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The Chargé in Nicaragua ( Thurston ) to the Secretary of State

95. The Minister for Foreign Affairs delivered to me today as an unofficial copy the following transcript of the constabulary plan as approved by Congress:

“The Senate and Chamber of Deputies of the Republic of Nicaragua, considering that by article 2 of the Convention for the Limitation [Page 629] of Armaments signed at Washington of [on] February 7, 1923, between the Republics of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, Nicaragua obligated itself as did the other High Contracting Parties to establish a National Guard which should cooperate with the Army in preserving public order, decree:

  • Article 1. Create at the expense of the State the National Guard, referred to in said convention.
  • Article 2. The National Guard is an institution foreign to all political influence designed to maintain social order in the triple capacity of an urban, rural and judicial police force. The Army is independent of the National Guard although in an emergency both shall cooperate in the preservation of public order in their discretion determined by the laws (article 2 of the convention).
  • Article 3. At its beginning the National Guard will consist of 23 officers and 392 individuals for subordinate positions all Nicaraguans under contract. The Executive power may vary this number when it considers it necessary.
  • Article 4. The guard will be organized, equipped and disciplined in a military fashion as an urban, rural and judicial police force as harmonized. It should be considered as a national institution entirely subordinate to the Government of the Republic for the maintenance of peace, law and order.
  • Article 5. The efficient education and organization of the National Guard will be effected by means of a school which will be called the School of Instruction into which all the individuals and officers destined to form the institution will previously enter. The students of the school will form the school force as distinguished from the National Guard proper. The number of students in the school will vary according to the necessities of the National Guard at the discretion of the Executive.
  • Article 6. In order that the experience acquired in other countries in the organization and operation of these forces may be availed of, the chief of the School of Instruction and the instructors may be Americans or of any other foreign nation but must have a knowledge of Spanish; and the Executive is authorized by the present law to sign contracts with them for the proximate time he deems necessary with the obligation that they be subject to the supreme control of the Government of the Republic and to the laws of the State.
  • Article 7. The chief of the School of Instruction and the instructors will exercise full and complete authority in its management and over the officers and individuals of the school force but not in the National Guard. In the latter they will have only the right to make inspection whenever the chief of the school deems it expedient in order to ascertain its progress, good service and efficiency. In order to fill vacancies or correct defects which they may observe they may propose to the Executive the change of the men and officers of the National Guard totally or in part through the medium of the Ministry of Gobernacion and police for the purpose of maintaining discipline and correction therein.
  • Article 8. Apart from the President of the Republic and the appropriate Minister no other authority of the State will have control in School of Instruction or over the volunteers who compose it.
  • Article 9. The regulations of the School of Instruction and the laws and regulations of the National Guard will be prepared by the [Page 630] superior officials of the school subject principally to the provisions of this law; but both must be approved and published by the Executive power. Only in this manner will they be binding upon the personnel of the school and of the National Guard.
  • Article 10. The School of Instruction will be the preparatory center for all of the officers, individuals and employees of the National Guard. They must first pass through it for instruction to establish their merits and aptitudes, their physical, mental, and moral state; as must also all the substitutes for officers as well as individuals of the Guard who may be later called into service.
  • Article 11. The lands, buildings, equipment, articles and elements necessary to establish the School of Instruction and the National Guard will be provided by the State, the Executive power being authorized by the President to make the necessary expenditures.
  • Article 12. There will be a special department of provisions or supplies which will bear the name “Supply Office” attached to and organized by the Minister of Police. This office will take charge of the providing of food and other necessary supplies to the National Guard and to the School of Instruction. The Executive will regulate this office and fix the bonds to be given by those who handle funds according to their amounts.
  • Article 13. The expense necessary to the service of the School of Instruction and the National Guard will be authorised by their respective chiefs by the chief of the Supply Office subject to corresponding laws of the Republic and the employees of this office will be strictly obliged to keep their accounts in conformity with the laws and to present them for auditing to the Supreme Tribunal of Accounts. All expenditures must first receive the approval of the Ministry of Police.
  • Article 14. The general budget of the Republic will detail each year the amount or amounts necessary for the institution which the present law orders to be created according to the partial budget presented by the respective ministry.
  • Article 15. This law will become effective from the date of its publication in the Gazette.

The foregoing was referred to the President by the Chamber of Deputies on May 14th for his signature.