815.00/1891: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Honduras (Jones)

Your July 17, 6 P.M.4 July 18, 4 P.M. July 18, 5 P.M.,4 July 19 [, 11 A.M.,] and July 19, 1 P.M. Department deeply concerned over action of Bertrand in assuming dictatorship as reported by you and desires all possible information in that connection. Has he openly proclaimed himself dictator or has he taken control of country under provision of constitution. What information have you obtained relative conspiracy to depose present administration as reported in your July 18, 5 P.M.4

In regard to granting asylum in legation to political leaders you are directed to use your utmost discretion and are referred to the Department’s publication entitled “Instructions to Diplomatic Officers”. Your action should be guided by these instructions.

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Have any American citizens been maltreated or has any American property been injured. Do you think that American lives or property are in danger?

Your action in requesting that Americans be given free access to the Legation as reported in your July 19, 1 P.M. is approved but you are cautioned not to interfere in any internal political matters without precise instructions from Department.

If you consider advisable you may request the commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Machias and his aide to come to Tegucigalpa to be with you at this time.

The Department desires that you seek earliest opportunity to call upon President Bertrand and convey to him orally the substance of the following statement: The Government of the United States, in the light of the past friendly and informal communications to the Government of Honduras relative to its great interest in seeing its sister Republic of Honduras continue to develop its life along those broad lines of freedom in elections and the peace and harmony to which it has been accustomed, cannot but view the present situation with very considerable apprehension. The Government of the United States therefore considers that it is its duty to reiterate its former statements in connection with the hope which it has expressed concerning the freedom of elections and wishes to inform the Government of Honduras that its friendship for the people of that Republic and its desire to see peace prevail in all parts of the Western Hemisphere, necessitate its very close scrutiny of the present conditions and require that its future attitude toward those in control of the political destinies of that country be guided by their actions.

In bringing the substance of the foregoing to the attention of Bertrand the Department relies upon you to exercise your utmost tact and discretion. Keep the Department fully informed as to any change in situation.

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