819.00/1210: Telegram

The Chargé in Panama (Munro) to the Secretary of State

98. Department’s 63, October 13, 3 p.m. Conditions in the city are rapidly returning to normal. The almost immediate resumption of work by street-car employees, chauffeurs, and vendors in market shows that the strikes which paralyzed transportation and threatened to cut off the city’s food supply were due chiefly to intimidation by radical labor elements.

On Monday night a clash occurred between soldiers and a crowd of workmen whom the soldiers were trying to disperse. A few Panamans were injured and one was killed by falling from a balcony. Many arrests were made. With this exception there have been no unfortunate incidents.

Several labor agitators have been arrested and those who are foreigners will be deported. The Government proposes to dismiss those employees who have been unduly prominent in the rent-payer movement. I have suggested to the Minister for Foreign Affairs the inadvisability of removing employees simply because of connection with rent-payer movement unless they had permitted themselves to become involved in improper activities.

Beyond maintaining order the American authorities are of course not interfering with the rent strike which is still in progress. The President conferred yesterday with the more important property owners and suggested to them to agree to rescind all recent rent increases and to reduce all rents to a point 10 percent below that prevailing January 1st last, the reduction to remain in effect until the next meeting of the National Assembly in September 1927, when remedial legislation can be passed. The form which this legislation will take has not been mentioned.

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