819.00/1168: Telegram

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

31. My March 3, 2 p.m. number 30.23 After 6-hour conference between Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice and 13 Indian chiefs representing northern San Bias region, an agreement was drawn up and signed along the following lines:24 One—The Indians submit to the laws and authority of Panama and agree not to commit further hostile acts; they promise to return all arms and other property captured from the police or taken from private individuals; the Government of Panama will allow them to keep their shotguns and will return those which have been taken from the Indiana by the police; the Government of Panama will maintain such officials in the Indians’ territory as may be necessary to represent Panama authority and maintain order but will in general leave to the Indians to maintain order among themselves; the Government of Panama will not impose schools upon the Indians; the Government of Panama will respect the right of the Indians to follow their own manners and customs and assures to them the same rights which are enjoyed by other Panaman citizens.

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I signed the agreement as a witness only. Subsequently an official inquiry was made into the activities of Marsh at which it was decided that there was not sufficient evidence against him to ask for his extradition. The Minister for Foreign Affairs will recommend to the President that on Marsh’s arrival at the Canal Zone the Canal Zone authorities be asked to deport him as an undesirable. This seems to me best possible solution. Meeting ended in a friendly spirit and I hope relations between Indians and Panaman Government will be much improved in future. Am proceeding on U.S.S. Cleveland with Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Justice to Aligandi tomorrow to endeavor to procure acceptance of the above agreement by Indians there.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The agreement was signed at Porvenir, capital of the police district of San Blas.