The Minister in Guatemala (Whitehouse) to the Secretary of State

No. 839

Sir: In amplification of my telegram No. 83 of December 5, 2 p.m., I have the honor to report that although the Minister of Foreign Affairs has been advised that both the President of Honduras and the President-elect, General Carías, are in entire agreement with his views relative to the Treaties of 1923, he seems to be worried lest the aid being given to the Honduran Government forces by General Martínez may have some ulterior effect disagreeable for Guatemala and tending to align Honduras with Salvador. In this connection, he seems to think that General Martínez is violating the Treaty in the aid he is extending and claims that in addition to arms he has furnished [Page 342] some personnel, but he was vague as to this and I did not press the matter.

Immediately after intimating that the instructions of President Ubico for him to examine the Treaties with Mr. Pacheco were for the purpose of gaining time, he informed me that President Ubico wanted to speak to me about obtaining military supplies for the Nicaraguan Government as he felt they would be sorely needed after the departure of our Marines. He said that Guatemala would be glad to be of assistance to Mr. Sacasa and as there was no revolution in Nicaragua, this would not be in contravention of the 1923 Treaty. …

As I have reported in another despatch, the Guatemalan Government have named their present Chargé d’Affaires in Mexico City to fill the vacant post of Ambassador there and when I made inquiry as to the reasons for this, Mr. Skinner Klee said that as they had settled all their pending questions satisfactorily with Mexico and the Mexican Government rather resented the absence of an Ambassador, in view of the attitude of General Martínez in Salvador and of the Costa Rican Government, he felt that Guatemala needed all the friends she could get and this was the reason for the appointment.

I do not understand the reason for his perturbation about possible activities of General Martínez against Guatemalan interests, as it would appear to me that General Martínez has enough troubles of his own without trying to foment them in Guatemala. I said as much to the Minister of Foreign Affairs but he did not seem to be convinced.

He is willing and even anxious, I feel, to conciliate General Martínez and he indicated that he had suggested to Mr. Pacheco that it might be possible to make use of the Treaty concerning Commissions of Inquiry14 to examine the whole case of General Martínez and if as a result it was found that he had no part in the revolution against President Araujo and was actually a prisoner in the barracks of the revolting troops, perhaps a way could be found to bring about his recognition.

I pointed out that I saw several objections to such a scheme: one of the foremost being that Salvador had never ratified this Convention and, secondly, that it would appear ridiculous after a year had elapsed and all the Governments had declared against the recognition of General Martínez to set up a commission now. In this he rather regretfully concurred.

He seemed very pleased by some editorials in the American press on Costa Rica’s attitude against the Treaties and reiterated his own [Page 343] annoyance at Mr. Pacheco’s having undertaken this trip to Guatemala without previous consultation with him, whose only result would be to create hard feeling in Salvador against the Guatemalan Government. Incidentally, he told me that Mr. Pacheco had not said a word about the purpose of his visit until after his official reception by President Ubico when he requested a private audience with the latter. President Ubico in acceding to his request informed him, however, that his Minister of Foreign Affairs would have to be present at the interview. I do not know whether Mr. Pacheco in requesting a private interview with the President thought that the latter might be more favorable to his views than was his Minister of Foreign Affairs.

It is a great pity that some means cannot be found to make General Martínez see reason as it looks as if his continuance in power was going to be a source of continual trouble in Central America.

Respectfully yours,

Sheldon Whitehouse
  1. Convention for the Establishment of International Commissions of Inquiry. Conference on Central American Affairs, p. 392.