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

No. 354

Sir: The Department has noted the opinion of General Matthews as expressed in his letter to the Legation of November 16, 1931 (Legation’s despatch No. 740, April 5, 1932), that upon the withdrawal of the American officers in the Guardia the agreement under which the Guardia has been functioning will cease to be operative, and that presumably the Guardia will then be governed by the former laws regarding the military forces, which can only be expected to lead to the “rapid disintegration of the Guardia”. It is also noted that General Matthews recommends the enactment by the Nicaraguan Government of a basic law governing the establishment and maintenance of the Guardia. The Department observes that in his letter to the Legation of April 5 [4], 1932 (Legation’s despatch No. 740, April 5, 1932), General Matthews reaffirmed his recommendation regarding basic legislation for the future Guardia, reiterating “that this matter is of outstanding importance if the groundwork already laid by our Government in the establishment of the present comparatively nonpartisan Guardia Nacional is to endure”.

The Department agrees in general with the views expressed by General Matthews on this subject in his two letters and deems it highly important in the best interests of Nicaragua that the Guardia organization be put on a permanent basis by a basic law enacted before the final retirement of the Marines from the Guardia. If you perceive no objection, therefore, you are requested to discuss the matter with President Moncada, informing him that General Matthews would be prepared, if the Nicaraguan Government so desires, to consult with the War and Navy Departments of the United States Government in order to prepare a draft of the proposed law for submission to President Moncada. Kindly keep the Department informed by telegram of developments in this matter.

Very truly yours,

For the Acting Secretary of State:
Francis White