The Secretary of State to the Minister in Guatemala (McMillin)

No. 390

Sir: The Department is informed by Mr. Henry W. Catlin, a representative of the Electric Bond and Share Company, that this company has purchased four hundred ninety-five shares of the Empresa Electrica de Guatemala at a cost of $495,000 cash, and that the company has encountered difficulties in connection with the transfer of the stock to it. He states that the former manager of the concern, Maximo Obst, a German, has refused to transfer the register of stock holders to the new owners.16

The Department understands that the sale of the stock of the Empresa Electrica de Guatemala represents a closed transaction. It [Page 756] seems, therefore, that there should exist no ground for a refusal on the part of the said Maximo Obst to transfer the register of stock holders of the old company.

You are instructed, therefore, discreetly and informally to make inquiry with reference to the following points:

What are the terms and conditions of the sale of shares of the Empresa Electrica and whether the cash has been paid.
Whether it is true that said Maximo Obst refuses to hand over the stock register, together with the reasons for such refusal.
What, if any, authority of the Guatemalan Government has jurisdiction to require the delivery of this document, and whether the Electric Bond and Share Company has taken recourse to its legal remedy, if any, and with what result to date.

You will please report to the Department, at your early convenience, obtainable information upon the points mentioned.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Alvey A. Adee
  1. The 495 shares, out of a total of 600, had been taken over by the Guatemalan Alien Property Custodian and were sold by him, Mar. 31, 1920 (file no. 814.6463Em7/36).