718.1915/748: Telegram

The Minister in Costa Rica (Davis) to the Secretary of State

54. My 50 and 53, Dec. 15, 9 a.m., and December 16, 11 a.m., respectively;44 and Department’s 22 and 27, November 11, 3 p.m., and December 11, 9 p.m.,45 respectively.


Panaman proposal outlined in Department’s telegram number 22 was rejected by the leaders of Congress in confidential conference reported in my telegram number 50. President Jiménez has formally notified the Panaman representative that the proposal is unacceptable to Costa Rica. He has, however, submitted to the Panaman representative the following counterproposal.

Demarcation of boundary to be made according to the Loubet and White awards.
Costa Rica to accept land titles given by Panama to private persons on territory coming under the sovereignty of Costa Rica.
To be submitted to arbitration: The question as to whether Costa Rica owes Panama any indemnity for expenses incurred by the Panaman Government in 1921 during the conflict of Coto and whether Panama is indebted to Costa Rica on account of expenses incurred during that period for the reason expressed.
Panama to return to Costa Rica the arms, vessels, and flags seized by the forces of Panama upon signing the agreement.
Should the Arbitrator decide that Panama, not Costa Rica, owes the indemnity Costa Rica will renounce its demand for payment, except that stipulated in the above proposal.

Article 2 of counterproposal seemingly grants a concession to Panama because article 3 of the Anderson-Porras convention of 1910 simply provides for the recognition of titles granted prior to that date.

Casorla says it is his impression that the President will waive the demand for the return of the vessels mentioned in article 4 of the counterproposal, if necessary, but that the President thinks the return of the trophies is necessary in order to create a public sentiment in favor of his proposal.

The exception which is mentioned in the last clause of article 5 of the counterproposal refers to the items in article 4.

My information is that the Panaman representative has indicated that he is not willing to accept the President’s proposal even if Panaman Government should send him instructions to do so.

[Page 482]

The above information should be considered confidential until the Costa Rican Minister at Washington informs the Department.

Repeated to the American Legation in Panama.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Ante, p. 478, and footnote 38, p. 479.