File No. No. 753.72112/6377
The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Honduras ( Belt)
Your January 16, 9 a.m., and January 17, noon.1 Seek early opportunity to inform President of Honduras that the note of the Government of Honduras transmitted to the Legation at Tegucigalpa has received the careful consideration of the Government of the United States which will immediately take steps to obtain information regarding the practicability of building on Sacate Grande new port which can be connected with mainland, if report is favorable corps of engineers may be sent to make accurate study; and that the United States will expect Government of Honduras’ full cooperation in everything looking to establishment of new port from which much advantage should accrue to Honduras.
You will say further that in view of the fact that the above-mentioned note did not make clear what steps the Government of Honduras contemplated taking to remedy the present difficulties existing at Amapala due to operation of the Trading with the Enemy Act, the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. has under consideration sending from San Francisco its own lighters to move its freight from its vessels.
In view of information contained in your January 18, midnight, which the Department has now received, you will take advantage of the occasion of your interview with the President to point out to him in conversation that the Trading with the Enemy Act is but one of the many acts passed by the Congress of the United States incident to entry of the United States into the war and to say that it is regretted that its inevitable enforcement has worked a temporary hardship upon the Government of Honduras, to relieve which hardship the Government of the United States made its recent suggestions in the most friendly and kindly manner.
You will add that from the note of the Honduranean Government dated January 18 it appears that the situation at Amapala will now be remedied by the action of the Government of Honduras in seizing and operating, the lighters owned by enemy interests, and that so far as this Government can now see the operation of these lighted by officials of the Honduranean Government would meet with the requirements of the Trading with the Enemy Act, it being carefully borne in mind that the above-mentioned act makes it impossible to deliver merchandise into enemy hands or into any hands in which the enemy, retains any interest.
- Latter not printed.↩