817.00/6928: Telegram

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

6. My telegram No. 5, January 5, 4 p.m. This subject was discussed in conference this morning with the Commander of the Marine Brigade, the Commander of the Guardia and Lieutenant Colonel Matthews who is to succeed to the command of the Guardia in the near future. We are of the unanimous opinion that President Moncada’s proposal to increase the Nicaraguan military forces by 500 men should be accepted but only with the clear understanding that this force shall constitute a part of the Guardia as set forth in my telegram of reference. We are of the opinion that in view of the responsibility [Page 834] of this Government in connection with the suppression of banditry its proposal of a measure to meet that responsibility should not be rejected if it can be accepted under conditions which are in accord with the agreement and policy governing our cooperation with the Guardia. We also deem it essential that those conditions should be such as will insure the creation of a disciplined and effective force. I am hopeful that an understanding of this nature can be reached with President Moncada.

General McDougal is now making a study of the details connected with carrying out such an arrangement and I will inform the Department in this connection.

A further important reason for accepting President Moncada’s proposal is his expressed determination to combine the military increase with a road building program in the bandit territory if necessary funds can be obtained.