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

No. 1124

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 2148 of October 16, 1928 from which it appears that no satisfactory adjustment has yet been reached with respect to the difficulties confronting Mr. P. W. Shufeldt in connection with his chicle contract.

[Page 133]

With respect to the suggestion contained in the last paragraph of the despatch that Mr. Shufeldt might file with the Department a diplomatic claim against the Government of Guatemala, the Department informs you that so far as it is at present advised the conditions under which the Department would be warranted in supporting such a claim have not yet arisen. In this connection reference may be made to the generally accepted principle that a claimant against a foreign government is not ordinarily entitled to call upon his own government for its diplomatic intervention until he shall have exhausted his legal remedies in the courts of the foreign country concerned and have appeared to suffer a denial of justice. In the instant case Mr. Shufeldt apparently has not yet resorted to his legal remedies.

It is thought that if you shall communicate the foregoing information to Mr. Shufeldt or his agent, he might be disposed to negotiate for a settlement of his difficulties on a basis which would offer greater promise of success than that upon which he apparently stands at present.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Francis White