815.00 Revolutions/6: Telegram
The Minister in Honduras (Lay) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 20—6:55 a.m.]
63. Insurrectionary movements broke out yesterday in the interior of the Tela, Puerto Castilla and Truxillo districts. The Vice Consuls at these places understanding that sizeable bodies of armed men were advancing on those posts and believing American lives and property in danger request that warships be sent.
In the Tela district a force estimated at 200 men occupied Progreso and vicinity. They robbed the Banco de Honduras at Progreso, requisitioned arms, supplies and railway rolling stock, but otherwise their behavior reported orderly. They have advanced on Tela about 20 miles today as far as Urraco which is 40 miles from Tela but the [Page 558]Government has regained possession of Progreso. Government troops in Tela are less than 100 but a hundred or more reenforcements due to arrive from La Ceiba morning April 20th.
Ceiba has a garrison minus the detachment sent to Tela of 200 men and has not been seriously threatened by the insurrectionists.
Truxillo also according to the latest reports seems secure; its garrison is 200 men.
Figures for garrisons furnished Legation by the President who feels sure of loyalty of their commanders and of those at San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortes as well.
Puerto Cortes district is as yet unaffected.
No prominent military or political leaders have so far been identified with this movement which appears recruited entirely from the unemployed, the communists, the riffraff and the criminals of Northern Honduras. No insurrectionary forces have approached nearer than 30 miles to the ports mentioned, and my own opinion is that uprising will soon fizzle out, I have instructed consuls to take appropriate measures for protection of American and other foreigners’ lives and property, and to suggest to managers of fruit company at their posts to keep steamships within reach for evacuation of Americans and other foreigners if necessary. Where possible American women have been brought to ports from interior by fruit company. I have informed Consuls of European powers in Tegucigalpa that American Consuls will do all they can to protect their nationals and am in constant consultation with Government authorities and with representatives of United and Standard Fruit Companies here. Commander Memphis advised to stop at Puerto Castilla, Ceiba and Tela. Fisher directed remain Tela during emergency.