The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Navy (Wilbur)

Sir: I have the honor to request that the attached message be transmitted immediately to Admiral Latimer if you see no objection.

I have [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg

Message for Admiral Latimer from the Secretary of State

The Department has just received a message from Puerto Cabezas which reads in translation as follows:30 [Page 307]

“Our representative Doctor Vaca reports to us he declared to your Department that the Government of the Constitutional President, His Excellency Doctor Sacasa accepts honorable mediation United States and Central America for settlement of Nicaraguan dispute and proposes a conference at Washington between delegates of Señor Diaz and ours, I have the honor to say to your Excellency that my Government approves that declaration which I hereby ratify with the assurance of my high consideration.

(Sd.) Rodolfo Espinosa
Minister of Relations of Nicaragua.”

You will observe that this message presupposes an offer of mediation by this Government and that Sacasa undertakes to accept such offer in his pretended capacity of Constitutional President of Nicaragua. This is, of course, a bid for implied recognition. The United States has not made any offer of mediation. It has merely adopted a receptive attitude indicating that its good offices would be available if invoked by both sides. The United States has not recognized the Sacasa movement as a Government, nor has it even recognized belligerency. We cannot call formal conferences at the request of the revolutionary party alone. If by the use of your personal good offices both factions can be brought together, and if as the result of such a meeting the good offices of this Government are invoked by both parties, we should naturally consider any proposal that might be submitted in that way with the approval of both sides. We believe that any conference, either preliminary or final, should be held in Nicaragua rather than in Washington. If you should find that a meeting is feasible through the exercise of your personal efforts please wire fully and await further instructions.

Unless you see some objection you will communicate the substance of this message informally and orally to Doctor Sacasa and Doctor Espinosa. In the circumstances it is hoped that you can arrange to be at Puerto Cabezas as soon as possible, since communication with Sacasa through you personally rather than through a subordinate officer, seems preferable in this matter.

  1. Received Feb. 5, 2:07 p.m.