The Secretary of “War (Derri) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of the 12th instant, wherein you confirm the statement of policy contained in the message which accompanied Mr. Wilson’s letter of the 7th instant addressed to Mr. A. L. Flint, Chief of Office, The Panama Canal, and which was by the latter quoted in confidential radiogram to the Governor of The Panama Canal on the 7th instant, a copy of which was furnished Mr. Wilson informally. You submit for consideration the advisability of having any request for facilities made by representatives of either the Government of Colombia or the Government of Perú to the Canal Zone authorities transmitted for my decision before any action is taken thereon by the Canal authorities.

Your suggestion was communicated to the Governor of The Panama Canal by radiogram for comment, and he points out in a radio reply, dated the 14th instant, that since the State Department’s present policy, as confirmed in your letter under acknowledgment, is now understood on the Isthmus, he sees no necessity for referring requests for facilities to the Secretary of War, and I am inclined to agree with him.

In this connection there is quoted hereunder for your information the following self-explanatory confidential radiogram received from the Governor under date of the 12th instant:

“Peruvian Cruiser Bolognesi arrived 10th in accordance with arrangements made several months ago to have installed boilers purchased in England and shipped here and to have general overhaul work accomplished. Contemplated work would require vessel remain under repair and unable to move for about 3 months. Nature of work [Page 384] is normal renewal of worn-out parts and not to be classed as preparation for immediate hostilities. Plan contemplates having Cruiser Grau overhauled similarly upon completion Bolognesi. Such periodic repairs Peruvian Naval ships have been done regularly at this plant since 1924. As previously reported limitation is being placed on work by The Panama Canal in conformance State Department’s advice transmitted yours 7th. Probable result Bolognesi will take boiler material on board and depart for Chile to have work done there.”

Sincerely yours,

Geo H. Dern