The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Honduras ( Jones )
Your March 26, 8 p.m., I think generally the Guatemalan act would be improved by vesting in the Custodian rather than in the government title to enemy property and increasing his power to deal with the property which comes into his hands, particularly in respect of its sale. Clause C, article 1 of the Guatemalan decree24 restricts definition of enemy corporations sufficiently to admit argument that only German corporations within Germany were affected. The definition of German nationals outside of Germany who are made enemies by reason of acts inimical to Allied cause should if possible as you attempted in Guatemala, be made retro-active, at least to the date of declaration of war by Honduras. If possible naturalized [Page 402] Hondurans of German birth who obtained local citizenship subsequent to August 1, 1914, should be excluded from any possible preference given to Honduran citizens as purchasers of seized property. Generally speaking I think that provisions for the permanent investment of the fund such as were proposed originally for Guatemala are preferable to the arrangements actually incorporated in the Guatemala statute, although I fully understand the difficulty of obtaining Government assent to a measure which restricts its control over the proceeds or which carries any implication of a want of confidence in the integrity of the local administration of the Act. I assume that the Administration which will be given to the Act if it is passed, will depend so entirely upon the personal inclinations of the custodian as interpreting the wishes of the President that extensive review of the procedure provisions of the Act is unnecessary. Ely.