314.115C43/140: Telegram

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

92. Salient statements of a lengthy memorandum received from the Minister for Foreign Affairs are to the effect that the Government did indeed try to arrive at a settlement with Mr. Shufeldt but that that cannot be considered as recognition of his alleged rights; that former Minister for Foreign Affairs Salazar had notified Shufeldt before beginning any conversations that the arrangement about to be attempted with him was in conformity with the desire of the Government to maintain cordiality with the Legation of the United States and in nowise as a recognition of rights; that the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs had said in Spanish to Mr. Hawks that the Minister for Foreign Affairs “sentia” meaning deplored (lamentaba); that the project of an agreement between Shufeldt and the Under Secretary of Agriculture had to be approved by the Government in order to become binding, that it was not approved principally because the Government could not agree to cancel rights of Morales and Najera nor make, in view of limitation of the budget, payments within the terms contemplated.

The Minister proposes:

  • First, that I, as “friendly arbitrator” decide under the conditions set forth in the memorandum of June 27, 1928, (despatch 2202 [2016]) “what in justice there is to be paid if it results that we owe anything in total satisfaction of the claims of Mr. Shufeldt.”
  • Second, a direct arrangement between Mr. Shufeldt and the Ministers of Finance and Agriculture on the same terms of the memorandum of November 30, 1928, given to Mr. David M. Davidson by those Ministers,27 and
  • Third, if unfortunately the Department of State do not consider [either of?] these proposals acceptable the Government of Guatemala would earnestly desire that the present matter be submitted to the decision of a tribunal on the terms contained in any one of the treaties in force between this government and that of the United States for the solution of international Pan American conflicts.

To me it seems undesirable that I act as arbitrator.

  1. See despatch No. 2202, December 4, 1928, from the Minister in Guatemala, p. 134.