Memorandum by Mr. Leon Dominian, Division of Latin American Affairs, Department of State

Re: Honduras–Guatemala Boundary Conference Held on Tuesday, January 6th, 1920 at the Division of Latin-American Affairs

The following were present: Dr. Rowe representing the Mediator, Dr. Toledo Herrarte for Guatemala, Dr. Bonilla for Honduras, and Mr. Dominian.

On opening the conference Dr. Rowe gave communication of the Mediator’s decision to close the case on January 31st. He asked, [Page 312] therefore, Dr. Bonilla to present the memorandum in answer to the last Guatemalan memorandum by that date.59

Dr. Bonilla stated that he would communicate this decision to his lawyers and that as far as he was concerned he was glad of the early closing of the case.

Dr. Toledo Herrarte then stated that he hoped that the Mediator’s recommendations would be communicated in time for him to transmit them to the Guatemalan Parliament at its opening session in March.

Dr. Bonilla stated that the Honduran Parliament would meet in February and that he also hoped to be able to communicate the Mediator’s recommendations by that time.

Dr. Rowe then asked both gentlemen whether they thought that any possibility existed of their agreeing on a settlement without waiting for the Mediator’s recommendations.

Dr. Toledo’s answer was that he thought this was impossible. He stated that an attempt had been made in 1917 to discuss the matter directly with Honduras but that the Government of that country had not shown any inclination to undertake such a direct discussion of the boundary case.

Dr. Bonilla explained that when this method of direct dealing between the two governments had been proposed by Guatemala, it was accompanied by a concentration of Guatemalan forces along the frontier and that Honduras had refused to discuss the matter until the Guatemalan forces had retired from the frontier.

As both delegates showed no inclination whatever to discuss the possibility of a settlement without the intervention of the Mediator, Dr. Bo we adjourned the conference.

[Leon Dominian]
  1. For the Guatemalan memorandum, dated December 1919, see Mediation of the Eonduran-Guatemalan Boundary Question (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1920), vol. ii, p. 613.