815.00 Revolutions/14: Telegram

The Minister in Honduras (Lay) to the Secretary of State

66. The Honduran Government has notified Turnbull of United Fruit Company that from today it will withhold clearance to all his company’s vessels now in Honduran ports in order that they may be at Government’s disposal for troop movements. Turnbull has declined to permit the use of the company’s vessels for military purposes until he receives instructions from the Boston office. Turnbull fears that in order to compel United Fruit Company to make available its steamers the Honduran Government will take over control company’s railroad and rolling stock which would cripple company’s operations [Page 563]more than requisition of its vessels in port. Turnbull has recommended as a matter of expediency and compromise that he be authorized to make available to Honduran Government one ship American or Honduran registry there being now no United Fruit Company vessels of Honduran registry here in port but he will not do this unless Department sanctions it. The Vice Consul at Tela has radioed Legation that the Honduran commandant at Tela has requested use of steamship Coppename of American registry for transfer of troops to Puerto Cortes. Highly recommend that he should decline to accede to request until I have obtained Department’s views.

Mr. Turnbull will also await Department’s views before taking any action.

I request instructions on all points raised herein be radioed as soon as possible.