823.30/99: Telegram

The Chargé in Peru (Mayer) to the Secretary of State

169. The Department’s 88, August 25, 6 p.m. From all I can learn and gather the Grow case presents certain difficulties. The United Press representative informs me that in an interview he had this afternoon with Sanchez Cerro the latter referred to Grow with considerable heat and acerbity stating that latter was “hired mercenary” and must stand trial before general court martial. Mr. Fine’s impression was that Sanchez Cerro had quite excitable temperament.

I did not feel it advisable to speak of Grow’s release to Minister of Foreign Affairs at first interview this afternoon (see my telegram 166, August 29, 5 p.m.) and especially when I am not cognizant of exactly what is his present legal status.

I understand that Grow went on his mission on personal orders of ex-President Leguia. Faucett, who took Grow’s plane to Arequipa after capture at Camana, told me that it was equipped with machine gun and bombs. It is also said that Grow tried to bribe officer who captured him to release him.

Assuming, as seems reasonably certain, that Grow went on mission by direction of the then Chief Executive of a Constitutional Government which was acting to suppress a revolt, it would appear that while the revolutionists had every right to capture and hold Grow during existence of civil strife he should be released now that this is terminated.

In order to permit me to take [up?] this matter as soon as possible with Foreign Office I respectfully request immediate instructions as to Department’s view of Grow’s status and any further directions Department may have to give me in this regard.