Steamship Co.