817.1051/481: Telegram

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

11. Supplementing second paragraph my telegram No. 6, January 8, 1 p.m. General McDougal’s estimate of the cost of an auxiliary force of 500 men for a period of 6 months is in round numbers $20,000 for initial equipment and $90,000 for pay and maintenance. He has eliminated all unessentials from his estimate and has included therein only such items as are absolutely necessary to uniform, equip, train and operate an efficient force. The officers for the new force would be 8 captains and 12 lieutenants assigned from the Marines and 16 Nicaraguan lieutenants. There would also be 8 Marine medical lieutenants. The pay of all grades enlisted and commissioned and the cost of subsistence would be the same as for the Guardia. I concur in his estimate.

General McDougal has informed me that the voluntarios organized in 1929 cost $50 per man per month whereas the new force will cost approximately $35 per man per month. The voluntarios were commanded by volunteer officers and were paid at a higher rate than the Guardia but were not supplied with clothing.

I will bring the foregoing to the attention of President Moncada with the purpose of correcting any misconception he may have as to the cost of the new force. His conversations with me have indicated that he has in mind an irregular force without uniforms and inadequately officered, armed, trained and equipped which would cost less than McDougal’s estimate. I believe it is obvious that the commander of the Guardia cannot share responsibility for the creation of a force under conditions which will not fully guarantee its efficiency and if necessary I will so inform President Moncada.