819.00/1164: Telegram

The Minister in Panama ( South ) to the Secretary of State

29. I returned to Panama this afternoon by air, leaving U. S. S. Cleveland at Carti. I hope to persuade the Panaman Government to settle troubles with the Indians amicably, promising no retaliation for the recent uprising and better treatment of Indians in the future.

From thorough investigation made on the spot I am convinced charges made by Indians against the Panaman authorities are true and that the Indians have been shamefully treated.

[Page 661]

[Paraphrase]

My opinion is that uprising was inevitable, just, and reasonable, and that Marsh did not foment it, although he permitted his sympathy for the Indians to lead him too far. Feeling against him is so strong in Panama that if he is extradited he cannot obtain a fair trial.

The Government of Panama contemplates asking for assistance in resubjugating the Indians. This it will do through its Legation in Washington. I respectfully and earnestly suggest that Panama be given no assistance for the present in carrying out retaliatory or punitive measures. Leaving aside the justice of the cause of the Indians I am of the opinion that any effort to subdue them by force will be protracted and expensive and if undertaken by Panamanians will be doomed to failure.

Tomorrow I plan to return to Carti for further conference with the Indian chiefs. I shall be accompanied by the Foreign Minister or other representatives of Panama.

South