815.00/2609: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Honduras (Morales)

26. Your 56, June 26, 11 a.m.

The Department is also constantly receiving from other sources reports of impending revolution in Honduras, and regrets that efforts to effect an agreement between opposing candidates have as yet been unsuccessful and that the situation is thus daily becoming more fraught with consequences that cannot but prove disastrous to the citizens and interests of that country. This Government being desirous again to endeavor to avert such inevitable consequences, you will communicate to the President and the other political leaders, including Carlos Lagos, and give the widest publicity to the following statement:

“The Government of the United States repeatedly having counselled, but without avail, that an agreement should be reached between all the Honduran presidential candidates that would avert revolution and its resultant disruption, desires once more to emphasize [Page 433] the grave situation in which Honduras will be placed if some satisfactory settlement to this end is not reached. The economic condition of the country, already serious, will be rendered even more precarious; notwithstanding the fact that recent negotiations9 for the financial rehabilitation of the country appeared to warrant optimism, the credit of Honduras, which is already low, cannot but be further depressed should revolutionary disturbances occur; there would appear slight possibility of arranging either for the settlement of the outstanding debt or for loans for economic development of which the country is in great need; commerce would be brought to a standstill; the resources and income of the Government would be diminished or disappear; any government, either present or future, would find it difficult if not impossible to maintain itself in office, and the recent economic, commercial, and industrial development of Honduras would be sacrificed. Furthermore, the efforts of the Honduran Government and its delegates to the recent conference at Washington immediately to bring about a more stable and prosperous condition in Central America, would be seriously impeded.

The Government of the United States is at all times ready to assist, along constructive lines of development. It is now ready to render all possible proper assistance in the present crisis. It is of the firm opinion, however, that improvement in the present economic situation of Honduras, which the citizens of both countries so ardently desire, can only be continued upon the basis of political peace and quiet in the country, and attained by the agreement of all parties to abide by the results of free and fair elections and the most efficient administration of the country’s finances.

The Government of the United States, therefore, bespeaks the most earnest attention to these politico-economic considerations which are of paramount importance. It entertains no preference as between parties or candidates, it will exert influence neither for nor against any candidate, but it is ready to afford cooperation, assistance and support to any government elected as the expression of the will of the Honduran electorate through the medium of free and fair elections.

Should this appeal prove unavailing, the Government of the United States will have no alternative than to consider that it will then have fulfilled the obligations coincident with its earnest regard for the maintenance of peace, order, progress and economic well-being in the countries which are its neighbors, and the responsibility for the disorganization, misery and sacrifice of economic stability must be borne by those who for any motives are unwilling to reach an amicable settlement of their political differences.

The attitude of the Government of the United States with respect to the recognition of new Governments in the five Central American Republics whose representatives signed at Washington on February 7, 1923, a General Treaty of Peace and Amity,10 to which the United States was not a party, but with the provisions of which it is in the [Page 434] most hearty accord, will be consonant with the provisions of Article II thereof which stipulates that the contracting parties:

‘will not recognize any other Government which may come into power in any of the five Republics through a coup d’état or a revolution against a recognized Government, so long as the freely elected representatives of the people thereof have not constitutionally reorganized the country. And even in such a case they obligate themselves not to acknowledge the recognition if any of the persons elected as President, Vice-President or Chief of State designate should fall under any of the following heads:

If he should be the leader or one of the leaders of a coup d’état or revolution, or through blood relationship or marriage, be an ascendant or descendant or brother of such leader or leaders.
If he should have been a Secretary of State or should have held some high military command during the accomplishment of the coup d’état, the revolution, or while the election was being carried on, or if he should have held this office or command within the six months preceding the coup d’état, revolution, or the election.’”

Repeat to other Central American Missions for similar publicity.

  1. Reference is probably to the proposed agreement between the Government of Honduras and the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders of London for the settlement of the Honduran foreign debt growing out of the loans of 1867, 1869, and 1870 made in London and Paris.
  2. Conference of Central American Affairs, p. 287.