314.115C43/133: Telegram

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

87. Davidson left July 3, noon. On the 4th in person and by memorandum I informed the Minister for Foreign Affairs as instructed by the Department’s telegram of July 3, 11 a.m. He said that he would have to consult the Cabinet.

This evening I received a four-page memorandum24 in which the Minister for Foreign Affairs acknowledges mine of June 20, makes no mention of mine of July 4, states that with the desire of attending in the best manner the suggestion made by me by instruction of the Department, he and the Minister of Agriculture received Mr. Davidson who said that lacking instructions he could make no suggestion.

The Minister then said that the good disposition of the Government to attend the suggestion of the Department of State cannot be considered a renunciation of the Government’s defense and rights. He alleges that under article 54, paragraph 13, of the Constitution then in force, the contract was subject to legislative approval; that it required the formation of a Guatemalan company; that Shufeldt’s representation before the Government and the Assembly have been in the name of and in representation of the Guatemalan company; that for five years neither Shufeldt nor the Guatemalan company took steps to secure legalization by the Assembly; and that last year the Assembly took cognizance of the contract and disapproved it, that being the proceeding in determination of steps taken by Shufeldt and Company.

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He concludes by stating that Shufeldt has previously been informed when acting in representation of Shufeldt and Company that he will receive due attention provided that he adjusts his procedure to constitutional precepts.

Full text by mail.

In conversation, the Minister has contended that Shufeldt’s remedy is to apply to the courts for redress or to present a claim for damages to the Assembly.

  1. See memorandum by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, July 6, 1929, Shufeldt Claim, p. 343.