The Chargé in Honduras (Spencer) to the Secretary of State

No. 114

Sir: With reference to my telegram of April 18, 8 A.M., number 98, and the Department’s telegraphic instruction number 14 of April 20, 7 P.M., in reply thereto, on the subject of the termination of Dr. Young’s services as financial expert to the Honduran Government, I have the honor to report that I took the first opportunity to comply with the instruction above mentioned.

The President was on a trip to the country from April 19 until April 23, last, the cable arriving at the Legation on the afternoon of April 21st. Upon the President’s return to the capital Saturday afternoon, April 23rd, I visited him by appointment and discussed the subject of Dr. Young’s services and the new side of the question [Page 246] which had arisen from the note of the Minister of Finance informing Dr. Young that his services would not be required after April 30, 1921. I left with the President a memorandum, copy of which I have the honor to enclose.3

The President has not yet replied to the memorandum although I have been reliably informed he is giving the matter his attention and has brought it up for discussion at two Cabinet meetings. I expect his reply in the very near future and shall cable its import to the Department.

I was told in the strictest confidence by the President’s confidant and brother, don Antonio Lopez, the Honduran Minister to Washington, now on leave in Tegucigalpa, that the National Congress, having passed the budget practically identical to the one proposed by Dr. Young, now felt that his services were not required as before. The appointment by the President of three prominent citizens to the newly formed Committee of Public Credit, which will have charge of expenditures with a particular view to economies, has also been brought forward as a reason for dispensing with Dr. Young’s services. His contract ended January 11, last, and has not been renewed as yet in spite of numerous requests on his part.

Economy is the watchword of the hour, and the feeling is general that a salary of one thousand dollars gold a month for Dr. Young, in addition to one hundred and fifty dollars gold for his stenographer with the extras of his office, is an expense to the Government which now is no longer warranted by the work which Dr. Young can offer in return. A member of the Cabinet enjoys a salary of three hundred and seventy dollars a month, and the President of the Republic but five hundred, and while Congressmen did not mind engaging a financial expert for a contract of six months at one thousand dollars a month, they agree with the popular opinion that it is an unnecessary national expense to continue longer, especially in view of the fact that now there is not the advantage to be gained as formerly from any advice Dr. Young may offer.

I have [etc.]

Willing Spencer
  1. Not printed.