817.00 Johnson Electoral Mission/211: Telegram

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

139. Legation’s 105, June 12, 5 p.m.

Inasmuch as Major Price will serve only as an observer of the municipal elections and will have no official connection whatsoever with the Nicaraguan National Board of Elections, the Department deems it to be preferable that his appointment and questions regarding the membership of that Board be kept separate. For this reason you are requested, provided you perceive no objection to such a course, to carry out the procedure set forth in the Department’s telegram No. 135, June 11, 5 p.m.
In a separate communication you may inform the Nicaraguan Government that if it so desires the Department will promptly request Captain Johnson to resign as Chairman of the Nicaraguan Board of Elections to the end that a Nicaraguan citizen may be appointed in his stead.
Supervision of the 1932 Presidential elections, however, will necessitate the presence of an American as Chairman of the Nicaraguan National Board of Elections, as well as the amendment, alteration, and partial suspension of the Electoral Law of March 20, 1923 (experience having demonstrated the insufficiency of the measures effected by the Decree of July 26, 1930). Assurances, therefore, from the Nicaraguan Government that these requirements will be met in ample time prior to the 1932 elections should be obtained at this time. You may point out that a similar arrangement was made effective prior to the appointment of Captain Johnson, at which time the Nicaraguan Chairman who followed General McCoy resigned in his favor.