814.00/1028: Telegram

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


121. Every one with whom I have talked is agreed that there is one way of returning to a constitutional regime, namely, to have General Chacon resign the Presidency and then for General Orellana to restore to the Assembly the powers conferred upon him, which were for the duration of the President’s incapacity. The resignation of the President would end the incapacity and bring about a vacancy in the Presidency. Since all the Vice Presidents are dead or have resigned, the Assembly would then elect others and the first of these would constitutionally become the Provisional President and call an election. There is one unconstitutional point in this procedure, namely, that the Assembly is only empowered to elect the Vice Presidents during ordinary sessions, and this would have to be an extraordinary one. There appears to be no other practical way, however, and no one will make any difficulty about it.

General Chacon is … quite ready to resign, and since there are already signs of a split among the present authorities I think that Orellana will eventually agree to be eliminated. The real difficulty will be for the various parties to agree on a choice for Provisional President because he will be a decisive factor in the coming election. Two candidates for the regular election are being talked of, Recinos and General Ubico.