314.115C43/26: Telegram

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

73. Referring to the Legation’s telegram of May 21, 10 a.m. Shufeldt and Morales called today and asked that on May 30th I accompany Mr. Shufeldt and his lawyer to a hearing before the President in support of their request that he veto. They said that this would be exceedingly helpful.

I told them that the suggested course might be construed before the public as undue pressure and might react unfavorably and that I shall instead request the President this afternoon to receive Shufeldt, his lawyer, and Davidson, May 30th, and that he give full consideration to the arguments they will present in support of their contention that the proposed legislation would be illegal and unjust.

They replied that my point is probably well taken but afterwards Mr. Shufeldt said privately that he feels that my presence on the 30th is important. I told him that I shall request the Department to instruct me concerning the matter as quickly as possible.

An evident purpose is to give the impression that the Legation wants the bill vetoed.

Since the above was coded a letter was received from Mr. Shufeldt saying in part: “My reason for desiring your presence on this occasion is to forestall the possibility of a renewal of demands to which I cannot accede, and out of which grew present effort to confiscate my rights and property.”

A translation of the contract published in Guatemalteco February 18, 1922,3 will be mailed tomorrow.

  1. The contract of February 4, 1922, between the Government of Guatemala and Nájera and Morales is printed in Department of State, Arbitration Series No. 3: Shufeldt Claim: Claim of the United States of America on Behalf of P. W. Shufeldt v. the Republic of Guatemala (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 118.