816.00 Revolutions/70: Telegram

The Chargé in El Salvador ( McCafferty ) to the Secretary of State

19. The situation seems slightly improved today. Last night passed quietly in this capital except for sporadic firing due probably to nervousness. News from the provinces indicates that the de facto government is taking strong measures in the most seriously affected region between Santa Tecla and Ahuachapán and is apparently regaining control of the situation. A favorable sign is that the armed forces are being paid from funds requisitioned from the Banco Agrícola. Much alarm continues to be felt by the large landowners against whom the venom of the Communists is naturally directed and they are responsible for very disturbing and perhaps exaggerated rumors of butchery.

As far as can be ascertained American lives and interests have remained unharmed. Thus far the movement has exhibited no anti-foreign character. The British colony in the capital has been especially excited about the situation although as far as known no British people or property have suffered. The other foreign colonies and [Page 619] especially the American colony have remained calm to date. It has not been deemed necessary at any time to concentrate the Americans at the Legation nor to contemplate the evacuation of women and children.

At the moment I do not contemplate requesting the commanders of our two destroyers, which arrived this morning at Acajutla, to land armed forces but in my opinion the vessels should stand by in La Libertad rather than in Acajutla to await developments. Arrangements for transport from La Libertad to the [apparent omission] in case of necessity have been made.