713.1311/227: Telegram

The Chargé in Guatemala (Lawton) to the Secretary of State

15. My 14, January 27, 3 p.m. The Foreign Minister told me this afternoon that the Guatemalan Government now feels that it would be preferable not to agree beforehand with Honduras and Nicaragua upon the conference agenda. He plans to transmit to the Governments of Honduras and Nicaragua by the next air mail (Saturday) the draft of an invitation which President Ubico will ask President Sacasa to extend to the Governments of Central America and of Panama. The inclusion of Panama will depend upon the desire of President Sacasa and the Department as Guatemala has no objection. Skinner-Klee promised me a copy of the draft invitation as soon as completed and I shall telegraph its substance to the Department and forward copies to the Department and interested missions by air mail. The Foreign Minister said that the invitation will be in the names of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and will invite the various Governments to participate in a conference to meet in Guatemala February 22 for the purpose of revising the several treaties of 1923.10 He pointed out that by mentioning all the pacts instead of only the Treaty of Peace and Amity a sufficiently broad scope would be provided to cover any likely developments.

Skinner-Klee is fully aware of the probable attitude of Costa Rica to any measures tending towards a Central American union and he has little hope that she can be induced to enter into the arrangements he has in mind. He believes, however, that if the invitation is extended as suggested above and if Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua do not make any preliminary plans among themselves Costa Rica could have no real cause for complaint or for refusing to attend the conference. He remarked he is of the opinion that Salvador will be glad to attend and that she will probably join Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in any measures of common interest that may be adopted at the conference. He is now working on the draft of the proposals he intends to submit to the conference and he promised me a copy as soon as it has been approved by President Ubico. He said [Page 429]that he would greatly appreciate knowing the Department’s reaction to his plan.

Skinner-Klee concluded by saying that since the draft invitation would not be mailed until Saturday the invitations could not be extended until next week but he feels that there will still be ample time for preparations before February 22.

Repeated to Central American missions.

  1. See Conference on Central American Affairs, Washington, December 4, 1922–February 7, 1923 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1923), pp. 287 ff.