817.00/5667: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Nicaragua (Eberhardt)


117. For Minister Eberhardt and Colonel Parker. Your telegrams No. 222, May 20, 5 p.m., and No. 223, May 20, 6 p.m.45 Pending the receipt of additional and more detailed information, which we assume is being cabled, the following considerations present themselves: (1) If the split in the Conservative Party is not promptly closed through conciliatory measures adopted by the party itself, it is obvious that a serious question of policy may be presented for the Government of the United States to consider in the light of both the letter and spirit [Page 493] of the Tipitapa agreement. See our telegram No. 114, May 18, 5 p.m. If the situation as it has now developed continues, the fundamental question of policy will have to be carefully examined. We are not in a position to say at this moment what the outcome would be from this point of view. (2) Likewise, in these circumstances, a grave problem would be eventually presented to the National Board of Elections. You should carefully avoid any attempt to forecast the action of the National Board of Elections in the contingency that it may finally be called upon to exercise its full powers. General McCoy desires Colonel Parker to reserve all action with regard to article 9 of the regulations pending further instructions. (3) The internal troubles of the Conservative Party should not be unloaded upon the National Board of Elections. The selection of a candidate to represent the entire party is its domestic concern. You should make it plain that the Conservatives are expected to get together and solve their own difficulties in their own way.

This message should be read with our telegram No. 114, May 18, 5 p.m.

The Department would also like to have your views on the following:

Bearing in mind that the ballots must be printed by the end of July, do you consider that if given a reasonable time, the two factions of the Conservative Party can straighten out their difficulties?
If not, do you consider that a statement along the lines of the Department’s telegram No. 114, May 18, and the considerations outlined above would help in bringing about a settlement by showing both factions that they cannot so maneuver as to throw the elections into Congress, or
Do you consider that such action would now cause one or the other faction to abstain from voting?
If this action is not advisable at the present time, do you think that it would be advisable later?
If this action is taken, the Department assumes that you can, of course, explain satisfactorily to the Liberals that it is in order to carry out the Tipitapa agreement guaranteeing free and fair elections for the popular will to be expressed, and that it is certainly not the desire of the Department to take away any advantage which either party might have through a disagreement in the other.

  1. Latter not printed.