314.115C43/80

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

No. 2148

Sir: With reference to previous correspondence concerning the case of P. W. Shufeldt, I have the honor to transmit herewith copies14 of:

  • Radiogram from Mr. Shufeldt, October 13, 6 p.m.,
  • Radiogram to Mr. Shufeldt, October 15, 11 a.m.,
  • Letter received from Mr. Shufeldt, October 15, 1928,
  • Letter to Mr. Shufeldt, October 15, 1928.

Mr. Lara, lawyer for Mr. Shufeldt emphasized again that he did not believe that any of the courts of this country would render a decision against the Government. He stated that the attitude of the Government was and continued to be that the contract obtained by Mr. Shufeldt from Messrs. Najera and Morales was cancelled and therefore, the former had no rights whatever under it.

If Mr. Shufeldt cannot see his way clear to reopening negotiations with the Government, the attitude of the latter, as expressed in the Memorandum of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, transmitted with the Legation’s despatch No. 2083 of September 4, 1928, is that Mr. Shufeldt always has recourse to the courts.

In my opinion, there are three courses open to Mr. Shufeldt; one: withdraw his claim of $462,067.30, without attempting to exact any impossible conditions from the Government, and reopen negotiations; two: institute a claim in the courts against the Government on the ground that the Legislative Decree cancelling his contract is illegal, and three: file with the Department a diplomatic claim against the Government of Guatemala. I do not know what Mr. Shufeldt should receive, but I am convinced that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, rather than negotiate on the basis of Mr. Shufeldt’s claim of four hundred and sixty odd thousand dollars, would allow the matter to develop into a diplomatic claim.

I have [etc.]

Stanley Hawks
  1. None printed.