Memorandum of Mr. Boaz Long, of the Division of Latin American Affairs of the Department of State


Dear Dr. Rowe 28: Nicaragua has never been disposed to recognize and abide by the award of the King of Spain which fixed her boundary with Honduras.

In 1915 the Honduran Minister requested the Secretary of State on various occasions to use his good offices with Nicaragua to the end that effect be given to the award. This was never accomplished.

About a year ago conditions arose which gave the United States the opportunity to act in the capacity of friendly adviser to Nicaragua and Honduras. The former country named its Minister to Washington, Mr. Diego Chamorro, and the latter named Dr. Policarpo Bonilla, as representatives near the Department of State to reflect the aspirations of their respective countries. Both of the gentlemen named saw Mr. Stabler repeatedly, and as I was handling the Honduran-Guatemalan boundary matter, Mr. Stabler suggested that I take over also the boundary question between Nicaragua and Honduras. He recommended, however, to the parties in interest that it might be well to delay action pending the mediator’s recommendation in the Honduran-Guatemalan case. Both parties were disposed to do this, and thus the matter seems to have rested, with the exception of one series of negotiations which related to the construction of a telephone line into a village called Las Trojas, until Honduras invited Bonilla to proceed to Paris as its representative before the Peace Conference. Bonilla felt that he could not accept unless Nicaragua was willing to defer consideration of the boundary award. Minister Chamorro was consulted, and stated that it would take him at least three months to prepare, and he expressed the willingness to allow the matter to remain in status quo for that period and any reasonable additional period should it become necessary, and Dr. Bonilla accepted these assurances as satisfactory and proceeded to Paris. During his absence there were no important developments in the Nicaraguan-Honduran boundary matter. I have this day interviewed Minister Chamorro and Dr. Policarpo Bonilla, and the former advises me that he is now about [Page 120] ready to take up the matter, whereas the latter is in some doubt as to his precise status with respect thereto, owing to the change of Government in his country.

. . . . . . .

Boaz Long
  1. Dr. Leo S. Rowe became chief of the Division of Latin American Affairs in November, 1919; his predecessor, Jordan Herbert Stabler, resigned in August, 1919.