The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Nicaragua (Debayle)

Sir: I acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 209, dated March 16, 1932, in which you quote in translation a message you have received from His Excellency the President of Nicaragua expressing satisfaction with the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua, and the desire “that the Guardia, under the direction of the marines, be permitted to conclude its mission.”

As you are of course aware, this Government announced some time ago its intention to withdraw its forces from Nicaragua after the elections to be held in November of this year. In this connection you will recall that in the conference held on February 24, 1932, in this Department, when you were present, together with Doctors Morales and Argüello, the Personal Representatives of President Moncada, Doctor Morales brought up the question of the withdrawal of the marines from the Guardia at the close of this year. Assistant Secretary White pointed out to Doctor Morales that this had been agreed upon in February, 1931, between the Secretary of State and President Moncada. At that time, at the request of President Moncada, very careful consideration had been given by the Department of State to various problems with which Nicaragua was then faced. A memorandum embodying a program was then drawn up which provided for an increase in the strength of the Guardia, for the withdrawal of the Marine detachments stationed outside of Managua, and for the reduction by June 1, 1931, of the marine forces in Nicaragua to an instruction battalion in the city of Managua and the aviation force. The program also provided for additional funds to increase the military school in order to train additional Nicaraguan officers so as to replace all American officers in the Guardia by Nicaraguan officers immediately after the elections of 1932. This program was approved by President Moncada. In accordance with the program the Officers’ Training School of the Guardia was greatly expanded and a large number of additional cadet officers were enrolled in order that there might be sufficient Nicaraguan officers trained to take over the Guardia after the elections this November. In accordance with this program, which was adopted well over a year ago, the United States Government has been making the necessary arrangements to withdraw all its forces from Nicaragua after the elections, including its officers with the Guardia, and to turn the latter organization over to the Nicaraguan Government.

Your statement that President Moncada has been misquoted in [Page 864] the press with respect to the Canal Treaty of August 5, 1914, has been noted, and also the quotation which you give of a paragraph on this subject taken from the statement issued by President Moncada on March 10 of this year. I am gratified to note that President Moncada takes the view that there can be no question regarding the validity of this Treaty.

Accept [etc.]

For the Acting Secretary of State:
Francis White