815.00/2704: Telegram

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

42. The Honduranean Minister called yesterday on the Acting Secretary and presented a memorandum13 calling attention to the difficult situation which might be created if none of the presidential candidates received a majority of the popular vote, and if Congress, which would then be called upon to decide, should fail to elect a President before the beginning of the new term on February 1. The memorandum concluded with a statement that the President of Honduras would deeply appreciate it if the Government of the United [Page 441] States would carefully consider this situation, in order that, if the necessity should arise, the President might have the friendly advice of the United States relative to measures that may be necessary for the maintenance of peace.

The Acting Secretary replied that the memorandum would be carefully studied and that he appreciated the courtesy of the President’s inquiry. He said, however, that this Government would probably not wish to inject itself into the situation, even if it were impossible to elect a candidate, and that any such assistance should therefore not be counted upon.

You are requested orally to inform President Lopez Gutierrez that the Minister’s memorandum is receiving the most careful and sympathetic study by this Government. While the election of the new President is of course a matter for the people of Honduras to settle under their own laws, the maintenance of peace and the free exercise of the rights of franchise in Honduras are matters in which this Government feels a deep and friendly interest.

You may further say that this Government confidently hopes that the elections in Honduras will take place peacefully and in accordance with the laws, and its confidence in this respect has been greatly strengthened by President Lopez Gutiérrez’ telegram to his representatives as quoted by you in your October 8, 7 p.m. The President’s action must impress all friends of Honduras as an evidence of his intention that the forthcoming elections should be free and fair.

The Department desires to know whether the telegram in question has been published, or whether the President contemplates publishing it. It believes that the publication would have a most satisfactory effect and it would be glad to make the telegram public in the United States, if the President wishes to publish it in Honduras.

  1. Not printed.