The Chargé in Nicaragua ( Hanna ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1180

Sir: With reference to my telegram No. 239, September 30 (11 a.m.), concerning the Department’s wishes with respect to the attitude of Commander Warfield in the matter of a road construction program in [Page 703] Nicaragua, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of Commander Warfield’s preliminary report which he has submitted to the Legation in response to the Department’s wishes.

I have [etc.]

Matthew E. Hanna

Commander Ralph M. Warfield, G. N., to the American Chargé in Nicaragua ( Hanna )

Roads are better suited to Nicaragua’s present needs than additional railroads. The hauls are short and imports and exports can be economically handled over roadways. The present Ferrocarril del Pacifico de Nicaragua extends from Granada on Lake Nicaragua to Corinto, a seaport on the west coast via Managua, Léon and Chinandega. This serves the area west of the Lakes and with roads from Managua to Matagalpa and Jinotega, and a road from Sébaco to Ocotal via Estelí most of the population and the best developed agricultural lands will be served and much undeveloped agricultural land made of value.

The eastern section of Nicaragua is sparsely settled and future development can be made to this area as population increases to justify it.

Nicaragua is primarily an agricultural country and the development of its rich coffee lands and other fertile area in agricultural production is essential to prosperity. Roads are necessary to provide for the transportation of these agricultural products and the imports and supplies required in their production.

Sufficient engineering data has not been obtained to provide the basis for an accurate estimate of the cost of the road construction, but it is believed that on the route from Sébaco to Ocotal recommended, construction of macadam road eighteen feet wide with three feet shoulders, culverts and proper ditches, can be provided for (twelve thousand to fifteen thousand per mile) $12,000 to $15,000 per mile including all bridges except the one over the Coco River near Ocotal.

Ralph M. Warfield