The Chargé in Guatemala ( Hawks ) to the Secretary of State

No. 2103

Sir: Upon receipt of the Department’s cablegram No. 66 of September 15, 1 p.m., concerning the case of P. W. Shufeldt, I requested Mr. B. B. Bliss, who has a limited power of attorney from Mr. Shufeldt, to inform the Legation as to the present status of the case both in the Courts and before the Minister of Agriculture. There is enclosed herewith a copy, with translation, of a statement of the situation, as of September 17, 1928, prepared by Mr. Lara, lawyer for Mr. Shufeldt.13

After talking over the matter with Mr. Bliss, it was deemed advisable, prior to my taking it up with the Foreign Office, to find out whom, if anyone, would be designated by Mr. Shufeldt to negotiate the matter on his behalf, in the event that he did not care to do so himself. In order to ascertain the above, a telegram was sent to-day to Mr. Shufeldt in Belize. No reply thereto has yet been received.

As reported in the Legation’s despatch No. 2083 of September 4, 1928, the Minister of Agriculture stated unofficially to me that he would be willing to ask the President to designate some one to negotiate a settlement of the affair, providing Mr. Shufeldt also was willing to do so. If, and as soon as, Mr. Shufeldt informs the Legation whether he or some third party for him is willing to negotiate with the Government, the Legation will inform the Minister of Agriculture to this effect and will likewise, at the same time, inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs. It will also point out informally to the latter, as instructed by the Department’s cablegram, the advisability of arriving at an amicable solution of the differences between the Government and Shufeldt, suggesting that, in the meantime, court proceedings be held in abeyance and referring to the apparent obstacles in the way of Mr. Shufeldt’s obtaining legal counsel to represent him before the Courts and to the possibility that the alternative to an amicable settlement would be a vexatious diplomatic claim.

I have [etc.]

Stanley Hawks
  1. Not printed.