812.79614/–

The Minister in Guatemala (Geissler) to the Secretary of State

No. 1391

Sir: I have the honor to report, that Francisco Buch de Parada, said to have been Assistant Chief of the Mexican Air Service and understood to have ample financial backing, is in Guatemala to procure a concession in connection with his project to establish a “Pullman” aeroplane service between the City of Mexico and San Salvador, and which is, later on, to be extended to other Central American countries. In that connection, I respectfully beg leave to suggest the advisability of urging that Congress, at the present session, provide for the establishment of at least a twice-a-week air mail service between New Orleans or Key West and Puerto Barrios.

A press despatch from Mexico says, that Mr. Parada already has a contract with the Government of Mexico. No details are given.

Inspector Matthew E. Hanna, now here, to whom I mentioned the matter today, tells me, that while he was in Salvador recently, President [Page 45]Quiñonez manifested much interest in the establishment of a Central American air service, mentioning in that connection that the Salvadorean Army has fourteen planes.

An air service between New Orleans or Key West and Barrios would probably carry a very large portion of the foreign mail of the Central American Republics. It might well be, that the Government of Guatemala would undertake to transport to Salvador such mail as is destined for that Republic and the Pacific coast region of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and that the Government of Salvador would gladly put its planes to use in carrying this mail on to points below Salvador, and vice versa.

People who have studied the matter tell me, that the transportation of this mail and a passenger service in connection with it will be very profitable, since fares between the various capitals of Central America are high. It seems strange, that American firms interested in that line do not make a more serious study of this opportunity.

It would seem, that action by Congress providing for the establishment of an air service between some point in the southern part of the United States and Puerto Barrios is highly desirable, so as to avert preemption of the aviation field in Central America by Mexico or some European interest.

Establishment of a line between the points mentioned in the preceding paragraph would greatly stimulate the Governments of Guatemala and Salvador and also private concerns of the United States to undertake an intra-Central American service.

I have [etc.]

Arthur H. Geissler